In my house, I make dinner. I make a menu on Friday or Saturday, go shopping on Saturday or Monday, and buy my groceries for the week. And then I make dinner every night, which the Country Boy and I eat at the table, or sometimes in front of the TV.
It’s a very, very normal routine for me, but I realize that not every household has the same pattern. Some couples I know trade off who cooks. In other houses, people eat what they want, when they want; they don’t eat together or even necessarily eat the same thing. But ever since I moved out of my mother’s house, I’ve been making dinner, and ever since I’ve been living with the Country Boy, I’ve been making dinner for the two of us, and for the most part, I decide what we’ll be putting on the table… with a few small stipulations.
The Country Boy is far from picky, but like most people, he does have his list of things that he will not, under any circumstances, put into his mouth: lemons, nuts and cinnamon. Which doesn’t seem like very much, but it definitely changed the way that I had cooked. Rice, chicken and fish were almost always served with some sort of lemony sauce. Nuts were a common addition to a lunchtime salad. And cinnamon went in nearly all desserts. It’s not as though he stopped me eating my favorite foods — if I want cinnamon, I eat cinnamon –, but I’ve changed the way I cook.
A new change is coming.
My little sister is coming to Paris for the next several months. She’ll be studying at my alma mater and living with us in our apartment in the 15th. And she was once known to all of us as the girl who liked everything white. Plain pasta. Plain rice. Plain chicken. Plain, plain, plain.
Of course, that’s changed. My little sister has even started cooking for her friends, making bruschetta and candied nuts for Christmas. But she, like TCB, has a few things she won’t eat… and hers are going to change the way I cook a bit more: lentils, chickpeas, mayonnaise and blue cheese are off the menu. And I don’t know if she’s ever had quinoa, but given that she has strong textural issues, I doubt she’ll like it.
So if you see some changes in the things I’m preparing in the next few months, that might be why. It will also be the reason why my photos (not these photos, mind you) will be of much higher quality. Because my sister has a beautiful new camera, which she’ll be using to assist me. I’m very excited. She’s already made over the entirety of this blog, as some of you might have noticed… she’s got skills.
This is a dish I made before she arrives, a dish made of some things she likes — like roasted tomatoes — and some things she may not — like quinoa and feta. We’ll see where the next few months take my weekly menus and this little blog. Whatever we’re making, I’m very excited to be making it together.
Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta (serves 2)
150 g. uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 pint cherry tomatoes, roasted (tossed with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and a bit of salt, then roasted 1 hour at 200 degrees)
50 g. feta cheese
black pepper, for serving
Cook the quinoa in a generous amount of salted water until cooked through.
Drain and toss with the tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes. Heat through.
Dice the feta and add to the quinoa. Serve each portion with a grinding of fresh black pepper.