Tag Archives: Silliness

Googlie Eyes

Convalescence is a long, tedious repetition of napping, pain medication, stretching and icing, eating whatever is easy and being generally stir crazy.

Occasionally, though, there are a few bright, silly moments.

I googlie eyed my kitchen.

What can I say, I got bored…..

Eye see you!
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The Dishwasher:
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The Breadbox:
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Mr. Tomato:
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The Onion Keeper, Before, After:
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I am not sure what *else* will become anamorphic with googlie eyes but I have got a lot of them left.

And they glow in the dark too!!
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(Mwahahaha!)

Wordless Wednesday – Beet Me!

Farmer McGregor’s dream beet or the latest in beet headwear?


(Mutant beet from my CSA this week!)

Your thoughts, please, on what to do with it….

Perfect Reception

When I moved into my beloved Russian Hill apartment years ago, my sis gave me some essential cookbooks, one of which has become a go-to favorite. George Bradshaw was an amazing contemporary writer and in the 50’s he began to write about food. His 1969 book, Suppers and Midnight Snacks, became a novel of sorts for me. I would curl up in a quiet corner and imagine myself preparing his suggested menus while holding a martini and dressed in an elegant caftan. It was the 70’s after all, back when Doris Day and Dinah Shore were the penultimate hostesses. An updo, a caftan and a long cigarette holder were the gracious hostess’s costume of choice.

Over the years I have tried many of George’s recipes and still yearn to try more of them. I especially adore the chapter titled Lonely Pleasures.

“With any luck, one spends a certain amount of time alone. This means of course that you eat alone, and can indulge any outrageous taste you secretly harbor. The pressures are off, there is no home economist or gourmet looking over your shoulder – unless of course, you have the misfortune to be one yourself – and you can let go.”

Better words have never been spoken, George, although I secretly wish you had titled this section Solo Pleasures. As one who has the pleasure of indulging meals at home singularly I prefer not to emphasis the lonely aspect.

His writing is highly amusing, especially where he goes on to describe all the things one can do whilst dining alone, including reading a novel, watching the sun set (obviously he never lived in foggy San Francisco), and telephoning.

“…I have a friend who calls me up the minute she begins to eat celery – the reception is perfect…”

Amusingly enough, and coincidentally, I too have a very dear friend who does exactly the same thing. We will be chatting along on various fascinating but mundane topics, and then Crunch, Crunch, Crunch!!!

“What are you eating, now?” I ask with an underlying chuckle, and think of this book. She will reply, “Celery” or “Tortilla chips with guacamole” or, like yesterday, “Bok choy from the garden. I’m pruning it before the gophers do.”

I recall to her memory this chapter in the book and we break off into peals of laughter, interspersed with crunching. Naturally.

In this chapter is a section of cooking one can do during a rainy Saturday to prepare oneself for the week or weeks ahead when, alas, the servants have departed, never to return, and yet one needs a decent meal after a long day.

George prescribes, and I have frequently followed his sage advice, preparing a variety of entrees that can be cooked and bagged into portions and frozen, but that have panache: crepes, beef stew, and chicken in a veloute with artichokes.

One of my favorites is what he calls Chop Chops. They are a purée of flavors suspended in gelatin and then frozen, to be added into soups, sauces and sautes for a little como se yama zing.

My favorite book

If for no other reason, you must obtain this book, and read this chapter. The story on truffles still has me in stitches. Although it is long out of print, one can find a decent copy on Alibris. And then you can thank me later.

CHOP CHOPS

2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 c H2O
6 cloves of garlic
3 medium onions (I use white)
1 bunch of watercress
10 sprigs of parsley (Italian or flat leaf)
Juice of a large lemon (or 2 Meyer lemons)

Special equipment: four mini ice cube trays – if you can find silicon ones that would be ideal, for reasons explained later. They are 1/2″ deep and each makes 90 cubes.

Melt the gelatin in the cold water, then heat gently to dissolve it. Allow to cool. Peel the garlic and the onions and chop roughly. Cut off the stems of the watercress and the parsley and use the leaves for stock another time.

Place all ingredients into a blender and purée until you have a beautiful jade-green purée.

Pour the purée into the mini ice cube trays and freeze overnight or until solid.

Now comes the tricky part. Unless you have silicon mini ice cube trays, no matter how you flex the trays, apply hot wet towels or curse at them, the cubes will not easily part from the trays. This has to do with the gelatin. However, if you use a very sharp small knife and score around the edge with the tip, then plunge the tip down into the tray the green chop chops cube will pop right out.

Store immediately in an airtight ziplock bag. You will have enough chop chops to last an entire year, or to share with a friend!

To use:

  • Add a cube to a saute pan in which you have pan fried chicken breasts or a little piece of filet of sole, add a little white wine for an instant sauce.
  • Do the same but with red wine for sauteed beef medallions.
  • Makes a wonderful sauce allowed to thaw and added to homemade (or store bought) mayonnaise for dipping steamed artichokes or a dressing for asparagus or lightly sauteed fish.
  • Add four cubes to a pot of soup or stew, they will provide almost all the seasoning you need.
  • Melt with butter or olive oil and serve over fresh summer squash or any sauteed vegetable.

The uses are endless and it is amazing what a great flavor one little cube will add.

Wordless Wednesday

…or why I love living in San Francisco……

Major Buddah
You just never know what you will run across, by turning a corner…

Name Calling

When I was visiting my parents recently, my mom and I were doing some gardening together and she said the most curious thing.  She pointed to her watering can and said, “Don’t forget to fill Anita!”

After a pause of incredulity, and then laughter, we started discussing our family’s tendency to name inanimate beloved objects.  Anita is named after my mom’s coworker who gifted her with the watering can.

But it all started with my mOm’s beloved sports car, the TR4A called the Red Baron.  We loved swooping around in that little red car with the top down, blonde ponytails flying and those wonderful Ray Bans.  My mom was quite the glamor-puss.   Later, we acquired a monster Buick who was called the Queen Mary because of her enormity and stately elegance.  My dear pal L___’s pale blue VW bug was Boo Boo.

Apparently it is quite common to name a vehicle but all of these cars have passed into the great tow yard in the sky, and yet the names live on.  The new Red Baron is mOm’s fabulous red Kitchen Aid mixer.

Furniture have names in my circle too.  V___ has a gorgeous couch named Bruno.  I am about to acquire a turquoise Victorian settee named Vicky and a Martha Washington chair called Martha.  Naturally.  What else would one call them?

But there is more…

I have a whisk shaped like a squid named Cal (calimari).  My vacuum cleaner is Jack.  Actually, that is the model name.  I love having dates with Jack.  He’s very powerful.  You can see why I have a lot of fun naming these inanimate objects but apparently, my nicknames are not all that original!

I then posed the question on Twitter and was delighted with the responses, reproduced here for you.

There are musical instruments:

@eatwellathome says: I call my violin Sophia. She’s a beautiful Italian.

@w_interrobang says: my viola’s name is Brutus.

Aren’t those lovely names! So evocative.

There are more cars, and computers:

@DinnerAtXtinas says: J has named his computers & servers after U2 albums. I named my last 2 cars.

@DinnerAtXtinas  says: hehe The first car was a jeep named Steve-O (I was a teenager!) and 2nd car was ’66 tan Mustang named Sandy!

@kitchenmage says: Our computers are mythical creatures: Unicorn, Nixie, etc. Server that does backups, printers, etc is “House Elf” (H. Potter)

@lunaraven13 says: I had a car named Miranda

@ksiddiqi92 says: My new camera is named Kronos (the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon)! My MacBook is “Mini Me” and I won’t embarrass myself sharing any more names. LOL.

Oh yes, Kamran, you do need to tell us more!

There is cooking equipment:

@ksiddiqi92 says: My pasta machine is named “Es Spaghetti” (you’ll know why once i have my pasta post up).

You must visit Kamran’s site, he’s an amazing cook and photographer, and still in high school. Great things will come from Kamran, wait and see…

Then, there is a very amazing sauce:

@SheSimmers says:  My master stir-fry sauce is named Bruno I also have an oven called Theodore and a rubber chicken called Edward.

I am in love with Bruno now, by the way, I think you all should be too.   As @SheSimmers says, Bruno loves you long time.   I must admit almost falling off my chair laughing after reading this.  I do love my Twitter friends, I hope you see why.

And then, a voice of sanity:

@julieako says:  beginning to think I am odd b/c I don’t name inanimate objects….sigh

That’s okay, Julie, I think after writing this post it is clear to me that you are the “normal” one!

What have you named in your kitchen, your home, your garage?  After all, what is in a name?  A whole lot of laughs I think…

Wordless Wednesday: Fun with Produce

Heeed!Stealing from Farmer MacGregor's garden
Hello little guy!
(I am from Planet Parsnip!)