hudebnik: (Default)
The first phase of kitchen renovation has finished. The guy from the countertop company came on Thursday to measure the cabinets and make a template; now we wait two weeks for the "quartz" countertop to be made to order, after which they'll install the countertop, sink, dishwasher, and backsplash, apply finish paint to the window frames, door frame, and base molding, install a doorknob in the basement door, and various other minor things.

The bamboo floor is lovely. The ceiling (drywall rather than hung acoustical tile) is lovely. The wall paint (over the aforementioned five layers or so of various wallpapers) is lovely. The new oven, range, and microwave are nice (although I don't think we've actually used the new microwave yet). The light fixtures are lovely.

The new fridge has the same footprint as the old one and is six inches taller, so theoretically it should have more capacity. But I think it also has more insulation, hence less capacity. And it has different internal organization: no cheese drawer, one big fruit-and-vegetable drawer rather than two smaller ones, and the only place tall things can possibly fit is on the doors. (Since the fruit-and-vegetable drawer is full width, you can't open it without opening both doors.) We picked up some fridge-organizing bins at the Container Store yesterday, and are starting to move things into them in hopes of being able to find stuff. It has two pull-out freezer drawers rather than one big freezer door, which means ice trays have to be put on top of other (flat) things rather than having their own slide-in-from-the-front compartment. And, in a bit of bad design, things can easily fall off the back of a pulled-out freezer drawer: retrieving the fallen object requires reaching under the lip of the compartment above, over the back of the drawer, and down to wherever the object fell, and you won't be able to close the drawer until you retrieve the fallen object. We may need to buy a small trunk freezer and put it in the basement.

The cabinets appear to be sturdy, well-built, and well-installed, but the finishes look and feel more "faux-wood-grain" and plasticky than the sample we saw at the store. ([personal profile] shalmestere says it feels like living in a cheap motel room from the 1990's.) [personal profile] shalmestere did some asking on Facebook and some searching on the Web of How-To Videos, and concluded that we may be able to solve the problem by taking off the shine with 220-grit sandpaper or fine steel wool, then applying a coat of satin-finish (as opposed to glossy) Polyshades or something like that. Which I'm confident will work for the real-wood parts of the cabinets, but I'm not sure what effect it'll have on the veneer-over-plywood parts. I've written to the installers, and to the cabinet manufacturers, to ask.

We (mostly [personal profile] shalmestere) came up with a couple of boxes of clothes and seldom-used kitchen stuff to donate to the St Vincent de Paul thrift store yesterday. I dropped them off at their loading dock without sticking around to find out whether they were acceptable. We looked around the thrift store, but escaped without buying anything.

Went to the Greenmarket yesterday to acquire lamb for the Paschal feast, which in recent years has been a lamb-and-prune tagine inspired by Katniss Everdeen's favorite dish in the Capitol. Our preferred purveyor of lamb was out of boneless shoulder, and out of stew meat, so I ended up with leg steaks; still not sure whether we'll cut them up for stewing or cook them as steaks.

While I was there, I also picked up a couple of baby Thai-basil plants, which yesterday afternoon I put variously into raised boxes in the back yard, and the ground around the quince trees in the front yard. Also pulled up a bunch of weedy, stringy stuff from dead patches in the lawn, sprinkled grass seed over them, and watered them.

Today: Easter service, install a new motion-sensing lantern outside the front door, cook Easter dinner, consume mass quantities of chocolate, continue dusting and vacuuming after the kitchen reno, maybe mow the lawn, maybe do some more weeding, maybe visit the hardware store for more grass seed and refinishing supplies, maybe arrange rehearsal dates for a non-SCA loud band gig that is now less than five weeks away.
hudebnik: (devil duck)

We had an inch of snow last week, but this is the first snowfall of the winter that anyone would bother shoveling.  The blizzard warning says "accumulations of 15-20 inches" before the storm tapers off around midnight, but I think that may be an underestimate: as of 10:00 AM, I measured 10" on the front steps and 15" in the middle of the lawn.  It's still falling at a good clip.  I shoveled the steps and halfway to the sidewalk, just so there's a bit less shoveling to do later on and so the dogs can get out and relieve themselves.  It's lovely, fluffy snow, neither slush nor powder.

Being snowed in would be a lot more fun if the oven worked.  As nearly as I can tell, the bottom igniter gave up the ghost two or three days ago: the stove and broiler still work, but not the thermostat-controlled "oven" part.  The recommended procedure to confirm that the igniter needs replacing involves an electric multimeter, which I had for many years but which has disappeared in the past few months (I have a vague memory of throwing it away because I couldn't find all the parts).  An igniter costs about $65 and can apparently be installed by an ordinary person, but I don't know if anybody within (say) five miles would have igniters for this particular model of oven in stock, and I'm certainly not driving anywhere to get one today.  I guess we can mail-order an igniter and just not bake anything for the next few days.  We still have, as mentioned above, various other cooking devices: stove, broiler, microwave, crockpot, waffle iron, sandwich press, etc.  And if we REALLY need to bake something, we can use the broiler in combination with an oven thermometer.

If the storm takes out our electric power, of course, all we've got is the stove.

Edit, 7 PM: I did another round of shoveling after brunch, and another just now.  There are 27" in the middle of the front lawn.

Edit, 9 AM Sunday: The snow plows have come through, both in front and in back of the house.  Which means there's a sizable wall of snow between the curb and the roadway, in addition to the stuff between the garage and the curb.

cooking

Jan. 11th, 2016 06:52 am
hudebnik: (devil duck)
Some time in December, we picked up a beef tenderloin on sale and cut it into filets mignons for Xmas and New Year's eves. There were about a pound of scraps that didn't form a nice filet shape, so I put them in a Zip-loc bag in the freezer. So yesterday, as we were wondering what to do for dinner, I saw the bag and thought "Scraps of meat suggest stew, but tenderloin suggests a quick, high-heat cooking method. Stir-fry!" I've stir-fried beef with broccoli and carrots (and garlic and scallions and oyster sauce and...) any number of times in my life, but never before with tenderloin. It worked quite nicely, and the meat was tenderer than I've ever had in a stir-fry (although there was a piece or two that still had fibrous white connective tissue attached -- better trimming indicated).

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere had seen something on her FB feeds about "bacon cinnamon rolls" and wanted to try them. So I bought a roll of Pillsbury pre-rolled cinnamon rolls (supposed to make five large rolls), unrolled them on a cookie sheet, zapped five strips of bacon in the microwave for about four minutes (to the point that it was still flexible, but some people would have been willing to eat it), laid a strip lengthwise in each roll, rolled them back up, and baked them for half an hour. It works. Not OMG-I-havent-lived-until-now, but it works. [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere thinks it needs more bacon: 1.5-2 strips per roll rather than 1.
hudebnik: (devil duck)
I've spent part of the week moving boxes from my old office into my new office, unpacking things, finding places for things.... There are several boxes that never got unpacked from the previous office move (in part because I was moving into a smaller office and simply never found good places to put things, and in part because I realistically didn't need that stuff); I've found places for some of this, and thrown out some of it. Realistically, I'm never going to read that conference proceedings from 2004, or all those back issues of professional journals going back to the 1990's. And I probably don't need those photocopies of articles my grad-school professors assigned me to read: even if I did need to re-read those things or assign them to a student, I'm sure they're all on the Web.

Thursday evening I gave a talk to the Long Island Java Users' Group on the subject "Functional Programming in Java: Why and How". The Long Island Java Users' Group has, officially, 28 members, of whom about 7 were in attendance; I'm told this was the most well-attended meeting yet. So it was an intimate, informal affair: the pizza arrived about 2/3 of the way through my talk. At least three of the seven people in the audience had previously been to one of my Program By Design workshops, so they already had some grounding in functional programming, but may not have given much thought to doing it in what's not traditionally considered a "functional language". The last section of the talk was a preview of Java 1.8, which when it comes out in 2014 will have a number of features to make functional programming easier. Anyway, there were some good questions and good comments.

I spent Friday pre-cooking for an SCA business meeting hosted at our house. Hummus b'tahini, pasta with garlic yogurt sauce, olive tapenade, carrot slaw, roasted broccoli salad, larb gai, prosciutto-and-melon, and grilled lamb. ([livejournal.com profile] shalmestere was at work, but she did a lot of the house-cleaning Thursday and Friday, made a batch of comfort-food-from-your-childhood lemon cake, and did most of the plating.) There were maybe twenty people, the food went over well, no last-minute disasters, and even the SCA business discussion was tolerable. And we now have leftovers for weeks, and no room in the fridge or the freezer (which is why I'm not at the farmer's market this morning).
hudebnik: (devil duck)
The Greenmarket has ramps, and asparagus, and lilacs, and potted chervil, and....
hudebnik: (devil duck)
We've long been fond of a recipe called "Carbonnade a la Flamande", from Gourmet magazine, February 1992. It's an embodiment of umami, but it takes a lot of work dredging and browning chunks of stew meat, sauteeing onions, and then several hours in the oven.

This month's issue of Cook's Illustrated has an article about the similar dish boeuf bourgignon, and how to do it with less work. So I tried morphing the carbonnade recipe with the Cook's Illustrated article, as follows:

Preheat oven to 450F, with racks in the bottom position and the middle.
Toss 3 lbs. of stew meat in a bowl with 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
Chop 4 slices of bacon and sprinkle into a large roasting pan with 1-2 Tbsp. butter
Slice 2-1/2 lbs. onions and 5 oz. fresh shitake mushrooms [not in the original recipe, but I thought it would add to the umami]; toss them together on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. butter and a bit of EVOO.
Put the baking sheet on the bottom rack, and the roasting pan on the middle rack, for 25 minutes.
(After 20 min, not much was happening, so I turned it up to 475F, and things went faster.)
Remove both pans from the oven; reduce temperature to 325F.
Add 1/4 cup flour to the rendered bacon fat, then the onion mixture.
[ETA: Add 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. balsamic or red-wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp. crumbled thyme, 1 bay leaf.]
Add 12 oz. Sam Adams Light, 1 cup beef broth, and the juice exuded from the beef chunks.
Arrange beef chunks in a single layer on top of the onions in the roasting pan so they're sticking up above the liquid to brown.
Cover and put back in the oven for 3-1/2 hours.

As promised, omitting the dredging and pan-frying saved at least 45 minutes of work. And the results were delicious!


While the oven was preheated, I thought I would try this flourless chocolate cookie recipe. Three cups of powdered sugar sounded like a lot, particularly in an allegedly low-carb household, so I used an equal amount of powdered erythritol. For the experiment, I made a half batch. It turns out the only liquid in the recipe is egg whites, and once they were mixed in, I didn't have cookie dough; I had a bowlful of vaguely damp crumbs. So I added a third egg white.
The results were OK, but somewhat bitter, and without the shiny and papery surface they're supposed to have. I think it needs to be real sugar. Humph.
[ETA: Tried it again, Jan. 2014, with real powdered sugar, and it worked much better.  I made a full batch this time, with 6 egg whites rather than the 4 in the recipe, and 2 cups of sugar rather than the 3 in the recipe.]

dinner

Oct. 21st, 2012 08:56 pm
hudebnik: (devil duck)
Last night I was poking around in the freezer and found a couple of beef loin medallions dated almost a year ago, so I got them out to thaw. Tonight I patted them dry with paper towels, salted and peppered them, seared them for a minute on each side in butter, then wrapped a strip of bacon around each piece and put them back in the pan for about five minutes more. I was worried that the beef would be overcooked by the time the bacon was cooked, but that didn't (quite) happen: the beef was medium-rare and lusciously tender, and the bacon was a little squiggly but edible. I think pre-cooking the bacon for a minute or so would have made it perfect.

On the side was a large mound of "fauxtatoes" (cauliflower, microwaved to fork-tender, then pureed with the sorts of things one puts in mashed potatoes). This time it was half of a huge farmer's-market cauliflower, 4 ounces of farmer cheese, about 10 ounces of white cheddar, about four cloves of garlic (microwaved with the cauliflower), a good-sized sploosh of buttermilk, the same of heavy cream, about half a cup of Greek yogurt, and a good bit of black pepper. Turned out very nicely.

Meanwhile, I was making brisket for tomorrow: I sauteed some bacon in a Dutch oven, removed it, seared the brisket on all sides in bacon grease, removed it, threw in a mirepoix of celery, carrots, leeks, and garlic (all from the farmer's market) for a few minutes' sauteeing, then added back the brisket and the (crumbled) bacon along with a bottle of Sam Adams Light, and stuck the whole thing in the oven for several hours. Now it's in the fridge.

To make room for all the leftovers in the fridge, I had to repackage the ham leftovers into something smaller, and put the ham-bone in a pot to simmer off the hammy goodness so I can throw it away. So the house will probably shortly smell very hammy.

Dessert will probably be high-protein, low-carb Red Velvet cupcakes (for a dozen cupcakes, I used 9 eggs, half a cup of coconut flour, etc).

Umami

Jan. 10th, 2012 07:44 pm
hudebnik: (Default)
Some time last week we slow-roasted a chicken: 250F for about five hours, and it came out really luscious and tender. It was a good-sized roaster, and we had only eaten about a third of it between us that day, so yesterday we turned it into soup with dumplings. Also luscious, warming, comforting... just what you want on a chilly winter evening (although this winter has been decidedly on the warm side, with only a handful of nights below freezing so far).

Some other time last week we slow-roasted a pork shoulder: 200-250F for about seven hours. It came out reasonably tasty, but full of connective tissue, and not the falling-off-the-bone-tender we were hoping for. So we put the leftovers in the fridge, planning to do something else with it eventually. Eventually was tonight: when I took it out of the fridge, it looked fairly desiccated, so I put it in a covered stockpot on the stove with about 1/4" of water and let it simmer while I cut, cleaned, and baked delicata-squash rings. Success! After about half an hour of steaming, the connective tissue had mostly melted away and the meat was indeed falling-off-the-bone. And I got the timing right for the squash rings: about half an hour (turning them over several times) at 400F left them slightly caramelized but not scorched. Too much olive oil on the pan, though, so some of them got soggy.
hudebnik: (pipe & tabor)
For those who haven't heard, Constance Hieatt died on December 29, 2011.

I met Constance Hieatt once, at an ACTA conference on food in the Middle Ages -- an academic field she largely created, and in which she enjoyed near-godlike status, yet remained warm, approachable, and open-minded.

The field of historical cookery is unusual in the number of non-academics, and academics from other disciplines, who participate and contribute to it. (The names Terry Nutter and David Friedman spring to mind, but the reader can doubtless fill in others.) I think Hieatt and the other leading academics in the field realized thirty or forty years ago that their books were selling largely to people in the SCA and related organizations, and it would behoove them to treat amateurs and recreational medievalists with some respect -- at any rate, that was the effect, and I think Dr. Hieatt deserves much of the credit for this welcoming, open-minded atmosphere.

As the above-linked obituary points out, she remained active in historical-cookery research to the end: one book is due to be published next month, and another is still in the editing stage (to be completed by her sister). I look forward to them.
hudebnik: (Default)
Two weeks ago we picked up a beef tenderloin on sale. We cut it into single-serving portions (allegedly mignons), froze most of them, and turned four into single-serving Beef Wellington, a recipe that worked well last year. We cooked two of them for Christmas Eve dinner: mine was reasonably (though not meltingly) tender, but [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere's was tough and full of connective tissue. Tonight we cooked the other two, and it was my turn: a third to a half of my chunk of beef was connective tissue, and the rest was chewier than a tenderloin should be. (And no, it wasn't overcooked -- plenty of pink, perhaps red, in the middle).

Did I cut the pieces wrong? Were we sold a "shoulder loin" or something in the guise of a tenderloin? (No, I've never heard of a "shoulder loin"; I'm just thinking of my brother's experience working at a fried-chicken place and being told to sell "wing breasts" when they were out of breasts.) Or are we just being smitten for our manifold sins?
hudebnik: (Default)
Venison backstrap in a cognac-mustard-cream reduction sauce. And asparagus with lemon butter. Yum.

Venison backstrap is quite expensive, so I think this is the first time we've ever cooked it. It's not going to be a once-a-week sort of dish, but definitely a keeper.

[ETA: On the other hand, the cost of ingredients for this very spiffy meal was less than it would have cost for the two of us to dine less memorably at Outback or Dallas BBQ.]
hudebnik: (Default)

There are a few more fruits on the red pepper plant, and dozens on the orange pepper plant, but they're all green. We'll see whether they get a chance to ripen at all.

A lot of basil plants are not expected to survive the winter, and have therefore been asked to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of pesto or something.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

hudebnik: (Default)
Well, I was planning to postpone baking bread until after Passover, but I was running out, and it was Saturday, so what the hell. I made a batch of relatively-high-protein bread (a cup of soy flour, a cup of wheat gluten, several eggs, and some leftover egg whites in addition to the ordinary flour). There was about a cup and a half of spelt flour left in the bag, so I threw that in too. And some wheat germ, and wheat bran, and whole kamut grains (pre-cooked in water in the microwave). Both sourdough starter and commercial yeast, since I wasn't sure how the day's schedule would turn out and wanted to accelerate the process. The bread turned out pretty good. I still haven't figured out how to get the chewy crust that the folks at the farmer's market, or even Panera, have, but otherwise it's tasty.

Meanwhile, I had just read this post about making butter and slathering it on fresh-baked bread, and I thought "why not?" I hadn't made butter in twenty or thirty years, but vaguely remembered that one puts cream in a jar and shakes it for a while. So I did that... and then it became impossible to shake. I looked inside, and found that I had a smooth, homogeneous, not-going-anywhere whipped cream. I concluded that either the temperature was wrong, or you can't do this with homogenized, ultra-pasteurized grocery-store cream, and put the whipped cream in the fridge.

This morning, I RTFM'ed (or Googled or pick your favorite neoverb). Some of the directions specifically said "yes, you can do this with homogenized, ultra-pasteurized grocery-store cream," while others said "when it looks like whipped cream, you're almost done." So, on a tip from yet another on-line source, I whacked the jar against various unyielding objects for a few minutes... and suddenly it was shakeable again. And it made sloshing noises. And inside was a thin white liquid and something vaguely resembling butter. Magic! I rinsed it in cold water, worked out some more of the buttermilk, mixed in some freshly-ground sea salt, and spread it on a slice of yesterday's bread. Yep, it's tasty. Now that [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere is up, maybe we'll have some on pancakes for breakfast.
hudebnik: (Default)

Last night was chilly, so I made hot chocolate. Very simple recipe: heat a cup of whole milk, grate a bar of good dark chocolate, stir the latter into the former. I grated the chocolate using the "fine" side of the cowbell grater, into a plastic microwave dish (although a number of chocolate shavings ended up on the counter anyway). When I was finished and the milk hot, I picked up the dish -- and shavings started to levitate and dance, both off the dish and off the counter. It was a bit of a mess, but cool to watch....

hudebnik: (Default)
In response to this entry, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's molten-centered chocolate cake recipe (which appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 1998, and which we've modified slightly).

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for molds
2 tsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for molds
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (we usually use Guittard)
2 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (we use less, 1/4 to 1/3 cup, and we use erythritol)

Preheat oven to 450F
Butter and flour four small baking dishes (we use 6-oz. Pyrex custard cups; you could use something smaller)
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler
Mix eggs, yolk, and sugar with electric mixer in large bowl
Mix in butter-chocolate mixture, then flour.
Pour batter into baking dishes, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 6-7 minutes.
For each baking dish, put it onto a potholder, invert a small plate over it, flip things over, wait 10 seconds, and lift the baking dish off.
Top with something pretty: sift powdered sugar over the top, or drizzle with berry puree, or something like that.
hudebnik: (Default)
Let's see...
Dec. 18 we hosted an SCA business meeting cum Xmas party. Grilled lamb, carrot slaw, broccoli marinated in fish sauce and lime juice, artichoke quichelets, "heroin" wings, hummus, tapenade, and I forget what else. Lots of cookies, of course, and the chocolate fountain with dipping-stuff (strawberries, bananas, pretzel rods, starfruit, ...).

There were probably some mentionable meals in the following week, but I've forgotten what and when.

Dec. 24 we roasted a duck and served it with roasted brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar and a baked wild-rice dressing with dried cranberries and hazelnuts. And Xmas cookies.

Dec. 25 we made beef Wellington, which (we learned) is a hunk of tenderloin topped with sauteed mushrooms and paté, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked. We actually made four single-serving Wellingtons, two of which are now in the freezer (we'll find out how well they survive freezing, perhaps for my birthday). Served with baby potatoes roasted in leftover duck fat. There was something else, but I don't remember what -- perhaps leftover carrot slaw? And Xmas cookies.

Dec. 26 was the Day of Snow, so we started a batch of "June-Bug Chili" [in which the distinctive ingredient is whole almonds, which do bear a disturbing resemblance to beetles] in the crock-pot in the morning, and ate it with macaroni and grated Cheddar. And Xmas cookies.

Dec. 27: the Day of Shoveling. (Not really: each of us did maybe an hour at most.) Lunch was chili, macaroni, and leftover broccoli from the 18th. Dinner is to be a casserole of leftover wild-rice dressing mixed with the meat I picked off the duck carcass last night. And Xmas cookies.
hudebnik: (Default)
So [livejournal.com profile] marchforth2 says her corner of South Carolina got its first white Christmas since 1963.

We saw the first flakes on this morning's dog walk; rooves and lawns were white by late morning. By mid-afternoon it was maybe six inches deep and coming down heavily (the forecast says one to two feet). Fortunately, we had little need to leave the house: the fridge is overflowing with leftovers, we had several holiday specials on tape or DVD yet to watch, and lots of holiday music on CD still to play.... We walked to the theater this afternoon (because we could) to see "The King's Speech", then came home to the chili that had been in the crockpot all day. And Christmas cookies. Hmm... hot chocolate, or hot buttered rum? Or molten-centered chocolate cakes? Decisions, decisions....

To all our friends out in this weather, don't do anything stupid, do get home safely, and if you happen to be stranded in our neighborhood, we have a spare bed....
hudebnik: (Default)
Christmas eve lunch: leftover roasted green beans, leftover carrot slaw, leftover creamed spinach, leftover fire-eater chicken, leftover beef-broccoli stir-fry (which in turn had been made with leftover beef tenderloin)

Took the Things for a long walk in the park. Have I mentioned that I really like having a square mile of wooded park, a block and a half from home? Weather was gorgeous, the snow-filled woods are gorgeous, Things and [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere are gorgeous, etc.

Christmas eve dinner: two-inch-thick venison chops (from the Greenmarket), pan-fried and topped with gin-juniper-balsamic reduction sauce; a side dish of sauteed leeks (from the Greenmarket) and mushrooms (from the Greenmarket) with poudre fort; and a side dish of baby potatoes (from the Greenmarket) roasted in duck fat (left over from last year's Christmas or New Year's dinner).

After dinner, I dug out the car (half of last week's foot of snow had already melted, so this wasn't an enormous job), changed clothes, and we drove to the Cathedral for midnight mass. Got home around 1 AM, walked the Things, went to bed and didn't get up until the next morning...

We made aebleskiver/poffertjes for breakfast, filled variously with chocolate pastilles, jelly, bacon buttercrunch, and chocolate-covered ginger. Yum. Ate these on the couch while opening prezzies, of which a large fraction were various kinds of chocolate: blood-orange dark chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds, Trinidads from Indiana, chocolate-pecan-bourbon balls from Kentucky, firecracker bars with capsaicin and pop-rocks, sugar-free "Mayan spice" chocolate bars, and I don't remember what else. Perhaps the Kewlest gift (potentially; I haven't actually delved into it yet) was a four-DVD set of family stories, old photographs and videos from my mother's side of the family.

The present-opening part of Christmas is often more fun when there's a small child involved: their excitement is infectious. (Of course, so is their crankiness when they're sleep-deprived and don't get what they want....) Conveniently, Thing Two does an excellent impression of a small child: every time a gift came out from under the tree, he was there on the spot, convinced that it must be for him. We did not give him any of the numerous chocolates, but we do have a photo of him wearing [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere's scarf and my hat, both knitted by [livejournal.com profile] marchforth2.

Anyway, after that episode, we took the Things for another long walk in the snow-filled woods. The weather was cloudier than yesterday, but the woods are still beautiful.

Christmas afternoon dinner: a pheasant from the Greenmarket, stuffed with apple and onion, with thyme-sage-chive butter rubbed under the skin of the breast to keep it moist, and roast. Armored turnips: we didn't have enough Cheddar in the house (and Cheddar didn't exist in the 15th century anyway), so I supplemented it with Brie, which made it nice and creamy. Brussels sprouts (from the Greenmarket), halved, caramelized in a frying pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then roasted in the oven. Russian Cream topped with strawberry-Grand Marnier puree.

cooking

Dec. 13th, 2009 11:04 pm
hudebnik: (Default)
A rainy, stay-at-home sort of day.

We made six batches of cookies today. [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere wrapped some Xmas presents and prepared them for mailing. Walked the Things twice so far (one more walk as soon as I post this), but it was raining so we didn't get to the park. I was sorta thinking of getting to [livejournal.com profile] greenman73's class on bow and arrow maintenance, but we were on a roll baking cookies.

Tomorrow, back to grading. Two of my students contacted me today (one by phone, to my home number, which I have not given out!) to ask questions about the take-home final exam that's due Tuesday. So I expect to see a couple of panicked students in my office tomorrow too.

Tomorrow night we might get to dance practice, if we think we'll have time to adequately clean and cook for the SCA business meeting cum Xmas party we're hosting next Saturday.

Om nom nom

Sep. 30th, 2009 07:53 am
hudebnik: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] shalmestere's inspiration for last night's low-carb dinner: spherical zucchini (from the farmer's market) stuffed with larb gai.
YUM! Using real limes for the lime juice makes a difference. I don't know whether using (somewhat underripe) Thai chilis picked thirty seconds before from our back yard makes a difference too.
picture behind cut )

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