Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogging Burst of Miscellanea

Not writing does something to a person. I feel like I've got blogging blue balls. My main symptom, besides inarticulation, is alliteration. I can't stop putting together repetitive same sounding words whose consonants have consonance. Oh, well. I've admitted my problem, and now it's time to heal through the theraputic sharing of foodie feelings.

Just a couple more weeks until Karen is due to deliver _____ , my first son. She's totally over it. Gestational diabetes has meant that she constantly has to eat food that she's not excited about, pricking her finger 4x/day, and then skip dessert (and no G&Ts!). I try to pitch in, but she's really transformed into a warrior goddess who can do anything to to ensure her baby's health (and I learned quick, not to get in the way). It's awesome to behold (and to help). This picture doesn't do her justice, but it does capture her situation pretty well. So, I just wanted to mention this and praise Karen online for posterity. She's doing a really great job. Can you believe that those darned dietary restrictions has meant that she's actually lost a pound over the past two months while this fetus is growing ever larger? Celebutante moms will beat a path to our door if she decides to market her secret slimming technique.

In my last post, which may have gone unnoticed, I told of Abraham pushing his Nabulsi cheese at the Mediterranean Market (where they have the best baba ghanouj in Richmond). This week, I went for it after he clarified that the stronger tasting halloumi is for grilling and nabulsi is for panfrying (30 seconds per side at medium heat). The stuff is from the gods. Actually, it's from the West Bank Palestinian town of Nablus, but the flavor is divine. Aside from some scattered black caraway seeds peppering the outside of the rectangular block, this stuff looks ordinary. But, when you cook it a bit, the air is filled with the smell of baked goods (not sure which kind, but something baked, swirling with complexity and comfort). Try this stuff and don't be worried if it gets runny in the pan. When it cools, it will hold its shape again. Or, you could just keep it in the fridge right up until cooking time. Given the time of year, you should probably try and grill (briefly) both Halloumi and Nabulsi chunks on your next batch of kabobs.

I was recently treated to Red Lobster and Kabuto's (two separate ocassions) and I reluctantly relished every bite of the food, the cheesy service, and the fact that it was free for me. I'd never been to a Japanese steakhouse, with all that hibachi theatrics. It was really silly, but sometimes impressive. The budgetary shortcuts were evident in the quality of the ingredients, but they figured out how to make the stuff taste good and keep people coming back. At Red Lobster, the seafood was predictable. My wife and her parents have been ordering the same thing at various franchises for decades: shrimp scampi, king crab legs, and generic fried fish. I went for the special, which they swear up and down is fresh caught. They broiled my lunch portion of haddock perfectly and the veggie sides were plain and simple, which is better than bad.

I got a great deal on my new blender. It's a masculine machine that revs like a stock car and tears up any organic matter you put inside. Instead of buttons, it only has an old school switch and a dial to speed up and slow down. Sure, you can tell the speed by the sound, but it's even got a tachometer so you can read the RPM (revolutions per minute). I got it for $125 shipped (best price on the net). The Vitamix and Blendtec are the next step up (if you want to blend tree branches or cell phones), but they cost between $300-400. So, I think the L'equip RPM is a great choice, especially with its six year warrenty. And Cooks Illustrated agrees with me. I even heard that Alton Brown has one on his counter in all of his Good Eats episodes. This thing is going to be perfect for my green smoothie weight loss scheme (and making baby food).

The scores of latinos laboring in the back of most American restaurants are seldom seen on the Food Network (and latin flavors were previously only represented by Bobby Flay). No, those folks aren't part of the branding plan (corporate media white supremacy, anyone?), just as showing flag drapped coffins is a big no-no during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, despite my political positions, I can't help liking Ingrid Hoffman's Simply Delicioso. Her packaging is about as transparent as Giada's kitchen negligees. But, Ingrid still manages to reach down to her latin roots in a way that yeilds great recipes and common cooking techniques that real everyday people can relate to and learn from. So, with reservations, I'm a fan.

A couple weeks ago, Bookstore Piet had us over for dinner. He wrote a story about it. And now, we're trying to return the favor with a little brunch. What should we cook? Smoothies from the new blender. Right. What else? We've got meat eaters, a vegetarians, a diabetic, a Southbeacher, and a 4yr old. I was figuring on short order cheffing, but I live with a planner. Any tips?

1 comment:

  1. You can't go wrong with a couple frittatas. Do one with potatoes and one without (for Karen & the South Beacher). Then a variety of sides -- fruits, breads, Morningstar Farm "sausage" patties. My two cents.


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