Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jack Hates Spinach

Jack is laying at my feet. I am standing at the stove waiting for the spinach to cook before I make my favorite thing, spanikopita. Dropped spinach is not his favorite thing but he remains hopeful for better. While spanikopita is not among our family's standard Turkey Day grub, I thought it would make a nice change from slimy green beans cooked in canned soup. It is also one of my parents' favorite things to eat. My mother and I were taught how to fix it by a very tiny elderly Greek lady who was a friend of my mothers. It was important to this woman for us to learn to make this dish and she had us come to her house to see how it was prepared and by doing this, passed along a bit of her heritage. Spanikopita is a laborious mixture of spinach, lots of onions, butter, oil, dill weed, obscene amounts of feta, riccotta, and parmesan cheeses, more parmesan cheese, and eggs. The beauty of it is its finish. It is topped with a layer of a multitude of paper thin pastry sheets of phillo dough, each carefully coated with a brushing of butter. Cooked until golden it becomes a dish of most pleasant thoughts and comfort. Jack still waits for better spillage but I can't think of one.

Outside I see the horses are all waiting not very patiently for my morning walk to the barn for their relief from nocturnal fasting. A lovely fall day with a hint of moisture in the air to soften the edges and brighten the colors. There is a solid wall of gold from some unidentified tree putting on a splendid show just off the back porch. A slight breeze continues to send flurries of acorns to the ground where they lay like the scene in the cartoons where ball bearings are spilt to thwart the bungling efforts of the bad guys. I am amazed Jack hasn't resorted to woofing these down too.

It is Turkey Day Eve. This afternoon I will cook the bird on the Green Egg. Maybe I will put the sweet potatoes in there with it to let them smoke a bit before mashing them. Then there is the must have salad to be made. Then rolls and the gravy. I forget, the dressing has to be in there too. And dessert? How does one keep a Turkey Day spread small? There will be once again, more overeating and months of leftovers to be creative with. What a wonderful dilemma to keep repeating.

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