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Lessons From The Dumpling Party

So, on Memorial Day, we had an epic dumpling party for about two dozen people where we put out eleven different items. Everything was prepped in advance and frozen or refrigerated, then rebaked / finished baking / steamed / potstuck on the day as needed.

Biggest lesson overall? Yes, it was a fucking great idea to drop fifteen bucks on a huge three-level stainless steel steamer (one pot, two racks, one lid) from United Noodle beforehand. One tray held a dozen or so half-moon dumplings or two dozen shumai style at a time, and it was a goddamned lifesaver.

Wild Mushrooms Can't Be Broken

Best I could do without scanning scavenged package plastic.So last week, I found myself in the possession of some of the Wild Mushroom Agniolotti from the Buitoni people, as the label shows at left.

Kitchen Hell: Clumsy Days

It's been a slow, quiet week in foodland. Cathy's actually been doing a fair amount of the cooking, making various types of Eastern European inspired dumplings and raviolis, and this weekend has been all about event-based eating out.

I Can't Fry Potatoes

I really need to learn how to fry potatoes.

Oh, I've tried. Lots of times. From experiments with bagged, pre-grated hash browns, all the way through cubed CSA potatoes in CSA sunflower oil. But it never comes out the way I want it.

Having A Repertoire

In case you were wondering, the light posting this week has been a direct result of my spending the past four days falling back on my repertoire of basic dishes - all of which I've already covered here in one form or another in the past year.

That's the nice thing about building up a nice assortment of standbys. If your pantry is set up and your CSA cooperates, you can spend the better part of a week essentially cooking in your sleep. Which is awesome when you find yourself damn near asleep at dinnertime for most of a week.


As I mentioned on Twitter this afternoon, the New York Times put up a profile of Guy Fieri that was essentially an IKEA catalog - if IKEA sold reasons to punch Guy Fieri instead of flat-pack furniture.

Here, in digest form, are all those punchable things.

An Observation

In medieval times, chefs developed sauces in order to mask the flavors of meats whose quality had deteriorated over time.

On a completely unrelated note, here's an embedded commercial.

Me And My Mise

One of the biggest consequences of initially learning to cook by watching cooking shows is that I am inordinately obsessed with miss en place. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.



Pollanation (n); Pollanate (v): The process by which products Michael Pollan would consider "edible food-like substances" are deliberately marketed as what Michael Pollan would call "food", so as to avoid increasingly negative reaction to fast and processed foods as a result of health concerns, the slow food movement, the organic movement, the locavore movement, and Michael Pollan's own work. 

My Belated New Year's Resolution

I did make a new year's resolution this year. Sort of. I don't really do the resolution thing, but I did make a resolutionesque decision, and I did it around the end of the year, so it pretty much qualifies.

And this resolution is a simple one. I will no longer purchase or consume ANY buffalo-chicken-wing-flavored product that is not in fact a buffalo wing. The years of disappointment and irritation end now.

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