Monday, December 6, 2010

My First Love Affair Recipe

Now Paula Deen loves herself some butter but she's not the only one. It might be a Southern thing but I too have had a love affair with that sexy, delicious hunk. It started when I was a young girl.  From the moment we first saw each other, it was love at first sight and I knew I was in trouble. 

Like any romance it didn't start off bad. First, you're swept off your feet. You can't believe how happy you are together.  Then before you know it the obsession sets in and you can't get enough. You slowly start to go crazy. You know it's wrong and everyone tells you to stop but you just can't. You sneak around, plot and connive just to find ways to see them until one day you wake up. Or maybe you don't. Either way, once you do finally realize what a hole of a mess you're in, you recognize that you need to get yourself out and fast. You climb through withdrawal, guilt, regret, sadness, yearning, anger, and resentment. And if you're like me then you'll probably fall in the hole a few more times before you come to the final stages of acknowledgement and getting over it.

But my first tastes of love, were incredible. On top of warm dinner rolls my sexy hunk sat there beautifully melting at the sight of me. As I bit into that flaky bread, I was engulfed with his creamy, salty goodness. Everything was better when
 butter was around. And it was no secret that we were fond of each other.

Then it started to go downhill. I couldn't wait anymore until dinner time for our daily rendezvous. I wanted more. I grew impatient and came up with a plan. As soon as the coast was clear, I tip-toed through the living room into the kitchen and opened the door that housed my sweet, amazing companion. My mouth watered as I relished in the events that were about to ensue. 
Whispering gently, "Yes. I've been waiting a long time for this. Oh you're looking better than I remember." And as I sunk my teeth into the wonderful, fluffy, flavor enhancer I felt like I was in heaven. Our own personal heaven. I closed my eyes and enjoyed every moment. Then I heard a creeeak.

"What was that?" - I said to myself.

 bom. bom. creeeeak.

"Oh no. Someone’s coming." I hurriedly threw my loved one back into our love nest, a.k.a the
butter drawer. I bolted through the kitchen to the living room nearly running into the sliding door. I jumped over the back of the couch like I was Flo- Jo and hid. 

“They're going to know." I thought to myself in a panic.
"What do I do?"  The only solution I could come up with was the quintessential admission of guilt when you are a kid, pretending like you're innocently sleeping. Come on. I know you all have done it too. Don't judge. 
As I was lying there trying to keep my eyes shut. I began to breathe a sigh of relief when I heard the refrigerator door open. I had a bad feeling the jig was up.

"What the --- " I hear my mother exclaim.
"Aisha. Aisssshha."
 Meanwhile, I'm on the couch trying my hardest to keep my eyes closed. I hear the footsteps coming closer. My personal Achilles heel was slowly about to lead to my demise. You see ever since I was little, when I know I am about to get in trouble I awkwardly, and uncontrollably laugh. Which inevitably, has always resulted in my parents saying: "Oh. You think this is funny." followed by harsher punishments. Recognizing this flaw about myself early on, I tried my hardest to keep from laughing.

I hear the footsteps coming closer and closer until I can feel my mom breathing over me.
"Aisha. Get up. I know you're not sleeping."
I lay there still trying my hardest to give the performance of the century.
Suddenly, I feel a shaking. "Aisha. Get up."
I slowly open my eyes and rub them. "Oh. Why did you wake me up? I was sleeping."
My mom quickly retorts. "Aisha. I saw you jump over the couch. Did you do this?"
"Do what?" - I say trying to channel those huge doe eyes like the Precious moments dolls.

"This." She whips the butter around from behind her back.
After trying to pin it on my baby brother who was not able to walk yet. I confessed to my affair.
My mom shook her head with disappointment and said. "That's disgusting. Don't do it again."
This made it even more appealing to me. The love affair and secret rendezvous continued.

Like the teacups at Disneyland we kept spinning round and round faster and faster. I tried to be more discreet at first but as it progressed I didn't care anymore. I just wanted my fix. No matter how many times my parents scolded me and looked at me with shame. I still went back for more. Until one day, I open the fridge and I can't find the butter. I scour each shelf, nook and cranny frantically looking for my love. Just then my dad walks into the kitchen. He looks at me and laughs.
"Where's the butter?" I snap back.
"We didn't buy any this time. Since you won't stop eating it."

I was crushed. I started going through the first stage of ending a bad romance, withdrawal. Then I felt guilty that I had been so careless and didn't clean up my tracks. Followed by the rest of the stages including begging and promising my parents that I would “stop eating the stick of butter like it was a candy bar”. Despite all my efforts, I was left loveless. As time progressed, I realized I had a problem and My relationship with butter was never the same after that.

Fast forward to present day. During our weekly meeting at work, one of my co-workers asked if we enjoyed the radishes he brought last meeting. This lead to one of the best and most in depth conversations I've ever had about root vegetables. Another co-worker mentioned eating butter radishes. We all immediately thought this was a new hybrid of a radish.

"Oh is it related to the watermelon radish?" - Someone shouts.
"No. My dad used to always make it. It's literally butter and radishes and chouwmp, chouwmp ,chouwmp." He said.

I love radishes and I love butter but I had never heard of the two together. Normally, when I ate radishes it was part of a Libyan salad that my dad would make. And yes it’s called “Libyan salad.” 

Libyan Salad is a common North African salad and it's really simple to make. It consists of chopped radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.
Each family’s dressing differs slightly but I make mine with a little bit of apple cider vinegar and parsley. Even though it's simple. It packs wonderful flavor and perfectly balanced texture. It is the perfect complement to spicy and hearty food.


Well, I was inspired by this idea of butter and radishes together it was a way to try and re-kindle some of the sparks between me and my former love.  So when I got home I decided to do a remix on the Libyan salad.

Usually this salad is served cold but I wanted to make a warm salad that would be more appropriate for the cold weather. Also, in our meeting a lot of my co-workers expressed a strong dislike for radishes. For me cooking is about creativity and re-invention. I wanted to see if I could design a dish that would take away some of the spicy, unpleasantness that caused my co-workers to wince at the thought of eating a radish. 

I started off by sauteeing, my baby, butter in a pan. Then I added thinly sliced radishes to the pan along with onions, tomatoes, celery, cucumber and salt. At the last second I added in halved grapes for some sweetness and parsley to give some Vitamin C and freshness. Parsley is a major ingredient used in North African cuisine. Specifically, in Libyan cuisine, parsley sometimes replaces vegetables. The reason for this is Parsley is packed with Vitamin C, which makes it a really great substitute for certain vegetables that may not be available in the region.

It was absolutely fabulous. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken breast and I made a honey glaze to put on top of it. I paired both of these up with a side of cous-cous. It was a delicious meal that only took 15 minutes to make.

I must admit It was also a tad bit therapeutic because it was the first time I used butter as a star ingredient instead of a flavor enhancer. But don’t worry, I haven’t started eating it as a candy bar again…..

1 comment:

EFT Video said...

Now who wouldn't love butter? I bet no one!

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