Chef Monica Pope writes about eating & cooking where your food lives

All’s Well That Ends Well… March 29, 2010

Mostly Local, but African-style, Crab Soup

Green Plum Cooking School – Saturday, March 13th

At one point during class, I had four beverages from which I was sipping — none of them contained alcohol, which may have been the problem.  Maybe not.  I wasn’t feeling well this morning.  My friend Emily said I had “the sicky eyes.”  I did manage to make it through, but class was a little subdued.

I started with Chickpea French Fries – a t’afia lounge menu favorite.  The chickpea (aka garbanzo) flour is “rained in” (much like you would do with polenta) into the simmering water along with turmeric, cayenne and salt.  There’s a chuckle in the audience.  Before I know what they’re chuckling about, I say, “Sometimes I have to be reined in.”  My mother gave up on reining me in when I was two years old.  At the time, my older sister was three (she would claim later that the only thing she ever got in trouble for was that she wanted to go to church but mom wouldn’t let her) and my younger brother was an infant and we were all at JFK airport, coming back from Europe where my dad was stationed in the Army.  My mother recounts that my sister was (very) properly walking beside her, my baby brother was in her arms, and I was on a leash, but the leash falls out of my mom’s hand and I go running down the airport corridor.  My mom mutters under her breath, “Aw, f*#ck it!” and that’s pretty much how it’s been ever since.

Cooking the garbanzo (or chickpea) flour mixture



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