Autumn Harvest Tagine ~ To Catch a Falling Star
So, Starfish, we meet again…
“Is it alive?”
While known internationally for her pearls of wisdom, Sister Madly’s savvy falls short in the Is-The-Beached-Marine-Creature-Alive field of biology. The only way she can tell with any certainty that something is dead is if the creature is missing its head*- and a starfish doesn’t have one of those as far as she can tell. It is one of the many reasons Sister Madly has never pursued a career in the healthcare field.
* Even then, it’s no guarantee- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a testament to that.
It was at the Pacific Coast where Sister Madly & Co. encountered the Starfish who had so fearlessly deviated above the tide line. Much like Sister Madly herself, the creature lacked the perfection found in the Starfishes of souvenir shops and more like it had been constructed with an Etch-A-Sketch- in fact, it was almost identical to the poor creature she heartlessly dissected in biology class back in the day. The only thing learned that semester was that a box cutter is no match against the armor of this whimsical echinoderm.*
* That, and her teacher believed that ancient dinosaurs still existed and roamed about the ‘jungles of Brazil.’
Now consider this, Sister Madly: what if this beached Star-Creature is the vengeful spirit of the Dissected Starfish of Yesteryear? At the very least, it was plotting to put a custard pie in your face- everybody knows that Starfishes have an affinity for Custard Pie Retribution, especially in the afterlife. Had your biology teacher graduated from an accredited college, he would have learned of the karma that follows the dissection of a Starfish and passed that info onto his students.*
* He would have also learned that the T-Rex no longer roams about the ‘jungles of Brazil.’
It is also well-known amongst marine biologists that the final wish of every Starfish is to lie in repose on a shelf in Tallulah’s sunroom. After a lengthy interrogation, it was determined that the Starfish was probably dead- and if not, he should have spoken up- thus steps were taken to see this final wish fulfilled, which began by preserving the creature in alcohol.
It was a marvelous idea, really, as a drunk Starfish would be less likely to haunt Sister Madly effectively and put a Custard Pie in her face. Perhaps they could share a couple of pints and sing a few pub songs, and bond over their shared distaste for Biology. They would go onto win the World Tiddlywinks Tournament, frolic hand-in-fishy-appendage throughout Southeast Asia, then settle down and start a fabulous punk band- Sister Madly and the Starfish. Sister Madly would play the doorbell, of course,* and win a Grammy for doing so.
* She’s also rather talented with the smoke alarm- without even using her hands!
Indeed, it could have been a most beautiful friendship, had Tallulah not soused the Starfish with buckets of isopropyl alcohol instead of the delightful Nice & Naughty Cider that Sister Madly requested. How did she expect Sister Madly to bond with her new Spectral Fishy Friend over the same stuff ne’er-do-wells use to deodorize their shoes? Tallulah just doesn’t understand!
So in order to make amends, Sister Madly extended him an invitation to her annual Dumb Supper this upcoming October. Tallulah won’t be there, but Sister Madly will allow her to make cookies.
~ * DUMB SUPPER 2019 GUEST LIST * ~
1.) Leonard Cohen
2.) Vincent Price
4.) David Bowie
AUTUMN HARVEST TAGINE
- 2 sweet onions, sliced
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 TBSP ginger, grated
- 1-2 chilies, diced
- sweet potato ~ OR ~ butternut squash, cubed
- carrots, chopped
- parsnips, cored and chopped
- pearl onions, peeled
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 1 TBSP ground coriander
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 lg pinch saffron, ground
- ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Oil, for sautéing
Add sliced onions to hot oil, stirring to coat
Lower heat, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized (30-45 min)
Add ginger, garlic, and chilies; sauté 5-8 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Add broth and vegetables; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until veggies are tender; 30-45 min
Remove bay leaves and star anise before serving
THEME SONG: Starman, David Bowie