I had planned to share a recipe today, but in the midst of holiday weekend chaos and revelry, I came to the conclusion that it required another go round before we gave it our attention.
Nonetheless, on this sunny Tuesday, with a sky that's a clear, true blue, I came to say hello. It's a day for company, don't you think? One made for visits and a chat.
The latest UPPERCASE, the spring edition, has just come out; it's issue 13 and is packed from beginning to end with good things. You can preview it here, if you'd like.
My contribution to its lineup is a story on how we can conjure up good weather and good luck through food. How a gloomy day can be made spritely with citrus, or the smell of cinnamon brings us to fruitful September. I touch upon superstition, too, like pomegranate seeds and their mythical ties to fertility. In many ways, the story is a lot about hope, the bolstering effect of positive thinking, and the small measures we take in good faith.
The recipe is for Lucky Spring Rice, and that's what you see in the photos up top, a dish with much in common with Lebanese Mujaddara, Persian Jewelled Rice, Egyptian Kushari and the Indian Pilaus I grew up with. There's lentils, and nuts, a mix of rice and fried pasta bits. Here's how I describe it there:
[This is] a rice that’s balanced. There’s the weighty, chewy comfort of starch that suits the spring days that still run cool. Then there’s the bright sweetness of fruit both fresh and dried, against the musky fragrance of cinnamon, coriander, cumin and clove. There’s the spark of pepper mollified by the cool of mint and grassy cilantro. There’s a twang of sharpness, as life must have some to offset everything else, and there’s a richness too, which rounds out the flavours.
It's hearty and satisfying, and a meal that can be eaten out in the yard with plates balanced on laps. No fuss, spring evening food, which is to say pretty much what I'd like for lunch today.
In other (read: fun, amazing, oh-my-gosh-really) news, I have been nominated for two awards over at the Saveur 3rd Annual Food Blog Awards, which explains that big banner over there. I am a finalist for Best Cooking Blog and Best Food Photography, and I cannot come up with sufficient thanks for those who nominated me. It is a true, jaw-dropping honour to be in such brilliant company. For those who'd like to vote, the polls are now open and run until April 26. As always, I am grateful for all the support.
Well then, I'm off. I wish you both fair weather and fine fortune, and we'll meet back here soon. 'Til then, pals.