There are many possible alternatives to an ice pick. A thin sharp knife will work, or a wooden spoon or spatula. Anything plastic is less then efficient, it's something about the material when it meets ice, please don't tell me the chemical-physical reaction, I don't want to know. Metal tends to be the key, in my experience.
And what exactly is my experience, you might ask? Well, it's recent, but rich, and it pretty much involves me attacking an ice floe inside a freezer for at least 25 minutes and contemplating how this moment became a part of my reality.You know when you have those moments in your life when you can't help but think, wait, stop, how did I get here, how did this happen, how did this all go so wrong so quickly? I've been having a few of those lately.
Here's a funny thing about me: I spend a lot of my time in the apartments of strangers. Am I a stalker or a serial killer? No, not yet at least. No, I'm a Real Estate Agent, more specifically a Rentals Agent, and as a result I spend my days fielding questions from idiots and explaining away the messes of people I've never met. I run, or rather, bike furiously, from apartment to house to apartment, wandering through other people's spaces like I'm trying on the contents of their closets (which I've also seen, by the way), and I observe their kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms (their dirty laundry, their dishes, their family photos, their jewelry boxes, their shoes) like the most detail oriented voyeur possible. And in my wanderings across the city of Struggledelphia this past week I found myself confronted with an adorable studio apartment, hardwood floors, tiled bathroom, separate kitchen, miniature polar ice cap. That last one? Was from the freezer. Noticing the freezer door slightly ajar, I tried my best to close it. No dice. Not only had the freezer created an ice storm of epic proportions around the ice cream and fat-free frozen dinners, but it had extended beyond the bounds of the freezer, reaching out, creating a Mr. Freeze style ice bridge which in another context might be a real challenge for Batman, but for me was just another Thursday afternoon.
Shooing the possible new tenants out with an awkward clenched teeth smile, I found myself, knife in hand, using a freezer full of ice like a session of aggressive physical therapy. Just another day in the life, I thought to myself. Nothing to worry about. I'm just doing my job.
After days like this, I need the meal I cook to be as simple as possible. My caramelized cauliflower with onions is a recipe so deceptively simple most people think it took me hours. Little do they know, after a day wrestling with an aggressive freezer, I've earned the cheap and easy calories.
Caramelized Cauliflower with Onions:
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Red Onion
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the cauliflower up into small florets. Slice the onion, and mix the onion in a large bowl the cauliflower, cooking spray (or olive oil), salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and cook until the mixture turns golden to deep brown and appears crispy. Enjoy.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.