Fractals All Around

Today marks the anniversary of my kid’s first big-screen movie, Disney’s Frozen. In the days following, she (then 2) ran around in circles – and in a tutu – singing, “fwozen fwactals all ah-wound…

It’s marvelous and inspiring when lyricists and children’s writers aren’t afraid of using more challenging vocabulary, like the word fractal. Kids are sponges – they can get it, we just have to give them a chance. And thanks to the writing team, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, my kid had a new and unlikely word in her vocabulary…and she wasn’t afraid to wield it.

So here’s an unlikely segue – cauliflower is a fractal, an object with the incredible attribute of having its large-scale pattern continuously recur at progressively smaller scales. Now there’s something to chew on – and so I bring you Anne’s cauliflower stew, karnΙbahar musakka.

Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, rinsed, soaked, and broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbspn tomato paste
  • 2 tbspn olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c hot water
  • egg sauce

Instructions

  1. sauté olive oil and diced onion on medium heat, until they are pembe (=pink, caramelized)
  2. add chopped meat, continue to sautee over medium heat
  3. add pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste
  4. add salt
  5. cover, simmer, 5 minutes
  6. add cauliflower
  7. add 1/2 cup of hot water
  8. cover, simmer, 20 minutes
  9. make egg sauce
  10. turn off heat of cauliflower
  11. slowly add hot juice of cauliflower to the egg sauce, and then pour and mix into the big pot

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