Do you see ghosts? I don’t mean ghosts in the classical sense, but in having the talent of seeing things, that aren’t there? It happens to the best of us, particularly to the daydreamers and to those, who tend to overthink just about everything. Someone says something and suddenly you are transformed into a tiny midget, who lives in the middle of a large onion, trying to peel a way out through all the layers.
I’ve witnessed this behavior with those of us with food allergies so much more than with our friends without such concerns. I tend to see gluten everywhere, and am always asking whether something contains gluten, particularly at restaurants. I’ve also witnessed other people and their massive distrust of whatever the staff will tell them. “I won’t eat dish X, unless I see the package of ingredient Y”, they’ll say. I’m not like that, but it made me wonder whether I should be. And then there’s the post-meal ghosts: whenever I notice a subtle change in my digestion or happen to feel quite tired one day, my alarm goes off. Like today. I fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon. I’m not one to sleep during the day. Unless I’m sick or beyond exhausted I’ll never have a lie-down while it is still light out. But today was a Saturday, I wanted to relax for an hour between projects, and all of the sudden my eyes felt heavy and I found myself curled up and dozing away until just before dinner. And now I’m questioning the meal I had out yesterday, which is silly. Maybe I am, after all, getting sick. Or maybe I am, just, exhausted. It could be. I have been a busy little bee after all. Seeing ghosts it is.
Traditionally, ghosts are depicted as white creatures, translucent little beings. They probably would love a white dinner. Like white asparagus mac & cheese. I recently made this for dinner, born out of the need to empty my overstocked pantry, and with intention to use up the tiny macaronin from Consenza I bought while in Holland last April, when we went the Keukenhof Tulip Exhibit with my friend David. This recipe is easy, but don’t be fooled: it’s heavy and greasy and you better make lots of vegetables to go along with it. But it’s also soul food of the finest class and a wonderful treat for dozy, exhausted women, who want to take a short cut to a delicious dinner. If you use different types of cheese: all the better. Obviously, you can make this dish with other pasta, but small macaroni are particularly nice, because they have lots of surface and little nooks for the cheese sauce to hide. Gluten-free White Asparagus Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients: 250g small macaroni (prepared according to package directions) 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used low-fat, but really: it makes no difference) 1 tsp butter 100g cheese (cheddar is compulsory, but I’ve also added very ripe gouda, mozzarella and parmigiano) 1 pinch of salt 1 tbsp gluten-free flour mix plus 4 tbsp water 500g white asparagus (or any other vegetable you love) First, peel the asparagus and cut it in half. Then boil until tender. Time their finishing with the finishing of the mac & cheese. Boil the macaroni according to package directions, and drain. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small pot. Add the butter and then the grated cheese. Wait until the cheese has melted; maybe help it along with a whisk. In a small cup or bowl, mix the gluten-free flour mix with the water, and then add to the milk with the help of a whisk. Boil for about a minute, whilst stirring. Then, add the boiled macaroni and turn off the stove. Serve the mac & cheese immediately, decorated with the white asparagus. Enjoy!