There Are No Boring Meals

Play With Your Food
Like any task, making a meal can be tedious or fun. Chore or challenge? The decision is yours. While plating food has been played out like nearly everything that the jibber-jabber of content-hungry media wraps its maw around, I was struck the other evening by what fun I'd had arranging food on a plate, or three, to be exact. How often in adult life to we find time to paint or sculpt? Why not adapt such artistic leanings to other areas of our lives? Why not bring them to the table?

It started with a tricky situation. I had beets and Brussels sprouts that were in peril from too much time in the crisper due to a few unexpected meals out of the house. I had kale in the garden that was due for eating. There were some nice beet greens in the garden as well. I'd just picked up a replacement bottle of 12-year-old balsamic vinegar that was begging to be opened and, in a rush of a day, I hadn't thawed any meat. Nearly everything meaty or protein-rich that might have been quick to prepare had been done too recently. I like to keep it interesting.

So, borrowing from a menu selection at my favorite brunch spot, I went to the greens-fed farm-fresh eggs and put their sunny side up. The kale and beet greens were sautéed with a little garlic in butter and olive oil. I sliced and roasted the beets in olive oil and salt and then soaked them in mango juice in the warmer while I roasted the Brussels sprouts in olive oil. During the 15-20 minutes it took the sprouts to roast I battered some green tomatoes in flour, ground chicharron, and panko and then fried them.

When things were ready I arranged it all on plates for my family. The sprouts and eggs received a topping of the 12-year-old balsamic and the fried green tomatoes got a dollop of Wonder Woman's home-made-garden-fresh red tomato jam for fun. The picky-eating Wee Wonder got an egg and some pear slices with her balsamic.

It could have been a chore. It was a delight, because I made the choice. In fact, it was a blast. I'm no chef. I'm just a regular Joe Bob who enjoys his kitchen. Make your kitchen a joy. Have fun.

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