Sunday, April 10, 2005

Assembly required

This morning, Darren and I had a first in our more-than-10-year relationship: We put together a piece of furniture without name calling, stomping, snipping or any other meanness. By which I mean, we put together a piece of furniture without me doing any of the above. And it's not because our new buffet/hutch-type thing was simple to assemble, or that the instructions hadn't been translated from English to Swahili and back. The damn thing was a pain to put together, but we were actually very nice to each other.

Of course, the circumstances were perfect: We'd just eaten breakfast, after the first outdoors run of the year, and I was both hydrated and caffeinated -- a tricky balance to achieve. And we weren't in any hurry. So now my great-great-grandmother's china has a new home, and the chintzy particleboard piece of ugliness that used to reside in our kitchen has been demoted to the basement holding area.

As it so happens, we found the kitchen last night, too. After a few gin and tonics with our friends, we came home and decided that we might actually still be capable of cooking. So I made the long-awaited falafel, the recipe for which I will post below at Scribbler's request. It's a Cooking Light recipe, which means you fry them in about an eyedropper of oil, but they turned out well nonetheless. I think the breadcrumbs and egg make them pretty nontraditional, but at least they hold together well. Oh, and as with all CL recipes, it claims to serve four people and actually fed just the two of us (without any side dishes or accompaniments).

So, without further ado, the recipe:
1/4 c. dry breadcrumbs
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I used cayenne - not sure what they intended)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 T olive oil

Combine first eight ingredients (breadcrumbs through chickpeas) in a food processor and process until smooth. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions (I ended up with 11 or 12) and shape each portion into a 1/4-inch thick patty. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties until they are browned, about 5 minutes on each side.

1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T tahini
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all four ingredients and stir until smooth.

Also, I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the falafel or not, but we were listening to my iPod while cooking, and within the first 11 songs, it played three Wilco tunes and two by Roy Hargrove. Now I've heard the news stories about how we mere mortals just don't understand how really random "random" is... but I have a hard time believing that five songs out of 11 from just two artists is really random. (I'm sure this has been a hot topic in the blogosphere, but I'm too lazy to look that up right now. Just thought I'd share.)