roadrunnertwice: Ray pulling his head off. Dialogue: "DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA?" (Achewood.Ray - DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA)

Apparently some people think that salad for dinner is Not A Thing, but I'm pretty sure it's just because they're not salading hard enough. As long as your salad has enough protein and fat in it, it's kind of an ideal dinner, especially once the weather crosses that 80° mark.

Anyway, I really only make variations on one salad. It's called "Stinky Salad," named after a comic Natasha Allegri posted on LiveJournal back in the day. It goes a little like this:

BASE:

  • Leaf lettuce — not romaine, not iceberg, the more flavorful stuff. Red and green are both nice.
  • 1 medium carrot per 2 people. Grated, or you can take a slicer to it (kind of annoying to get it thin enough with a knife).
  • A little bit of onion, sliced as thin as you can get it.

OPTIONALS:

Throw in any of these if they're around and you're feeling it.

  • Raddichio or other bitter leafies. Chop real thin.
  • Snap peas! Try to strip the spine out of them by peeling back on the stem, so they'll play nice with the other textures. Chop into 2 or 3 pieces.
  • Tomatoes, but ONLY if you can get the really good local shit. If your tomatoes are only OK, use them for something else.

MANDATORY PILE OF STINKY CRAP:

  • 1 hard boiled egg per person, cut into, idk, eighths.
  • 1 pepperoncini per person, sliced thin.
  • A small handful of olives per person, pitted and halved. (I use a mix of kalamata and big green guys. I think black olives would go wrong with it, but what do I know, it's YOUR salad now!!!)
  • Feta cheese.

DRESSING:

Use a LOT of this. Side salads might still work ok if you skimp on the dressing, but we're playing in the dinner leagues now.

  • Good olive oil. IDK, somewhere around a quarter cup per 2 people? Maybe more? I kind of just eyeball it in one of those pyrex not-a-ramekins. Sorry!
  • Good enough balsamic vinegar.
  • Spicy brown mustard, about 1/8 tsp per 2 people. I know this seems random, but it's very important.
  • Garlic, maybe one large clove per 2 people unless you wanna level this salad UP. Use a garlic press, because completely creamed garlic works better in dressing than lil cubes do.
  • Salt (~1/4 tsp for 2 ppl?).
  • Pepper

First salad-for-dinner night of the year and oh my god I was not expecting the visceral rush of joy from that first bite.

roadrunnertwice: Ray pulling his head off. Dialogue: "DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA?" (Achewood.Ray - DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA)
Okay. I honestly feel a bit guilty about sharing this, because it doesn't make any damn sense and I have no theoretical framework for it. This is an accidental discovery that I have no deeper information about. But. I think I might have found the proverbial One Weird Trick for making perfect fried eggs on cast iron.

Make sure the eggs have sat out of the fridge for a little bit, get the pan hot; make sure it's got a very thin film of oil in it. Right? Throw in about a quarter-teaspoon of lemon or lime juice and spread it around with the spatula. Watch out for hot oil splashes. Then crack the eggs in there.

I've struggled with getting non-busted fried eggs off an iron pan for like five years now, and just stumbled on this when I was doing an egg after some lemony string beans. I've reproduced it like four times now. The eggs flip easily, are better at resisting yolk breakage, and have just the right texture inside and out. I don't see any good reason why that should be the case, but there it is. Use this power for good. Holler if you can explain why this isn't a magic spell.
roadrunnertwice: Ray pulling his head off. Dialogue: "DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA?" (Achewood.Ray - DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA)
Let's go ahead and start with the intestines, because I know someone is going to ask me about that. There, it's out of the way. (They tasted fine, but I don't want that texture in my mouth ever again.)

Anyway, I tend to do a mostly vegetarian thing when I'm in the States, but that dog don't really hunt here, so I've just been eating what everyone else eats and figuring I'll balance it out later. Roll the film, please:

  • Dürüm, a meat and vegetable roll-up of sorts made with extremely thin (~1mm) flatbread.
  • Ayran, a salty diluted yogurt served as a beverage.
  • Baked quince in honey with clotted cream.
  • Pide (stuff-baked-on-top version).
  • Pide (bare version, i.e. just flatbread).
  • Helva with Antep pistachios.
  • Quince braised with meatballs (both kinds of quince I had were pretty unbelievable; gonna have to learn how to wrangle that fruit myself, now).
  • Dolma (tasted like dolma!).
  • A ton of meze and salads I didn't even get the names of. (We went to this great restaurant in Istanbul called Çiya. Highly recommended.)
  • Şeker (sugar) oranges, which are these seedless manderins with bright green or yellow rind. They taste exactly like the satsuma oranges we can get in the winter, but the contrast of green to shocking orange looks really alien and cool.
  • Non-Cavendish bananas! Which tasted like... Bananas. OK!
  • Lots of olives, mostly during breakfast. They sell uncured olives in the markets here, too, which are inedible but that's still kind of exciting. I'm at where olives come from! (When I was walking around outer Antep, I saw a group of older women and kids sitting on the sidewalk outside of a park sorting through a little wash-pool full of raw olives, which was yet another thing I'd never seen before. Dunno whether they were prepping them for sale or for curing.)
  • Turkish white cheese and sheep's milk cheese.
  • Pomegranates. Better than the ones we get here.
  • Adana kebap. (I was actually about to just say "A couple kinds of kebap," but then Kate got on my case about it, and I totally should have recorded it so you guys could hear.)
  • A COUPLE KINDS OF KEBAP, which I am now totally allowed to say, because we went to Imam Çaǧdaş after I wrote that last line and ordered the mixed grill, none of which did I have the training to recognize. It was all delicious, though.
  • Also at Çaǧdaş, we had what was possibly, depending on who you ask, the best baklava in the world. (This is apparently part of an ongoing rivalry in Antep, which mostly produces the pistachio type rather than the more common walnut type. I don't know anything about the other contenders, but this was pretty fucking good.)
  • A strange relative of baklava that looks like a shrimp and is composed of like 70% air and which collapses like a fatally-punctured diving bell when you put it in your mouth. (By the way, the waiters at Imam Çaǧdaş are really nice and bring you tons of free stuff you didn't order.)
  • Lahmacun, which is a kind of loosely pizza-like dish except that the crust is really really thin and verging on crackery in texture; like with a New York slice, you eat it folded in half, except that you tear off a chunk first and put parsley and lemon on it. We actually made this the last time Kate was in Portland, and I think we got pretty close, although my crust was definitely too thick compared to the real thing.
  • American-style oatmeal with fried apples and hazelnuts.
  • SO MUCH TEA. The way the Turks make it is actually kind of weird to me: they stew it to undrinkability, then dilute it and add sugar. (No milk.) I was kind of worried that I'd be a mess of tannin stomachaches, but apparently diluting stewed tea magically negates its bad effects? Or maybe sugar helps neutralize tannins the same way milk does, except that doesn't really make sense. Or maybe I've partially outgrown that reaction, which might be an ok tradeoff for the onions thing. Okay, now I'm just rambling. -_-
  • Börek, a flaky pastry roll filled with just about anything, which changes its character quite a bit depending on what it's being used for. There's greasy meat börek, sweet pistachio börek, cheese börek that resembles nothing so much as a macaroni and cheese croissant, and egg-and-yogurt börek that is almost quiche-like. …I ate a hell of a lot of börek, now that I think about it.
  • Walnut cookies! Simple and good.
  • Eggplant, which Turks cook better than I've ever had before.
  • Soupy egg scramble alongside bread with honey and clotted cream.
  • Muska, a dessert made from pistachio paste wrapped in a leathery skin made of dried and floured grape molasses. (Bringing a kilo of this home, if anyone's curious.)
  • A hot yogurt soup with sheep meat and micro-dumplings, garnished with mint oil. I'll have to ask Kate about the name of this one again, because I can't quite remember it.
  • Çi köfte, i.e. raw meatballs in lettuce. Surprisingly great!


…I think that's most of it.
roadrunnertwice: Ray pulling his head off. Dialogue: "DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA?" (Achewood.Ray - DO YOU WANT SOME FRITTATA)
So what have we learned tonight? Let's count it off:

  • Don't start fires in the kitchen. Bad scene.
  • If you finish one pie and decide to use the broiler to bring the stone back up to baking temp in a hurry, you will likely end up with more baking stones than you started with.
  • The hideous algebra I did for Robert several weeks ago actually worked! Well, he told me so afterwards anyway, but it's nice to have independent verification. Just for the record:
    • 100% flour
    • 40% poolish or wet sourdough starter
    • 2.2% salt
    • 0.49% instant yeast or 0.64% active dry yeast
    • 5% oil
    • 62.8% water
    I don't quite have Time Control on this yet, but I did a 2 hour bulk ferment and a 1-to-1.25 hour proof (throwing everything not in pie one in the fridge after about 30 or 40 minutes), and it seemed to result in pizza dough. DO make sure you do a 20m autolyse period before mixing it in earnest.
  • Predict the future: put the smoke detector in the fridge before you even start pre-heating.
  • Dry mozzarella log seems to work a bit better than the wet-type balls. Apizza Scholllllls uses wet and it's unbelievably wonderful, but they also have more skillllllls than me, so they can get away with making things harder on themselves.
  • SPEED SPEED SPEED. Form the dough on rock or linoleum, transfer it to lightly floured wood, and GET THAT CRAP ON THERE AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. I am not kidding about this, lollygagging means inevitable catastrophe, a dodgy pie, and probably a small fire.
  • Get a real peel spatula, asshole. Jegus, what were you even thinking.
  • Racks works! Keeps the middle from getting soggy.

In conclusion: PIZZA NIGHT, DRACULA!

Pizza pie
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Okay: fully re-fueled!

I went for a, like, 5.3? mile run after work and felt great for the duration and the subsequent shower, but then I hit critical HP pretty much immediately. The laggy, can't-brain kind of hungry where you're liable to just wander from room to room instead of eating because you can't figure out how to make food anymore. (Incidentally, I don't really get how so many people I know have a hard time remembering to eat. I understand the phenomenon intellectually, but in terms of experience, I can't relate: When I miss a meal, shit gets real dark real quick.)

So then I went and got a breakfast burrito and a Mexican Coke, the end. But rewind: Going to Cha3 meant biking, and I was starting to approach not being competent to ride, so I chewed up some peanut butter and a slice of cheese first. Magic burst of energy and smarts! Which reminded me of the most recent Radiolab! Which originally made me think of Rock Lee when I heard it, but never mind that. Anyway, one of the things they get into in the early portion is that, you know that instant revitalization you get after a bite of food when you're really really hungry? Apparently, according to the theory, that's basically your reserve limiter floating you a post-dated check loan. I find that unbelievably awesome and felt like sharing.
roadrunnertwice: Dialogue: "Craigslist is killing mothra." (CatAndGirl.Cat - Web 2.0)
Oh, also. I motored to Limbo the other day just for the hell of it, and also for the fruit and coffee beans of it, and lord did it remind me how much I miss being in trivial range of that place.

Limbo, in case you don't know, is a small grocer in deepish Southeast (a short pedal from my old house, in fact) with the most ingenious business plan ever. To wit: "Hey, let's set up literally next door to a Trader Joe's—or no, actually, fuckit, let's set up in the same building as a Trader Joe's—and only traffic in stuff that Trader Joe's sucks at." Brilliant.

("Stuff that Trader Joe's sucks at" largely entails fresh fruits and veggies, bulk herbs and spices, and some locally-made stuff like miso and salsa and roasted coffee beans.)

The genius is twofold. Firstly, that sort of remora-ism nets you a steady flow of people in food-buying mode, an inevitable percentage of whom are gonna eventually get sick of TJ's overpriced saran-wrapped decorative wax veggies and stick their heads in. And secondly, you don't have to waste any resources doing anything you can't excel at. If you can't shelve flour and beans and snack food as well as or better than the Joneses, and if even doing so at the minimally-acceptable level would hurt your ability to do the shit you actually care about? Well, then fuck it! You don't even have to play; just tell people to walk thirty feet thataway once they've got their fruit and turmeric squared away.

And you can't argue with the results, 'cause shit's cheap as hell there and is almost universally delicious. (I heard something once about how the owners do tricky shit with the wholesale produce market in town, such that they can just swoop in and grab small lots of really good stuff for way cheaper than it should be on account of there's not enough of it left for the big guys to touch, or they'll grab a crate of good but slightly wilty broccoli for pennies and sawdust and anyone who rolls in in time can make seventy-five cent stirfry that night.) I'm usually a farmer's market guy, but Limbo is pretty much the next best thing.

And that's my post about the Apple iPad. (No, sorry, just kidding.)
roadrunnertwice: Parking lot stencil: "ALL TREES WILL BE TOWED," with tree glyph in "no" sign. (All trees will be towed)
This week shall be bagel week.

So the word on bagels seems to be that it's a two day process, and, here's the crucial bit, the stages of production are slid around all over the place. (Mind you, I'm looking at a Reinhart recipe and that's kind of his gig anyhow, but it's odd even by his standards.) I actually can't quite tell what happens where! It looks like you shape the dough before it's even done a single fermentation (not counting the pre-sponge), then slap it in the retarder before the first fermentation is finished. Wha? Also, boiling. Does the yeast survive this? It has to, right? But it must also be the first stage of cooking, because the longer you boil, the tougher the finished product?

I'll need to get baking sheets sometime this week; maybe Fred Meyer has some. I kinda want to get a half-sheeter made with good quality heavy-gauge steel, just so I can be done with sheet pan shopping for basically ever. I've heard Chicago Metallic is the one to go for; we'll see who's got what.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Poulet free)
I made Hoppin' John* and hot lemony-garlicky kale tonight for dinner, this being January First.

—No, I'm not from the South; no, it's not a tradition in my family; yes, this was the first time I made it. Long story short, I was dissatisfied enough with 2008 that I've no reservations about using other peoples' folk magic to impose my will on 2009. Besides, as anyone can tell you, cultural appropriation tastes great.

Happy New Year, everyone.



_____
* I may have mentioned this before, but Everything2 is the Hitchhiker's Guide to Wikipedia's Encyclopedia Galactica.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Poulet free)

“You know,” said [livejournal.com profile] robertcalvin, “my favorite thing about martinis is the gin-soaked olives. If they sold jars full of them, I’d just get drunk on that.” “Shit yes,” said [livejournal.com profile] 2ce. Here are the lessons they subsequently learned:

  • You can’t just use a martini’s worth of gin on nine or ten olives, even if you’re giving it two hours to soak. I’m not sure what the ideal ratio would be; one might be able to get five olives per martini. Maybe.
  • Related to this, don’t add any olive brine, because you want the gin to be as concentrated as possible. Yes, I know you or one of your co-conspirators likes “dirty” martinis, but trust me, this one is going to be pretty filthy as-is.
  • Go ahead and give it more time than you think it’ll need. They were markedly improved by the time we got to the last few.
  • Use good olives. (Mine were kind of so-so.)
  • It turns out that the failure mode isn’t as good as either plain olives or proper gin-soaked olives, so limit yourself to small batches until and unless you perfect this.

As you can tell, we had decidedly mixed success. Further experimentation will be necessary.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)

Here's a "recipe" for the pasta sauce I made for dinner tonight!

  • 1 big jar of the stewed and reduced garden tomatoes that your mom put up last summer
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, or some fresh ones if they're ready
  • huge dollop of olive oil
  • several cloves of garlic... I dunno, four? six?
  • some diced onion, call it a double-handful; preferably from the garden, but mix in some of that store-bought one if you gotta
  • a handful of diced bell pepper
  • a big ol' double-handful of various herbs from the garden, including three types of thyme, plenty of rosemary, fresh basil, and some of that oregano that's integrated itself into the lawn and is now impossible to get rid of, not that you'd want to
  • about a palmful of ground cumin
  • a spritz of red pepper flakes
  • two or three generous sprinkles of ground cinnamon
  • several fat pinches of salt

Heat up the olive oil in a pot; use the garlic press on the garlic, because this house happens to have one and we're in a hurry. Dice and chuck in the onion as the garlic starts to bubble, then roughly chop or tear all the herbs except the basil and pitch them in, along with the cumin, red pepper, and cinnamon. Add the bell pepper whenever you can be bothered to. Stir around, let the onions get translucent. Dump in last year's reduced tomatoes, use a fork or a slotted spoon to get the diced tomatoes in there without too much of that water, add the basil. Stir, bring to slow boil, simmer. When it's pretty much done, salt to taste.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
I noticed it too late to buy any (got one of the on-sale regular blends instead), but at the Wedge, they have "Mystery Coffee" for sale. It's like four bucks a pound (AKA less than half price), and consists of all the stuff people abandon in bags and leave in the grinder, all mixed together.

No way can I resist that temptation. I think that's what I'll be drinking from here on out.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
It's Dinosaur season again, and hallelujah. Here's lunch. )
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (WELL?! DO YOU?!?)
Hey TC people: Bananers are 33¢/lb at Rainbow right now. Or they were yesterday, at least, and there were a bunch left. And they're greenish now, too, so they're easy to get safely home.

In addition to being filling and stocking me up on lovely potassium, they gave me a great idea for a two-bit plot device in Lulu and the Second City. (You know, my side project. Think of it as an extremely low-stakes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, except that two thirds of the way through it turns into the Odyssey.) There are these makeshift golems that are terrorizing the high school, and in the process of trying to figure out what they're looking for and who sent 'em, Lulu, Ox, Brad, and Scary figure out that, instead of the name of YHWH, they're bound and animated by the banana stickers on their foreheads. "Peel and keeeeeel," says Scary.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (WELL?! DO YOU?!?)
Hot damn, I’m loving these lentil + brown rice cakes. Time to share:

Lentil Rice Cakes



Simple Foods for the Pack, by Vikki Kinmont and Claudia Axcell. (First edition, 1976.)

Makes about a dozen.

  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 1/3 cup lentils [ed: I’ve only made these correctly with the red kind.]
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced [ed: I don’t think we’ve EVER had parsley around for these.]
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. tamari soy sauce

Season with one of the following:
* 1 tsp. cumin, ground
* 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, ground
* 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground

[I overspice these with cumin, cayenne, and garam masala, because that’s how I roll. You can also add some shredded ginger, and some other veggies, but don’t go overboard, because cohesion is important.]

Cook the rice and lentils in water with salt, for about 45 minutes (all water should be absorbed), and allow to cool. [You want it thick. The last little while, you’ll have to take the lid off and stir constantly. You’re done when there are big, goop-flinging explosions bubbling up, even on low heat.]

Mash well with hands, then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Form into patties, place on cookie sheet, and bake at 300° for 30-45 minutes. Turn once to allow underside to cook. [The flipping process is always really tetchy. Wait until they’re at least 2/3 done before trying, and if the patties break apart, put ‘em back in for a while before trying again. There will still probably be some really goopy stuff on the bottom that sticks to your spatula, but there’s nothing for it; just scrape it off and put it back.]

Ideally, serve with hummus or lemon-tahini dressing.

Dinner

Jul. 28th, 2006 03:02 am
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)

Dragoon Salad

Make sure you got:

  • Tofu
  • Oil
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Garlic (super-fresh)
  • Ginger
  • Onion (maybe)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato (kinda-sorta optional, but not really)
  • Annie's Goddess Dressing
  • Hemp seeds (best) or ground flaxseed (passable and hella cheaper)

Why? Usually because it's too damn hot out for carbohydrates, but the sun's been down long enough that people won't necessarily hate you forever if you turn the stove on.

Heat oil in a skillet. Cut half a pound of firm or extra-firm tofu into strips (~1/3 inch thick), squeeze and shake each strip over the sink to get the extra water out, and put them in the oil to fry. Dust with heaping quarter-teaspoons of thyme and paprika, and add half a handful each of diced garlic and ginger once everything's been sizzling for a minute or three. Add a few slices of onion if desired; don't if not. Cook tofu, flipping occasionally, until very lightly browned; then cut into smaller strips with edge of spatula and cook for just a little while longer. (This is basically my recipe for tofu, period.)

While the tofu is cooking, clean and cut some lettuce and dice some tomato; mix into salad bowls and chuck in the fridge until tofu is done. Dump tofu chunks and the crispy garlic/ginger/oil slurry over the top of the salads. Pour Annie's Goddess Dressing (or equivalent tahini/lemon/garlic-based salad dressing) over the whole deal, and top with hemp seeds or ground flaxseed.

Serves two-ish; scale up as necessary.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (WELL?! DO YOU?!?)
I get this mysterious nutritional deficiency sometimes. This started in Cork, and it's popped up a few times since, and I'm not quite sure exactly what it is that I'm missing. But sometimes, I just get really distracted and fretful for long periods, with an accompanying case of the gnawing munchies. (In particular, I can't seem to keep raisins in the house.) It always takes me a while to notice it, too.

Anyway, the food that reliably contains whatever it is that I'm missing—the thing that'll make that irritating distracted/hungry state finally go away—turns out to be grape juice. The stainy purple stuff. I kind of have to remind myself to breathe when I'm chugging down my first cup after a long dry spell. Once I've had my fill of the stuff, I generally feel calm and full, and I tend to eat a lot less for the next day or three.

My diet's generally pretty balanced; I've got a really good mix of veggies, grains, and legumes, and I take my B vitamins. The one thing I tend to neglect a little bit is fruit, since it's kind of expensive, but there are always some raisins or a bottle of lemon juice or something hanging around, so I'm not some kind of scurvy risk case. Does anyone know what I could be needing that mostly comes from grape juice?

Regardless, I should probably just be smart about this and make sure there's always a can of concentrate sitting in the freezer.

Gazpacho!

Jun. 3rd, 2006 12:55 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (WELL?! DO YOU?!?)

Greg and I got together tonight last night and made some damn gazpacho. Science hasn't yet devised a cure for 90-degree weather, but I tell you what, gazpacho and baguette and beer with your friends makes for a very humane treatment.

Oh, and I have a blender now, courtesy of Steeple People. I think it needs some lubrication, because you could definitely smell it working harder than it should have been working. Nevertheless, it did a heroic job on our ingredients, leaving us with basically the most perfect gazpacho we could have asked for. Plus it totally fits in with my kitchen kitsch fetish. Oh yeah, baby—goldenrod. Pictures later.

So how do you make gazpacho, much less perfect radiant hero gazpacho? Well, I relied on this recipe and this one for shopping advice, but we basically freestyled it, and ended up with LOTS of leftovers. We probably could have fed four or five people.

Let's do this one backwards:

Gazpacho Avec Whatever

Directions:

  1. Cut some fresh tomatoes* into little cubes and set aside.
  2. Blend up everything else in a blender. (Cut it into slightly smaller pieces first, but don't sweat it too hard, it's just going to end up in a blender.) Do it in batches, including enough tomato juice in each blenderload that it all comes out liquid without causing you any grief. Then stir it all together in a big ol' plastic or glass mixing bowl.**
  3. Stir in those diced tomatoes.
  4. Put the whole thing in the fridge (covered) and let it chill for at least twenty minutes. The longer it waits, the better it gets, peaking at somewhere around the "overnight" mark. Don't sweat it too hard, though; half the point is leftovers.
  5. Serve. You can put some parsley and fresh thyme on top, if you want. Go ahead and have some baguette and beer, too. Don't worry about protein: that's for morning, when you don't feel like sweating your internal organs out. Tonight, we party.

Ingredients (most of which are optional and all of which are fungible):

  • The aforementioned fresh tomatoes.
  • A big jar of really good unsweetened tomato juice. You can get the 32oz jar of the R.W. Knudsen stuff for 3 bucks at the co-op in the juices section. Do spring for the decent stuff, because it is seriously the ingredient that makes or breaks your soup. V8 is for when you're A.) at 15,000 feet or B.) too drunk or dehydrated to tell the difference.
  • Several cloves of garlic. Hardcore fresh. It ought to smell juicy and sharp, not musky and dusky.
  • A big, sweet-ish white or yellow onion.
  • A jalepeño.
  • A milder green pepper. Bells work, but only if they come from someone you know; if you're just buying from the store or the co-op, spring for a poblano or something; I don't think they sell edible bells in stores anymore.
  • Half a stalk of rhubarb (impulse buy. I'm convinced it did something magical).
  • Two or one stalks of celery.
  • A cucumber.***
  • Some parsley!
  • Some fresh lemon thyme.
  • Some fresh basil.
  • Some chili powder.
  • Some vinegar (wine vinegar is probably good, but we just used rice vinegar and it turned out fab).
  • A splash or three of lemon juice (as always, the good stuff in the glass bottle—trust me, you'll find something to do with the rest of it.) (Or, you know, just use some lemon).
  • A pinch or three of salt.
  • A pinch or three of coarse black pepper.
  • A huge dollop of decent olive oil. (We totally forgot about this.)
  • Some hotsauce. (Several drops. We skipped this, too.)

_____
* If they don't smell like pure moonshined summer when you hold them four inches from your face, just leave 'em out of the recipe entirely. Local, in-season tomatoes are a sensory adventure, but the second-best thing is high-end packaged stuff that was picked and parsed at the right time of year. Plasticky long-haul shipping tamaters are only suitable for shitty burgers.
** I am told that stainless steel and other metals are a serious no go. Something to do with acids and corrosion and your soup tasting like metal.
*** Holy shit, this is NOT "it's safe to buy a cucumber at the co-op" season. TWO BUCKS FIFTY FOR ONE DAMN CUCUMBER. If I'd been in less of a hurry and watching the prices, I'd have just hit one of the Nicollet Asian groceries on the way home. Damn.


roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
1. TEMPEH SANDWICH MOTHERFUCKERS. With some young Dinosaur to back that shit up. Too bad I don't have any sourkraut or cheese.

2. I love the amount of free-association that goes on on The Current:
7:54 The Dining Rooms - Destination Moon
7:59 They Might Be Giants - Rest Awhile

3. I've noticed that I have a sort of nonsensical distrust of wines that aren't named after one kind of grape, and it's time to put the foot down on that. I mean seriously, what? I don't have the budget to buy anything better than plonk half the time anyhow, so why not go for a bastardized blend that'll maybe taste a little better than a cheap-ass shiraz? So I bought "white table wine" today. Hurray!

4. Garage sale season is definitely ON, but man, it is hard to buy furniture without a truck. I found a desk and a coffee table today that are FUCKING PERFECT FOR THIS APARTMENT, for 30 and 10 dollars, respectively. Deal of the century, right? But I might not be able to move 'em. Balls.

EDIT:
5. Hurray for meeting the neighbors, finally!
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Corvid liasons)
That's just a whole 'nother level of savvy entirely.
Lisa Padol: Avram Grumer told me once that crows have been observed using another kind of tool: cars. Well, cars and nuts, to be precise.

The crows dropped the nuts in the middle of the road. Cars would run over them, opening up the shells. So far, so good.

But the crows did not try to eat the nuts. They waited for the squirrels. The squirrels tried to eat the nuts. Several of the squirrels got hit by cars. The crows then ate the roadkill squirrels.

As Avram pointed out, this is serious long term thinking for the crows.



EDIT: FUCKING YES! Sichuan Peppercorns are BACK, motherfucker! The baggie I smuggled home back in '04 managed to vanish sometime during the course of the last year, and I've been missing the little varmints.

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roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Nick Eff

August 2017

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If you pass the rabid child, say "hammer down" for me.

The Fell Types are digitally reproduced by Igino Marini.

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