Never fear, the Heirloom Tomato Harvest Dinner photo tour is still coming!
When I start cooking dinner, sometimes I just get carried away — and the whole evening is gone, having been intensely but pleasurably spent cooking. Like last night's Ethiopian feast: faux injera, berbere-spiced potatoes, collards, spicy lentils, and cabbage.
I had this craving, you see. It started with lentils and collards, and then I looked at the huge piles of potatoes I've been collecting, and there was this cabbage in the "use it or lose it" category... and before I knew it I had an Ethiopian feast!
Ethiopian dishes are always a challenge. While I've eaten a fair amount (okay, a lot) of Ethiopian food in restaurants, I'm not so intimate with the cuisine that I can replicate the dishes without a recipe. And the recipes I do have rarely create the full-flavored dishes I know, so I have to modify them heavily to get something approximating the taste I'm looking for.
Is this is a cuisine that is passed down from mother to daughter, each family with its own distinctive take on the dishes, and there simply isn't the tradition of recording standard versions of common dishes? Is there some key thing I'm missing that's so obvious to a native they don't bother including it? Or are these recipes deliberately sabotaged, like something out of the Anarchist's Cookbook, so they're useless to the lay person?