Sunday, May 23, 2010

Featuring Farm Spinach for Pre-Prom!

Last night I was determined to make a really nice meal in spite of being tired out from a busy morning/afternoon and needing to get out to chaperone the junior prom at 8:00. I really wanted to make something featuring the Mighty Food Farm spinach from this week's CSA, and actually some left from last week too. That's the great thing about fresh farm veggies, the shelf life is incredible. 

Kira participated in an incredible event earlier in the day that had us out of the house from early in the morning until about 3:30.  It's called Girls on the Run and consists of girls from 3rd to 5th grade participating in a self-esteemed base curriculum centered around training for a 5K. It was so uplifting and positive! I was so proud of her!

We went afterwards to the Brattleboro Food Co-Op, an amazing place I wish we had in our town. I had the most delicious wrap: pesto, swiss, and tofu melted. The tofu was done kind of browned and firm. I'd like to add more of it to my diet and got a great cookbook at the library sale that when things slow down (the end of the school year is always hectic), I'm going to try to make some up for various dishes.  We also went to a great thrift store behind it where I got Liz Claiborne cropped khakis for $3.50!

Anyway, by the time we got home, there was no way a trip to the grocery was in order.  I looked about and manged to throw together a great meal by asking my dad, our guest for the night, to bring over the feta I knew my mom had in the fridge.

I sauteed garlic in olive oil (a great start to any meal), added some butter, then threw in frozen artichoke quarters, chopped kalamata olives, chopped roasted red pepper  (do you know how easy it is to make your own? They're kind of expensive to buy in a jar and don't taste that great. I can't believe I haven't made my own all along!)
I added to small containers of Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth, 8-Ounce Pouch (Pack of 24) This stuff is magic. You really should stock it permanently in your house! It's so flavorful and complements the fresh vegetables.  It is easy on the sodium, so I usually flavor it with more sea salt and ground black pepper as I cook with it.  I use it for all pasta sauces as well as for soup bases.

I put in as much fresh spinach as looked good, and it was done.  Of course use Barilla pasta, the best available in the grocery aisle.  I usually use the Barilla Plus enriched, but I had a box of regular Barilla linguine on the shelf.  The kids had it plain with butter only. Owen will eat that down like no other pasta meal!

The secret to serving this kind of dish is to cook the pasta, toss it with some olive oil so it won't stick, then portion out the pasta to the individual bowls. Then you scoop out all the veggies on top of the pasta equally, then finally pouring the broth/garlic/butter sauce equally between the dishes.  Top with reduced fat feta. 

Add a salad with fresh farm lettuce and what a nice green meal!

I left Will to clean up, so of course it's the next day at 1:00 in the afternoon and both the salad bowl and the pasta pot are sitting in the sink still.  He always leaves something in the sink.

Chaperoning the prom was fun.  It was great to see the kids all dressed up and some of them had bigger grins than I've seen on teens in a long time.  Just pure happiness.  The dresses were so mixed this year, from traditional, to sleek, to short 50s style.  I loved the variety, and great color!

The music is another story though. To me, there's no variety there.  There wasn't a single song I recognized. They probably played three slow songs and that was it.  The funny thing was they all dance in this huge throng, you know, like this pseudo rave pack, but when the slow songs come on, they all spread out and stand much much further apart!

In this town, the prom is a dance only. It goes 8-12, or for the seniors, 9-1. They don't have a dinner/banquet thing. The good thing is it's only $15 a ticket!  But I think it was fun having a meal out all together too. And as chaperones, teachers were pouring punch and even taking out the garbage!

Another thing that this town does that we never did growing up in CT, is the post-prom "march"!  The parents all come a half an hour before the end and line up outside the building (for the juniors, they traditionally clear out the auto showroom of a local dealership!), and the kids literally line up and march around the outside so the parents can see them all decked out! Isn't that something?

Overall what struck me most though was what pure fun they all had.  A few kids arrived in an old antique car (this is the home of Hemmings News after all), but aside from that few get limos or go overboard with materialistic stuff. Most girls do their own hair and make up, a few got their dresses from JC Penney or second hand, and a one girl I know even made her own dress!  As a chaperone, it was just watching them have fun and enjoy one another's company.  That's what I love about teaching--and living--in Vermont!

By the way, the theme was simply NEON. They gave out glow bracelets. I was remembering the class of 88 at BHS senior prom theme (we were a bunch of kids wishing we had skipped the light fandango 20 years earlier) "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you visit my blog, leave me a comment. If you cook anything because you've read the blog, I'd love to hear about it!