Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spinach

March 29

The other day I bought one of those huge bags of spinach. Managing to eat it all is quite a commitment, but I'm up to it.

Sometime within the last year they stopped selling any fresh spinach roots-on and put up all the spinach in bags. Then some of that got contaminated, and for a while there was no spinach to be had. Just as well -- I mean, I like spinach but I'm not willing to die for it.

When I was a little girl sometimes we got to spend the night at my Auntee's house, my mother's aunt who was the epitome of adorable little old lady, with long white hair pulled into a gentle bun at the nape of her neck. And she could cook. She prepared spinach in a way that blew my five-year-old mind. As Mama piled us into the car to go home we were raving about that good spinach, and Mama said to Auntee, "They never eat that at home," and we quickly squealed, "But this was different! It was good!" She said, "What do you do to it?" and Auntee said, "I always put a little lemon in it, don't you?"

She failed to tell Mama that of course it was fresh spinach, but anyway from then on our canned spinach was always enhanced with lemon juice (from a bottle), and it was way better than it had been before.

I'm not all that averse to working with the spinach roots and all, grit and all, but I suspect it'll never be on U.S. supermarket shelves again anyway. With the bagged spinach I pour about four cups of the loose leaves into a colander and run water through it anyway. (Cleaning the gritty kind is a little more complicated.) The water on the bagged spinach should clean it of e coli, but is mostly for cooking it anyway. When it's thoroughly drenched I pull off most of the stems -- an unnecessary step, but then I really don't like the stems and put it in a saucepan with a lid. I start the heat fairly high and reduce it when it begins to steam, about a minute.

It doesn't have to cook long. Just take tongs or a spoon and stir until it's all wilted evenly and has changed to dark green. Then pile the mess onto a cutting board and chop with your chef's knife, getting it all chopped pretty fine. Sprinkle with salt; smear with about a teaspoon of butter, and squeeze a wedge of lemon over all. Eat at once.

2 comments:

Restless Native said...

What?! No comments yet on your new blog?

I, for one, love it!

More, please.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Welcome. I have another blog so I know it takes months for a blog to be discovered.

Thank you for liking this...I find it great fun to write about food.