A savory snack for a chilly day.
I am thankful for:
- A spacious kitchen, properly outfitted with a gas stove and dishwasher
- My wife’s superior cooking talents (I helped…fun in the kitchen)
- A satisfying twelve-year (yikes!) in prospect research that brought me back to my favorite city
- Snow! On Thanksgiving morning. Our first snow since moving back to the Midwest
- NPR and Third Coast Radio documentaries, especially The Ground We Lived On
- Sam Cooke
- Thanksgiving memories from my youth
- The Wizard of Oz
- Public libraries
- My great good fortune and health
- Family and friends
- Forgiveness and unconditional love
- The hard work of reconciliation, faith and hope
It happens just about every day. Each time I check my blog stats, I can see what search engine terms people are using to find my site (or more precisely how folks stumble upon my site with Google or whatever). Almost every day folks find my site by looking for the combined terms “cilantro” and “soap”. I’m not sure what these random strangers are hoping to find, but I guess they are finding a kindred spirit, a fellow cilantro hater, when they find my posting about the evil weed. I posted this entry seven months ago (April of 2007), and since then I have been getting hits on that posting just about every day.
Clearly I am not alone.
My entire family agrees with me that cilantro tastes like Palmolive, which offers me some comfort. I know a few people (not related to me) who share my taste, but often I feel alone in my abhorrence of the stuff. G and I now live near “Little Saigon” in Chicago, which has many Vietnamese restaurants that we are just beginning to explore. I really love pho and the fantastic sandwiches and pancakes that this regional cuisine is known for, but I cannot let my guard down about the cilantro. I really love to eat this food, but the evil weed just ruins it for me. My beloved loves itf, so we either order separately or ask for it on the side, which usually suffices. But once in a while we order a dish whose description mentions nothing about cilantro, and it is permeated with it.
I know, I know, it is hardly the end of the world, and there are certainly precautions I can take. Most restaurants will accommodate my tastes. But how would you like it if you were really hungry and just waiting with rapt anticipation for an absolutely savory bowl of deliciousness only to find that it has been generously seasoned with soap flakes?
My observations about my blog stats are entirely unscientific, but I can see that I am not isolated. There are many others out there like me. In fact, there is a web-based social networking site dedicated to those of us to detest cilantro. Of course I had to join the community. My problem is that I love all of the foods I can think of that often contain cilantro. I love to eat, and I’m very adventurous about it. I’m not picky. I just happen to feel very strongly about this one thing.
Really, cilantro is a total buzz kill. For those of you out there who are looking for affirmation, you have found it. You are not alone!
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for dusting dough and work surface
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼-inch pieces
8 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled
6-8 tablespoons ice water
Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. Add shortening, continuing to cut into the flour until the flour is pale yellow and looks like coarse cornmeal.
Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the water over the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the mix to work in the water. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons of water if needed to help the dough come together if needed. Divide into 2 balls, flattening each into a disk about an inch thick. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and chill for ½ hour.
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix ingredients for filling and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
Blend 1 large egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water for glaze. Brush the exposed lattice.
Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and place in oven. After 20 minutes at 400°F, reduce temperature to 350°F, and continue baking for 1 hour and 25 minutes.