Archive | Kitchen practicality RSS feed for this section

Grilled Pineapple Will Win You Friends

30 Apr

Here’s the deal: last Sunday at 3:30 in the afternoon I was yelling across the house to C, UUUUGH I WANT GRILLED PINEAPPLE SO BAD. And then, like magic, 45 minutes later we were owners of a brand new grill. It’s nothing fancy- a charcoal grill that cost $70 that came in a plethora of parts, but after an hour of assembly (and a couple un-assemblies… whoops) we were setting up a marinade and prepping our fruits and veggies for the grill. I realize that millions of people in this world own grills, especially in the U.S., but regardless it felt like something of a milestone for us as Capable Human Adults. We assembled a functional, utilitarian item without insulting each other! We can now be outside and cook at the same time! The world is my oyster!

Image

Image

And since I was all hung up on pineapple, I figured I’d share with you the proper way to prep a pineapple for easy snacking and/or kebob-ing, depending on the size of chunk you decide you want. If you don’t already know how to do this… well, you need all the help you can get. But don’t worry! This is easy, and conquering an intimidating, spiny fruit will make you feel powerful. Powerful like a Capable Human Adult! Prepare for glory!

Step one: chop the ends off!

Image

Step two: shave off the reptilian layer! But don’t take too much off- cut off thin slices one at a time.

Image

Step three: Quarter the pineapple, then cut the hard inner rind off of each quarter.

Image

Step four: chop it up! For snacking, slice up the pineapple slabs into thin slices. For kebabs, take each quarter and slice again lengthwise, then cut into large chunks that can slide onto skewers.

Image

Step five: serve with grilled chicken, some mango-cilantro salsa, and prepare for plenty of ass-kissing to roll your way. Everybody on the planet loves grilled pineapple. Or at least, everyone on the planet that I’ve met. And they will say nice things to you and you’ll probably feel pretty good about that, like I did. So happy grilling!

Do you see what I’m trying to work with?

28 Mar

Image

Ok, so I got around to the bread test mentioned in the article I linked to the other day. It took longer than I thought it would, and I ended up having to up the temperature to 450 so I could see any progress on the toast at all, but after 15 minutes, this is what I got. The lefthand pan is from the bottom shelf, and the righthand is from the top shelf of the oven. You can tell that the back cooks a little hotter than the front of the oven, and the bottom does as well. But if you turn the bread over to see what the slices look like, this is what you get.

Image

Great. So, no new hotspots to report– just what I already knew all along: THIS OVEN BLOWS. The other side of the bread from the top shelf has no noticeable browning, but 6 inches below that rack the heating element is absolutely murdering anything near it. Therefore my hypothesis is this: besides all the pan rotating I already do to evenly heat baked goods (front to back, top to bottom), I must also flip the food over several times. Obviously this is impossible for cookies/muffins/cakes, AND pies, so clearly, I AM DOOMED. NO UNBURNT BAKED GOODS SHALL PASS THROUGH THIS KITCHEN. Good thing I did this experiment! I am now 100% more irritated than I already was.

Kitchen Tales From the Crypt

25 Mar

From the get-go, let me say this: I am 100% ashamed to share this awful glimpse of my reality with you. That said, IT MUST BE DONE. Listen here, I may be a cook, live with another cook, be totally obsessed with all topics culinary and be some weird strain of food snob, but this is a most universal problem.

World, meet my kitchen.

Oh. God. Trust me, for as much of a visual assault this is to you, it is 1000% more painful for me at this moment. But please, let me explain. For starters,  C and I are renters. Oftentimes we want to change something to be more practical/efficient/easier on the eyes in the home, but then we are confronted with the question: is it worth it? We are constantly on the lookout for a larger space to rent and are somewhat prepared to leave if given the opportunity, so we never end up sinking too much time or energy into what we consider “temporary problems.” That said, the lack of kitchen space/storage/organization has been driving us nuts for months now (after our first temporary fix exploded into an avalanche of pots one unassuming evening). Between the two of us we have just about every practical kitchen device, utensil, service dish, and piece of cookware imaginable, which made for the monstrosity of chaos witnessed in above photographs. But we finally caved and snagged some dowels and a piece of plywood to make an easy shelf insert for the big, impossible-to-reach anything floor level cabinet. That definitely helped the situation.

That was an immense relief. We also cleared out the absolutely useless junk drawer, which means that I threw away 50% of the stuff in there, then found proper homes for the rest of the stuff. We clearly needed another drawer for our array of ravioli stamps, paring knives, peelers, kitchen twine, novelty salt & pepper salt shakers, pie crimpers, and other useful-though-not-used-everyday sort of things.

It’s no show-stopper, but at least the gadgets got a home of their own, instead of being smashed into our everyday utensil drawer. Speaking of which, here’s what it looks like now (sans most all of the silverware, which was in the drying rack and I was too lazy to put away):

I should buy (and probably will, when I find one) a proper utensil organizer that actually fits this drawer, but until then, at least every time I try to grab a fork I don’t have to wrestle with three different sets of measuring cups to close the damn thing. It’s the little things.

And about that other bottom cabinet full of saute pans and stock pots? Well… we haven’t quite gotten there, yet. It still looks like hell– we just have to muster the 10 minutes of energy to bust out the drill and reconfigure the shelf situation in there. Oh, first world problems.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers

%d bloggers like this: