I made this all up! It’s what I do. I search for a thing until I am lost and dissatisfied with everyone else’s rendition, then I make my own. It could have been a parfait, a layer cake, a cup of puddings and crushed Oreo with a gummy worm. For me, it had to honor the earth, to be pure and healthy. The only two ingredients that were not organic were the potatoes and pepper jam. The sour cream would have been vegan, though I have yet to discover all the right one’s for my family (we don’t all eat nuts, or soy, or carrageenan, and never anything autolyzed).
There are fun culinary themes for April, like Grilled Cheese Day and National Beer Day, but Earth Day was the theme I took on. As March drew to a close, my dissatisfaction with everyone else’s versions of edible Earth layers came to this- I’d have to wing it, like the artist I am. I’ll leave you with quotes that inspired this project and process…
“The professionals know they’re winging it. The amateurs pretend they’re not.”
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
Start to finish: 45 minutes
1-pound baby jewel yams, peeled and cubed
1 tsp Mexican Seasoning
4 purple potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 cup vegetable stock broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
1 medium avocado
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Fresh chopped cilantro equal to 2 tablespoons, about 20 sprigs, divided
2/3 cup pepper jelly (I used Diane’s Peach Habanero Jam), approximately, divided
2/3 cup sour cream, approximately, divided
1.Place baby jewel yams in a medium pot, cover with water just to the top of the cubes.
2.In a separate medium pot, cover purple potatoes just to the top of the cubes.
3.Bring both pots to boiling on high heat, then let simmer on medium heat until contents are tender, about 20 minutes (potatoes may need more time than yams).
4.For the yams, drain most of the excess water, then mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning, and salt to taste- I used 3/4 teaspoon salt.
5.Drain most of the excess water from the potatoes, then mash until lumpy. Add cashew butter, tahini, vegetable stock broth, garlic powder, and salt to taste- I used 3/4 teaspoon. Mash until smooth. Potato will thicken, add more broth if necessary.
6.To make the guacamole, mash avocado in a small bowl, add lime juice, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
7.Rinse and chop cilantro.
8.In clear serving dishes, place a first layer of sour cream (Earth’s white-hot core), follow with mashed yams (Earth’s mantle), spread a thin layer of pepper jam (magma) just underneath the potatoes (oceanic lithosphere). Top with a large dollop of guacamole (land mass), sprinkle with cilantro (foliage). The final layer, the troposphere, will be small dollops of sour cream, resembling cumulus clouds.
Vegan sour cream or cream cheese
Add a layer of seeds, nuts, or whole beans to the lithosphere