Friday, November 30, 2007

End of November

Well, I haven't posted for a while, so it is about time that I note something!

Thanksgiving came and went. Not too exciting for us, but it revolved around food, so that kinda made me happy. Cooking and baking - two things I do pretty well. The only complaints ever heard are from me, when I think I coulda/shoulda done something a little different. But I refine recipes and so on...

Anyway, I brined a turkey for the first time this year. I had come across the method on the internet and in a coupla blogs. Basically (if you don't know - and if you even care about it) you dissolve a buncha salt in water. You can add other stuff, too - I added brown sugar and some herbs. The water should be room temperature when you immerse the turkey in it, so you should probably heat up a small portion of the water, dissolve the salt (and sugar if adding it), then combine the rest of the herbs plus some colder water. I used about a gallon of water. I really don't add salt, so this was a big experiment on my part. You have to keep the bird refrigerated, so that either means giving up your refrigerator (like that could happen just before T'giving) or using a cooler (my choice). I used 2 of those oven-roasting bags, turkey-size, and plopped the bird in the doubled-up bags, with the legs facing the top. Then poured the water in, including in the cavity. Closed up the bag, made sure there was lots of ice in the cooler, and closed up shop for the night.

Man - it was an excellent, tasty, juicy bird. Not.Salty.At.All Best ever (by me) and I will definitely do it again. Woo-hoo! And the bird was done in less than 2/3 of the estimated cooking time. We had to scramble to get the rest of the food ready while the bird cooled its bronzed goodness on the cutting board, and we drooled in anticpation.

Enough about food. Well, maybe not.

We are having salmon for dinner tonight. And it is fresh, not that ol' "previously frozen" crap that you usually see at this time of year (or at least more frequently than I would like to see). I am always ready to try another salmon recipe and I found a good one recently. It's a stove-top recipe, so that works when it is too hot to use the oven here in steamy Houston, plus we don't have to crank up the grill, either. The salmon is mostly seared and then cooked to a bit opaque. The sauce makes it: combo of light mayo, cilantro, lime juice, wasabi paste and ginerroot. Mmmmmm... Drummer and I are sushi fans and, by extension, love wasabi (in little doses), too.

Kinda funny. When I was graduating high school, there was an award for a senior girl, titled the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award. I was a test-taker back then - if it was in written form, I could usually do okay. And I got that award. So maybe I felt obligated to grow into it? Although (the older I get) I think my body wants to take that "grow into it" idea literally. Arggghhhh....

Time to end this foray.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Halloween caution

I have not been posting in some time - waiting for Supreme Enlightenment? Really, just trying to think of some interesting, funny or otherwise non-boring tale to share.

And then - while in a conversation with my Car Pooler this morning - I recalled this item from years ago. Since Halloween just recently passed, it was a timely event to remember. So here it is...

In a past life with Hubby #1, we had a fun circle of friends. Most Halloweens, someone hosted a costume party. Now, you could attend while wearing street clothes, but costumes were definitely more fun to do. Keep in mind that we were a lot younger then (our 20's) and had the time (and energy) to put into thinking these costumes through. We had good resources, too - a place called Rag Stock which sold recycled clothes CHEAP. I remember various items that I found there, over the years: a tall (think Drum Major) high-school-band-style hat, football pants that had probably been worn by a junior-high age male, a suede vest with some sort of Indian (okay, Native American) deal-y on the back... Okay, I admit that I didn’t purchase the band hat, but the other two items were used by myself or a date/spouse.

My Ex worked for an international agriculture-based company, which had other divisions, including Restaurant and Fast Food, where he was employed in the accounting department with one of the chain restaurants, whose primary products were doughnuts and coffee. In the 70's it was Dunkin Donuts or Mister Donut. Period. Okay - and in Canada, Tim Hortons. Starbucks and Caribou and the infinite selections that those chains fostered were probably not even being thought of yet.

So during the time of the annual Costume Party and Any Excuse to Get Wasted, we had a Corporate Guy in town. This guy worked the openings of new donut shops - came in, oversaw the setting up, etc. Gave it the corporate blessing, so to speak. Ex mentioned the costume party, and this guy was Game On! He improvised his costume, since he had baking duds available, including a Pillsbury Doughboy-ish style hat. So we picked him up and toted him to the party at someone’s home in the ‘burbs. We were all enjoying ourselves, and the Corporate Guy was doing well on his own, mixin’ and minglin’. Well, came time to go home, and CG decided to stay. In fact, he eventually left with some young chiclet.

The following day the Ex was talking with CG, and keep in mind that CG was married. Apparently CG got both lucky and unlucky the previous night. Had a wonderful romp in the hay with the chiclet, but had the scratched-up back to take home as a souvenir to his Beloved. Young chiclet was obviously a lusty and demonstrative wench! He had to have a cover story to use as an excuse - aha! A baking rack had fallen on him, he had decided. Never did find out if the lie worked for him.

And the moral of the story is: Be careful what crosses your path on Halloween - black cats are not the only things to fear.