Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you have.
For weeks, months even, I’ve been dreaming of a digital SLR camera, the kind of purchase that takes thought and research and oh, roughly 700 to 1,200 dollars, depending on how snazzy I want to look and feel when shooting photos of vegetables on my porch on a Saturday morning. My current funds have been holding me back, and I’m considering begging for money around the holidays, when family and friends might be generous enough to throw some cash under the tree for me.
Until then, I’m making do with what I have: My dad gave me his old automatic Canon 35mm, and Murdo’s dad loaned me his old manual Minolta SR-T. So instead of upgrading from my digital point-and-shoot to a digital SLR, I’ve kind of gone back in time to play around with film. And I kind of really like it.
I even started another blog to share the photos I’ve been taking, photos of stuff other than food –- of my everyday life, and of simple things that make me stop and appreciate the inspiration that can radiate from things that are small, often overlooked, even routine. It’s a way for me to keep up with this new interest in taking pictures, much like I started this blog to start writing again and to cook new foods. We’ll see where it goes, if it goes anywhere, and I’d love for you to visit and tell me what you think.
In the meantime, there are these peanut-citrus noodles. The recipe comes from Molly and Brandon of Orangette, and it is perfect for making do with what you have. Molly suggests adding ingredients such as asparagus, bok choy, and carrots, to name a few, but anything rolling around in the fridge will work. I used Chinese long beans from my dad’s garden, and radishes, and a wedge of cabbage that has been hiding out in my veggie drawer for weeks.
The recipe also calls for soba noodles, but soba and I just don’t work well together –- my noodles always end up gummy and ugly –- so I used thin spaghetti. I also didn’t have any soy sauce in my kitchen (which I’m pretty ashamed to admit and I can’t believe I lasted as long as I did without it), so I had to dig in our takeout condiments drawer to find four packets of soy sauce amidst piles of Taco Bell hot sauce. That’s right, I used packets of takeout soy sauce. Don’t judge. I was just making do with what I had.
Bound together with Brandon’s dressing of peanut butter, lime juice, and soy sauce, it has become a dish that I’m sure to make again and again, starting last week, and this week, and yes, probably the week after. It’s just too simple not to love.
For the recipe, visit Molly's lovely blog, Orangette.