Miss Tasty's Cafe

I chop, I dice, I mix until moistened, I whip to soft peaks, I boil, broil, bake and braise, simmer over medium heat, chill over night ... And of course, there's eating. Tasting, nibbling, chomping, savouring ... I'm a licking-the-bowl-clean, sopping-up-the-sauce, juice-running-down-my-fingers food enthusiast ... Yep. I love food.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bacon-Wear

I'm proud of my relatively recent conversion to the Church of Bacon, plus I have some bacon-loving friends that are deserving of holiday gifts. What better way to spend my workday than searching for bacon-wear?

I found a surprising number of very fine t-shirt options, in styles ranging from dorky chic to simple and classic; there are even excellent options for recovering vegetarians like me.

Of course, one of the most hilarious and disturbing I already posted on my dinner club's blog.

And then I found something that was not exactly clothing, but that I must own. What fixes a boo-boo better than bacon, I ask you?

Perhaps I'll construct an entire bacon gift basket ...

Chicken a la Mortgage

There is something so tasty about takeout eaten while sitting on a blanket in the dining room of a totally empty house. Especially when you just bought that house.

Curried Fried Rice, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce, and a bottle of Argyle Brut, popped open to gleeful applause and poured into Reidel crystal.

It must say something about me that the very first thing I moved into the new place was my collection of stemware ... let the dinner parties begin!

Monday, November 14, 2005

All-Green Salad


Avocado, Belgian endive, scallions, Italian parsley, salt, olive oil. Do it.

This from The Food Lover's Companion: "The fruit's name comes from ahuacatl, the Nahuatl word for "testicle," which is assumed to be a reference to the avocado's shape."

Apparently, half an avocado has only 138 calories and tons of unsaturated fat. Sometimes, I love life.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My First Roux, My First Roast Chicken


I'd never roasted a chicken.

I was raised vegetarian, and although I ate my first hamburger at age 17, and started exploring chicken and fish in college, I consider September 29, 2002, the first day of my carniverous life.

That was the day I ate bacon. Willfully. There's no turning back after bacon. If skinless boneless chicken breasts are the gateway drug, bacon is the meth of meats.

But I digress. I'd never roasted a chicken, and on Sunday I decided, "It's fall! It's chilly! I should roast a chicken." I cheerfully scribbled down my shopping list.

And as I hummed along down the aisles of New Seasons, Mr B called. It appeared that I'd forgotten one teensy little detail. A dinner party was planned that night. A dinner party that we were hosting. They'd be there at 7:30, and were bringing a cake.

By the time I got home, I had a dozen leeks, a pint of cream, two heads of cauliflower, smoked paprika, a four pound fryer cut into eight fleshy, bloody pieces, and a wild look in my eyes. In three hours, there would be five people dining in my living room, and I was about to prepare two recipes never before seen in my kitchen. Lock me into the bungee harness and shove me off the cliff, my friends ...
~~~~
Breathe, focus. Do the prep work. The best time for a mise en place is when you have no time for error, so take the time up front. Chop onion, measure flour, wash and cut the cauliflower, trim away the tough green ends of the leeks, unwrap the butter, grate the cheese, unwrap and rinse the fryer.

There will be a lot of melted butter tonight. Let's start now. Saute the onions and blanch the cauliflower. Put the cauliflower in the onion mixture and stir it lightly until the everything starts to get golden brown edges. Set aside in a baking dish. This is for the gratin, which you'll come back to later.

Heat a pan and slit the leeks down the middle. Let them cook a few minutes on each side in hot butter, until they start to fan out and caramelize. Layer them in a giant, round ceramic baking dish (a gift from your manic depressive friend in New York who's now studying art education and living above a rare books store). More butter to the pan, turn to gaze upon the fryer.

Look at the cute little rib cage, marvel at the spine (and wonder how the hell you deal with a spine in presentation), poke at the leg bone. Think about the fact that you have a bird skeleton on your kitchen counter. With tongs, nestle the pieces together in the hot pan, searing each side. While you wait, start some more butter melting in a saucepan.

When the chicken is seared, layer it atop the leeks, toss some fresh rosemary, thyme and sage on top, cover the dish and put in the oven at 450. Twenty minutes on the timer, counting down ...

The saucepan butter is melted. Add the flour. Whisk. Make a cartoon "O" shape with your mouth when you suddenly realize you're making a roux. Huh. How easy was that? Just because it's French doesn't mean it's complicated. Julia was right.

Watch it turn a pale gold, then a richer brown. Add cream and milk, whisk until very thick. Stir in the grated manchego, a pinch of nutmeg. Spoon it over the waiting cauliflower, top with more cheese, and slide it into the oven under the roasting chicken.

Yell at Mr B when he informs you he forgot to call guest #1 to ask him to bring a salad. We have no salad greens. We have no time to go to the store! Are you insane?! He goes anyway. You're convinced he will be hypnotized by the BOGO bargains in the cereal aisle and you will be left alone, saladless, smiling at people in your living room with a smear of roux down your shirtfront and a raw chicken in the oven.

Friend #1 arrives early - smile and hand him the matches to light the candles. Close self in the bathroom, smooth your hair down and remember these are great friends who will be totally cool with takeout.
~~~~


A totally successful evening. Perfectly tender chicken, delicious cauliflower gratin, and I even remembered an extra side dish (wild mushroom cous cous) for the, ahem, vegetarian friend. Amazing how a few pomegranate seeds tossed into the pre-meal prosecco made everything feel seamlessly planned and fancy. After three bottles of wine and thick slabs of Marsee Baking Guinness-Stout Double-Chocolate Cake, I'd say my roast chicken/roux maiden journey scored a 10.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Oh s**t, I forgot I was having a dinner party tonight!

Effing A.

I emailed Mr B at work, let him know I was planning dinner and to "think 'roast chicken'" and come home hungry. He just called and said, "Um, remember H is coming. Should I ask him to bring his own vegetarian dish?" Huh? Wha'? Oh crap, that dinner party is tonight?!

So now I am tripling the recipes. And adding a non-meat option. It's okay ... I'm just really glad Mr B has my back on days like these.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quesadilla Redux & Six Feet Under


After that gluttonous lunch at Nostrana, dinner had to be simple. Last night's quesadillas were revisited, this time with goat cheese, black beans, and whole wheat tortillas. On the side, I tossed another chopped avocado with sea salt and black pepper.

Food is always better shared - Mr B and my mom dug into their plates while we started the second season of Six Feet Under. Mom is an artist, and she always holds her food like it's a musical instrument or a paintbrush. It was raining.

Impromptu Nostrana

Mr. B e-mailed for a lunchtime rendezvous, and I got giddy like a schoolgirl. Twelve years and a ringed finger haven't gotten in the way; we giggled (yes, Mr. B, you giggle) in the parking lot about how illicit it felt to meet midday! Destination: Nostrana.

It was all over the grapevine for months - Cathy Whims was opening a new place, she was gonna do pizza, it was gonna finally fill one of those oddly empty spots in the renovated building at SE 15th and Morrison. So she did, and she does, and it's amazing how the space has utterly left behind its past as a Su-Bee grocery. Ultra-high ceilings, dark cork floors, massive sliding windows - nothing pretentious whatsoever (plastic chairs), but an easygoing classiness and that inevitably cozy feeling that comes from a woodburning oven.

So we ordered hot drinks and food to share, and have this to report:

The antipasti misti were weird - greens marmalade that would have been better warm and needed salt; roasted peppers with marjoram that just weren't special in any way; fried pumpkin that was delicious, but again, would have been much better served hot. The "irresistable crostini" were just that - irresistable - but for the price of the plate, those three little crostini didn't quite cut it. Next time, I'll try the white bean and olive oil-poached tuna salad over greens.

There'd been talk that the pizzas might rival Apizza Scholls, but I can firmly report that they do not. It's not really a fair comparison, because they aren't really the same sort of pies. They reminded me a whole lot of the pizzas I ate while studying art history in Italy. Super thin, lovingly made, so thin and stretchy it's better to tear off chunks than attack it with a knife for slices. There will be Nostrana pizza moods, and Apizza pizza moods, and never the twain shall meet. For the record, Apizza pizza makes my eyes roll back in my head and sends endorphins shooting through my brain. It's that kind of good. Nostrana pizza: yummy lunch. That's just fine. Sometimes you want a martini, sometimes you want a microbrew.

Now, for the kicker: Nancy's Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blackberry Syrup. Ohmigod. Ohmigod. I must puzzle out how to make this. Now that my tastebuds have undergone this epiphany, I suspect American panna cotta is often made solely with cream. Some quick research tells me that panna cotta is a Piedmontese speciality, where the local cream has a faint sourness, like creme fraiche. Yogurt, then, makes perfect sense. This dessert had a brilliant whisper of tartness, the most pristine white color, and the light, smooth texture ... Praise jesus.*

Our server was a little spaced out, the cappucino took forever, and it was really irritating to watch three employees gabbing casually with friends - who seemed to have stopped by to say hi, not to eat - at various spots around the bar. C'mon people, give me a little mystique. This isn't your living room. But otherwise, a great neighborhood spot with a menu that will pull me right back in the door.

What an excellent way to spend a workday lunch hour. Mr. B is so easy on the eyes ... sigh.

*I've long considered getting a yogurt maker, the kind that actually heats the milk ... this would be a perfect reason.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dinner at Home - Manchego-Sweet Corn Quesadilla & Aguacate Salad


Grated four-year manchego, sliced scallions, sweet corn kernels, ribbons of roasted red pepper, between two tortillas and grilled. Accompanied by chopped avocado simply dressed with coarse sea salt and a spoonful of red salsa. A quick weeknight meal - I'm keeping my vow of cooking at home.

A bit of hazelnut-currant dark chocolate for dessert.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dinner at Home - Puttanesca of Sorts


It begins with garlic, waiting smugly in its papery skin. Smash, peel, mince. Slide the sticky, tiny pieces off the flat side of the knife, into olive oil waiting shiny and level in the bottom of the saucepan. Turn on the flame, let it heat slow, slow. Now, the cheat (silent penance paid to Mama, hail mary or some such thing): add jar of good pre-made sauce as a base. Splash of red wine, splash of "balsamic" vinegar, red chili flakes, kalamata olives, some whole basil leaves for slow extraction, simmer on low while Smooth Melon makes pesto for freezing so the rest of the basil finds a purpose and pleases later, mid-winter.

Stir the simmering sauce. Taste ...more red chili flakes, a little salt. Let it do its thing. Wash the salad greens, dance a little bit around the kitchen.

Stir the sugo with a wooden spoon, lift it up from the saucepan, cup my hand under it carefully, in a wide c-shape, like I'm cradling a baby bird, lift it to my mouth and softly blow ... touch it to my lips. Taste. I watched my mother do this a million times. Even the way my tongue touches my upper lip, the way I blink, pause and nod. It's just like her.

Whisk the vinaigrette and toss the greens till they shimmer.

Big pot of water on to boil, let the salt slide from between pinched and rubbing fingers, making a circle above the water and watching it vanish into the bubbles.

Scoop up handfuls of rattling, dry pasta, floury in my palm, cast it quickly into the pot, arching backward to avoid the small, burning splash.

Stir pasta, listen to it clack against the spoon, still hard.

Lift the pasta bowls down from the shelf. Grate the parmeggiano-reggiano. Nibble a chunk. Peer at its perfectly rough, broken edges, run a forefinger along the rind.

Stir the pasta. Lift it up from the water, squint at the telltale yellow opacity, working toward translucent at the corners. Not quite done.

Wrap and heat the bread.

Stir the pasta, watch it swirl like a school of fish, somersaulting up and down, rolling in the churning water. Chase a single piece to the side, jiggle in the spoon to cool, slip it into a waiting palm, then mouth, then bite. Al dente.

Two-handed, dump the pot's contents into colander. A whoosh of steam, splatter of noodles, lift the colander and shake, toss, shake, quick rinse under hot water, shake again, slide pasta into the waiting bowls, quick quick sauce spooned on and tossed gently so the noodles don't stick. Top with more sauce, divvying out olives between portions.

Hurry. Bread out of the oven, slice it with grandma's mean, graceful bread knife, watch the crusty shrapnel fly and the yeasty steam rise. Toss into a basket, cover with towel.

Parmeggiano on the pasta, a little more parmeggiano, a giddy fling of chopped fresh basil, smile at the colors, wipe the rims, to the table.

Wine poured. Glasses clinked. Fork to bowl to mouth to mmmmmmm ...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cure Your Own


Book I want: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing, by Michael Ruhlman. I'm putting it on my Christmas wish list. I reviewed his Soul of a Chef back when I had a book column - his writing is so easy and lovely. While I'm waiting to see if someone gift wraps Charcuterie and puts my name on it, Ruhlman's article in the NY Times made me wiggle with curiosity -- he gives instructions for curing your own bacon.

I might as well buy a whole pig at this point. Back fat, belly ... and to think that at one time in my life I refused to eat pork.

Praise the Lard

The foodie pipeline started whispering. Whispers grew to a murmur. Soon, we'll hear the roar from the stands. Our grandmothers will nod knowingly, and be proud: lard is back.

For an excellent overview of this subject, and a nice tale of a maiden voyage into cooking with (and rendering) lard, see Peter Wells piece on page 102 of December's Food & Wine. From his article (which cites a recent New York Times report by Corby Kummer), I gleaned the following:

- Lard contains just 40% saturated fat (butter has 60%).
- Lard contains 45% good, mono-unsaturated fat (twice butter's 23%).
- Lard tastes effing good.

Thing is, Wells tells us, the bricks o' lard in the supermarket are hydrogenated, which adds icky trans fat. The best lard is the pure stuff. Hungry Thom tells me he has a source for hog's back fat. We're making plans for a lard rendering party, followed by a lard dinner, which I will title Praise the Lard! and invite all my deep-fry-loving friends. Maybe Hungry T will make his famous biscuits.

And of course, golden, lard-laden pie crust cradling apples and cinnamon. I can smell it now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

An Irie Good Time & Elusive Joe

Happy birthday, Scoops. Tonight I joined Cheesy T and her man for his birthday dinner at Montego Bay. We ordered a round of the happy hour libation that had "Ecstasy" in the name, and I managed to suck down its pineapple-y banana-y coconut-y goodness before the waiter took our order. Liquid vacation. (The waiter, by the way, was roundly agreed to be mmm mmm good on the eyes.)

I'd taken wagers that Hungry Thom would order the goat. He has a thing for exotic meat. It was that, or the oxtails. I hooted and gave double rocker fingers of victory when he did, in fact, select the curried goat. Scoops ordered the oxtails, and there was fascinating discussion about whether this was, in fact, the actual tail, or if it was just a hind part of the ox. Regardless, there was, indisputably, a whole vertebra on his plate. Wow.

I had the Gunga Peas and a side of fried plaintains. After careful application of Scotch Bonnet sauce, it was just right. A good foil to the copy of Dirty Found 2 circulating around the table. This birthday present made its way toward me just in time for the seemingly 10-year-old busboy to catch a glance of gaping crotch polaroids. Jerk chicken and sexual awakening. Forever more, the rotisserie to that poor child will be like heavy ankles to R Crumb.

Coffee, like the weather, always comes up. I mentioned the new Stumptown Annex (can I call it a cupping room?) and both Hungry T and Scoops were eager to check it out. We three dashed across town in hopes that it might have late hours. Alas, closed and dark. Worse, upside-down stools in the Belmont Stumptown. And to round out the misery, after flying back across the bridge, an all-too-cheery "Closed early November 7th!" sign at the downtown Stumptown. We could see them having a staff meeting inside. I wanted to press my palms and nose against the glass and wail. Curses!

Where to get coffee without driving again? Hell, we'd even do Spanish coffees. Gilt Club: closed. Mother's bar: closed. Saucebox: closed. Brief talk of Shanghai Tunnel. Passed by Backspace, measured the too-hip factor, shrugged, and entered. Passable cafe au lait for me, "eh" coffee for Hungry T, fine macchiato for Scoops. Swept the chess pieces into the drawer and talked about whether rerouting gas pipe was an appropriate DIY project (verdict: no). Brief polling on the merits of Office Space (two yes votes) and Napolean Dynamite (posited opinion: funnier to talk about than to watch).

A really nice evening. And a Monday, no less.

The Planning Begins - Thanksgiving Looms ...

We're going to host a casual-format Thanksgiving dinner at the new house. Everyone has been forewarned that they'll be surrounded by boxes, the plates will be paper, and they have to bring a dish.

Brine: I am a huge fan of brining the bird. So we'll do that. I may follow a Chow magazine recipe for cooking it two ways - brined breast, confit legs. Seems easy enough and very likely to have tender results.

We'll do the potatoes. (Mashed, for god's sake. Please don't whip the potatoes. Save it for the bedroom.) Of course, we'll provide the beverages. I need to consult with Hungry Thom on a nice sparkling option.

If anyone out there has other good tips for cooking a turkey, fill me in.

So far, the guests have offered green beans, scalloped corn, yeast rolls, various pies. I'm hoping my brother will do a big batch of his famous sugo. Man, it's so good. He's even done it with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Incredible talent on that kid. We'll roll gnocchi by hand and it will be like the old days - big Italian family, wherein the lasagna sat right next to the spiral cut ham.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Superfecta***

Three meals, three well-established (historic, even) neighborhood joints. I really need to cook at home more often. In my new house (with my new mortgage) I have a feeling this will happen more often. My poor mixing bowls have missed me lately.

Breakfast at Junior's. Such a good spot. Service is always unobtrusive, cheery, a little bit punk rock, hot coffee in the mug before you have to ask. The decor reminds me of sitting in a happy, nutty little granny's parlor. The tunes are sublime. And the scrambles don't miss. Today - the Texas scramble for me, Spicy Spudz for Mr B. Mine was better (for once). Sweet corn kernels, red onion, spinach, cheddar, salsa and three eggs. The toast is soaked in sweet, warm butter. The homefries always have crispy, oily exteriors giving way to steamy, mealy middles. Mmm, mmm. We scrawled ideas for a dream kitchen remodel on a napkin, and fought only mildly about whether an entire staircase could be rerouted.

Lunch at Grand Central. Consistent, walking distance, the ponderous happiness of eating near giant ovens and fresh breads. Big bowls of White Bean & Bacon soup with thick slabs of a crusty wheat loaf. It was raining hard. A little kid came skip-running in, waving his hands around,dodging through the line of people, dressed in a head-to-toe ladybug outfit. Wings, tight-fitting hood with little red pom pom antennas. And black cowboy boots. Fabulous.

Dinner at Rose & Raindrop, where I helped Miss J and Chef B work on their CVs for jobs in New Zealand. They leave in March for a whole year of interning at wineries, ski lodges, etc. I am so jealous. I missed the window of opportunity and am about to enter an inescapable love affair with four walls and a roof. Won't be leaving the country any time soon. I'll sit in the backyard and drink Sauvignon Blanc and think of Miss J shearing sheep and traipsing off to Indonesia. Oh - I had the Mediterranean Sampler - hummus, tsatziki, cukes, olives, pickled red onion, warm pita bread. Good solid pub food at the R&R and they always have a booth. They were out of the steamers (poor Miss J), the Hale's cask conditioned (poor Mr. B), and the bread pudding (poor me). Vaguely annoying, but we recovered.

Sans bread pudding, we had dessert and tea at Rimsky Korsakoffee. That place is so fantastically creepy. Big, old Victorian with tiny framed photographs hanging from the ceiling, flowery cloth napkins, poetry vending machine. The lifesized stuffed doll in the kayak in the bathroom ... well. The lady at the piano played loudly and we tried to read our tea leaves. I had the very unseasonal-unregional Lemon Panna Cotta with Lavender Infused White Nectarines. Delicious, but too summery. Chef B's triple chocolate espresso thing was much better for a windy, wet night in Portland.

This week, I am vowing to make at least 4 dinners at home.

***Thanks to Hungry Thom, who pointed out that my original title on this post was "The Trifecta" when, actually, I list four dining spots. Thus, it's been changed to superfecta (definition: a racing wager that chooses the top four finishers in the order of their finish).

The Pumpkin Pie-Chocolate Ice Cream Discovery

Birthday parties often lead to interesting discoveries.

I was out late last night for Miss K's 30th bday bash. Salvador Molly's ("pirate cookin'") for dinner and foo foo drinks. I had the Amazombie, which had lots of everything in it, and was bright blue. It hit the spot. Then to East, a new hot spot in Old Town. I managed to spend way too much money buying drinks for other people. The four shots of Don Julio for me and the ladies was a climactic moment for my debit card.

Anyway - today was the continuation of said birthday party, only the family-friendly version. Miss K & the lil bro hosted at their place. Little cutie kids running around, lots of good polite conversation. Miss K's favorite dessert is pumpkin pie with chocolate ice cream. I had never had the pleasure of this flavor meld. Chocolate is so complex, and pairs well in surprising ways. Even in Dreyer's ice cream, you can detect that hint of natural cacao bitterness, and it played so nicely with the cinnamon nutmeg goodness of pureed gourd.

I think I'll make a pumpkin cheesecake one day, and add a layer of dark chocolate ganache.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A new fan of CHOW?

As I posted on my dinner club's blog, the food mag CHOW has come a long way in its first year on the stands. I wanted to write for them as soon as I saw the debut issue last year, but of course I am terrible at actually composing all the query letters in my head. It's very DIY, which is good for inspiration. Edgy, visceral, and yet has a certain direct elegance. Like Maggie Gyllenhaal. Or like ReadyMade for foodies. (FYI, the current issue of ReadyMade is the food issue!) I am even pondering a subscription. So, these are some highlights from the issue now on newsstands:

p 9 - A really good article on Gabrielle Hamilton, chef at New York's Prune, wild child, compared in the article to Anthony Bourdain, but I think she is possibly far more interesting (well, at least not so overexposed).

p 12 - An easy-to-miss clip about Matthew Herbert, the convention-mangling electronic musician, who "spent two and half years studying agribusiness and the world's food supply" and then made an album called Plat du Jour. One track is the sound of 3,000+ people eating apples.

p 67 - An excellent bit of journalism on country ham - the American Prosciutto.

In other news, I had yet another terribly scorched cafe au lait from the coffee shop at work. I've got to be better about setting my machine before I go to bed. Unlike my friend Hungry Thom, I am never, ever awake early enough to mess around with French press. My Capresso CoffeeTec was touted by all sorts of reliable sources as a fabulous machine. I'm a little disappointed with the milk frother, though. And I need to get the coffee:water ratio really, really perfect. I'm sticking to Stumptown House Roast for now (1/2 lb at a time, ground for drip, cone-filter, please), so I can be somewhat scientific about it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

How Dare You Mash My Baked Potato

Decided a rainy, cold, Portland night was right for baked potatoes. Got some really massive russets at New Seasons, brought 'em home, and while they baked I browned a finely sliced leek in olive oil. I love the rich, pungent flavor of caramelized onion-type things. It's like savory candy. Steamed some broccoli as a nod toward vitamin content, got out some good, sweet butter. Shaved some manchego (4-year ... the 14 year is just too spendy to melt on anything).

So when the honey got home from work, and proceeded to peel, cube, add warm milk to and mash his baked potato, I was miffed. We had a ... conversation, shall we say ... about whether or not mashed and baked were the same dish, or if he had just redefined my dinner menu. I went to all that effort, see? I wouldn't take a rolling pin to has Sunday morning pancakes just because I like crepes ...

Horrible Staff Luncheons

A conference room that smells like a Safeway deli is a terrible place. Sliced meat, mushy tomato slices and florescent lighting. Ehhhhhh ....

Lunches and staff meetings. I don't care how you try to dress it up, the scalloped edges on the black plastic veggie trays don't fool me. Why is it that staff luncheon pasta salad is always underseasoned? What is the fascination with large bowls of white rolls? The way the mayo bowl gets that hard yellow film over it is so ... oogy.

The chili wasn't half bad, though.

The Culinary Cross-Culturalism of Trader Joe's

Last night. Post-work, post-yoga (wherein I pulled a hamstring). Needed something fast. Gotta have the flavor. Of course, my kitchen is stocked with various and sundry Trader Joe's items. I don't have a problem with out-of-the-box eating, since it's better than out-of-the-drive-through-window eating—sometimes life is just too frantic to make osso bucco. (The sodium content and non-local sources of these packaged items is another issue. Hey, I'm no saint.)

Thus, my dinner was pistachio-currant studded Cous Cous (pre-mixed, in a box, just add water) and a vegetable egg roll (pull from the freezer and reheat). A random collision of Middle-Eastern mini pasta and bastardized-for-American-palates Chinese.

This got me to thinking about how weird this dinner would have been to my grandmother. Cooking for two boys and her lieutenant colonel husband in the 1950s, these items would have seemed exotic to an extreme. Especially the Cous Cous.

For me, they're just quick eatin'.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The evolution of a foodie, part I

I have a thing for food. I have a thing for reading about, growing, gazing upon, and otherwise exploring all things food. I chop, I dice, I mix until moistened, I whip to soft peaks, I boil, broil, bake and braise, simmer over medium heat, chill over night ... And of course, there's eating. Tasting, nibbling, chomping, savouring ... I'm a licking-the-bowl-clean, sopping-up-the-sauce, juice-running-down-my-fingers food enthusiast ...

Yep. I love food.