Sunday Dinner, Chapter 9: In Which Yes, We Realize It Should Be 13, But We Skipped 9 Back There Somewhere

This weekend, we went to two grocery stores in search of delightful and virtuous Baby O-appropriate ingredients. When we got home, the slicing and dicing began in earnest, followed by bagging and tagging (usually we use containers, not zip bags, but the containers are all holding homemade soup in the freezer right now).

Ready for the pan

Swiss chard, melon, grapes, berries, lettuce (lettuces, as Peter Rabbit would say), cilantro, parsley, radishes, watercress. Produce for the week.  We left the ruby chard out for dinner.


We took a break from our regularly scheduled programming for an impromptu fruit salad. It wasn’t originally on the menu, but the blackberries looked a little more ragged than they had in the market, and then I dropped the strawberry container on the floor, so I was a afraid the fruit would bruise.  A happy accident, at least.

Collaborative Sunday Dinner

One of the things I like best about being married to Mr. O is the easy, happy way we cook together.  Everything seems to happen fluidly. Lately, of course, Mr. O has been doing more than the lion’s share (should be lioness’s share, really, since they do all the hunting . . .) of the cooking and cleaning — so it was doubly wonderful to be back in the kitchen with him tonight.

For dinner, Mr. O made chicken marsala on a bed of mashed parsnips, and I made sauteed ruby chard:

Mrs. O’s Ruby Swiss Chard With Raisins, Olives, and Garlic

  • 1 large bunch ruby chard, washed and shredded
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • golden raisins
  • good kalamata olives (in brine)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Crush the garlic directly into the hot oil.  Toss in the chard and fear not! It will wilt to practically nothing. When it’s decreased to about half its original volume, toss in a handful of  golden raisins, about a dozen olives, and a few tablespoons of the brine. When the chard is cooked down and dark green, sprinkle some salt over it, and grind some fresh pepper. Serves two, so double the recipe if you’re having a little dinner party.

Something had to be done to balance all the virtuous eating of fruit and chard and parsnips and lean protein going on.

That something

That something: Bête Noir (Intense Chocolate Cake) from The New York Times Cookbook. I decided to make it because of its short ingredient list — neglecting to read the recipe first.  Turns out that (1) it’s pretty darn labor intensive, by my standards, (2) it needs longer than the prescribed 35 minutes to bake, and (3) it’s a flourless chocolate cake.  This thing is all eggs and butter and chocolate.  Arteries shudder at the sight of it.

When I told Mr. O the name of the cake, he remarked, “it sounds like a classification of highly stylized nude photography.” Yes, yes it does.

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