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Feb 20

Flavor Combinations

I’m finally sitting in my apartment, after what seems like being away forever. A week of traveling for work, and then a mini-break with my aunt and uncle that was pretty relaxing. At the conference, the food was… horrible. Not only was it horrible, at one point I got what I am pretty sure is food poisoning. At least, I don’t think it was the flu. It lasted a little longer than a day and consisted of stabbing pains in my stomach combined delightfully with skin sensitivity and intense nausea. Of course having it in a hotel made it so much better, what with the inability to be by myself completely.

To say that I’m really happy chilling in my apartment right now is an understatement. Susan Voisin’s Chickpea and Kale Soup is simmering on the stove and Leonard Cohen’s new album is playing. The only thing that could make me more relaxed right now is if it were Spring and I could open the windows.

Food has been at the top of my mind over the last week for obvious reasons, and I did a lot of talking with the family about it as I was visiting. We went to one of my favorite Thai restaurants and my aunt had baked salmon with strawberries and apricots which for her was both surprising and delicious. My uncle and I are pretty adventurous when it comes to culinary pursuits, and like to discover new flavor combinations.

Cardamom and Strawberry. We had both tried cardamom ice cream with strawberries, which was odd but worked spectacularly. Surprised that I hadn’t heard of this before, I scoped out the Internet, and there seems to be everything from strawberry and cardamom soups to crumb cake. But now, every time I make a strawberry dish, I always want to add this spice. I’m not sure what I did before this entered my life.

Spinach and Prunes. Recently, I’ve been making this dish with spinach and prunes which I expected at first to be just okay, but instead it jumped out at me, impressing me with the depth and layer of flavor. I also decided to add prunes to my green smoothies, and it also really works. I think this also surprises people because prunes are so often associated with old people or kids needing to poop. But prunes can be hip! I think they also go well with chocolate, as a fat substitute in chocolate dishes. I have not attempted a prune/spinach/chocolate pudding or smoothie yet, but it’s time may be soon.

From now on, I think I’m going to search out these new combinations that are spectacular but that no one would expect.

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