Cornucopia, Ch 11
Unyielding orthodoxy makes me uncomfortable because of its tendency to produce extremes. One day, a bunch of middle class kids are protesting the Vietnam War. The next, a tiny handful are trying to implement a Maoist revolutionary insurgency by kidnapping a publishing heiress. That’s why I made curried new potatoes from last week’s CSA box. It’s my way of keeping representative American democracy on track.
I enjoy my CSA box of fresh produce. I enjoy checking Norm-the-Grower’s website on Wednesday when he announces box contents. It allows me to plan meals and not waste greens and veggies. And, as much I enjoy the local grower-consumer relationship that the CSA model represents, heralding cuisine from locally-sourced goods, sometimes, I just want a curry.
Curry is globally popular. It’s also not from here unless “here” is half a world away in Southern Asia. The locally-grown orthodoxy, strictly applied, would keep curry off of my dinner table because turmeric, cumin and cinnamon don’t grow in Minnesota. But my core motivation –eating well- trumps any orthodoxy.
That’s why, facing a couple of pounds of new potatoes and a momentary break in the summer heat wave, I made a curry.
I diced and sautéed an onion in a little canola oil, tossing in minced, uncured garlic as the onion neared finishing. When softened, I added a heaping tablespoon of curry powder, sautéing for another couple of minutes. Then, I added a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, bringing them to a boil before reducing to a simmer for fifteen minutes. I washed and diced the new, uncured potatoes, slipping them into the pan and cooking, covered, until tender, about another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I served the curry with grilled summer squash, rice and plain yogurt. I can’t remember if I had a beer with dinner but if I didn’t, I should have. Beer and curry go together like money and college football or, maybe better yet, like fresh produce and a healthy diet.