In’r bones

26 Jul

I haven’t been blogging because

a) I’m depressed!

b) Not entirely, but a lady’s gotta priotize her creative pursuits when energy is low, because

c) I’m working on my first art show in four years and it’s suuuuuuuuckiiiiing the tiiiiiime ouuuuuutta my liiiiiiife (BUT IN A REALLY GREAT WAY, BTDUBZ), and

d) It’s summertime, which means I get a massive CSA delivery every week and I basically just eat whatever vegetables they bring me in a sauteed pile of nondescript healthful goodness atop some rice or with some bread or whatever.

When it’s hot out I really don’t give two shits what I eat, so long as it’s fresh and good for me. Thus, blogging material is pretty slim. But amongst all this veggie nonsense I was like, HOLY BALLZ TIME FOR SOME LUXURY MEAT PRODUCTS. And this new butcher shop opened downtown, which is kind of a big deal since Bellingham hasn’t had a butcher shop is forever and everyone’s like WHOA I CAN GET REAL MEATZ NOW! (I apologize for my excessive capitalization and z-usage, it’s been awhile and I forgot how good it feels to type my inner monologue). So I bought some bone marrow, which, coincidentally, is kind of the opposite of luxury meat products, since people feed them to dogs, but whatever, I like dogs so I guess it’s all good.

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I remember getting bone marrow at the Copper Hog and thinking it was the fucking CATS PAJAMAS so I was like, I got this. 

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Aren’t they lovely? Aren’t they perfect? I shoved them in the oven and sauteed some zucchini, spring onion, and fresh garlic with parsley, sliced some bread, readied the last of my favorite cheese (fleur d’aunis), poured some wine and was all HERE I COME, MOTHERFUCKER.

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Weirdly, uhhh…

well. It tasted like a wet dog in a fire. Don’t ask me what that means, but it was rough. The marrow was all chunky and gelatinous and runny at the same time. It had an unpleasant smell and generally just put me off. I smeared some on the bread, sprinkled sea salt and some parsley on it, and, hoping for a drastic change of heart, bit in. Still! Rancid tasting! WTF, DUDE!

I guess I’ve either lost my taste for marrow or I just epicly screwed it up, it’s hard to say what happened exactly. But at least there was still cheese. Can’t say I didn’t try!

Ode to Lacey, O’ Queen of My Foodie Heart

19 May

Recently my beautiful friend Lacey invited my friends Scott, Mary, and myself to her idyllic lake house where she lives over for dinner. All I knew is that she said the key words needed to invoke my interest: barbecue, mojitos, and “private dock.” I’m in, duh.

She went bananas with the food, as she is wont to do since she is, especially when it comes to cooking, an ambitious tornado. Lacey has taught me the most about cooking, and when we worked together I learned new things every day. Even at a casual dinner, she teaches without pretension, which I adore. Here she casually murders a crab while some dreamy, cute music plays in the background. That is the essence of why I adore Lacey: she can disembowel a living sea creature while, you know, just hanging out. What a dreamboat.

 

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There were artichokes.

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And because she is ambitious and too generous, there were oysters. And crab. And new york steaks. Strawberry balsamic salad with feta, asparagus, angel food cake, and mojitos loaded with mint. Just like in that tragic scene from Dirty Dancing, I brought a watermelon. I was Baby. Clueless! Luckily there were no swarthy, gyrating Patrick Swayzes around to make me feel idiotic.

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As usual, she was gracious and welcoming. I recently picked up a hostessing handbook from the 50s at a rummage sale and ate up all the antiquated traditions listed in its pages. Not only did we break all those rules (no fingering the asparagus, elbows were all over the table, and certainly I was guilty of speaking with my mouth full), but it was positively perfect that way. If I were to write a book on hostessing, it would be a single sentence. It would read, “Just do whatever Lacey does.”

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The steaks rose like relics! Look at them! They were a work of art. And when it came to oysters she showed me a thing or two.

And then we slurped them down like an underwater circus act, rolled up our sleeves and ate the grilled piles of luxury like it was no big deal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when I grow up I wanna be Lacey.

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Holy Pork!

28 Apr

 

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Can we talk about Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen for a minute? Because holy god, this place haunts my dreams. It is a beacon of perfectly pulled pork, an epicenter of whiskey treats, and maybe where I’m going to get married one day, because SCREW PICTURESQUE MEADOWS, love is pork, pork is love, forever and ever I do, AMEN.

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I didn’t think I liked baked beans until I tasted these. And in between mouthfuls of tender pork and the coleslaw that is now my boyfriend, I seriously scooped the beans into my mouth with their homemade salt and vinegar potato chips. I did this with zero shame, like a disgusting toddler. And then we got more napkins and I chose to believe that the servers, other diners, and my family members probably weren’t totally grossed out by my methods.

My uncle got this (Hi, Rob!):

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And then the sky opened up and Jesus came down and handed us all homemade pickles and sweet mustard and perfect onion rings that don’t get all weird and stringy when you bite into them. And he said, BEHOLD CHILDREN, I have created the mecca of condiments and it is Kickin’ Boot! 

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There is so much whiskey, IT’S LIKE CANDY MOUNTAIN. Candy Mountain is real guys, let’s go!

 

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Thought for food

25 Apr

Here’s a fascinating interview with a photographer who staged and photographed inmatee’ last meals on death row. Another example of how food carries with it an incredible weight.

Henry Hargreaves

Photo by Henry Hargreaves

Breakfast freakout

9 Apr

Hi, world! It has come to my attention that two blogs linked to a post of mine in the past few days, and now I have a boatload of traffic on here when I wasn’t prepared. I mean, I’ve been pretty negligent about the blog recently (BLAME A GOOD LOOKING MAN, PEOPLE) and now I feel like the pressure is on to be really cute/likeable/readable to what is essentially a bunch of half-interested internet strangers, and I’m like WHOA HO HO I DUNNO IF I POSSESS THE CHARISMA.

So uh, as an act of desperation I am flinging a picture of my breakfast at you. That’s right, I’m pulling one of THOSE cards. Lazy cards. Last minute cards. I’m-at-a-loss-for-creative-output-on-the-spot cards. This is what you get. You’re welcome, internet.

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To be fair, my life has pretty much rotated around taco trucks and breakfast foods lately, so at least this breakfast was topical. Let me explain! Recently the taco truck near my house inexplicably vanished, and after several very painful and emotional days completely devoid of any asada burritos, it was decided that DAMN IT, WE’LL MAKE ‘EM OURSELVES. That was last night. This morning, said good-looking man was like, feed me! I’m insatiable all the time! So I did what I always do and fried a bunch of potatoes and onions, threw in whatever was in the fridge (leftover burrito parts!) put some fried eggs on top and called it done. “Burrito hash!” Cover that in Tapatio! Make a smoothie to counteract the greasiness! Toast some obligatorily very healthful seed-bread when everyone knows they’d rather have sourdough! Boom, breakfast.

Single food

13 Mar

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WAH WAHHHHH…. wrinkly chicken in a plastic pan! So hopeless looking.

I’d always avoided the rotisserie chickens at the grocery store because they had that weird hot-plasticy smell emanating from the hot case and their lids were always beaded in condensation which is kind of off-putting. I mean, typically I don’t want my food to sweat. Sweating isn’t delicious. But because of my recent poverty and adjustment to single life, I’ve turned to the unassuming rotisserie chicken somewhat regularly to feed myself. Granted, those wet-looking chickens festering in the red lights of the hot table reek of desperation, but there’s something to be said for them.

A) They’re cheaper than a whole raw chicken, and I don’t even have to set off the smoke alarms in my house while tampering with my lowly rental-house oven. That oven is fickle and in dire need of cleaning, and roasting a chicken is often an unpleasant affair in my home.

B) You can do pretty much anything with them.

The key with these chickens is to pick the meat immediately. If you wait until there’s a half eaten carcass in your fridge, all bone and tendons sticking out like your bedhead, you’re never going to want to finish the job, let alone eat the thing. Nothing is quite as unappealing as a cold, half-desecrated chicken with the skin all congealed and hanging onto the meat like a needy, weird boyfriend. I particularly like the job of picking the meat, since you get to get sticky and reward yourself with the tender oysters that pop out perfectly from the top of the spine. Those little morsels are the best part of a chicken, hands down. It’s also pretty satisfying to tear dead animals apart, especially if you’re about to eat them and especially ESPECIALLY if you’re feeling all weird from some funky man-problem you’re dealing with. Nothing says I AM A BEACON OF POWER like a carnage-pile on your countertop and a neat container of all the good meat-bits in a tupperware beside it. It just screams, “I was conquered by someone who knows what they’re doing!”

Or maybe I’m reading into it a little too much, I don’t know. I like to personify my food. I guess I’m lonely!? Or hungry. A little bit of both…? WHATEVER.

Anyhow, I made this soup with it and it was legit. And now I have SO MUCH CHICKEN in my fridge to make into any number of things for the next several days, so I’m frugal and healthy and efficient and a superstar of successfully keeping myself alive via food even though sometimes it totally feels like the odds are against me on that one. NO BIG DEAL! It’s the small victories, guys.

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Here, make some soup! Squelch your sadness with me!

-Two heads of baby bok choy, chopped
-Handful of shredded rotisserie chicken
-Chicken stock
-Ramen noodles
-Dash of fish sauce
-Some dashes of soy sauce
-Chili-garlic sriracha
-Regular sriracha, because one kind of hot sauce is never enough
-Cilantro

Simmer the stock! Add the noodles! Add the other stuff when the noodles are done! Now eat it! Congratulations, you just kept your blood sugar from dropping to dangerously low levels for another four hours… YOU’RE AN OUTSTANDING HUMAN SPECTACLE.

Sad Mecca

29 Jan

I found it… the holy grail of online food idiocy. I know this makes me out to be a real bitch, and maybe I am, but I have to share. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before… copycat recipes! I found a holy slew of websites devoted to recreating the foodstuffs of Disney resorts, Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory, and the mind-numbingly underwhelming American favorite, Olive Garden. Seriously this shit is just depressing.

I have to ask… when did Disneyland become a place of culinary excellence? Oh right, it didn’t. At what point did people spending money to go out to dinner stop caring about the quality of the food or the fact that “cooking” at Olive Garden literally consists of microwaving pre-packaged sauces and pre-cooked chicken? You know what, I have like, a million more questions, all because I typed “copycat recipes” into Pinterest. Here goes.

Why do the words “Cracker Barrel” fill me with so much rage? Additionally, is it possible to say “Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole” without sending yourself into a hate coma?

What the fuck is a Sonic Frito Chili Cheese Wrap? It seriously sounds like poison.

In regards to Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger… WHY. Not even a question. Just, WHY.

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Why is it that all Starbucks drinks look like giant piles of candy in a plastic cup? Is it okay to drink these as a fully-cognizant adult? Is buying one at the Starbucks inside Target for $5.50 seriously not doing it for you– you need to do it at home, as well? Additionally, what the fuck is wrong with you?

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Why is Disney’s Chili and Beans called chili and beans? Chili IS beans. Chili IS BEANS! And why is Disney’s Chili and Beans the most standard-issue easy as fuck chili recipe I’ve ever seen in my life? Oh right, because Disney. 

Speaking of Disney, can you watch this video without your head exploding? Because I can’t.

Just a few more questions to throw out there.

If you combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate milk, and frozen cool whip in the blender to resemble a Wendy’s Frosty, is there any hope that you’re not cripplingly depressed?

How come all the Olive Garden salads appear to be primarily croutons?

Why would I want to make a McChicken sandwich at home (when it costs $1 at a drive-thru) if I had to

a) even remotely desire a McChicken in the first place, and
b) purchase a deep fat fryer to do so?

Applebee’s… what in holy hell is a POTATO TWISTER?! I think it’s a potato chip? Similarly, who goes to Applebee’s and leaves being like, “MAN I WANNA EAT THAT ALL THE TIME…IN THE COMFORT OF MY OWN HOME! Internet, come at me!!!”

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Until today I have chosen to believe that this sort of person simply doesn’t exist, but oh, Pinterest, you’ve done it again! Thanks for instilling within me a deep-seated fear of the majority of the population. Cool. By now I’m fairly certain that everybody just sucks at eating.

On an unrelated but equally terrible note that I must share, I found a recipe for “2-Ingredient Nutella croissants”! If you thought making croissants would be difficult, YOU WERE WRONG! All you actually need is a can of croissant dough. And a jar of nutella. And you smack those together and PRESTO CHANGE-O, a recipe!

People, please. You’re hurting my heart.

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