I'm not a Friday goer-outer. I prefer to do my rabble rousing on Saturday night, after a day of lounging. By contrast, on Friday night, the week's got me by the shorthairs, not wanting much more than hittin the bed early.
Occasionally, though, I find myself home alone on Friday. What else you gonna do but cook?
Tonight, that meant a lazy late drive to the store, reminiscent of my earlier single mama days when a Friday night grocery store trip with a toddler was my entire social life. Damn, he was adorable, even if he never stood still for a single minute from the age of one to three. I made sure to only go where he was warmly welcomed by the staff, and that usually turned out to be the original Whole Foods in Houston. Young hippies are awful nice to little kids. Of course, that being the case, I didn't do a lot of buying on these trips. In between simply following him briskly from aisle to aisle, I'd break down and get some dairy-gluten-transfat free snack of some kind for the kid and a box of pricey cereal for myself. But we had fun. It was our Friday night date.
Whole Foods is way too far now from me now, both in distance and price-wise, so my usual grocer suffices fine. Sans kid, armed with a Lonestar card and enough pocket change for cat food and pinot grigio, I meandered just long enough to realize that this was the quietest I'd seen that store in ages.
Bringing my supplies home, I could only stand to hear the lowest tones. Sarah Vaughn would've worked, but Eddie Vedder's what I had... until I exited my car and stood on the driveway and heard the pine trees.
One of the first things that struck me after moving to these burbs from town was how the quiet mixes with nature's sounds at night and in the wee hours. Pine trees are the predominant natives here and on windy nights, their needles whistle. A low humming whistle that descends from three stories up all the way down and swirls around our open yard like a muffled banshee.
I stood with my plastic bags of food treasure and reminisced about a time when I hung laundry under the moon and listened by phone to a concert hundreds of miles away as the trees chimed in with the speakerphoned singer. I thought about how long ago four years seems now. I remembered again what I like about this place.
Then I went inside to cook.
Avocado Pasta Sauce
half stick of butter
1 stick celery, diced
1/2 tsp curry
1 ripe medium avocado
1/2 cup flour (bonus points for unbleached)
2 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded/cubed parmesan/romano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add diced celery and curry and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.
During that time, peel and cut avocado into small chunks. Add avocado to butter/celery & whisk until smooth-ish.
Gradually whisk in the flour. You'll wind up with something that looks just like cooked play dough (and you crunchy granola mamas know exactly what I'm talkin bout.)
Time to add the milk, a little at a time, whisking to loosen up the paste.
You haven't stopped whisking, have you? Don't stop whisking yet. (What a great word, and it sounds so much like 'whiskey'...) Okay, I think that's enough. You can stop whisking now.
Next, add the cheese and pepper. Make sure heat's still on low and keep stirring (no need to beat up on the cheese).
Once cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, stir in frozen veggies, nutmeg, and salt. Heat through, about 15-20 minutes, on low.
Serve over pasta. I had mine over chicken/prosciutto ravioli (the refrigerator section kind.) With Sarah Vaughn.