monicaSPEAK

Chef Monica Pope writes about eating & cooking where your food lives

Hard to Swallow February 1, 2010

Pan-roasted Turnips

Green Plum Cooking School: Sat, Jan 16 and Jan 23

NOTE: The recipes used in my Green Plum Cooking School classes can be found in my online cookbook, “Eat Where Your Food Lives,” available for purchase at http://www.ChefMonicaPope.com)


“Hippo Eats Dwarf” is the title of a news report out of Bangkok that someone gave me a while ago and it stills hangs in my kitchen office. The gist of the news story is that a circus dwarf, named Od, bounces sideways on a trampoline and, by accident, ends up in the yawning mouth of a hippopotamus waiting in the wings to be in the next act. The vet explains that Hilda the Hippo has a gag reflex that caused her to swallow the dwarf, instead of spitting him out. The crowd loved it, applauded wildly, until they realized there had been a tragic mistake. I lead with this because, well, just because…tragedy happens.

It’s been a tough two weeks. I’m procrastinating writing this blog because two Saturdays ago, NOTHING happened in the class or at least I couldn’t think of anything (neither could my trusted memory keeper-researcher-assistant, Lisa). I was making my favorite dates: medjool dates stuffed with maple syrup and real Italian mascarpone, topped with pistachios and drizzled with orange blossom water. At one point, I thought that I had created a new word, “striration.” I was trying to say “striate,” meaning I wanted to leave streaks of maple syrup in my mascarpone, but I couldn’t think of the word “streak” and “striation” came to mind but came out as “striration.” While not spelled correctly, it turns out “striration” is most used (or mis-used) to mean the “ripped muscles of a body builder.”

Dates with Maple Mascarpone & Pistachios

I didn’t even make up a new word. So, I guess nothing (still) happened.

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