Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I get a little cranky around February. Winter becomes something to endure, root vegetables grow wearisome, and I hanker for the living to be easy. Yesterday I positively craved a mango margarita - and that's not even my style - around 9am. I could taste the mango. While the implications of dwelling on cocktails before breakfast are a bit worrisome, I'm going to write this off as a manifestation of my February blahs. Humor me, and take a moment to picture yourself poolside (or seaside), sun-warmed (i.e., not clad in sweaters and tights and salt-stained boots), with an icy glass of tequila-spiked mango puree by your side... I weep.

In addition to time-consuming, alcoholic daydreams, I've been relying on spices to get me through the mean months. Spices that you can mix with coconut milk and wake up (or cover up) wizened winter vegetables. So it goes:

Chop up a big nub of ginger, several cloves of garlic, and an onion or two. Toss it all in a large, hot, oiled skillet. Wait a bit, chop and add whatever skeezy produce is lurking about - any variety of potato, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, what have you. Douse with salt, tumeric, curry powder, cayenne, cumin... Maybe even add garam masala, curry paste, or chopped serano chilies (get crazy!). Add one can coconut milk and a little water. Simmer until everything is done and finish with a squeeze of lime. If you like, top with greek yogurt and sriracha.

While this won't make February pass more quickly, it will warm you up.

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