I would not cook so joyfully, nor clean half so willingly, without a public radio program called The Splendid Table. I download podcasts of this show from iTunes (a subscription is free, and all the archived shows are free as well – you can set yourself up with a Splendid Table bonanza and work your way through them, as I did) and listen to them in my kitchen as I clean and cook. A sinkful of dishes flies by, as does the prep for a three-course meal.
Now that I’ve worked my way through the archives and the show seems to be heavily in reruns, I have been experimenting with other radio shows to keep me company in the kitchen. KCRW’s Good Food is good, but doesn’t hold my interest so completely as Lynne Rosetto Kasper and her Splendid Table gang. This American Life is always absorbing, but there’s something about listening to food programming in the kitchen that just makes me really happy.
Last night I listened my way through a series of short podcasts made to herald the show’s new book: The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper while I gave the kitchen a much needed cleaning following a long weekend of friends and food. By the time I was done I didn’t have an ounce of energy left to make my own supper, but luckily that is the whole point of the book and these short podcasts – how to make your weeknight supper delicious and varied yet simple and not time-consuming. So I made my very first Splendid Table recipe, “Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove,” and then used those in tacos with the rest of the roasted tomatillo salsa, some of my new cherry tomatoes and some parsley.
Now the beans didn’t knock my socks off, but that wasn’t the point. They were tasty and filling and more creative than I would have come up with on my own at that point, and, best of all, I made them in a kind of mindless stupor and they still turned out exactly as they were meant to. I’m posting the recipe below, but what I truly want to share is the joy of this program, this absolutely free (I have donated money to American Public Media out of gratitude), absolutely addicting hour you can spend with someone who loves food and knows how to talk about it. Recipe follows… Continue reading