Another Week Of Learning

It's been so long without a post that I'm almost tempted to violate my cardinal rule about not apologizing for the amount of time between posts. But if you follow YAD at all, you know I had a cold. I had it for a week. I still have the dregs of it, but the part where my throat hurt and I tired out quickly? An entire fucking week. This cramped even my now-legendary style.

However, even sick people weeks before closing have to cook and eat. A lot of it was leftover recombination. A lot of it was the quick pan-roast of a meat followed by the quick preparation of a starch or vegetable. There were tacos. But I did learn some important things, which I will now summarize:

  • Ben and Jerry's still sells Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz in the Scoop Shops, years after they stopped selling it in stores. I have been living a block and a half away from a steady supply of CCBBB for a decade, and I take advantage of it three weeks before I move. Probably best for my overall health, but damn, if Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz isn't my all-time favorite coffee ice cream.
  • Cathy actually tested a lovely recipe for a friend last weekend, involving simply roasted chicken (chilled), a warm side of lentils and fava beans, and a cucumber-cilantro sauce that was fabulous and made for some great leftovers. I may appropriate the sauce for something in the future.
  • We've only cheated on the no-eating-out thing twice. Both times at Taco Bell, both times with some of the proceeds from a run to Half Price Books. Otherwise, we're still on track.
  • Allow me to elaborate. In anticipation of a few "let's just make a damn sandwich" nights in our immediate future, I bought pastrami, our favorite deli meat. Last night, I planned to make burgers. I toyed briefly with the thought of pan-crisping some pastrami as a topping, but I thought it would be unwieldy. So instead I took three slices of pastrami, chiffonaded them, chopped the chiffonade, and folded them into one pound ground beef along with about half as much salt as I'd usually use, plus some garlic powder. Mixing the cured beef with the regular beef added a lovely layer of beefy depth to the burgers that was fairly subtle, but good.
  • Pepperoni sauce is good over spaghetti squash.
  • Pepperoni sauce is also good mixed with fresh tomatoes and pesto and Italian sausage, then served over spaghetti squash.
  • One spaghetti squash, roasted, produces a hell of a lot of spaghetti squash.
  • Suvir Saran, from Top Chef Masters 3, is the single greatest contestant on any competitive cooking show in the history of mankind. The dude is pure entertainment.
  • I have just enough chicken nuggets left in the freezer for lunch. A WINNER IS ME.
  • Costo is currently selling the microwave I'd picked out off the Best Buy site, only for ten bucks less and in stainless instead of white. SCORE.

There are, at this point, eight dinners left for me to cook in the old kitchen. Easter's at my parents, there are two Mondays where I'll only have to bring something for the group, and closing day we'll be going somewhere to celebrate. After that, expect this blog to spend a few months becoming a bit of a chronicle about setting up my first proper kitchen and figuring out the best ways to use it, plus CSA stuff, possibly some charcoal grilling stuff (I have a grill picked out, it'll just be a purchase priority thing), and with luck, a return to ambition.