Written down on ruled notebook paper is a recipe for easy to make, no yeast required flatbread. Only I’ve lost it. I copied it out of some cookbook on pizza some years ago. It was stuck in between the back cover and and other loose leaf pages of a petite, three-ring recipe book. For years, it resided there. It didn’t leave a forwarding address. No note to say where it went. No scavenger clues to follow. With only my own ideas of my self-created organizational system I started a search.
In ever-expanding concentric circles I started in the pages of the recipe book. On pieces of paper — college-ruled, printer paper white, scraps from daily calendars teaching forgotten words, notepads monogrammed with large “B’s” — are written stories I’ve long forgotten about.
Parsnip chips, I wrote on the first line of the reverse side of a sheet of notebook paper. It was the last of the recipes copied from an Irish cookbook — all of which have never been made. Neither the spiced eggplant nor the lavender ice cream I penciled on to paper left over from school days have ever made it to the prepping stage.
The stuffed zucchini blossoms from the same book wait alongside the sweet batter-dipped and fried zucchini blossoms from a day watching TV. Both wait for a store selling these delicate pre-vegetables.
On a scrap about martini’s I doodle about how —
I made a trip
– to the park
Where the dogs
– could not bark
Quickly, I flip past the dingy photocopies knowing the recipe I search out can’t be found here.
I carefully thumb through polygonal stacks of mismatched papers so that they don’t slide out into a flat sheet covering the table. These precarious stacks wait for future sorting on another day.
I move out from the center circle to a wicker filing box of all sorts of things. Maybe it ended up there. I find what I am in the print out from a Myers-Briggs test taken for fun. INTJ by the way. I find employee handbooks from past jobs and rental leases from past apartments that need to be discarded.
I find a dog and a hen arguing about the identity of their old friend the goose —
The dog was not easily dissuaded. The farmer said he was a ‘good dog.’ The hen was not told this. She daily ran from the ax. He must be right.
“Goose has all the same white feathers. The same orange beak. Its waddle still moves side to side. Even its honk is the same honk.”
“Hmm, mmh,” The hen replied, “You should trust me. You forget I daily evade the farmers ax when others have not.”
— attached to the bottom of work notes from a temporary job where very day I judged the difference between good and best, bad and worst.
Critiquing my search pattern I move back to the binder. Back to the photo copied 8.5″ x 11″ papers folded in half for easier storing. Perhaps, what I seek is hiding in one of these unintentional folders. Cheesy Italian dishes are inexpertly copied onto these pages.
The flatbread’s still missing, but I’ve distracted myself with something else.
Spinach Mushroom Risotto
Yes, this one deserves a recipe. It is based, liberally, from Dante’s Vegetable Risotto from the cookbook Biba’s Italy. Making and eating something fancy was in store for the evening, but I didn’t really want to put the effort in to grocery shopping. The original recipe requires many more ingredients.
Take out the pot you will use for your risotto.
In your pot, cook 1 package of frozen spinach in some water. Drain and let cool. Squeeze out the excess water. Puree in a food processor.
While the spinach is cooling slice or chop 1 8-ounce package of mushrooms. Back to your pot. In some olive oil and butter, and working in a couple batches, saute the mushrooms. Put all the mushrooms back in the pot and splash in a little white wine. Transfer all the mushrooms to a bowl.
While the mushrooms are cooking, mince 1 large shallot. Also, start heating 3 cups vegetable broth in a smaller pot. Heat some olive oil in your pot over low heat. Saute the shallots. Add in 1 cup risotto (arborio rice). Saute the rice for a bit, until the insides are still white, but the outsides have become translucent. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup white wine until completely absorbed. Do the same with the broth one ladle full at a time.
When this is all done and the rice is cooked stir in the spinach followed by a good-sized handful of grated parmesan cheese. Season as you would like. For instance you might use a teaspoon or so of aldfghlakjgh from place. Then stir in the mushrooms.
Heat through and you’re done.