07 December 2009

I'm reminded of a dinner I had at my place, when the guests were just coming in, and the only thing that was done was the rice. Bad. Also, there was only one burner working. Worse. Also, I couldn't find the cooked beans. Catastrophe.
I popped open a tin of chickpeas, threw in some tahini, some bottled (gasp!) lemon juice, garlic, and a splash of olive oil, and let the food processor rip. While that was going, I got a pan screaming hot. In went some oil, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds. When the seeds were popped, I dumped in a bag of baby spinach. I slammed on the lid, and turned around to open the food processor, and scrape down the sides. Again, off it went. I thinned it out with a bit of water, and let it keep going. I turned back to the spinach, and saw that it was barely wilted. Perfect.
I turned off the heat, and tossed it through a couple more times. I set out a loaf of bread, and the hummus and spinach, and encouraged everyone to tear off a piece of bread, spread on some hummus, and pile up the spinach. It was a novel (and delicious) idea, and everyone was raving about it. While they were distracted, I grated some carrots and cabbage into the food processor (without washing it; the hummus would provide a dressing!). I scraped out every last bit of goodness from the food processor, and tossed the cabbage and carrot with the hummus. Then into the microwave went 2 tins of black beans in a pyrex dish, along with a bit of cumin powder. Nuked that for 5 minutes. As soon as the microwave beeped, I threw in some chopped cilantro to round out the flavour.
Five minutes later, the main part of the meal was on the table (beans, rice, salad). For dessert, I sliced up some lovely fruit that I had lying around (apples and pears) and served them on a block of rock salt. It was lovely.
Point is that even when your best laid plans fall apart, if you can think on your feet, you'll still be fine. Just have a couple of things in your house (tinned beans, very quick cooking veg, some bread, fruit), and you're bound to be OK even when things are going nuts around you.