You know how Twitter and Pinterest and the like ask you to describe yourself in a few words? Sum yourself up, telegraph-style. It's like coming up with your own tagline. Or your own tombstone inscription. Some people are really good at this, and you can just get a gist of who they are from those few words. Recently, I came across one person who had put "good friend" in their description, and I just found that wonderful. Why would a food blogger make a point of describing her/himself as a good friend? Because food and friendship are so deeply interconnected.
It hit a nerve with me because, for whatever baggage-related reasons, being a good friend is one of the most important things in my life. It has motivated so many of my decisions and actions (sometimes for worse, mostly for better). And it definitely is a value I want to pass on to my son. The art of nurturing friendships. And good food and cooking have everything to do with that.
It is for me one very satisfying way to nurture my relationships with the people I love: cooking for them. My mother has always said she only enjoyed cooking for people she loved (she always loved cooking for me and good food was always a point of connection for us). And that's my truth today: I don't cook for cooking's sake (few people do, I think). I cook to show love. And it does show: I get excited, I get perfectionist, I feel good and warm inside when sharing a meal. It's a moment of connection and Pablo senses all those things, much like I sensed them with my mother growing up. I'm happy to be following in her footsteps in this way.
This is such a great way to connect with our children, to nurture our relationship with them. I know time is often lacking and the preoccupations of daily life get overwhelming. But we all have to eat, so let's use this opportunity to connect, and take a little time to cook, share, love, whenever possible.The "education of taste" goes way beyond what foods to give and when and how much. It is showing that food can be all about sharing, loving, nurturing, connecting.
I adapted this recipe from a French cookbook called "Idées futées pour inviter" (Clever ideas to invite people over), so it's fitting. Sharing a meal doesn't have to be a fancy dinner (though I love those too and get all involved and obsessive about them), it can be as simple... as a fritter (or two) and a salad.
Peas & feta fritters
Age: Obviously a treat for the whole family, and great finger food for toddlers 12 months and above.
Health benefits: Coconut oil has some saturated fatty acids like capric acid and lauric acid that raise the level of good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, boost immunity and fight aging (among other benefits). So this is as healthy a way to fry food as we're going to get :-)
Makes about 12 fritters
1/2 cup + tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1 cup of peas (I used frozen as I couldn't find fresh English peas this week)
3 1/2 oz feta
Some Italian parsley, chives and basil (or any herb of choice really)
Organic virgin coconut oil for frying (lighter / healthier than other frying oils)
Salt & pepper
Wash the herbs and chop finely in a small food processor (or by hand). Set aside.
Dice the onion, cut up the feta and mash grossly with a fork. If you use frozen peas, rinse under warm water and let thaw for a few minutes. (If you use fresh, put them in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes and drain).
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, egg and milk to obtain a smooth mixture.
Add the peas, mashed feta, herbs and onions. Salt & pepper to taste.
Put some coconut oil in a frying pan and melt at high heat so you have a couple of inches of liquid oil.
Pour a spoonful of batter into the oil and fry until golden brown, turning the fritter over regularly, much like a pancake (I fried three fritters at a time given the size of my pan). Set aside on a paper towel to absorb excess grease.
Note: I had to add some coconut oil for every batch as it absorbs a lot.
Serve warm with a salad. A simple endive salad with Julia Child's classic French lemon vinaigrette (recipe here) makes for a bit of tangy slightly bitter crunch which marries itself nicely to the richness of the fritter.
(We had some leftovers, which we warmed up in the microwave, it's still good, but less crunchy than fresh off the pan.)