... isn't an appliance at all. It's a woodworking bench:
I'd really gotten tired of trying to find the right sideboard/work table for the kitchen. So I gave up and bought the wrong one. http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch-workbench-93454.html was about $160. It's mostly oak, 60"x20", and counter height, which fits well where it needs to go. The drawers are small — they're really meant for small tools — but they'll still be useful.
Now if I can figure out what, if anything, I want to do about the bench dog holes, I'll be set. I figure I can use the tail vise to crack walnuts. ;)
Attention math/food geeks (T.Rev, DurhamFood, and Paul, I'm looking at you, among others):
What really sucked me in to this was the, er, map:
A link to an even larger version is on the click-through page.
The article is a bit intimidating in places, but I suggest reading through it anyway: it's not that long. Feel free to skip any math you don't get. ;) I particularly like the idea of establishing metrics for "contribution" and "authenticity" for ingredients in a cuisine. It may or may not be real, but it's neat. :)
Our Midwest correspondent, code-named "Suzz," sent us this picture of a super-secret hot dog place somewhere in the interior of the country:
[Click to, um, embiggen. :) ]
The pig pickin' cake I made last night:
[As usual, click on the image to embiggen it.]
The recipe linked to is not what I did. In particular, I did not use non-dairy whipped topping: I used $5 worth of heavy cream, of which probably $4 wound up on the cake. ;) I also don't use nuts: to me, they don't seem to go with the mood of the cake. The coconut, however, would have worked well with the cake's almost tropical theme. I would have used it if I'd had it.
My friend Peach from Canada recently shared a recipe for a chocolate pie of sorts. I needed a quick dessert tonight, so why not:
Click to enlarge, of course. The napkin is there because it seemed to fix the crappy white balance for the iPhone I used for the picture. Sure would have been nice if I'd thought to take that picture before we started scarfing it. :)
I made a 10" version of the recipe because I had a 10" vessel. I also made a few other adjustments, but here's the basic recipe as I got it:
Chocolate Lovers’ Pie
Makes one 9” pie.
Servings: Last time I made this, I cut it into 14 pieces and no one complained. There were no leftovers, either.
This is an old recipe from Fry’s Cocoa. For those not familiar, it’s basic grocery store cocoa. I’ve made it only with Fry’s, but I lost the recipe for years and have since discovered the darker, richer and more decadent “dutch” cocoa, which I use exclusively now. I just found this recipe again and I want to make it, but it is so rich when made with Fry’s that I’m concerned my beloved dutch cocoa would make it positively explosive. Then again, I’m willing to throw myself on that grenade. (Just in case I chicken out, I have some grocery store cocoa on hand.)
** Cocoa Nut Pie Shell -- makes one 9”/1 L pie shell
3/4 cup (175 mL) icing sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) cocoa
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped toasted nuts
1. Sift together icing sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Cook until bubbly. Remove from heat.
3. Blend in cocoa mixture. Stir in nuts.
4. Press into 9”/1 L pie plate. Chill.
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cold water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) instant coffee granules
1/4 cup (50 mL) boiling water
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) cocoa
2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Let stand 5 minutes to soften.
2. Add coffee granules and boiling water to gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Cool.
3. In another bowl, combine sugar and cocoa. Stir in cream and vanilla.
4. Whip cream mixture until softly stiff.
5. Slowly beat in gelatin mixture to whipped cream mixture.
6. Spoon into Cocoa Nut Pie Shell. Chill.
Cut this pie into as many pieces as you can manage. Loosen belts a notch. Enjoy pie.
So because of all the moving, I haven't been cooking much. I think the last time I made any bread was in October 2009, if not earlier. But thinks are finally settling out. I'm getting things organized and getting used to the new kitchen. And several days ago, I made the first substantial thing I've made in the new kitchen -- a pot of bolognese sauce (click to embiggen):
I used the recipe out of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, but doubled it (the picture above is after we ate about half of it). Bittman's recipe is interesting, as he adds dairy near the end of cooking. The recipe I've used before was from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Hazan adds the dairy (milk) early on, and claims that's to protect the meat from the acid in the later additions of wine and tomatoes. She also eschews stock. Bittman uses stock, and adds half-and-half or cream toward the end of cooking. FWIW, Charlie Deal told me once that bolognese should always have a little bit of liver in it. I didn't have any liver, but I did chop up some leftover salame and throw that in too [sorry, Charlie ;) ]. Anyway, good stuff. We killed it with our faces. :)
A photo from this year's N.C. State Fair that I almost lost (click it to embiggen):
The only pigs I've ever licked were dead, and I only licked pieces that were cooked, or mostly so. Please feel free to enlighten me, O fairgoers.
Yes, this is disgusting. In a good way. Maybe I'll send it to This Is Why You're Fat:
[Click on picture for enlarged chocolatey goodness.]
I would have put some Nestle's Quik on there if I'd thought of it.
You're jealous, aren't you? ;)
From Picture Is Unrelated:
For those of you wondering, I'm guessing the "Zion" headband refers to the Kosher Zion Sausage Company of Chicago, which is apparently no longer around.
(Click photo to enlarge.)
01 April 2009 in Administrivia, Art, Books, Bread, Burgers, Community, Current Affairs, Definitions, Durham, NC, Experiments, Filler, Film, Food and Drink, Games, JLMBBC, Music, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Quotations, Recipes, Religion, Restaurants, Reviews, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Television, Tips & Tricks, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs, WWRE | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
I thought this was so nice looking that I took a picture (click to embiggen):
In case you're interested, look down the menu to the #12.
To the left: a Caesar, also known as a "Bloody Caesar" (recipe). It's a lot like a Bloody Mary, to be up-front about it. If you're hardcore, you can use clams or your own clam juice. Otherwise you'll need to buy some Clamato or equivalent. You'll also need some vodka. Worcestershire sauce is nice, and you can spice the drink up as much as you want with added horseradish, hot sauce, or the like. The glass is traditionally rimmed by wiping it with the lime and dipping in celery salt. I used my much less expensive celery seeds and my own salt. You can also adjust the acidity of the drink with additional lime or lemon juice.
Garnish: I wish I could figure out some way to garnish this thing with capers, because I think that would taste really good. But if you don't feel like garnishing with the depicted celery or lime, use some olives (boring, but I like olives, and people often have those hidden away somewhere), a shrimp or three (oooh, fancy!), or perhaps some bacon. :)
If you have a designated driver, click the pic for a super-sized drink. The picture would have looked better had I not taken a sip first though.
Edit: Read an explanation of why the Caesar is the "National Drink of Canada," along with why non-Hispanics in the U.S. don't drink Clamato (may take a bit to load).
When I haven't been eating enough vegetables, or when "the fleshpots have gotten too rich for your blood," as Julia puts it, I pull out my copy of Moosewood Restaurant's first cookbook, called simply Moosewood Cookbook, and make the minestrone:
There are a number of things I like about the recipe:
Edit: I'm beginning to appreciate how difficult food photography is. I took about 50 shots of that damn soup in maybe three different bowls and in the pot, with different lighting and flash settings. Even after editing the one photo I used, I'm still not happy. And then TypePad cuts down the size of the thing. Argh. At least you can click on it to see a bigger version.
While I'm venting: I've occasionally tried to submit Eat at Joe's! to various food-related engines and link listings. Something always goes wrong: They fail to answer. They tell me I need to link back. Once someone told me I didn't have enough links to other food blogs, because she only saw one; I had about five links up at the time. Or they tell me I don't fit into their scheme, even though it seems to me like I do when I submit my request. The last person told me I didn't have enough recipes or pictures. I'm not going to ask that person again, but I tried to stick a big-ass picture on this post as sort of revenge. And of course it didn't work. D'oh.
I get the impression that while I think my blog is clearly a food blog, it's neither fish nor fowl as far as food blogs are concerned, so it just doesn't fit into other folks' ideas of what exactly a food blog should be. Oh well. You folks just keep linking to me instead. That'll show them. ;)