“Mom,” said my daughter on the phone. She’s been away at school for awhile, mostly eating dorm food. “I’m really craving some flavor. The food here, well … When I come home, will you cook me that chicken and pasta you made that time with the lemony pesto?”
Hm. “What lemony pesto?” I asked. “Did I buy it?” I was pretty sure I hadn’t made it.
“No, you made it. Remember? You know, that really lemony one? With the soba noodles?” That tipped me off. She meant Asian Pesto — a terrific, herby concoction by Marnie Henricksson that makes everything taste brighter — even simple broiled chicken and soba with broccoli.
“I know the one,” I said. “Of course, I’ll make it.” After all, it’s fun to cook for a grateful eater. As Ina Garten says in the Culinate interview this week, “A household needs someone who cooks and someone who really appreciates it.”
But it’s always a good idea to turn the tables. Ina may roast a chicken every week for her husband, Jeffrey, but last night my husband roasted a garlicky good bird for me; it was my turn to be the happy, grateful eater (and dish doer).
Here’s hoping you soon have a day of cooking for someone — and of someone cooking for you. If “really lemony pesto” isn’t your thing, Joan Nathan’s brisket recipe, which we just posted today, may be just the place to start.