A few weeks ago, my friend called me in a panic. She was at Target at 9 am on a Sunday and things were looking bleak. She needed advice about curtains. She told me that I was the only person she could think of that could actually help.
I tried to remember the size of a standard curtain as I wiped the sleep out of my eyes. I glanced over at the empty bottle of wine on my nightstand, cursing it’s mind erasing powers.
I advised the best I could. I hung up, chuckling to myself. How had I become the person that friends call with these things?
I don’t like to think of myself as domestic. I ask my friend Irish to hem my pants and my bedroom is a mess. If Martha Stewart ever met me, she would die inside: I eat food off the floor, serve red wine with fish, and often use the wrong fork.
“Domestic” is worse than the “f word” to me. It means a taming, a calming. It conjures up an image of waiting on some man hand in foot while he sits and watches the game with his hands down his pants. It has become the “d word”, far worse than any word that begins with an F…it, to me, meant a quaint capitulation I could not give in to.
Yet, as I stood over her curtains later that night– cutting, ironing, measuring–I knew I was a tad domestic. She thanked me profusely, but I was happy to help. When you love someone, it is no longer the “D word”, it is merely an act of affection…just something you do. You realize some silly definition of yourself you have been holding on to since you were a bratty teenager is ridiculous. That you aren’t giving in if you help and you can still eat your food off the linoleum if you can work an iron. There are far worse things one can be called than domestic…just don’t call me domesticated.
Last Friday, I flitted around the apartment as vegetables roasted and the dishwasher churned. The house smelled like an issue of “Good Housekeeping”…but the overflowing sink told the truth. It was business as usual, just me going about my day, being perfectly undomesticated, doing what I do. The roasted vegetables would be folded into a bed of cous cous and given away, devoured by a hungry crowd of new friends at a small food blogger potluck. It turned out perfectly…flavorful and light.
Martha would be proud.
Ratatouille Cous Cous
1 Japanese eggplant (or small Italian eggplant), cubed
1 medium sized zucchini, cubed
3 vine ripe tomatoes (or one large hothouse tomato), deseeded and cubed
1 large red bell pepper, cubed
1 medium sized red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 t dry thyme
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups dry plain cous cous
Preheat oven to 425. Toss together vegetables with oil, thyme, salt and pepper. (Go heavier on the salt and pepper than you normally would…maybe a tablespoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon pepper). Roast for 45-50 minutes, stirring several times. Vegetables are done when the veggies are soft and a bit brown.
While vegetables cook, prepare cous cous accoring to directions on box. Mix roasted vegetables in to cous cous and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Where are you going? It is Wednesday! Don’t forget to check out what I am eating at So Good.