By Patsy Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
My massive pre-holiday grocery store trip was delayed last week until Thursday night and I practically needed Big John to help me bring it all in from the car to the house. Grandpup Bonnie was fairly dizzy, watching me come in-out-in with all the elements of culinary preparation.
My dear daughter-in-law is careful about her cholesterol, so I do my best to make only vegetarian dishes for her. The answer first came in the form of a tangine pot, which looks a bit like a ceramic model of a nuclear power plant tower. With great excitement, I found it on a visit with my sister in Pensacola, so I brought two home – one for me and the other for an Easter “basket” for my son and his wife.
Of course, that meant preparation of a tangine, which I describe as a spicy Moroccan stew. In this instance, it was served over couscous, an item I do not keep in the pantry but found agreeable under the circumstances.
And so it was, with great fanfare, that I brought out my shiny, orange tangine pot and proceeded to heat it on my gas range for the recipe’s first step.
Will, Jamie and I chatted animatedly about the cooker when all of a sudden came a loud “POP!” The darn thing cracked right there on the stove.
Not to be phased even a little, I brandished a favorite Le Creuset dutch oven, which served my purposes splendidly. Pricey saffron and all, it was quite delicious.
Early next morning, I arose to saute mushrooms and caramelize onions, make hummus and pack up my favorite Pensacola tabouli for a nice little picnic we shared after a CD-guided tour of beautiful Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, where we triangulated the likely burial sites of my great-grandparents.
We also stopped at the gravesite of noted Mississippi writer Shelby Foote, where I poured a snort of Old Charter. Surely, Shelby was a bourbon man.
Sunday morning called for an early rise, too, since I had responsibilities at church.
When I’m called upon for chalice duty around the altar, I’m expected to consume what’s left in it.
We Episcopalians are known for going all-out on High Holy Days, and sure enough, Sunday was a champagne day. That was nice, but in the end, I found that at least 8 ounces remained of the sparkling, slightly golden liquid.
And so, I sipped and sipped and sipped until I’d done my duty. A few minutes later, as I sat in the congregation with my son and his wife, I felt this amazing wave of heat come over me – perhaps it was the Holy Spirit on such an auspicious day.
No, it was the alcohol causing my capillaries to dilate like moments I recall at least a decade ago, going through “the change.”
My good fortune was to have a good designated driver to get me home for a yummy Easter luncheon of fried chicken, eggplant casserole and roasted veggies.
To no one’s surprised, a nap was required later in the day. What a good weekend.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column for the Daily Journal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.