Sunday, February 11, 2007

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon (Page 215)

  • Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 -- 8:30pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Ana, Ronen, and Craig
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B
I picked this recipe to go with dinner a couple Wednesdays ago because I had made the preserved lemons so I wanted to try out a dish that used them. This couscous was pretty good. The flavors were very strong -- the preserved lemon peel contrasted sharply with the golden raisins, and the cinnamon flavor was not subtle. It was a bit busy for me, but it still tasted good. The couscous and butternut squash did mellow it out a little. I wasn't a huge fan of this dish, but it had several very strong supporters at the table. It would make a decent side dish for an entree without too many strong flavors -- e.g. some grilled meat.

Chris' mom Michael is sick. We will know more in the next few days, but it has the potential to be extremely bad. Chris flew in last night. Today I went out to Framingham and Southboro to spend time with Chris and his mom (and the rest of the family).

In the past four and a half years, mine and Chris' lives have become so entwined that the distinction between his family and my own is extremely blurry to me. On the drive out there today I wondered: how many times have I made this drive? (50? 100?) How many family holidays have I spent with them? (2 Christmases, 3 Thankgivings, 5 birthdays (4 of Chris' and 1 of my own), 2 father's days, a mother's day, 1 wedding celebration, 1 funeral, 2 graduations, etc...) How many pieces of furniture in my apartment belong to Chris' mom and not to me? (My bed, my desk, my hall table, a desk chair, etc...) How many times have I gone to Michael for advice when things were bad, or good, or confusing, or difficult? (Dozens)

In these past years, Chris has become family to me, and his family has a place in my heart with my own. So it is hard for me to think about Michael and cancer in the same sentence. And while in the last couple weeks I have heard those words together over and over, it is difficult for me to think that it could be true...

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