For this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! theme it’s all about food inspired by your favourite children’s book. I had some grand ideas, but none of them came to fruition – mostly because they were a little too far flung. I realized that I’d need more than a month to really hone and refine them (difficult, too, when sometimes the food from a book is open to interpretation, especially in the fantasy genre).
The deadline for Go Ahead Honey is this Friday. If you haven’t yet submitted your creation, please do! Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the original post for further details. The round-up will go live on Monday, April 25th.
I settled on making scrambled eggs with spinach, inspired by Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. I don’t know if it is my favourite Seuss book per se, although I do have fond memories of reading Dr. Seuss and being read to – often the same book repeatedly, so that my parents would have memorized it – but forbid that they should recite it.
Whether or not Green Eggs and Ham is my personal favourite, I know it is with most children and often they’ll want to eat the eponymous dish. They don’t need convincing. While it’s easy to simply dye the yolks with some green food colouring and serve them sunny side up with ham on the side (optional), I decided to use spinach instead. It’s a healthier option and you’re getting some greens with it.
Without any eggs or dairy cream at all, you can still make a luscious chocolate pudding. The secret? Marshmallows.
Originally a chocolate mousse, I’m still calling it pudding mainly because the coconut cream did not behave the same way as dairy cream would, so it wasn’t mousse-like in the least but surely not faulted. It gets thicker even more so when it’s refrigerated for an extended period of time, such as overnight, to the point of a consistency that is solid enough to resemble a mousse and that you can dig right into with a spoon.
While the original recipe calls for dark chocolate, I decided to go for semisweet because that’s the kind of chocolate I had on hand and also that I’ve found a few blogs that have stated that the dark chocolate is really for dark chocolate lovers and I wanted this pudding to go all around. Also I found that I could get away with less chocolate than Nigella called for; originally a memory blip on my part and then deciding to go along with my feeling when I double checked the recipe. Despite using a hundred grams less (original recipe calls for 250 grams or 9 ounces) it was still chocolate-y through and through. Rich and deeply satisfying.
The pudding was eaten up, leftovers unheard of; a sure hit.
It’s a skill to take photos on the go and not add extra time to the prep or cooking time, often I’ve only one shot and that’s it – it’s even harder when I take the final, what I call representative, shot and it’s someone else’s serving. (I can spend all day taking pictures of my dinner until it’s cold, I don’t care. I’ve written about this before.) Such was the situation last Saturday when I was making dinner as I simultaneously coaxed the food to pose for photographs while at the same time trying to avoid getting my camera lens steamed up. Trying to do this all faster than usual so that we all could watch the third episode of Sherlock sooner, a BBC drama that has modernized Sherlock Holmes and it is stellar. The stories, the acting, the photography, are excellent and everyone is riveted for the entire ninety minutes of an episode. Now we all have to wait until autumn of next year – not April, as previously thought – to see what happens next and it’s sheer agony to have to wait.
One of my favourite scenes from Sherlock, in the first episode A Study in Pink. The version in the unaired pilot is even funnier, when John Watson discovers Sherlock hasn’t eaten in several days:
Sherlock: “The brain’s what counts, everything else is transport.”
John: “You might consider refueling… So, do you have a girlfriend who feeds you up sometimes?”
Sherlock: “Is that what girlfriends do? Feed you up?”
I have a special relationship, for lack of a better word, with this dish. Clipped out of an issue of Martha Stewart Living from 2004, my family and I made it several times and it quickly became a favourite. One time when I was making it on my own back then, I was low on one of the spices and I ended up using half a teaspoon of cayenne powder to compensate.