My kitchen and I had a rather terse exchange on Saturday morning. It went something like this:
Rose-Anne: [yawning] Good morning.
Kitchen: Oh. It’s you again.
Rose-Anne: Wow. You’re cranky. Rough night?
Kitchen: Yeah, someone left a whole pile of dirty dishes on my counter and then went to bed.
Rose-Anne: Oh, sorry about that. I was tired. I just wanted to read my book a little bit and then fall asleep. I’m planning to wash those dishes after breakfast.
Kitchen: All you seem to do around here is wash your dirty dishes! What happened to your cooking? You used to love cooking.
Rose-Anne: I still do love cooking!
Kitchen: It doesn’t seem like it. We haven’t had dinner together in three days!
Rose-Anne: I know. This week was really chaotic. Thursday got out of hand; I wasn’t planning on being in the lab at 9 PM to finish things up. I ended up going to Panera for dinner.
Kitchen: And what about Friday?
Rose-Anne: My department had a fancy Spring Party that night, so I had dinner at the party.
Rose-Anne: I’ve missed you, Kitchen, I really have. But we cooked some tasty things earlier this week, like Avocado Corn Salad and Matt’s chickpea and artichoke heart stew.
Kitchen: I like that stew better when he makes it.
Rose-Anne: Yeah, me too.
Kitchen: When’s he coming back? I like the way he cooks.
Rose-Anne: I don’t know. Maybe later this summer.
Kitchen: He’s hot.
Rose-Anne: Yeah, he is. Kitchen, do you have a crush on Matt?
Kitchen: Maybe. But it’s none of your business!
Rose-Anne: Okay, okay. You’re right.
Kitchen: So, um, since it’s Saturday, I was thinking we could have lunch and dinner together like we used to do.
Rose-Anne: Lunch sounds great, but um, for dinner—
Kitchen: You’re not having dinner at home tonight?
Rose-Anne: Well, no. I have a date—
Kitchen: With that Naperville Dude?
Rose-Anne: Well, yeah.
Kitchen: But you just had lunch with him last weekend!
Rose-Anne: We’re kinda seeing each other these days.
Kitchen: I don’t like him.
Rose-Anne: But you’ve never met him!
Kitchen: But you told me he doesn’t like cooking. You shouldn’t be dating a man who doesn’t like to cook.
Rose-Anne: I know. It makes me sad that he doesn’t like to cook, but I think he might be willing to try cooking with me. We’ll see.
Rose-Anne: So, Kitchen, I was thinking about picking up some groceries—your favorite—this afternoon and then we could have tea and coffeecake together. I think my Blueberry Cheesecake Sauce would be really tasty on top of that crazy yeasted coffeecake I made on Tuesday.
Kitchen: That sounds nice.
Rose-Anne: And then tomorrow we can make the Broccoli Tofu Divan I found in Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way.
Kitchen: Does that recipe involve a lot of work?
Rose-Anne: There are several steps: cooking the broccoli, making the sauce, assembling the casserole. That sort of thing.
Kitchen: And then it gets baked?
Kitchen: So you’ll be using my stovetop AND my oven?
Rose-Anne: Yes. Is that okay?
Kitchen: Well, it’s a start, but you’re going to have to cook more than a casserole to make up for neglecting me this week.
Rose-Anne: Okay. I’d like to make a lentil soup later this week. I’ll even make vegetable stock for it ahead of time. You love it when I make stock.
Kitchen: [giggles] Yeah, I do.
Rose-Anne: Me, too. Don’t worry, Kitchen. You’re still my favorite place to cook and eat.
Blueberry Cheesecake Sauce
Makes about 2/3 of a cup
I really want to give you the recipe for the yeasted coffeecake I mention above, but I can’t! I can’t because it’s made with a yeasty starter that I don’t know how to make. I’m so sorry, dear reader! Instead, I bring you this ridiculously simple and very tasty sauce containing just three ingredients: blueberries, sugar, and ricotta cheese. If cheesecake were pourable, this sauce would be it. It’s humble but terrific, and it’s a lovely shade of purple. Try it as a topping for a simple coffeecake or pancakes. I also like it on thick slices of French toast, all warm and crispy, fresh off the griddle.
½ c. frozen blueberries
2 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ c. ricotta cheese, lowfat or not, as you prefer (I like “part-skim” ricotta, which is lower in fat than regular ricotta, but it’s not fat-free.)
1) In a small saucepan, place the blueberries and brown sugar. Heat them over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the blueberries start to give off some liquid and break down a little bit. Keep stirring to make a nice smooth mixture of whole blueberries in a syrup of blueberry juice and sugar.
2) Turn off the heat. Let the sauce cool for a minute or two. Stir the ricotta into the blueberries and serve, perhaps in a pretty bowl or pitcher.