May 31, 2011, 11:40 am
Filed under: afterthoughts, Not The Best idea, Philosophical

Upon reflection, it looks like I chewed, slurped and gnawed my way through the long weekend. Which I totally did. Between masaman kai (that i found a recipe for, and will replicate soon) and 2 slabs of falling-off-the-bone BBQ pork ribs (I did not eat them entirely on my own) and laab gai and bagels and waffles with turkey-apple sausage and figuring out how to make lychee mojitos…well…

This week’s menus are going to be altered. I am going to eat a head of cabbage today.

A bag of carrots tomorrow

and a bunch of broccoli on Thursday. I actually don’t like broccoli very much.

I need fiber. Lots of fiber.

TMI? Too bad.

My gut is saying NO MORE! And frankly, rich and spicy foods are not very appealing. The menus (planned 2 weeks ago) read something like this:
lime chicken tacos (ugh)
BBQ pork sandwiches on grilled corn flatbread (UGH!)
…then it’s time to make more menus.

I don’t know yet what they’re going to be changed to, but you can bet your sweet bippy there will be no lime chicken or BBQ pork.

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Mecca…of a sort
May 30, 2011, 1:13 pm
Filed under: afterthoughts, Holidays, Nibbles, Philosophical

The town we live in, Statesboro, Georgia, is a nice enough place. It’s not very big, but there’s a university here. It’s not real near anything, unless you count being an hour away from the beach as ‘near’, and it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of Art and Entertainment, except for maybe a small museum that occasionally features photographs of leaves falling into the Ogeechee River. It is, however, calm and quiet and a good place to raise a family. “A great place to live but I wouldn’t want to visit there” It does, however, have a smokehouse in the middle of downtown so 8 am mornings smell like finest smoked bacon. It’s a charming quality that makes up for the other stuff.

Food-wise, the grocery stores (4 of them, including Walmart Supercenter) offer a very large selection of prewrapped American cheese and hot dogs. Neither of which I eat. There is also an excellent fresh produce stand that makes up for it’s lack of variety by offering the best tomatoes and summer squash a person could want, and a lovely meat market that will will cheerfully cut a 2 inch thick sirloin if that’s what you’re craving.

But sometimes I’m wanting perfectly fresh bean sprouts (not canned), or those little round green eggplants, or a pile of sopessata and some Irish cheddar on a 2 hour old baguette. This leads to not-so-subtle hints and suggestions that perhaps a trip to Atlanta (3 hours away) might be in order. When such cravings coincide with (O JOY!) a couple of days off for Terry, and the happy circumstance of O LOOK! I found some money I’d forgotten about! (how does that happen? I do not know, but it did)…then hurried visits to Hotwire.com for a hotel room in some nice part of town (Midtown! With it’s myriad restaurants and trees and walking distance to many of Atlanta’s loveliest qualities), and the happy realization that the price of gas has dropped by 50 cents in the last day,and the bribing of older sons to keep an eye on younger son, it all falls together and turns into a semi-spontaneous trip to a wonderful city we have come to adore.

The entire trip revolved around food. Every single minute of it from searching on his crackberry for the best and biggest liquor stores (booze is food, right?) and where Farmburger is located in relation to The Dekalb Farmer’s Market and our hotel. We didn’t go to Farmburger, after all, because we decided to walk 100 yards uphill from the hotel to eat Thai at The Tamarind Seed where Terry fell in love with green pickled peppercorns in his plah duk pad phred, and I had 2 lychee mojitos which made me desperate to find lychee syrup (and did!). The next day involved a highly successful trip to The DFM and a buggy full of spices, cheeses and deli meats (turkey apple sausage for breakfast this morning…it’s cooking now and smells like fresh apples and sweet smoke) *and* fresh bean sprouts, 25 pounds of onions for a friend who’s making pickles, and a lovely piece of pistachio baklava.

Then dim sum at The Oriental Pearl. There’s nothing quite like being in a packed full restaurant that seats 300 and being the ONLY non-Asian in the bunch. How do you tell it’s good? That’s how. And yes, it was good. We plan our trips to Atlanta aournd Saturday mornings so we can get to the Oriental Pearl at 11, and spend the next 2 hours indulging in all manner of tasty tidbits and their amazing banana-leaf cooked sticky rice.

After that, a trip to the small Asian grocery store just down Chamblee-Tucker Blvd from the restaurant. It’s tucked in next to a Taqueria and 2 doors down from a Dentist/Pawn shop in a grubby little strip mall. I love the place. It smells fabulous, and the staff, every single time we go, expresses some scepticism at my white-lady ability to cook sticky rice. This time, I bought one of those aluminum spittoon shaped things and a cone basket, and received detailed lessons on the Proper Sticky Rice Method, and also approval that I was wanting to do it right. In the past, I’ve used a metal colander and a big pot, and had some success, but the guy at the store said cooking it in a bamboo cone basket gives it better flavor,so that’s what’s going to happen.

We never made it to Farmburger, alas. Too much dim sum resulted in apathy and a desire to go home and digest. However, once we got home (5 hours and 2 liquor stores later), hunger returned, and it was time to set out the deli largesse from The DFK.
O yes, we do love us some cheeses, meats and and a fine, fresh baguette (by this time is 9 hours old)

clockwise from the olives: garlic salami, schenkwurst, hunter's salami, hot sopessata

Clockwise from the hand: Irishcheddar with whiskey, blue shropshire, harlech somerdale, mimolette, 3 pepper chevre in the middle

excellent, excellent baguette.



2 weeks menus
May 18, 2011, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Supper

It’s supposed to be in the mid-90’s for the next couple of weeks, that means salads, sandwiches, and grilling. Lots of grilling, for salads and sandwiches. With one meal of spaghetti thrown in to appease the heathens. Eli has a friend staying with us for a week, and the friend’s parents don’t cook beyond frozen pizza or canned ravioli. He kind of loves coming here because he says it’s like eating at a restaurant (except that he can’t order what he wants). Fortunately he’s not a picky eater, because if he were, he’d go hungry.

Tonight: Roasted chicken and broccoli salad (cleaning out the fridge for Friday’s food buying expedition)
Thu: Veg soup and cornbread (more cleaning out)
Fri:Caesar style grilled stead salad– an Emeril recipe, I love his Caesar dressing. It’s easy and tasty.
Sat: Tuscan grilled chicken sandwich involving microgreens from the garden! Yummy!
Sun: Church potluck, a tomato salad with avocado and feta cheese. The local veg stand has amazing tomatoes.
Mon: Asian chicken salad
Tues: Spaghetti, salad from the garden, homemade garlic breadsticks. To appease the heathens.
Wed: Panzenella! Yay! my very own recipe!
Thur: Lemon Grilled pork loin, roasted potatoes, green beans
Fri: Larb gai spring rolls w/shredded cabbage and bean sprouts
Sat: homemade sausage pizza
Sun: Race Day! Memorial Day Weekend! Terry is off from work! Woot! BBq pork ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad
Mon: Terry’s still off! WHAT?! Spicy beef salad
Tue: Lime chicken tacos
Wed: BBQ pork sandwich on grilled jalapeno corn flatbread

And that’s the recipe round up. Most of them will get my own adaptation, because I am incapable of following a recipe exactly. Cooked chicken will happen early on, with leftovers going into the next recipe. The pork loin will provide meat for 2 meals and leftovers…it all works out. Also, while the meat is the first thing listed, it’s usually in a smaller quantity than the recipe, with fillers in the form of potatoes, grains or pasta. It’s cheaper that way. that’s the beauty of fixing a salad-lotsa veg, and just enough meat to say you had some.