If you ask me what the art of cooking is, I’d have to say it’s just that: taking something disastrous and making it delicious. This often occurs in my kitchen when I find a recipe that has disastrous ingredients and I have to find ways to substitute healthy ingredients without compromising the taste. But today, it was just a downright disaster in the normal sense of the word.
Waiting on a bulk shipment of produce to start cooking my baby food, I was eager and ready to get to work. So I did what I always do—started cooking snacks for the kids. I began with my left over garlic pizza sauce from the night before. Adding organic chic peas (which I prefer to call garbanzo beans…it’s just more fun), some olive oil and grated pecorino cheese, I processed this into a dip that was to die for! But I was out of the lazy accompaniment: pretzels. I had to whip up some breadsticks.
As I got all the ingredients out (all 5 of them + the extras I hide in there) and began adding this and that, I realized I was out of eggs. I only needed one, but that one had a definite purpose. I began wracking my brain for egg substitutes…apple sauce (nope, not in garlic bread sticks), tofu (didn’t have any), corn starch (gives a junky taste). Then I thought I remembered reading once where mashed garbanzo beans could be used as binders. Guess what? I already had that in a nice mashed dip. So I added a nice glob along with some tomato paste (that could only help, right?).
As I started mixing and dividing my dough, I realized it was a bit too mushy. I needed a little more flour. That was the easy way out though, and I was feeling guilty for not adding any flax seeds or ground hemp. So I grabbed the dark green-brown hemp powder from the cupboard just as the bottom decided to drop out and the bag fall to the floor, splitting in 2. There I was: dough on my hands, expensive hemp powder (70% salvageable) on the floor, and my dough in need of just a bit of flour. I saved what I could and dumped about 10 times as much as I usually use into the dough. It didn’t mix well; my sticks were definitely covered in brown-green powder. Would the kids think it was extra garlic flavoring? (We could only hope.)
Just then my produce delivery arrived. No joke.
I was too far along to look back; the oven was pre-heated; the pan was greased with coconut oil. I had to commit and see what would transpire. So I began rolling the dough. It rolled…just as nicely as the regular dough. The color was rather different–an orangey dough (from the tomato paste) with swirls of green hemp. But I threw them in the oven with high hopes. Twenty minutes later, my disaster transformed to delicious: crispy breadsticks with garlic and pepper as the noticeable flavors.
So I ask: what is the true art of cooking? French cuisine? The perfect seafood? Or getting your kids to gobble up the healthiest foods and beg for more? I’ll go with the latter.