Cauliflower, and My ‘Hood

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I bought it for its looks, OK? I bought it because it was an intriguing shade of lime green. I bought it because of the light. Cauliflower: what should I do with you? I just never know.

Before I bought it, I took myself on a forced-stroll through my neighbourhood. These days, with all the marking, you could stay in for days and you’d barely make a dent. You could work from dawn til dusk. You could turn into stone.

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It was raining, which, as an art teacher once taught me, actually creates more intense colour. With my camera as my third eye, I saw things I might not have noticed otherwise, like the prayer flags, perched among the last yellow leaves, across the street from my house.

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It’s funny, this neighbourhood, in its gentle, early gentrification phase. New cafes spring up daily, while I sleep. Zoot’s cafe – who knew?

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The last of the yellow leaves of fall hung delicately from tree branches.

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The trees that were bare revealed graffiti and murals that I hadn’t even really seen before.

I bought cauliflower, arugula, carrots, chard, and fancy parmesan cheese at the farmer’s market.

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Picnic tables sat forlornly in the failing light.

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A little girl in rubber boots lingered in a puddle, trying to delay the dark.

I got home and made a hippie-ish quiche with cauliflower, chard and cheddar cheese. Night fell, and gold squares of light illuminated all the houses across the way.

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My mother boils her cauliflower, and then tosses it with butter and breadcrumbs.

At Thanksgiving I made a roasted cauliflower soup that everyone adored.

Cauliflower: what should I do?

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Serves 3-4

1 medium cauliflower
olive oil
1 yellow onion (I used 2 leeks)
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium potatoes
500 ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
500 ml water
3/4 tbsp cream (I actually used soya milk)
salt, cayenne pepper

Heat the oven to 175°C. Divide the cauliflower into florets, and put in an oven proof pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Cut the onion into wedges, and wrap in a bit of foil with the cloves of garlic. Put the foil packet in the same pan as the cauliflower, and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.

Move the cauliflower, onion and garlic to a large pot. Dice the potatoes and add them. Cover with stock and water, and let simmer on medium heat until the potatoes are completely soft. It will take 20-30 minutes. Use a handheld blender to mix the soup until smooth. Add cream, and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

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