Root Vegetables and Chicken Fat (oh, and we also made an offer on a house)

Fred had a great dinner on Saturday night and so did I. However, a recent perusal of his online checking account suggests that his vegetable consumption at our dinner was probably equal to what he normally eats in an average month, viz:

Purchase PURCHASE TWAIN`S BILLIARDS 10/07 $11.00
Purchase PURCHASE TWAIN`S BILLIARDS 10/06 $12.09
Purchase PURCHASE WAFFLE HOUSE #0001 10/07 $14.58
Purchase PURCHASE TWAIN`S BILLIARDS 10/05 $20.53
Purchase PURCHASE TWAIN`S BILLIARDS 10/04 $12.09

Note the number on that Waffle House. It’s actually not the original, which is now a defunct Chinese restaurant with an overgrown parking lot surrounded by a chain-link fence, but the replacement across the street. This is how they do things in the ATL–and why no one worried when Sherman burned it to the ground, since they don’t save anything anyway.

Which brings me back to Durham, where my old urges to carry cloth bags into grocery stores and take a travel mug with me everywhere for refills (even in those few cases when I’m forced to enter McDonald’s)–well, where those old urges are coming back now that I’m in a land where well-heeled but earnest students eagerly hand out PETA flyers and there’s always a vegan option on the menu. But I still don’t dare enter Whole Foods.

Nevertheless, Whole Foods did provide a lovely if decidedly non-vegan meal on Saturday. The roasted root vegetables were especially good.

To make them, I poured off the fat from a chicken I roasted on Friday and covered the vegetables. This was what made the dish particularly good. However, realizing that vegans do need to eat and that not everyone has chicken fat lying around, I would recommend a good extra virgin olive oil as a substitute.

Roasted Fall Vegetables (serves 4 as a side dish)

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Peel and cut into 1 – 1/2″ pieces:
2 large sweet potatoes
4 -5 carrots
3 -4 golden beets
2 large yellow onions

3. Put vegetables in shallow casserole dish (metal is good) or roasting pan. Add:
1/2 cup chicken fat or extra virgin, extra good olive oil

4. Sprinkle with:
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

Variations: Substitute 3 -4 parsnips or 1 potato if you don’t like beets and add an extra sweet potato. I would not add too many regular potatoes since they would make the dish too bland. You could also add squash (butternut, acorn, calabasa, etc.)–if you are more industrious than I am, that is, and felt up to seeding, peeling, and cutting them up, then roasting the seeds because you have spent too much time around vegans and don’t want to be wasteful, even though you think pouring chicken fat on vegetables is a good idea.

By the way, we also made an offer on a house–$40,000 below the asking price. HAHAHAHA!! Which is what the seller, who doesn’t seem to have listened to the news in the last year and has never heard the term “buyer’s market,” will probably say too.

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