There’s nothing unusual about cooking dinner alone. I cook dinner for myself and my husband (and quite possibly others) pretty much every night of the week. I look forward to getting out of my head and into my hands, getting away from the computer and into foodstuffs. Cooking dinner is never a chore.
Cooking is slow time for me, often alone time. I don’t usually play music. Maybe, if I need a serious energy boost, I put on a Michael Franti CD. But the silence is good, too. That is, the sounds of cooking. Water running. Chard draining. The hum of the gas. The thonk of the knife on the board. The sizzle when onions are thrown into a hot pan. Just the sounds of everyday activities in the kitchen, plus the evening wind in the Oakley Sunglasses cheap trees. The other night I asked myself, do I think when I cook? Or chatter away mindlessly in my head? Or is cooking more a quiet meditation? Sometimes it is the latter, a focused, non-thinking activity, but sometimes I’m thinking, too. The other night I found myself thinking about how the same day I turned in my book Seasonal Fruit Desserts, my food processor quit. A part wore out; it’s a rubber ring of some sorts that made the top and bottom cohere. I called the Kitchen Aide people but didn’t get any leads as to a replacement part, so basically I gave it up. I’ve never found a food processor I’ve wanted to replace it with so I’ve done without for the past 2 years.
I was thinking about this because I was going to make a hazelnut frangipane for an apricot tart, which involves mixing together nuts, butter, egg and a few other ingredients until absolutely smooth. The food processor is, in fact, an ideal tool for the job, but since I didn’t have one, I got out my Zyliss cheese grinder and ground the toasted hazelnuts by hand. It was a hot day and the butter softened and eggs warmed up. In the end it wasn’t a big deal to make frangipane by hand, or the tart dough, and dessert was too good for just two people.
Basically, this has been true of everything I used to unthinkingly pull out the food processor for —making pie dough, salsa verde, breadcrumbs. There isn’t a thing you http://www.oakleyonorder.com/ can’t use a knife, a whisk or another tool for, including your hands, and end up with good results, a bit of a workout, and a lot less stuff to clean. As I smoothed the cream into the pre-baked tart shell, I realized that I’ve rather enjoyed this stretch of time without the food processor. My knife skills are probably better and I get a lot more direct contact with my food while slowing down in a nice focused sort of way. Handwork provides a kind of governor on my kitchen activities, too. I might think twice about making dessert, and that’s not a bad idea. Or if making frangipane was enough of a process, then I’ll skip the tart dough and use it to fill a halved apricot or plum and save a bunch of calories, too.
Hazelnut Frangipane By Hand Enough for or or 2 9-inch tarts or galettes
You can use almonds, but hazelnuts are awfully good, too. Use this with stone fruits, especially apricots and plums, and also with pears. You can use it to line a tart shell, smooth over galette dough, or drop it directly into a halved fruit, which you’re planning to roast. It’s good stuff to have around.
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
4 tablespoons soft butter
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
Grind the hazelnuts by hand in a nut or cheese grinder to make delicate flakes, then mix them with the sugar and flour. Add the oil and butter and beat with a wooden, then add the cheap oakley egg, egg yolk, and Frangelico, if using. Beat until well blended. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator to use later in the week. If you just can’t find an immediately use for it, freeze it until you do.