Spinach cakes with roasted mushrooms

Spinach cakes with roasted mushrooms

Spinach cakes with roasted mushrooms

I have to admit that I’m fairly superstitious. I always have been. I tell myself that I don’t believe all this foolish nonsense, but in my heart I know I do. I don’t like when a black cat crosses my path (or any color of cat, for that matter, they all seem a little too knowing). I think sometimes superstitions can be harmful, if you’re crippled by a belief that if you do (or don’t do) a certain thing something bad will happen. Or if you blame some unrelated action on your part to something bad that has happened. This is like some sort of insidious mental chain-letter, laced with guilt and a sort of all-powerful powerlessness that does no one no good. A few superstitions of this type are quite mild, and have become such a part of my daily life that I’ve found myself passing them on to my boys. No hats on the bed, no shoes on the table – surely these were begun because people didn’t want dirty shoes lying around where they ate. And some superstitions I actively like, the superstitions that say if you do something good, something good will happen. Often, it’s hard to tell why these superstitions came to be, but it’s fun to guess. And it’s fascinating to see how certain superstitions carry from country to country, with variations everywhere they travel. I love to read about superstitions connected with New Year’s Eve around the world. Twelve green grapes, lentils and greens, round foods, codfish and pigs. I love the fact that each of these comes with a small wish or hope for wealth, health, and happiness. We all want these things, on some level, it’s so human and universal, and it makes sense that we would express it with food, which is the way that we nurture one another, that we keep healthy, that we come together with our loved ones, which makes us happy. I love to think about the food we eat as the embodiment of our wishes and hopes, of the contrary reality that we’re in control of our destinies, but the future is a complete mystery – frighteningly and promisingly unknowable. So I’ve been baking and cooking round things all day, and lentils and greens, and crown-shaped golden foods. And having a lovely time of it. And I’ll present my recipes to you, along with small hopes and wishes for happiness, plenty, and health for you and yours. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Last night I made these roundish green spinach cakes. They’re like a combination of pancakes and spinach souffle – fluffy, comforting, savory, a bit cheesy. And combined them with large roasted mushrooms as well as a sauce of mushrooms, shallots and white wine. Everything is flavored with sage and rosemary, a combination I’ve been using non-stop lately, but it tastes like a wintery holiday to me, so I can’t stop myself.

Here’s Stevie Wonder with Superstition.

Are you superstitious? What superstitions do you believe in? Are there superstitions specifically related to your part of the world?

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