Did you ever play that game as a little kid where you have to say your name and a food you're bringing to a picnic starting with the same letter? Hi my name is Whatever, I'm bringing Whatchamacallits, hi my name is Such and Such, I'm bringing So and Sos... and on and on. I used to mildly dread that game when I was a kid-- not because of the part where you have to repeat back other kids' names. I LOVED that part (I am a sucker for memorization games, still) but hated being called for my turn, because my name starts with N. If your name starts with N, guess what, either you're bringing noodles or nuts to the picnic, and you better hope there aren't three N kids in your class because then whoever goes last is screwed.
As an adult, I know more foods starting with N that I might not have recognized in elementary school.. nectarines, for one, and natto. And of course, that spice that I so love, nutmeg!
I had such grand ambitions for nutmeg today. I was going to do fancy ravioli with sweet potatoes & nutmeg, in a browned butter-y sauce with hazelnuts. That sounds great, right? But by the time I got home, exhausted and dripping sweat (come ON weather! I take back everything I said about not being ready for rainy season! at least I can sleep when it rains!), I looked around at the kitchen which is still half wrecked from yesterday and was like... yeah no. Tedious lengthy kitchen process? To make a kind of heavy dinner on a hot night? Not going to happen.
So I flipped through a couple of books to get other ideas and noticed that I had all the ingredients for Bryant Terry's vanilla molasses ice cream, which seemed like it could easily be adapated into a nutmeg ice cream. I have never made ice cream before, which ended up being the fatal flaw with this plan... because what I didn't realize from reading the recipe was that while the recipe only takes like 2-2.5 hrs, you need to have your ice cream maker ready to go. And apparently my ice cream maker has to be in the freezer for 7 hours before you can use it. Oops.
I realized this AFTER I'd already mixed up all my ingredients. Oops again.
I thought about throwing it all away and going back to the original plan, but there wasn't enough time left for that and besides, the not-ice cream that I had mixed up tasted delicious. So I skimmed a few more books and realized I had almost exactly enough liquid with exactly enough sweetener in it to make a 1.5x recipe of the tapioca pudding in American Vegan Kitchen, with added spices. I had already taken leftover waffles out of the freezer to defrost so even though it's a pretty weird pairing, I decided we were having tapioca and waffles for dinner.
The tapioca is seasoned primarily with nutmeg and a bit of orange zest and vanilla extract. The orange zest really kicks it up a bit... before I added it, the nutmeg tasted kind of muddled. I actually really like this tapioca and, can I say this? While it sounds really bizarre, dipping the waffles in the tapioca worked really well and was really delicious. Still more of a dessert than a dinner, but oh well, what are you going to do?
The Emperor was initially happy to see tapioca, which he asks for like every single day since we had it once at the beginning of MoFo. But it was warm rather than cooled (no time to cool before serving) and that, that was just not cool in his book. He refused to even try it and just had old dry waffles instead. Which he was ecstatic about. Again, what are you going to do?
The important thing is we made it through MoFo Hump Day! And tomorrow will hopefully be a somewhat more disaster-proof day in the kitchen. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the Emperor to pass out so I can get into bed too... I'm totally beat. Don't think it'll be long though... look how tired he looks: