Metatalktail Hour: FOOOOOOOD September 7, 2019 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, with the seasoning changing, I am ready for some NEW FOOD! Tell me what you're eating! What are you cooking, what are you getting as takeout, what are you eating at fancy gastronomy restaurants? slenderloris is also interested in knowing WHERE you eat and ON WHAT you eat (disposable? Fine china?). Pictures of course welcome! Recipes welcomer!

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter, so tell us everything that's up with you! And send me ideas for future metatalktails!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:34 PM (106 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

DH and I went vegan a month ago for health and the animals. I've been cooking a ton of stuff from pickuplimes.com and her youtube channel. Delightful!

I'm still job hunting. Sigh...
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 5:49 PM on September 7 [9 favorites]


There's a local brewery near here that makes some wonderful beer. We're currently enjoying a growler. And now we're about to watch Mary and Max. It's that kind of a night.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Hug your loved ones. Hug yourself.
posted by Fizz at 5:55 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Oh yes! It went from 80 to 60 here in Maine. We turned the heat on for one cycle last night. Brr!

I got a lot of proteins on sale last week: St. Louis style ribs, pork loin, and burger. I put them all in the freezer, as I had made eggplant parm and way too much for 2 people, so we got more than I cared to eat of that!

This week:

- Tonight. Shopping day. Took frozen carnitas pulled pork out of the freezer, served with Mrs. Renfro's Green Sauce;

- Sunday: Broccoli cheddar soup, with homemade croutons;

- Monday: Thai green curry, vegetarian, with zucchini, green bell pepper, chickpeas, maybe tomato and cauliflower, IDK;

- Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin with homemade applesauce, farro, and acorn squash.

- Wednesday: Probably some leftovers of one the the above or more.

- Thursday: Grilled St. Louis style ribs, with grilled Romaine salad on the side. I finally convinced Mr. Mon Dieu that ribs are good, no, it's not too much work to eat them (as he said about wings, until I made him wings), so when ribs went on sale, I got them.

- Friday: This is a dream, I want to make homemade orecchiette pasta, and a meat sauce using Pom strained tomatoes (which I have!), and serving it in a big white bowl, family style, with lots of people enjoying it, and just living live, eating together.

It's just me and my husband, mind you, but I always cook as if there might be guests.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:57 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


It’s almost SOUP SEASON!!! I love making homemade soup and I probably make it once a week in autumn and winter. Favorites include beef/veggie/barley, cream of chicken with wild rice, cheddar-veggie chowder, and lasagna soup. I usually make an enormous quantity and then freeze some in individual portions. It doesn’t take long before I have a big collection in the freezer.

I used to get takeout a couple of times a week but I’m on a pretty tight budget these days so it’s down to 1-2 times a month now.

As far as where I eat, I live alone so I usually eat on the couch while watching tv. My cat usually sits on the nearby coffee table staring at me. I always use real dishes—I have white stoneware that makes pretty much anything I make look gorgeous and delicious.

I love talking about food and look forward to hearing about what everyone else is eating and cooking!
posted by bookmammal at 5:58 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


I grew a plot of watermelons for their seed this summer, which means I'm eating an enormous amount of watermelon. Since the dry beans are coming in right now I'm eating up the last of 2018's. The hens are laying pretty well too, so lots of eggs.

It's a good moment to be living alone.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:58 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


I'm interested to know if people who start work really early actually eat breakfast. I leave for work at five thirty AM most mornings, and all I consume before lunch at eleven thirty is an iced coffee or an orange juice. I love food but not before noonish.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:59 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


I made this Smitten Kitchen pasta bake today (sans sausage). It's super delicious but my kitchen was absolutely sweltering what with the oven preheating, the pasta cooking, and the bechamel going. I'm trying to do all of my cooking on the weekend since I have discovered that I am only willing to microwave things on weeknights. But for dinner tonight I splurged on Amy's frozen pizza. They are surprisingly delicious and way cheaper than takeout since it's just me :)

For plates, I love-love-love my botanic garden plates. My mom has a set and when she offered to get me some plates for Christmas, I asked for these. I don't why they make me so happy, but I love them so much, and they make meals feel like home. Plus they wear like iron and don't chip or scratch at all :)
posted by Mouse Army at 6:08 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Last weekend I made the first batch of my annual roasted tomato sauce, and tomorrow I will make batch #2. I'll use some of the sauce to make a lasagna for tomorrow's dinner and freeze the rest to use later.

Tonight's dinner was haddock baked in a hoisin-miso sauce, a cold noodle salad with cucumber, carrot, tomato, and a sesame-lime dressing, and broccoli sauteed with garlic, soy sauce and rice wine. Maybe a little summery given how chilly it was here this morning, but it was 87 degrees here just the other day, so it ain't fall yet.

Last night we went out for Japanese. I had nobeyaki udon and my wife had vegetable maki.
posted by briank at 6:10 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Had some decent fish tacos last night along with two pints of "Larryville Lager". It's one of the first brews from a local brewery that is making a different beer for each of Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods.
posted by octothorpe at 6:12 PM on September 7


My favorite little meal is whole grain peanut butter toast, with butter you grind yourself at a store, (honey nut roasted at Winco.) With it, a fresh peach sliced, a fine drizzle of honey with pumpkin seeds stuck on, with the honey. For early dinner I had blue corn chips with triangles of white, organic goat gouda, placed just so, and 6 marinated artichoke sections and a few teaspoon sized dollops of organic marinara. I microwaved this into nachos, and had my neighbor's hatch chili salsa for dunking. I confess I had pastry and tea for dinner. We all know I will go for Popeye's with the grandson later. *sigh* the food day started well and went downhill.
posted by Oyéah at 6:22 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


I have been eating entirely too much takeout/delivery (and have delivery on its way right now! "Avocado relleno" from a local Mexican restaurant). Friends talked up Sun Basket, so I put an order in Thursday, but that won't start until the week after this coming one.

There's a fancy-ish grocery store with a good deli counter where they'll make sandwiches. I ordered their Philly cheesesteak sandwich but asked them to sub grilled mushrooms 9which they had in the deli case) for the steak, as I'm pescetarian. The sandwich took foreeeeeever, and when I finally started eating it, I discovered she had just added mushrooms to the steak. As I was trying to pick the steak out of the sandwich, I also realized she had left off the onions and peppers, which I had been looking forward to. It was a very disappointing sandwich experience. (I ended up bringing it back to the customer service desk and asking for my money back, which they did. But then I was sandwich-less, because I had already been running late. Sigh.)
posted by lazuli at 6:37 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


I’ve been eating strangely and haphazardly lately, but a friend and I made a feast last night!

Into a grill basket we threw steak tips marinated in chipotle in adobo sauce, salt, and brown sugar, lamb marinated in a concoction my friend made with about fifteen different ingredients, and ripe yellow pluots. That went over very hot hardwood charcoal until the meat was chewy and juicy and caramelized.

Then we grilled peaches, nectarines, and halloumi cheese. Made a giant salad with carrots, beans, herbs, lettuces, and tomatoes from my garden. Steamed small artichokes and made garlic lime butter to go with them. We ate a big pile of these things with delicious Sauvignon blanc and made little crabapple tarts with crabapples from my tree for dessert. I’ve been having a rough summer and this meal was like a great big hug.
posted by centrifugal at 6:52 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


Mouse Army (I read that 1st as Mouse Amy), I love Portmerion; I have a giant salad bowl I got years ago, how has it never broken? I have arthritis in my hands and other joints, and now prefer light weight dishes, enamel or glass, but I have a stack of blue and white oriental china bowls that I enjoy using.

Yeah, Maine got cold; I had to close all the windows. My favorite hearty chicken soup has a stick of sausage in it, usually chorizo, because I made a clean-the-fridge pot of soup once, and 1 stick of chorizo (sliced and browned) added a ton of flavor, and you get the occasional spicy spoonful. Typing the recipe made me crave it, and I got the ingredients and need the energy to make it, ideally tomorrow. I'll make a huge pot of it and freeze quite a bit.

Thursday I put cauliflower in to roast and forgot to turn on the oven, quite a disappointment for lunch, but cooked it for a late supper, and the rest of it for Friday breakfast. I have been having BLTs on corn tortillas with home-grown tomatoes, arugula from the garden, thick bacon. A few Brandywine tomatoes finally ripened; they are spectacular and sadly did not produce well, making them rather precious.

Northern Lights were predicted, so drove to a lake a bit north of us, the cabin faced north, so the aurora would have been sweet. It had settled down, but we laid on the dock and admired the Milky Way in beautifully clear skies, and reflected in the water.
posted by theora55 at 7:15 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


It's salsa season here, finally! My tomatoes got a slow start and then got attacked by hornworms but in the last few weeks I've harvested enough to make salsa a few times and I have a bunch more that are almost ripe. I'm also growing tomatillos this year and I've made one small batch of tomatillo salsa. Our favorite salsa is just chopped fresh tomatoes (with excess juice drained off), onion, pepper (serrano or jalapeno), cilantro, lime juice, and a bit of sugar, salt and pepper. I don't measure anything, just eyeball, taste and adjust. I have a broken arm right now (for the second time this year, FML!) but fortunately my kids love homemade salsa so much they're willing to help chop.
posted by Redstart at 7:32 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


My garden is in the final throes of summer and I've got more butternut squash, hot peppers, eggplant and cherry tomatoes than I know what to do with. There will be no more after these, but right now it's just Too Much All At Once.

I made these butternut squash coconut muffins today and they're delicious though don't really use up that much squash. Tomorrow I'll probably put some squash on a pizza along with figs, arugula and goat cheese. We do have a tiny little fig tree that has like two tiny little figs on it, but it's also figs-at-trader-joes season.

The cherry tomatoes are mostly destined to be dried in the oven and chucked in the freezer. All my sauce tomatoes went kerblooey this year, so I've not been able to put any sauce up, which bums me out.

I made a batch of honey roasted red jalapeno hot sauce tonight that blew the top of my head off (I'm a hot sauce lightweight though).

I'll probably make baba ganoush tomorrow and take that to work for lunch all week, as I've been doing for the past month (so! many! eggplants!). Climate change has wreaked merry havoc on my basement (water water everywhere) but the tropical veg in the garden has been quite happy.

The chickens are fixing to molt so egg production is down and I think one of my girls is pretty much in henopause. I like her, though, so we'll see whether she kicks back into gear in the spring.

This all sounds like I'm dressed in gingham living on a farm, but I'm on a wee 3000sq ft lot in the city. We pack a lot in and I spent a lot of time today reclaiming my back yard from dying butternut squash vines.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:50 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


I'm trying to bake eggless brownies and they keep flopping. Anyone here have tips? I'm currently trying EnerG Egg Replacer specifically with a recipe it's supposed to work with, but I did something wrong and it's all soupy.
posted by eirias at 7:55 PM on September 7


Thing to add: Seattle is having a glorious thunderstorm right now - we hardly ever get them, so it’s a big deal! - and I’m standing barefoot under my patio umbrella, drinking a Space Dust IPA from a beautiful soda-fired beer glass made by one of my favorite potters and taking in the gorgeous chaos. Ahhhhhh.
posted by centrifugal at 8:18 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


You can grind nuts, like pecans to a heavy cream with water, and use it as egg sub. Look up the fluid measure of one evg, so you don't go over on the liquid.
posted by Oyéah at 8:35 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


I just bought an apartment so I’m really looking forward to outfitting the kitchen the way I want and not having to deal with shorty refrigerators, etc. I make pizza maybe once a week, on Sunday morning, during the cooler months, and I’m excited about finally using a pizza stone. I never wanted to get one before because the thought of schlepping it from apartment to apartment wasn’t especially appealing. Im also looking forward to making another sourdough starter and baking bread with the stone.
posted by holborne at 8:43 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


My daughter got her own apartment for her senior year of college, and she's definitely inherited mama's frugal gene to which she has added her own...idiosyncrasies. We got her a basic starter set of cookware, and she wanted mostly cheap plastic dishes and cups and so on (and promptly discovered that tomato sauce will stain plastic bowls like whoa). So far she's been basically making a pot of chicken and vegetable soup every morning and just eating on that all day, along with bread and my homemade jams. She knows how to do basics like rice and eggs, and we'd talked about how to cook dried beans, but apparently she got the message about soaking them overnight but not the part about cooking them for a couple of hours on their own after soaking. She wondered why they were too crunchy still when she added them to her soups.

Meanwhile mama is still trying to figure out how to enjoy cooking for one when she's got too much other non-food stuff on her plate. Lately I've just been cooking a few times a week, making several servings of one or two one pot meals like spaghetti or chili or stirfry of some sort. After 35 years of nightly cooking, It's a struggle to find the motivation to try new things. I feel like I'm about 5-10 years away from just buying Lean Cuisines and yoghurt by the case each week.
posted by drlith at 9:15 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


As I mentioned on AskMe some time ago, I have moved to a smallish central Iowa town for a new job. The vegetarian options are... unfortunate. There's nowhere very interesting to go for lunch, which is annoying, but the silver lining is that I am cooking and bringing my lunch more.

Lately that's been:

-Veggie paella (an unexpected disaster)

-Soupe au pistou (Great the first and second day, but bit by bit the sogginess of the celery took over)

-Chickpea sunflower sandwich, which is great (chickpeas make a decent tuna fish substitute) but I will have to remember to soak the chickpeas in the future because I don't love canned chickpeas. (Even when I rinse them.)

MeFites, hit me with your leftover-friendly vegetarian recipes?

This week I plan to make either an apple galette or a ginger stout cake for a literary event. I haven't done any baking since I moved, so I'm looking forward to it!
posted by Jeanne at 9:46 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


I do all my cooking for the week on Sundays, so the timing for this is perfect.

This week we're having:

1) Mussels in lemon-tomato sauce. Lotsa garlic and white wine as well.

2) Lime-baked sweet potato tacos with guac

3) Eggplant and chicken tagine

4) Burmese egg and okra curry

5) Was going to be charred baby octopus salad with lemon thyme salsa, but I got groceries delivered this week and in what I'm sure is a total coincidence, the two most expensive items I bought never got to my door. Sigh. $70. They better refund me.

Huge week at work coming, and my foot has taken running off the menu; I'm feeling nervy as hell and I can't run it out, boo.

I'm interested to know if people who start work really early actually eat breakfast.

I make bircher muesli with steel cut oats and fruit salad the night before, then eat at my desk when I get in.
posted by smoke at 9:59 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


on the going out front we are progressing nicely on Phase 2 of our “get to know the local places” project. this is where we pick a street close by the apt and systematically eat at every single restaurant (no takeaway places allowed under our project’s “rules”). Most of the places have been OK, no bad meals yet and a couple of newly discover gems that we can’t wait to get back to. I took a small project sidestep last month as a had the chance to eat at noma. their new place is just gorgeous and you have the feeling of being totally away from everything. it was the tail end of the summer “vegetarian” menu and I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying all 16, no-animal-proteins-involved, courses.

on the home front i recently learned how to make fresh pasta so that has been fun (so easy!) and as scandinavia is actually getting colder now I am moving towards more braised dishes. Also making a ton of pies with the plentiful apples :)
posted by alchemist at 10:03 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Jeanne, the vegetarian paella reminded me of Budget Byte's Spanish Chickpeas and Rice, which is kind of paella-like and which I've been meaning to make again for a while. It definitely works as leftovers.
posted by lazuli at 10:05 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


This week, with the seasoning changing, I am ready for some NEW FOOD!
Eyebrows, I see what you did there... I just want to know if it was on purpose or an, er, foodian slip.

My first couple of weeks as a full-time freelancer have been stressful--missing my job (at least a few colleagues) much more than I thought I would, feeling lonely and doubtful, the works. Also right now it's so hot, I mean it's so. hot. It doesn't leave much energy to do anything.

My husband's staying with his parents tonight, which is another lonely-making factor in itself but does mean that I can make myself Thai curry using my last veranda habanero (too spicy for him) and gorge on it: chicken, eggplant, bamboo shoots, baby corn, shiitake, habanero, rice, etc. When I was single I ate this literally two or three times a week (I'd make a big pot and keep eating it) and it's one of the few things I really miss now I'm married.

One thing I have converted my husband to is my peculiar variety of tuna salad, an excellent summer dinner: tuna, chickpeas, red onion, and black olives, plus garlic sauteed in olive oil and added oil and all. Dressed with red vinegar for me and ponzu for him, served with a side of sauteed brussels sprouts or asparagus.

Good fortune and delicious food to all...
posted by huimangm at 10:22 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


For my, uh, friends, this month’s meat set was

Jalapeño garlic bacon, cured with jalapeños from my garden, smoked with hickory

Buckboard bacon, which is bacon made from the shoulder instead of the belly, cured with brown sugar, black pepper, and a hint of molasses

Super garlicky kielbasa, with 3x the normal amount of garlic I normally use for kielbasa. You could kill a vampire with them

And bacon jam. I mean, you spend all that time hand slicing bacon, you’re going to have all those end bits that won’t fry well, and yeah, I could just keep putting them on salads and in Mac and cheese, but why not share the wealth?

Bacon Jam, a recipe

Chop up a bunch of bacon ends (lardons, if you’re being fancy) and cook them down in the biggest fry pan you have, until they’re crunchy bits of bacon love swimming in a pool of bacon fat. Remove them from the fat, set them aside in a strainer. Fill the pan til overfull with onions sliced as thin as you can get them, and caramelized the hell out of them. Like, set up a tablet in the kitchen, you’re going to be there for about an hour. Salt the onions, it helps draw out the liquid and speeds up the process a bit. When the onions are on their way to brown, soft, and slushy, add one really, really well minced jalapeño and a really solid sock of ground black pepper. Keep going, this takes forever.

When the onions are as brown as you have patience for, add a quarter cup of brown sugar, and mix well, cooking the sugar into the onions. Before it starts to burn, add a quarter cup of cheap bourbon, cook down, and add a couple glugs of balsamic vinegar. Return the bacon chunks, stir well.

Let cool a bit, then use a food processor to get to a consistency like jam. Spread it on the inside of the bread for a grilled cheese, or mix into a cream sauce pasta. Don’t mention what you’re eating to any insurance person.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:48 PM on September 7 [14 favorites]


I usually have Huel for breakfast and lunch during the work week because it’s vegan, gluten-free, cheap, nutritionally complete and saves me time but lately I’ve been switching to porridge/oatmeal in the morning at work. As an American in the UK, this has prompted some funny conversations with coworkers around how we do things differently. But because I was raised in an atypical home, I often have no idea if this is a US thing or a ‘my parents are weird’ thing. So I end up sitting there with my coffee mug filled with thick oatmeal (and not coffee, just using a mug because handle) made from hot water, contemplating whether to add butter (which the British refer to as ‘weirdly savoury’ but I find to be a childhood comfort and makes the porridge more like an oatmeal cookie, which is also not a common thing in these parts anyway) and a splash of milk on top of it all.

I’m pretty sure the British are right on this one. After all, my tea making practices were an absolute abomination until I learnt some common sense and decency .
posted by iamkimiam at 11:12 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Oh and I passed my ‘Life in the UK’ test the other weekend, which means I’m slightly better at the traditional pub quizzes around here. And I can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain soon.

If the wheels don’t fall off before then.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:16 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Supposedly the first day of spring was 1 September, but it's still blustery and rainy in Wellington. So today (Sunday) was comfort day:

breakfast : Dutch baby with handcut bacon (I make my own bacon) on my first chosen-just-for-me-not-from-parents-house platter, dinosaurs rampant from Calamityware.

treats for the team: Chocolate chip cookies

dinner: spatchcock chicken with blue cheese mashed potatoes. No pics, sorry!
posted by lemon_icing at 1:17 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I'm running out of money, so I'm working on eating yet more cheaply than I already did. The challenge for me is to eat healthy, tasty vegetarian food for dirt cheap, without having to spend hours and hours in the kitchen.

The past couple days my breakfasts have started with a bowl of 10-grain hot cereal (currently I've been using Bob's Red Mill, but I'm going to see if bulk oats work out to be cheaper still). After that I'll have a couple eggs fried in olive oil, over a generous portion of cooked chopped spinach or mixed greens. The spinach/greens is a nice one because I can buy it frozen for cheap, and I'll eat about half a bag in a sitting, so it's like maybe 50 cents or a dollar. I cook it with a generous tsp of Better Than Buillon vegetable stock paste and a bunch of black pepper, so it's nicely seasoned, very quick and easy to make, and hella cheap. The eggs I buy are a little expensive, but supposedly they're humanely raised, so I see that as something of a worthwhile expense (and there's always eggs from the people at the farmer's market, but those are a little pricier still, I think).

Literally the one thing I've accomplished this year is that I've gotten more confident cooking Indian food, and now that I have a full compliment of spices, it's pretty cheap for me to make a huge batch of dal, with a couple different varieties. It takes a little while, but I can hang out and do other stuff while it's simmering. I've even been confident enough to improvise a little, which says a lot for me; I forgot to bring my toor dal with me when I was housesitting, so I can't make that for a while, but a little while ago I made a decent dish of chana dal with spinach. A big batch will last me a few days at least, and I don't know exactly how much it costs me, but I know it's insanely cheap. The most expensive ingredients, by far, are the onion and tomato. I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to buy bulk frozen diced tomato, since canned tomato doesn't seem to taste right.

I'm also very happy to buy my rice at the Indian grocery, where I can buy 10 pounds of high quality Basmati rice for about $13. At this point I've made so much jeera rice that I can whip that up blindfolded, but a good quality rice is good on its own, too. I can vary that with brown rice, barley, bulgur, or couscous, all of which can be purchased in bulk and keep practically forever.

For variety and laziness, I also bought a bulk bag of Quorn chicken nuggets. One bag lasts me a little while, and it's pretty easy (and again, cheap) to have 7-8 of those with some frozen broccoli or something. For ultimate laziness, I can have someone pick me up a 12 pack of Annie's box mac n cheese for like $10 from Costco.

But! If I want to have a nicer pasta dish, I learned how to make decent fettuccine alfredo. My one splurge here was a block of nice parmesan, which was like $14, but is good for maybe 6-7 meals at least. But this recipe is literally just pasta, water, salt, butter, cheese, and black pepper. Comes together really quickly. It's this Bon Appetit recipe, if you're curious. Pretty soon I'll try making the Marcella Hazan marinara recipe, famous for its simplicity, which conveniently translates to cheapness.

My next major goal is to finally try making my own fake meats (I posted an AskMe about it earlier this year, but that project got sidelined by major life changes). I think it'll be way cheaper than buying stuff like Field Roast sausages, because I can buy vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast in bulk. The one thing is that it seems kind of time-consuming, in that you have to steam stuff, but thrift is a great motivator for me, and I think I can make this happen.

Well anyway, I could go on, but this is where I'm at, food-wise. Other than that, I'm having problems with my bike and probably need to get a new frame, if not a new bike altogether. Not happy about the expense, but the bike was free, and I figure it's worth the investment, since it's my primary mode of transportation. I've had some health issues for a little while, but I'm slowly easing back into my daily riding schedule. I'm sure having a new or newish, nicely-tuned-and-oiled bike will help with that.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:29 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


I eat bachelor chow, which is a combination of basically one meal a day and it's hard to cook for one and keep fresh things in the fridge / freezer without hitting the "should I still eat this" question. So it goes like eat the same thing for 4 days, eat something else the next 4 days. All hunter-gatherer like (ugg). One pound of ground beef and you're eating hamburgers or tacos or manwich for the next few days or it will go bad. Lately I've been really lazy and it's been corndogs and pizza from the freezer. Week before it was sandwiches. The norm is rice and beans and broccoli. It all comes down to avoiding spoilage and freezer burn and uggg zengargoyle caught pizza deal today, eat pizza, with a dash of use that can of pineapple and those jalapenos that have been there forever and put some extra parm on it. Sorta wish I had a couple more people who eat three meals a day to cook for.

+++

Rough week. During my failed attempt at a grand tour of family summer vacation I learned that my mother's husband had had a stroke and I should sorta deal with my sisters because mom has her hands full at the moment. My trip failed miserably. Now I find out MH has brain cancer and only a couple of months and is going into hospice care soon. I have to make maybe that final call sooner than later. We have let's say some history and I'm not particularly good at this sort of thing. It's all been hashed out and settled before, but it's still going to be a bit of an ordeal wishing someone off.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:46 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I am divorced. I was stuck with the fine china we got for our wedding. Ex did not want it and I did not want to toss it out. I use the plates whenever I get takeout. Any and all takeout. When the kids were younger and still living here, I would even put the rare trip to McDonald's on them. Chicken nuggets and tons of ketchup on fine china with gold leaf edges just seems right. For some reason, I have never broken one. I have not tried, but I have chipped or cracked my "everyday" dishes regularly to the point I now use Correlle.

The only time I do not use the fine china for takeout is when my GF is over. She does not like using the marital, pattern chosen by ex-wife, china. She's not wrong about that.

Now I have to confess I love my eating utensils. I have had them since 1992. The forks are perfectly balanced. They are heavy without being too heavy. The pattern is simple and plain. The spoons, both the soup and the teaspoons are also perfectly weighted. Actually, I do not have but 2 of the original teaspoons. The other 8 or 10 were lost over the years and when I say lost, I mean my kids took them to their room when they were sneaking food upstairs and got lost in their rooms or even thrown out to hide the evidence. I ordered replacements on Replacements.com, but those turned out to be cheap copies or not the same ones I had despite the claims to the contrary.

Don't get me started on glasses. Drinking glasses that is. I am a firm believer in them being heavy and solid. I actually have about two dozen of the same ones. I have ones I got at Ikea. (The ex took the family's glasses when she left.) I was at Ikea buying stuff for the house after she left and took with her beaucoup of our belongings.

I was having a party too with some friends who were in a band playing in the backyard and me BBQing away. I was going to buy a shitload of Red Solo cups as one does for a backyard party that included a keg and lots of summer drinks like vodka-lemonade, but when I was at Ikea I found some glasses I really liked and they were like $0.55 each. I purchased 100 of them. I put them out on the counter next to the bar stacked in a large pyramid with the glasses turned upside down, and told every one to use them and take as many as they wanted home when they left. That was about 12 years or so ago. I have 24 left. I probably had about 50 or so after the party.

I like my food spicy. Very spicy. Teeth and hair sweating spicy. GF likes her food bland. Very bland. Sharing is not happening. I add my homemade hot sauces to pretty much anything. Even my salad dressing is spicy. The food is just a delivery vehicle for my spice. I have also been eating PB&J sammies lately. My son was home for a few days and he asked me to get a loaf of bread and he was making them. We spent a lot of time discussing technique and PB to J ratios. His mother was a spread the jelly on the peanut butter person which is just insane. The key to a successful PB&J is to spread the jelly on its own side of the bread and then put the two together, not use one piece for both and then add a top. We can discuss different types of jelly or adding additional things into the sammie, but my son and I were sticking to the basic, traditional, cannot be beat, smooth Jif peanut butter, Welch's grape jelly on Martin's potato bread.
posted by AugustWest at 2:03 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


I'm trying to bake eggless brownies and they keep flopping. Anyone here have tips? I'm currently trying EnerG Egg Replacer specifically with a recipe it's supposed to work with, but I did something wrong and it's all soupy.

Applesauce (1/3 c per egg, if I recall correctly) works, though the brownies definitely tend towards the fudgy end.
posted by hoyland at 2:57 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the eggless baking tips, all. In the end I went with "husband gives the eggless brownies a try, knocks it out of the park, meanwhile eirias goes to sleep and gets up at 5 to make the eggy ones."
posted by eirias at 3:17 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Every Saturday I take my kids to this Japanese grocery store that has a takeout section that features all these prepared meals and snacks, including delicious sushi, bento boxes, curries, karaage, and onigiri. And one of my kids is on the spectrum, which affects her diet. She is practically a vegetarian because she hates the texture of meat. The only exception to that rule seems to be salmon. Not raw like on sushi, but grilled or in onigiri. It's the only protein I can get into her, so I'm more than happy to get her three or four onigiris if she's really hungry.

If you don't know, onigiri is a portable snack or meal that usually comes in the shape of a triangle, consisting of rice with something in the middle, and then it's all wrapped in nori, a seasoned, dried seaweed. There are several varieties like red bean, tuna, or pickled plum, but my daughter loves the salmon. I think it helps that all the anime characters she loves also love salmon onigiri. She even learned how to make her own, but I think she prefers the storebought.

So about three weeks ago I noticed they had a new variety they've never offered before, Spam. I did a doubletake. Really? Spam onigiri? I picked up the package and noticed it didn't look like the other onigiri. It was still sort of triangular in shape, but there were two triangles created by slicing the rectangular-shaped finished product diagonally, creating what reminded me of fancy sandwich triangles. The presliced shape was rectangular to accommodate the grilled slice of Spam, but unlike the traditional onigiri, this one had more than one ingredient in the middle of the rice. There was also a thin layer of Kewpie mayonnaise, and a slice of tamago, a Japanese style scrambled egg. So it kind of looked like a ham and egg sandwich, if you pretended the rice was bread and the nori the crust. I bought one and couldn't even wait to get home to eat it and instead noshed it down in the car. It was fucking delicious.

The following week they had them again. This time I bought three. At $2.50 for each, they're a steal. Again, my daughter and I didn't wait until we got home and instead, ate the first one in the car. I had my second for dinner and a third for breakfast the following morning. And we went again yesterday so I'm eating one right now.

I suspected early on this wasn't Japanese in origin, and I looked it up and that's kind of true. It wasn't first made in Japan and instead was a fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese cultures, with Spam being a food introduced to Hawaii by us, one of their colonizers. All these cultures and this history, wrapped in rice and nori, apparently produces something insanely delicious. I know it sounds odd, but if you're ever offered Spam onigiri, accept it. You won't be sorry.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:29 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Jeanne -- For leftovers, I particularly like a masala-style chickpea curry or a dal. I usually just make a bunch of extra rice when I make the curry. Also, this chickpea salad is good filling for sandwiches or topping for a salad, though it does get a bit soggy round day four.

I made this last night with some roasted celery. The celery was a bit of a revelation -- and now I know how to keep that vegetable from going bad after I've used the 2-4 stalks whatever recipe I made last week calls for.
posted by platitudipus at 6:06 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I am pretty much never not thinking about food. Most recent highlights: went to a lovely Mexican restaurant with friends last night and had the cochinita tacos, which were excellent. We had to wait a bit for our table so they comped us some very tasty guacamole. At the end of the meal, they gave us an extra frozen margarita they had made by accident and we all split it. Don't have any exciting eating plans today but will bottle some kombucha tonight! Last batch I made was super tart and I loved it; let's see if I can replicate it.
posted by ferret branca at 6:43 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I just finished plopping some beef short ribs into my old-school crock pot (Rival, with a floral/botanical print) with a sauce consisting of:

(In rough order of ratio, I just kind of eyeball it/taste test it)
Ketchup
Hoisin sauce
Honey
Soy sauce (extra dark)
Chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong, I go between using either this or sambal, depending on which one I have open/on hand)
Lots of garlic
Worcestershire
More garlic because we are not animals
Toasted sesame oil

Tonight will be corn on the cob and ribs. Yeah.

I also picked up some nice eggplants this weekend. Now that it's getting cooler, I might fire up the oven for the first time in a while and give black pepper tofu and eggplant a whirl tomorrow.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:48 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


After more than twenty years of mediocre results, I've recently figured out how to steam vegetables perfectly. Or, at least, in exactly the way that I like. (I guess I've never actually been taught how to steam things. It's one of many kitchen skills I just made up for myself and then never questioned.)

The first trick is to cook them for a very short amount of time over a high heat and a huge amount of steam. The second trick is to add each item with a proper time delay: carrots (beets, parnips) to start while the water heats, cabbage (brussels sprouts, onion, fennel, bok choi, chinese broccoli) five or six minutes in, peas (raddish, asparagus, calabrese broccoli, cauliflower) two or three minutes later. After ten minutes total, remove the heat and either dump out the vegetables or pour cold water into the bath to stop the steam. The difference between this and the mush I've been making my whole life is pretty amazing. A long, low heat works for steam buns, but it's terrible for vegetables.

I also recently discovered Trader Joe's Mushroom and Company brand umami powder. It's magical. (A tiny bit goes a very long way.)
posted by eotvos at 6:58 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


We tried a new local Indian restaurant last night, which was amaaazing except for the part where they brought us a chicken appetizer instead of the cauliflower we ordered. When they brought us the right one we could see why - they look basically identical plated up. So my husband got a bonus chicken app.

Dumsnill - I don’t work quite as early as you (generally get in around 6:45), but I take a breakfast and eat it at my desk. I never eat at home before work. Every once in a while I don’t eat til lunch but usually my body gets mad if I try that.
posted by obfuscation at 7:36 AM on September 8


There is usually a week at the end of summer/beginning of fall when it's cool enough that it's OK to have the oven on all day and, more importantly, tomatoes are still in season, albeit at the tail end.

This is that week.

We bought probably 60 pounds of tomatoes yesterday and I'll spend the next few days slow-roasting them to then stash in the freezer for winter. There was a time when I canned tomatoes, but that is honestly a lot of work for a payoff that, to me, is not that much better than frozen, slow-roasted tomatoes. The edges get slightly caramelized, the flesh becomes gently sweet. Most of the tomatoes are red San Marzano-style, though I did also buy a much smaller quantity of orange plum tomatoes (and tomatillos, for that matter) for the same treatment.

Most years, by the time we use up the tomatoes it's April and, while the weather is still iffy, the days are longer and you can tell yourself that spring is around the corner.
posted by veggieboy at 7:41 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


We're still getting CSA veggies through at least the end of October, and the garden is still dribbling out some veggies, so it looks like we'll be going through some more tomatoes, beets, turnips, and radishes. The freezer is still stocked with a lamb and a small pig I bought earlier in the summer, and I probably need to start thinking about sausage making soon.

Hunting season is just opening up around here, so I'm hoping I'll get some waterfowl this year. Squirrel season will be in full swing by the time we get home from vacation, so I'm looking forward to that. Squirrel is surprisingly good, like fine dark meat chicken. I'll also start getting pheasants next month.

We have a small peninsula in the kitchen where we normally eat, since it's just the two of us. Day to day, we use a set of Polish pottery that my parents collected when we lived in Germany; they've been downsizing over the years and handed most of it off to us. When I'm trying to be a little fancier (or we have more guests than Polish plates), we have a set of simple white china.

We leave for Scotland tomorrow (Islay and Glasgow), so I am hoping for a lot of good North Atlantic seafood (on Islay), an authentic chicken tikka (in Glasgow), and lots of good Scotch and local beer.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:51 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Well I can tell you what I'm not eating. Turns out no beef is the way to go for a happy stomach and I am in fact intolerant of all cow not just dairy. This is making me sad, but my intestines happy.

September is a busy time of the year. Lost of things getting pulled out, and a lot of things getting planted. My first fall bed is in. Bok Choy and Peas. I also nuked my tree collard with ladybugs in an attempt to kill those nasty grey aphids. It's been a busy but productive week at least.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:03 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Oh food. I love food so very much. We have the CSA share again this summer but the farm has not been as productive. Or maybe not as generous? Some of the stems on the greens have been looking terrible, very obviously cut a day or more before the farm packs them. At any rate here is a small sample of what I've made lately
  • red currant and plum jam
  • lamb with fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, oregano, thyme), lemon, salt, olive oil and toasted corriander seed. I did this in the sous vide with two boneless lamb legs and froze one for later. This is the single most decadent thing I've made all summer. I got potatoes from the grocery store and boiled those with lots of salt and then added butter after they had drained
  • Rick Bayless' Chili en adobo - so much cilantro and parsely we have six jars of this in the fridge. This has been nicknamed "angry pesto"
  • Pan grilled shishito peppers - we've gotten these a few weeks in a row. This weeks peppers are turning red in a dish because I haven't had tiiiiime for them
  • Roasted eggplant - we put the angry pesto on this
  • Curried chickpeas (one can chickpeas, one 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 can minus 1/4 cup coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, garlic, onion, one bumch of cilantro)
  • Tomatoes with mozzarella and basil
  • Corn. Just corn. Roasted in the oven and then shucked over the compost bag and eaten right off the cob
  • Cooked greens. Chard. Collard. Spinach. Kale. Sauteed in bacon fat or olive oil
  • BLT sandwiches
  • Melon with prosciutto
  • Roasted chicken legs, for their crispy skin and then the meat goes into soup.
posted by bilabial at 8:25 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I’ve been thinking about making my own kombucha but have been too scared to go down that internet rabbit hole because I don’t know what craziness I will have planned by the time I get out. I had my first kombucha when I was trying not to get drunk at this fancy local distillery, and subsequent purchases prove that it really hits that “treat yo self” spot in a time of my life when I want to cut down on my black tea and white wine consumption (my usual “treat yo self” beverages). Not AskMetafilter, should I jump onto that kombucha train?
posted by Maarika at 8:30 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I got myself an Instant Pot! and now hunting for a vegetarian south indian recipe book.
posted by dhruva at 8:47 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Maarika, my only experience growing kombucha was decades ago, so I defer to more knowledgeble people. I was a high school kid dating someone whose parents had given me the progenitor had very strong superstitions about the stuff that I felt compelled to adhere to: It must be grown only in glass containers. You can't sell or throw away the new mushrooms. Only specific kinds of black tea and cane sugar are allowed. The "you can't sell it or throw it away" thing is a horrible idea and makes the whole thing untenable.

But, if you just want to grow the stuff because it tastes good, without any of the ritual bits, it's easy and fun. Keeping one or two in the non-metal container of your choice on the counter isn't much work. A cheesecloth and a rubber band are all you need, aside from a starter mushroom. If you start with boiling water and wash out the bowl with it before filling, it's a lot less finicky and probably safer than brewing or canning. The only hard part is not making too much of it, or convincing yourself to throw some away.
posted by eotvos at 8:48 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


At the state fair I had an al pastor taco with a soft waffle serving as the shell. Holy crap, it was good. Strongly recommended.

But in normal, day-to-day life I'm trying to eat sort of healthy: lots of beans and whole grains, hardly any meat. It's apple season at the farmer's market so I'm eating tons of those lately.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:35 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Today is cooking day, for lunches and dinner components, plus using up what's lying around. We got some excellent peppers and, my favorite!! deep green celery stalks & leaves, from the in-laws garden last weekend.
Stuffed Anaheim peppers: red Jasmine rice, caramelized onions, goat cheese, herbs; or I can probably wheedle Mr Tacos into getting chorizo (because the there can also be nachos) and potatoes. There is a terrific lovely recipe for roasted stuffed peppers, using couscous and pinenuts, with a mint cilantro sauce, in Nigel Slater' Tender cookbook. But I don't have couscous at the moment. So I'll improvise with the red rice, make it a bit heartier, to stand up to the chewiness of the rice.
Lentil soup with broken pasta: recreating my favorite super simple basic brown lentil soup, using lots of garlic, and finishing with chopped fresh peppers: anaheim, green bell, mariachi, thai, plus pecorino romano. I throw the fideo (broken pasta) in the soup to cook, which also thickens and adds texture.
Beans and Rice with Sausage & Shrimp: sort of jambalaya, not really gumbo, not chili. Mixing a bunch of canned beans-- black, red kidney, small white, pink, and cargamanto. I would usually cook from dry, but it will make far too much along with all the other stuff. Using up more of those glorious fresh hot peppers, plus! the celery!; I love the super peppery spicy intense celery flavor of garden grown celery leaves, I might try drying some now that I think of it. I got some interesting looking chicken andouille sausage for my base, throw the shrimp in at the end, toss in loads of paprika all the way along.
Crispy bbq tofu: aaaahhh, I finally learned a couple techniques for getting really delicious crispy tofu. It's easiest with the pre-fried, but extra firm can work. I'm going to try briefly freezing it as well. Drain & press the tofu, freeze for a couple hours, then pull it apart in chunks-- DO NOT cut into cubes!-- make a good dry bbq rub and drizzle with oil. Roast high & hot (425 F) turn a couple times, until crispy brown & sizzling. Douse with bbq/hot sauce/ jerk sauce/door sauce ( the sauce you make by combing different hot sauces, sweet sauces, vinegars in the door of the fridge). I'm pickling green tomatoes today, too, so thinking the tofu goes into a wrap with those, plus shredded lettuce and probably yogurt sauce, or provolone cheese, sliced fresh tomatoes, red onions.

I get up at lots of different times depending on working, but I can't eat anything for 2-3 hours after getting up. Just cafe au lait and maybe a fruit & oatmeal bar or similar type of cookie--nothing sweet. I don't like any sweet breakfast food at any time, anyway; would far rather have something savory.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 10:00 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I've been ill this weekend and unable to go to York with friends as I'd planned. Instead I'm coughing, aching and making quinoa with roasted vegetables.

I have two cherry tomato plants that have borne handsomely, so there are a lot of cherry tomatoes for roasting. I did some with just olive oil, salt and pepper and some with rosemary. Toasted almonds, feta cheese, basil and oregano go in the bowl.

Then there's the green version: roasted broccoli, roasted garlic, roasted kale (the only good version of kale). That one goes well with halloumi cheese-- baked crisp if you have the energy for an extra step; just cubed if not.

Also, the person I hired to look after cats and plants while I was away seems not to have grasped the concept of plant watering, so I came home to a lot of dried up plants-- I've lost about half of this year's hops, it seems. The rest may come back next spring. (Luckily the cats fared better.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:25 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I just had a delightful salad for lunch. Kale from our CSA, steamed until slightly wilted; quinoa, added hot to the kale for additional wilting; corn from earlier this summer, (cooked, cut from the cob, and frozen until needed); black beans; tomatoes from the garden; and a dressing made from olive oil, lemon-infused white balsamic vinegar, juice of one lemon, salt, and pepper. Delicious, if I do say so myself, and (I think?) vegan as well. I was planning to bring this to a Scout picnic this afternoon, but the picnic was postponed at the last minute until next weekend, so I guess I’ll have to enjoy the leftovers and hope for more kale in the CSA this week so as to make it again. I don’t foresee many teenagers actually eating the salad, of course, but I think it’ll be a nice addition to the usual potluck offerings.

It’s been an odd transition back to the school year. My 12th grader is writing her college application essays and hanging out with her boyfriend, and my 10th grader is getting back into the swing of his own classes. As if to emphasize that summer is very much over, there was a 2.5-hour “back to school” night this past Thursday. Homework, quizzes, activities... it’s all starting up again. It’s always been a hard transitional week but this one has seemed particularly abrupt.

I went to the local high school football game yesterday to watch my son play with the marching band and, for the first time, I simply couldn’t watch the players on the field. It hasn’t been easy to watch football in recent years, but I’ve gritted my teeth and dealt with it. In any way giving the appearance of condoning, through my attendance, in 2019, in a public high school setting, the continued existence of a vicious, brutal sport that we know damages the brains and bodies of its players, is a huge struggle for me. I can’t abide the thought of seeing children suffer for my putative enjoyment. I hope none of the players were badly hurt, but I guess they won’t know the real toll of playing the game for decades to come.

Sorry, that got a little heavy there. Food! It’s yummy! So many talented cooks here on MeFi... thanks for sharing your meals and your dining routines.
posted by cheapskatebay at 10:35 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


My soup is simmering. I pulled out some potato and broth to have as a snack with butter, tasty. bilabial, thank you for mentioning corn, I can cook some in the soup to have for lunch. I've been adding steak or barbecue sauce to the non-dairy spread on corn and enjoying it a lot.
posted by theora55 at 10:40 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Despite the best efforts of everyone from my parents on down, I pretty much can barely tolerate most fish and seafood. This is a problem, partly because of course every doctor urges us to eat more, and also because Mr. gudrun loves it. So, I don't know how healthy it is, but I'm happy to report that Trader Joe's Panko Breaded Tilapia fillets are pretty darn tasty, even for me, and will be eaten for dinner this week.

As for what we eat it on ... when my parents were first married, they got a set of Stangl Pottery for everyday dishes, thistle pattern was what they got. When I moved out on my own they gave the set to me. Over time of course stuff had broken, and then we broke more here and there. So, I have replaced stuff over time via thrift shops and etsy (it's not expensive). I've bought a variety of patterns, whatever happens to strike my fancy, rather than trying to be matchy and stick with thistle. Here's a photo of some of my current ones (lunch size plates and a bowl in the photo, in order to fit more stuff into one photo.) An original thistle pattern plate is top center.
posted by gudrun at 11:06 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


My work is having an employee appreciation potluck thing this week, and I have no idea what to bring. I established myself as an excellent baker and cook last year, so there are going to be expectations. In the past, I would have seen this as a fun challenge. The problem is that cooking is how I show love, and I'm utterly disgusted with the dysfunctional leadership in my department right now. I keep trying to think of foods that would dogwhistle at how burned I am (Black forest pit of despair cake? Jerk something?), but I've got nothing. It seems like there must be a whole genre of traditional dishes in this vein, but I sure don't know what they are. I guess if I really wanted to show my displeasure, I'd just bring something storebought, but I think that's a bridge too far.
posted by gueneverey at 11:16 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


In light of the recent FPP on the "lost decade" of deleted mp3s, I have a future MetaTalktail Hour question suggestion:

Is there a computer file you miss that is gone and lost forever?
posted by sugar and confetti at 11:41 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Three memorable meals:

We were up in Maryland last weekend for a long-weekend getaway. I got to introduce the missus to a proper Chesapeake Bay blue crab feast, which also included steamed clams, mussels and shrimp. It had been years since the last time I got Old Bay under my fingernails.

Last night, for a little bit of a celebratory dinner, we had roasted lamb chops. I slathered those in mustard and coated them with panko before sticking them in the oven.

For lunch today, I channeled Jacques Pepin and made myself the best omelet I've ever made. This one only had roasted tomatoes in it, with a little salt and pepper.
posted by emelenjr at 12:41 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I diced a potato and boiled it and when it was almost done put it in the pan with some chicken thighs to bake so it browned in the chicken fat. This will now be the standard accompaniment to baked chicken thighs.
posted by HotToddy at 1:53 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Went to the Veg Food Fest yesterday with a group of friends and it was a blast! we got to eat so many great samples, got a lot of great food for cheap and generally had a lovely day
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:04 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Regarding the eggplants I have, one of them has a charming nose-like protuberance.

Fortunately, I'm in possession of a bulk pack of googly eyes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:37 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


I'm still torn between I love food as a thing and cooking as an art, but would also happily accept not having to eat at all and maybe even replacing digesting nutrients with a small nuclear battery or solar panel or something because really eating is a chore.

I happily jump in to cook with or for people and can rock a kitchen, but at home I still basically cook and eat like I'm living on a backpacking trip. I think I'm maybe 90% peanuts, GORP, or peanut butter by now and I don't hate it. I probably get a whole lot of my vitamin C from wild berries, too.

There's, uh, three kinds of nuts within reach of me at my desk, two kinds of dried fruit, two kinds of nut butter. Chocolate, too. And a bag of trail mix. My desk is basically a wild nest of trail mix, field guides and audio cables.

While my housemates have dishes and a kitchen, I just have a pretty tidy little camp mess kit and I like that just fine. I have stainless steel cups, plates and bowls and a really cute little 16-18 oz camp pot that's mainly just used to heat or boil water.

It also, surprisingly enough, makes a really fine batch of popcorn, which is maybe my favorite thing to cook and snack on right now and is very much fall appropriate.

When the weather is nice I like to cook outside on a fire. I've built a passable schwanker style hanging tripod grill and have a couple of baskets and grills I can hang off of it. I like grilling veggies and thick slices of apples and whatever else local that comes my way. Sometimes that's wild caught salmon steaks, or a nice acorn squash or spaghetti squash.

At this point I don't think I have a favorite food. I like lots of different kinds of food. No, wait, I do totally have a favorite food and it's an avocado with salt and pepper, right out of hand with a spoon.

Not on toast, not sliced on a salad, not over a burger or guac and those are all fine, but just hand me the whole dang avocado and the rest of the box. I'm just realizing I haven't had one in a month because every time I go in the store they're crazy expensive right now, and it's perhaps the least locally produced thing I eat on a regular basis.

Related plant life tangent, I have successfully sprouted a really fat avocado seed for the first time and it has cute tiny leaves. And, woah, I just noticed that the top of the sprout has moved a lot in the last 20-30 minutes as I moved it to a better spot by the window since it has leaves now.

I have also managed to resurrect a free tomato plant and spinach plant, but my kale plant is still an ornamental dwarf attempting to imitate a sad windowsill basil for some reason.

From two previous tomato rescues that didn't make it, I have successfully harvested and eaten 2 small ripe cherry tomatoes.

What I'm saying is is I'm in charge of the garden at the commune apparently we're all going to starve and it's not going to be pretty.

My favorite thing to cook for other people is either trying to make their favorite thing or whatever we have on hand and is seasonal. Sometimes I visit one or another of my friends that have kids for dinner and do the cooking. I find it easy to invent things on the fly, at least for basic home cooking.

One of my favorite simple things to cook is a really basic French omelet as per Julia Child. It's fast and easy once you get the knack and it makes people think you're a witch with magical powers. It all happens so fast and if you've never made an omelet like that before and you're used to the leathery slow cooked pancake style American diner ones I'll get reaction sequences something like "What the hell are you doing making that racket with the pan, wait that can't be possibly done yet why are you plating it, wait it is done... OMG THAT IS SO GOOD WHAT!? DO THAT AGAIN."

I am also really good at pancakes. Yep, my first pancake comes out weird, too, that's why you make it a small one. I may have put a gallon or two of different berries into pancakes so far this summer. I still can't make pancakes on a camp stove or cast iron, though, I go inside and use the fancy teflon pan.

Hrm, what else? Cat vs. animal rescue report this week is two chipmunks, a kangaroo mouse and a two foot long garter snake.

I also saw a huuuuuge owl earlier in the week. I don't think they'll ever not spook me when I get to see them take flight in the daytime and I'm not expecting it. They're basically invisible when holding still, and dead silent when flying so there's just this overwhelming impression that a large part of a tree just defied physics and lurched sideways until your brain registers that it has wings and isn't a tree at all.

Small orbweaver in door frame moved outside and rapidly increased in size, and there are spiders everywhere. They still creep my silly monkey brain right out but I also welcome them and find them fascinating. Sometimes I get up really close and waggle and crook my fingers at them like forelegs and sometimes they respond with foreleg raising and waving and acknowledge this on some level instead of running off or web-shaking.

Cat is still floofy and cute, if occasionally murderous. I can tell it's fall and cooling off because she's napping inside more, and she came in early this morning and managed to jump into my hammock and scare the crap out of me and curl up on my hip. She's still not a huge fan of the hammock and doesn't like the swaying.
posted by loquacious at 2:51 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]




If you name those, one needs to be AuberGene.
posted by wellred at 4:20 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


I've started making homemade pizza again now that it's a little cooler. It brings me such joy because it's delicious and easy! I bake it on my baking steel which is a prized possession.

I'm super excited to make some tortellini soup tonight to bring to work tomorrow. I'm going to try this recipe.

Unfortunately, my stomach hates me lately - I think I'm having difficulties with dairy. Or gluten. Or both. Which is like 90% of my diet, so I'm going to have to work on that.
posted by firei at 4:26 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


" For some reason, I have never broken one. I have not tried, but I have chipped or cracked my "everyday" dishes regularly to the point I now use Correlle."

So, if they're bone china -- if you hold them up to the light and they're translucent -- they're MUCH sturdier than anything else but the Corelle. Definitely sturdier than any earthenware or stoneware! They FEEL so light and they cost so much that people think they must be fragile, but bone china is super-sturdy! The sturdiness of the bone china justifies that high price point. My kids all started eating off my wedding china when they were like 18 months old, I haven't lost a piece yet (knock on wood!) and my kids are neither gentle nor careful.

Also, if you do want to get rid of it, you can sell it to Replacements.com, and then maybe get some new fine china that you really like and your girlfriend won't mind. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:41 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Today was a new roommate move-in day. To stay on hand but out of the way, I baked - a batch of flapjacks (the British kind of flapjack, that's more like a granola bar), a plum cake and a batch of these insane chocolate-peanut butter cookies that also have chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and some chopped-up peanut butter cups thrown in.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


It’s the time of year when I start feeling like we should really assess our frozen and pantry foods, so after opening this thread I went and checked our frozen fruit stocks and all we have right now are mango chunks and some kind of tropical fruit blend. I guess I must have had smoothie intentions, over a year ago? These days that sounds like a lot of effort and noise for the morning, so I made this recipe for mango cake with cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg, sans nuts, with maybe 20% less sugar and spooned it into muffin tins for about 20 minutes bake time. I can report it only makes five muffins, but they’re quite tasty.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:19 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Now that theres been a few nights of frost, the berries are nice and sweet so Ive been picking: low bush cranberries and lingonberries, that I put on/ in everything, and rose-hips for tea.
I cook on a wood stove- and breakfast these days is cowboy coffee (black with a hit of cinnamon) and oatmeal with the aforementioned berries, a buncha fruits, nuts, & birch syrup.

The northern lights have been pretty good these last few nights, now that its dark enough to see em- so trying to wake up in the night to check.
posted by cabin fever at 10:39 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I love food, so much. Great thread.

Maarika - kombucha is SO easy! I went to a class that was a part of a church fundraiser on a whim, and have been making it since. I think I'm on my 7th or 8th batch, and have only had one that didn't turn out well. I like it more than store-bought, and my friends love getting bottles of whatever flavor I have at the time.

I renewed my CSA this year. Last year, I felt like I was too precious with the veggies - I felt like anything less than the best recipes using them was a waste. So, natch, a lot of them withered in my fridge and ended up in the trash. This year, my goal is just to eat them. I'm doing a lot better with less waste, even though it's 1 person eating it instead of 2. Except for the summer squash, because I just don't like it.

One of my favorite, dead-simple recipes is pan con tomate. Slice some good crusty bread. Either brush w olive oil and throw on the grill, or toast it and then brush with oil. Rub a clove of garlic on it. Cut a tomato in half, and rub the cut side on the toasted bread. (The hard toasted edges of the bread act like sort of a grater). Sprinkle with salt. Done. Some recipes have you using a box grater to get a tomato puree, I don't bother. It's so unbelievably delicious for how simple it is. I had that and an ear of corn for lunch on Saturday.

Non-food #FigsLoveLifeWeeklyUpdate blahblah, things are still going amazingly well with the manfriend. It'll be 5 months in a couple of weeks, and we are both still completely smitten with each other. I'm standing up in a wedding next weekend, and am really excited to go to a wedding with him, and we are planning a little mini-vacation for October to Galena IL, which is a small town on the Mississippi with B&Bs, old buildings, shops, etc. It's supposed to be all quaint and romantic and shiz. It was either that or Raleigh NC.... I still sort of want to go to Raleigh, but maybe next time.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:49 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I just made chocolate self saucing fudge pudding. I also did all the dishes and put the bin out, while listening to a chapter of Dare to Lead - by Brené Brown - it's an audible book I downloaded when on a binge of using my credits so I could cancel my audible subscription.

It's been a crappy weekend of blood loss (an unexpected early period that is much heavier than they've been as I'm off birth control, on purpose.) Couldn't find any pharmacy to get tranexamic acid without prescription. Sat in the emergency room for 3 hours before deciding to give up and go home. This was the weekend I wanted to get a whole lot of marking done, and instead I lay around feeling light headed. Today I just felt light headed at work, which wasn't a huge improvement.

But pudding makes things better.
posted by freethefeet at 5:00 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


there's just this overwhelming impression that a large part of a tree just defied physics and lurched sideways until your brain registers that it has wings and isn't a tree at all

This made me laugh out loud at my desk. I love owls :)
posted by eirias at 5:10 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


It's definitely chillier now, so I am looking forward to putting the instant pot to good use again. Especially as I want to get some bulk freezer cooking done as various evening commitments are reappearing and a quick dinner will soon be required. Currently I have plans for a lamb tagine this week and some other recipes earmarked but if anyone has any UK instant pot recipe blog recommendations, I am all ears. Must have actual metric weights though - I do not wish to spend my time converting random things.

My lunches this week are a roasted broccoli/olive/sunblush tomatoes/pinenut pasta salad from The Green Roasting Tin and breakfast tends to be granola and yogurt, eaten when I get to work as I can't stomach eating first thing. As it get colder, porridge on the weekends seems more and more likely.

We currently tend to use enamel plates which survive their run ins with my dishwasher (the husband) much better than anything else. Also easy to replace/add to if needed.
posted by halcyonday at 5:28 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm never around to do these threads on the weekend; I'm glad we have them open during the week as well.

..."What have I been eating" was a bit of a challenge in August; I was living on my own for the whole month, with one roommate having moved out in the end of July and the current one only just moving in yesterday. (That was partly intentional on my part; my lease was about to renew and I didn't know the new rent in time to tell people who'd have been moving in for August, and I had the savings to cover the month all by myself so I decided it was fate. Plus living alone for a bit was kinda awesome.) Anything I made would have to be eaten solely by me, so I had to consider the potential longevity of leftovers very carefully. I also have been getting a lot of things in my CSA, and they've all been piling up; the plum bread I made yesterday was partly to have something on hand I could eat for breakfast in the mornings, and partly because "oh my god I still have like nine plums from last week's CSA distribution that are sitting there and I'm getting another 3 pounds of fruit tomorrow halp".

But the CSA has created a couple of new food habits:

* I signed up for a share of coffee this time around; when we signed up back in March, my last roommate was interested in that because he's a massive coffee person, and we didn't know then that he would be moving to L.A. in July. So I now am getting a pound of coffee every other week, and I don't drink in the amount that the old roommate did. ....However - proper French cafe au lait calls for twice the amount of coffee than a regular cup. So - I have switched over to making myself cafe au lait every morning for the forseeable future until the coffee supply ramps down some. ....Then I'll switch to just doing cafe au lait on the weekends. (Current roommate mentioned before he moved in that "I have some coffee I can bring if you want it, I got some recently but I've had to cut back..." and I just cracked up.)

* One of the other CSA members put out an alert that she had a sourdough starter and she was willing to share if anyone was ever interested. I claimed one of the bits - I don't bake bread all that much, but it was always something I was curious about and couldn't ever seem to get going. When I went to pick it up, it sounded a little intimidating; she gave me a few links for research, and so far to maintain my starter I've been following the advice over at Zero Waste Chef, since she had a whole section on maintaining and living with a sourdough starter, including one she called "how to prevent your sourdough starter from taking over your life". That one was right up my alley, since I wanted this to be more of an "I have it in my back pocket when I need it" kind of thing. Her post was about keeping your starter on the petite side; part of maintaining it is that you have to feed it every so often, and every time you feed it you have to get rid of most of it. If you keep it small, there's less waste starter to throw away. And it's easy to grow it big enough for if you're going to bake with it ever.

But what really sold me: one of the things she suggested that you do with the starter you're getting rid of each time you feed it is to make pancakes with it. If you keep your starter small, she said, then all you needed to do when you fed it was take it out of the fridge, dole out the half cup that you need for the pancakes, and then what's left over is pretty much the exact perfect amount that you need to leave behind and feed with more water and flour. So that's become my Sunday ritual now - take out the starter, dole out the half cup I need for the pancakes, mix up the flour and water I need for the starter and put that back into the jar, and leave that out on the counter to warm up and bubble up for a few hours. Then I make two pancakes for myself and have a leisurely breakfast of sourdough pancakes with fruit. By the time I've eaten, had some leisurely reading and done the dishes, the starter's usually ready to go back in the fridge.

* One thing I played with for August is making a quiche on Friday nights; I also get eggs as part of my CSA distribution, and I usually had some to be used up before the Saturday morning pickup as well. So a couple times I made a quiche as a sort of catch-all use-it-up approach; all I needed was a premade pie crust and some cheese, maybe some bacon. I'd pull out whatever vegetables looked especially like they needed using up and saute them quick; then slap the crust in a pie pan, sling some shredded cheese on the bottom, lay the vegetables on top, and then mix up about three or four of the eggs with some milk and pour that over, adding some more cheese, and into the oven it went. A quiche was pretty amenable to being a leftover that lived in the fridge for grazing on whenever I needed it.

...We're getting into fall now, and I'm probably going to be switching from catch-all quiches to catch-all hand pies. There's a recipe from one of the Moosewood cookbooks I tend to make every fall - it just feels like the right time for it, and that will be coming up soon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:03 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Oh, serveware! And I also have a question for all y'all.

My cafe au lait is in a mug that I picked up nearly 20 years ago when I did a solo road trip cross-country. I stopped over in Moab, Utah one night, and had breakfast at this funky little coffee shop where there was an honest-to-god jug band on the porch. They also sold all kinds of hand-made-by-local-artisans stuff, including these great hefty mugs in gorgeous colors; mine is in shades of blue and purple. When I went to pay for it, the clerk said that she especially liked those mugs because they had some serious heft to them. That mug is one of the few intentional purchases I've made; a lot of other serveware I've got has been stuff that I've snagged from people who put things out on their stoops in boxes that say "free - please take!" If the dishes are in good condition and aren't butt-ugly, I take them and give them a good wash and a new home.

---

And now a question - another thing I sometimes have done to cope with the onslaught of CSA fruit is to make jam out of it. It's easy enough to do and prolongs its shelf life. However - I do not actually eat that much toast, so I have now built up a lot of jam that needs to be used, especially the half-jars that ended up not being enough to fill up a jar enough for canning. I'd like to use all those little bits and bobs of jam up somehow.

So - anyone have any good recipes that use small amounts of jam? Again, please assume I am not going to just eat it on toast. I don't do toast for some reason.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Empress Callipygos, what about mini cheesecakes topped with various jams?
posted by wellred at 7:43 AM on September 9


that could work, although I don't forsee a need in the immediate future for multiple quantities of mini-cheesecakes. Assume that this would be for a single diner.

(then again the roommate did want to have some kind of an apartment-warming party when he's settled, maybe I can whip through a bunch of jams that way....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on September 9


Swirl a good spoonful of the jam into plain yogurt for an almost-as-good-as-ice-cream treat.

After you pan-fry pork chops or chicken, deglaze the pan with some broth and something sweet: a splash of cider or juice, or a spoonful of jam of any flavor. S&P. If you want to play up the sweet-tart flavor, add a tsp of Dijon mustard, or not. Whisk and reduce. Take off heat, swirl in a pat of butter. Delicious pan sauce, works with any jam I can think of.

Hard cheese with a dollop of jam on top. The OG is Basque sheep cheese and dark cherry jam, but can work with lots of combinations.
posted by Liesl at 8:18 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, maybe multiple types of rugelach?
posted by devrim at 8:20 AM on September 9


EmpressCallipygos, thumbprint biscuits are made for using up bits of jam. (theoretically they could also be frozen but I've never had any left tried.)
posted by halcyonday at 8:37 AM on September 9


How well do thumbprint biscuits store, though? I've always been leery of doing that because when I bake cookies I'm usually going to end up storing at least a couple dozen of them for a good while, and I've always been unsure how well the jam on the cookies is going to keep.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on September 9


(Although, FYI I also have peanut butter I'm trying to use up, so if the longish-term-storage issue can be sorted out I can go with peanut-butter-and-jelly thumbprint cookies and do double duty.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:49 AM on September 9


Ugh, why do I have to eat so much to stay alive? It's so expensive.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:02 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Small amounts of fruit jam can also be used in all kinds of savory/sweet applications where you would normally use sugar/brown sugar, such as sweetish stir fries. The classic grape jelly cocktail meatballs can be adapted to other types of fruit jelly/jam. You can use it as a glaze on fish or chicken, either sauted or baked. You can use it to sweeten homemade dressing, such as a strawberry or peachy vinaigrette. Cheese and jam are natural pairings, and grilled cheese sandwiches with a bit of jam (and me personally, also a dab of sambal oolek) are soooo good. Just basically remember that anything sugary will burn quickly at higher heat, so add toward the end for most sauted/stir-fried applications.
posted by drlith at 10:05 AM on September 9


My girlfriend and a friend of hers are on a quest to find the best local bahn mi. Last night, the three of us went to a local strip mall that my ingrained classism would probably have kept me out of, where we found a newly opened instance of a local bahn mi chain, a Vietnamese bakery that also does bahn mi, and a dim sum place with a gorgeous looking array of roasted duck hanging in the window.

We went home with 5 different mini banh mi to taste, a HUGE array of Vietnamese baked goods, and a half pound of crispy roasted pork from the dim sum place. I had my first Vietnamese mooncake (oh, gods, that was amazing), a bunch of things filled with mung bean paste (I find that I prefer red bean, though), and what was easily the best roast pork I've ever tasted. One of the bahn mi included Gio Thu, Vietnamese head cheese, and man, that was taaasty.

In exchange for them introducing me to these things, I've got Amazon delivering me 4 1-lb packages of Habbersett Scrapple, and I will be showing them the joy of Eastern Seaboard comfort food.
posted by hanov3r at 10:20 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


In June we biked to the coast and harvested salt and sometime soon we'll be biking to out near Salem and we've been invited to glean as much hazelnut as we can haul home on our 8'-long 300-lb capacity Bikes At Work trailer. Then in the dark of winter, we'll be biking out to a Super Secret Truffle Spot. Salted hazelnuts roasted in truffle-hazelnut oil. That's going to be a thing. Happy to take anyone who lives in Portland and wants a bike ride.

Mostly it has been tomato soup and dried tomatoes and powdered tomatoes and dried tomatoes packed in oil. Gallons of tomatoes every week. Tomato season and pear season and apple season, and persimmon season is coming, the melons never made it, so we missed melon season, but I hear that's normal for Portland. Kiwi berries are amazing, they somehow taste like wintergreen. It will be time to dig up all the potatoes soon. It's time to plant out winter vegetable starts.

I finally quit refined sugar earlier this summer. I define refined sugar as anything where the fiber has been processed out. Everything else got sweeter; it's a delicious consolation prize.

My favorite spice blend of the moment is hawaij from Yemen, recipe found in Spice.
posted by aniola at 1:07 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Empress, Put the jam on the sourdough pancakes. Include a layer of cream cheese if you like cheese blintzes.
posted by mightshould at 2:49 PM on September 9


What I eat is either super boring or take out, but I'm always happy to talk about what I eat on: Syracuse China! They (mostly) made heavyweight commercial dinnerware from 1871 till 2009 when they went out of business.

Like many people from Syracuse, when I go to a diner or anyplace that serves their food on this particular kind of china, I flip the plate over to see if it's Syracuse China. I'm always so thrilled when it is.
posted by lyssabee at 3:57 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


We got an authentic Neapolitan pizza place out here in the NW Chicago 'burbs. And I mean authentic. 00 flour, sauce made only from San Marzano tomatoes, pies with rapini and fennel sausage... good stuff. The guy making the pizzas turns out to be the owner, and the extree similarity between this place and Chicago's famous Neapolitan joint Spacca Napoli turns out not to be a coincidence... he used to be a primary pizza maker there.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:00 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


wellred: If you name those, one needs to be AuberGene.

Pour one out for AuberGene, who's in a tastier place now.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:17 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I'm between jobs, so I've been taking advantage of sales lately. Yesterday? Many, many cans of canned green veggies (which will be good for earthquake supplies - I live in Seattle), and a few cans of 'Frozen' branded Campbell's chicken soup. Not the fanciest of food, but I have a cold, so it'll do.

However! It's starting to be Fall, and in my world, Fall means one thing - homemade kimchi! I love making a vegan white kimchi, with napa cabbage, Korean radish, and an apple. It's quite delicious, and when cold enough, I can store it on my porch. Just today, I got a napa cabbage from my Buy Nothing group - someone else got it, and didn't need an entire cabbage for one soup recipe. So, I got the rest. Napa cabbage lasts in my fridge quite well, and it's one of my favorite vegetables.

In chicken (or another soup), it's divine. Here's how I prep them for soup:

Take a couple of leaves of the cabbage, and wash them well.
Rip them up in small pieces.
Put in a bowl, and toss with a teaspoon or two of coarse kosher or kimchi salt. (Alternatively, a couple of dashes of table salt.)
Let sit until the thick sections of the leaves start to get bendy; about 30 minutes or so.
Rinse the cabbage thoroughly, then drain.
Then, put the cabbage in the soup, and cook the soup as normal - the texture will be nice and soft, and the leaves will soak up the soup flavor wonderfully.

This is similar to the first stage of making napa cabbage kimchi.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:55 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm in Philadelphia for work and went to Vedge for dinner last night. I had the stuffed avocado with romesco, pickled cauliflower, “fried rice,” and black salt; the shaved brussels sprouts with smoked mustard, crispy shittake, and pistachio; the black plum tart with smoked pecans and toasted earl grey meringue; and the blueberry cheesecake with lemon-poppy gel and lavender ice cream. No pictures due to dim lighting, but wowza, it was good! Tonight I'm going to V Street and I am SO excited.
posted by wicked_sassy at 4:25 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


It's mushroom season in Norway! Which means my wife has been bringing home all kind of mushrooms for weeks now. The only one I've myself cooked with are chantarelles, which I put in a risotto the other day.

And we had a bunch guests over last weekend, which I cooked boeuf bourguignon for. Due to a combination of late cancellations and my wife's insistence that we should certainly not cook too little, we ended up with probably four times as much food as was strictly needed. So the freezer is pretty well-stocked at the moment.
posted by Harald74 at 5:39 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The dinner I whipped up last night:

* A salad made of a quarter pound of blanched green beans mixed with a small handful of cherry tomatoes and a single slice of prosciutto, chopped up, drizzled with a little red wine vinegar and some rosemary-infused olive oil (the oil was the result of an earlier project that came of my wanting to prune back my rosemary).

* A "frittata pizza" - two beaten eggs cooked in a skillet until just set, topped with a couple slices of fresh mozarella, a few spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes and an anchovy fillet chopped up, slung under the broiler.

It used up some CSA haul and it took about ten minutes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I'm just a girl, at my desk pounding a bag of cocoa almonds i got from Aldi.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:44 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Lobster mushrooms in everything, the woods are bursting with them. Chanterelles will be here any minute, too.

Zuchinni fritters with green onion and tarragon topped with homemade aioli.

Grilled lamb hearts (from last year's cull) with plum ginger bbq sauce. Got to make room in the freezer for deer meat!

Peach and huckleberry pies.

Basically anything to get through our garden / orchard harvests. Then it's canning time!
posted by ananci at 10:29 AM on September 11


ARGH.

I probably killed my poor avocado sprout. I did some homework and learned that A) my instincts were right that trimming off the first buds and top of the stem can kill an avocado sprout, especially in cold climates like mine this late in the summer and B) you can sort of bonsai an avocado instead of trimming it by bending the stalk down so bud new growth forms at the highest part of the stem as it does it's thing and tries to shoot up into sunlight.

Well I was trying option B and left the stem bent overnight - so far so good - and then I was adjusting it this morning and just broke off the dang stem. Oh well, I guess I am now also trying option A and hoping it forms new buds. It's a big, healthy seed so it has plenty of food for a while, so we'll see how it goes.

I'm so invested in this because it's been really difficult to get avocado seeds to sprout up here - this is like my 6th attempt this year - and because I'm honestly horrible at long term planning and goals, so there's some symbology here about trying to do more of that.

And if I manage to get this one to grow leaves and turn into a house plant, I am planning on giving it to my friends to put in their cafe and book store to add to their growing jungle and I know it would thrive there. And then part of me could be there all the time.


Oh well, the cat still loves me. Early this morning she came in chirping at me and obviously wanting a cuddle and I scooped her up and snuggled her and then she was so happy to see me she did this new thing with her paw where she fully extended every toe (and claw!) into a hand and gently held two of my fingers like she had a very pointy hand, and wouldn't let go. This cat normally does not like having her paws or pads touched or bothered at all, so that was a thing.

I am really into this cat even as someone who just likes cats, and was reflecting on our connection the other day.

We have a lot of similarities. We're roughly the same age if you do the math between human and cat years. She's very floofy and soft on the outside and pudgy, but is also stocky and very solid and all muscle underneath. She is an outdoor cat and farm cat and is decidedly more solid than liquid as cats go. She doesn't move very fast unless she has a reason to and then when she does she moves so fast you're not sure if you're seeing things or not. She's never been mischievous by knocking things over, getting the kitty crazies and is otherwise relatively calm and stoic. She's fog grey and mostly monochromatic but has hidden stripes and a subtle hidden white star on her chest, which is an aesthetic I can appreciate and emulate. She also seems to really like the fog and rain. I'm not kidding about the part where she'll go lay down in a heavy drizzle in soaking wet grass. I'm pretty sure this cat would dive in a pond if she knew there were fish in it.

I'm just really into how floofy, huggable and solid she is and how we have really well matched attention spans Out of all the cats I've lived with we probably get along the best and she's bugged me the least. We've had full-on moments right out of a smarmy cat food commercial where she's standing on my lap and chest and pressing her forehead to mine and she's just purring her face off for, oh, five minutes.
posted by loquacious at 10:38 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


And she also almost always shows up when I start talking about her and demands attention, like "You could be petting me instead of talking about me, silly." Hi cat. Ok.
posted by loquacious at 10:39 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I have been doing a thing I call "hobo lunch" (and then worrying that the word hobo is problematic?) where I take leftover rice and a can of beans and whatever cooked veg (often brussels sprouts and/or peas and/or baked potato) is in my fridge and heating it in my little 6" enamelled frying pan with olive oil and red chilis. Alt name = fry-up.

I am solo with my kid right now so the meal rotation is something like this:
spaghetti with bacon and peas
roasted chicken with oven fries and veg (she loves brussels sprouts)
fish and rice and veg
?????? (tear out hair/collapse sobbing, I'm so bored of cooking and we have literally two (2) restaurants in this town)
finger foods - salami, cheese, raw veg, apple slices with peanut butter, pickles (I have to limit her pickle consumption to two a day)

and repeat.

She won't eat pizza, doesn't like lasagna or casserole, won't eat red sauce on pasta, and has just started telling me that when I make chicken it comes out "slimy" [aaaahhhhh wtf I can't lose chicken as an option] so I am just floundering over here.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 2:05 PM on September 11


Would cooking the chicken in the frying pan be an option?

Hope this helps - here's what I did a lot in college (usually with the intention of eating the chicken w/ a bowl of rice & some veg):

- Slice up chicken breasts (or other parts) into smaller pieces, roughly a couple cm thick (so, not big chunks)
- (Optional, marinate w/ whatever you want or got: Drizzle chicken pieces with a bit of sesame seed oil and soy sauce, sprinkle on some salt)
- (Also optional: Dice a few stalks of green onions into tiny pieces, put aside in a little bowl for later)
- Heat up burner on the stove, med-high
- Put olive oil in pan
- Add chicken, flip as needed to cook both sides evenly (I like getting them a little bit seared). Lower the heat as needed to avoid burning or drying out the pieces (unless that's what you're going for, that works too - I like em to stay a little juicy)
- (Add green onions near the end (once you see the chicken start to change color almost all the way through)
- Slide into a bowl or plate, salt and pepper (etc) as needed

I'm thinking pan-cooking the chicken should cause enough moisture should evaporate that the chicken's, er, potential sliminess will be low. (Not sure what the official cooking terminology would be - it's not really stir-frying but not exactly sauteeing?) Also the cooking time is usually pretty quick (though the prep time might not be, but I tend to be on the slow side when it comes to prepping food for cooking).

Speaking of chicken, does your kid like eggs? Omelettes/scrambled eggs of varying variations are also pretty quick to cook in a pan. (And they also go great with rice!)
posted by rather be jorting at 5:18 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


She'll eat egg pie (crustless quiche) but scrambled & omelettes are a no [here's my eyeroll emoji]. Thank you for responding to my cry for help, I think I'm going to avoid dark meat chicken for a while and maybe try your panfrying or making oven chicken tenders.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:19 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I have been doing a thing I call "hobo lunch" (and then worrying that the word hobo is problematic?)


As one of MeFi's official representatives of hobos, vagabonds, homebums and etcetera you're fine. We're pretty difficult to offend with words. Some vagabonds and bums might get bent about being a called hobo but that's just because hobos travel to work and work for a living. The real thing is rare these days and homebums will loudly tell you that they haven't earned the right to be called a hobo.

People who are vagabond, homeless or working rail hopping hobos are not known for being politically correct or overly sensitive.

And that actually sounds like a fine hobo's lunch. I have cooked similar over campfires and cook stoves.

For added authenticity you may opt for hot chili or ranch beans, then consider adding in something crunchy as a topping at the end, like crushed flamin' hot Cheetos or Cheese-its or any old cracker. If you really want the authentic thing stir in a tin of meat like vienna sausages, sardines or if you want to be bougie some chunks of spam or real hot dogs.

Yes, this has a high risk of tasting pretty much like steaming hot dogsick but if it doesn't taste good you're not hungry enough. And that's what the hot sauce is for.

For hot sauce go with Cholula for authenticity west of the Rockies, and Frank's just about anywhere else, preferably from a bottle you pilfered from a restaurant three states away.

Wash it down with malt liquor, high gravity tallboys or Rainier and then roll a spliff for dessert.
posted by loquacious at 9:18 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


and has just started telling me that when I make chicken it comes out "slimy"

Are you baking / roasting the chicken? I suggest a light dusting of aluminum-free baking powder (not baking soda), which will draw out the moisture and make it drier and crispier. Seriously.
posted by sugar and confetti at 9:29 AM on September 12


A line from a dream I had last night: "I hate when my steak gets soggy before I even pour milk over it." I wish I could recall the circumstances of the dream, but that quote is all that was left in my head when I woke up.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:21 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Some - not all, still have many to index - of the pictures of cake I've taken over the last few years.

Toodle pip.
posted by Wordshore at 2:25 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: you ARE joining the GBBO discussions over in Fanfare, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on September 16


My vegetarian partner who I love to cook for is away for the week, and so I am making for myself the most amazing thing ever devised by man. Surely efforts like the eradication of smallpox or the development of dwarf strains of staple crops may have been more essential, but what is life without art - bread without roses? I am preparing for myself a Parmo, the Teesside Parmesan.

First I will take a whole chicken breast, both halves, and pound it into a disk about 1cm thick that is approximately the size of a small pizza using a mallet before seasoning. Then I will coat the chicken in beaten egg and cover it with seasoned breadcrumbs before deep frying it in peanut oil. Once deep fried into the shape of a sort of daemonic pizza, I will layer as much béchamel sauce as will fit on top of it and then pile a thick layer of shredded cheddar on top of that before placing the whole thing under the grill to melt the cheese.

It is truly an experiennce to stumble into a Parmo shop after at least two pints alongside the river Tees and enjoy such a thing with a plastic fork and knife from a pizza box.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:23 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


I’m just trying to figure out, after looking at many photos of cake taken by Wordshore, what the photo was of something labeled Unhealthy dessert. My dude, was this a pic of a bad coffee walnut cake? Like, you have taken hundreds of photos of cake. What would make this individual cake and healthy by comparison? I am dying to know.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:53 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


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