Posts Tagged 'Food'

Mmmm, Yummy Food

I should be spending more time at the gym, but I’ve been doing pretty much the total opposite lately. I’ve been reacquainting myself with my oven instead.

About a week ago I made some Olive and Rosemary Bread (yes, with yeast, from scratch, no bread machine). It was the first time in several years that I’ve attempted to make bread, and although it took forever, it came out great. Of course, because I had to give away some (it doesn’t keep long enough for just me to consume it), I got requests for more bread!

Last night I made a little roast chicken. It was in the oven for nearly two hours and completely fell off the bones when I took it out of the oven. My whole apartment smelled delicious! I also have a great recipe for chicken tacos with a green sauce that I’m going to make tonight with some of the leftovers. And I’ll still have the legs and thighs leftover for another meal!

Last summer during blueberry season I purchased two 10 lb flats and froze them. Freezing blueberries is a pain in the butt, because you are not supposed to freeze them in a block, they are supposed to be spread out in a thin layer and allowed to freeze individually, before tossing them all together. It took days to freeze them all! I love blueberries and figured they would be gone in a couple months. But I still have some! Lots, in fact. So I’ve promised Boyfriend a pie sometime in the near future.

But today I’ve been having a lousy time on the job search front, so I think I”m going to skip the gym again and make some Cinnamon Raisin Bread. At least cooking yields tangible results.

Hey AHA’s

You know who you are.

Do you guys remember a certain restaurant, “WW”, here in town? I suspect none of you have eaten there in a few years.

They used to be a good pub…back before I was even old enough to legally be in there. I did get in a few times though, so I have some idea of what it was like. Then six? seven? years ago, they sold and the new management hired new employees. Things went downhill, frankly, because the service sucked. The wait staff and bartender didn’t seem to care about the customers, and they had a habit of giving “last call” at 9 pm or earlier! Wouldn’t you agree that pub that consistently closes by 9 sounds like a surefire recipe for disaster? The last time I was even in there was a few years ago now, although I can see their sign from my bedroom window.

Fast forward to last fall. The place sold again, and we all had high hopes that there would be improvements and the place would return to its old self. However, the owner sold to a friend, and the friend kept the same crappy staff.

Fast forward again to last Wednesday. I drove by on my way home (maybe sixish?) and the place was dark. Then the following night I went out to a different eating/drinking establishment, and people were talking rumors.

On Wednesday, the owner of the “WW” laid off his entire staff, locked the door, and moved to Florida. Nobody knows if he will return.

Anyone want to buy a cute little pub? I could use a job; I’ll help you run it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day. The start of the season of holidays. The non-religous holiday where we get to indulge in at least one of the seven deadly sins – gluttony – if not others (greed? rage? or is that just my family?). The day dieters can’t bear to think about.

The day to celebrate the harvest. The day to celebrate having plenty. How unusual in this year of recession. But according to our folk lore, the first Thanksgiving would have been held under similar circumstances. The settlers did not have a successful first harvest and the Native Americans shared their feast. The Native Americans, who were also pushed off their land and saw their populations decimated due to diseases brought by the settlers helped their neighbors in their time of need.

Perhaps we should take a lesson: love thy neighbor, help thy neighbor, even as he tries to kill you. They say tall fences make good neighbors, but remember, no man is an island. We are all interconnected, and we must stand together, perhaps now more than ever, to overcome this current economic crisis. Be thankful for the love and support of your friends, neighbors, and global community. And remember to pay it forward.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Support My Local Economy

Buy a lobster.

Prices on lobster have plummeted in the last few weeks, due to a staggering economy and an increasing reluctance to spend money on “luxury items”. The wholesale price that the lobstermen receive is now $2-something a pound. It was $5 or $6 for most of the summer and hasn’t been below $4 in at least 5 years. The local chain grocery store is currently selling lobster for $5 /pound. Is that really a luxury as compared to say, chicken?

Fall typically yields the highest catches, but most lobstermen are calling it quits for the year. Add to this the fact that high fuel costs kept profit margins slim during the summer, and we now have a lot of broke fishermen.

Lobstering is an important industry in Maine, both as a source of income and as a source of state pride. We have one of the best regulated fisheries in the entire world, resulting in an ever-increasing population of lobster out there. Maine specifies a minimum size (as is typical elsewhere) but also sets a maximum size restriction (atypical of other fishermen in the Gulf of Maine) to protect the “breeders” who will build the next generations. A lobster of legal size is usually between 7 and 10 years of age.

So please do your part and eat a real Maine lobster.

Thanks.

email

UPDATE: I managed to check my email with no problems on a computer in the office at work today. Or, more accurately, I was finally able to delete all the spam in my inbox. I thought the problem was fixed! But then I checked my email at home, and it is still messed up. Both computers were using Windows and Firefox, so I guess the problem lies within my computer. Damn Dell.

I had a huge waffle craving a few weeks ago, but when I went to the brand new Lowes they were sold out of waffle irons. Three weeks in a row. Reluctant to go to Wally World, today I went to a small-chain local department store. They had more choices than Lowes and the prices were about the same. Oh, and they actually had some on the shelf. So what do you think I just ate for dinner? Well, I had to try it out!! And I had real maple syrup, and fresh strawberries and kiwi. Yummy.

Bein’ Green

“But green’s the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why? Wonder,
I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful!
And I think it’s what I want to be.”

Kermit the Frog (It’s not Easy Bein’ Green, lyrics by Joe Rapposo)

Happy Earth Day! What are you doing to ‘save the planet’? Did you know that this year has been named The Year of the Frog by zoologists? Frogs are a barometer of our environment, as they are very sensitive to climate and habitat changes. If drastic measures aren’t taken to preserve their niches, they will follow the dodo and the dinosaurs.

I planted a garden the other day! Um, well, perhaps ‘garden’ is too generous a term. Living in an apartment building, I have zero outdoor space. Instead, I took a windowbox and set it up just inside the windowsill in my kitchen. I’m hoping to grow some herbs, but my garden still looks like a box of dirt. Yes, I am aware that it takes a while for seeds to sprout, but that doesn’t stop me from checking a couple times a day! To start with, I’ve planted flat-leaf parsley, basil, thyme, dill, and rosemary. I wonder if there is enough space in the box to grow some lettuce; I don’t need much.

I suppose I should also note that I have a black thumb. I enjoy having greenery in my apartment, but in general, plants don’t seem to enjoy me. I do have a few plants in my apartment. A friend gave a cactus, as they are low maintenance plants. I still have that original pot, but I believe this is the third cactus (this one’s an aloe) living in it. My other cactus has flowers and has had three bright pink flowers for as long as I’ve had it (a year maybe). Is this normal? Of my other plants, I have some ivy that took over the big pot it lives in, killing off it’s neighbor, and now it is trying to spread out over the whole room. And I have a variegated leafy thing that must simply have a very strong will to live.

Many of my coworkers are planning their summer gardens, which are, in some cases, over 1000 square feet! That seems like a lot of work to this lazy couch potato. But I guess the results are pretty good, and some of the veggies (like beans and peas) are freezable. Many of these same coworkers have animals as well. Ducks and chickens for eggs are the most common, although pigs are becoming popular, and I know of at least one person who plans to raise chickens for meat this summer. Maybe this is all just because I live in hickville, or maybe it is all part of the rising cost of energy and food and the attempt to consume more locally produced goods. You can’t get much more organic, either. My coworkers also spend a considerable amount of time discussing solar panels and wind turbines. This state also has one of the highest percentages of hydroelectric energy, due to our many rivers and streams. Huh. Who’d of ever thought that this state would have forward-thinking trend setters?

Food Glorious Food

~Lionel Bart (from “Oliver”)

Have you seen the new Chocolate Skittles (CS)? Have you tried them? Let’s discuss.

CS are not a smooth, melt in your mouth, chocolate. I suppose M&M’s (or Smarties in Canada… did you know that Smarties are two different candies?) has the corner on that market. CS are chewy; they have the same mouth feel as original skittles – candy coating over chewy center. Tootsie Rolls are the only chewy chocolate that I can think of. Chocolate should be creamy in your mouth, not sticking in your teeth. Strike one for CS.

CS have five flavors, from lightest to darkest in color: vanilla, s’mores, chocolate caramel, chocolate pudding, and brownie batter.  Let’s discuss these individually.

Vanilla: Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but vanilla is not a chocolate flavor. Vanilla is the <i>anti</i>-chocolate! If the creators were looking for a light color, what’s wrong with white chocolate? I like vanilla, but this flavor does not even belong in the bag.

S’mores: To me, s’mores are all about the toasty marshmallow; the chocolate and the graham cracker are bonuses. S’mores cannot possibly be one of the top five chocolate flavors.

Chocolate Caramel: Not a bad flavor concept, but I can’t say I tasted the full name in the skittle. I can’t say I tasted much of anything. Also, if they got caramel in the bag, where is the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor?

Chocolate Pudding: This was probably my favorite flavor. But sadly, that isn’t saying much.

Brownie Batter: In the world of unbaked baked goods, doesn’t Cookie Dough rank higher in popularity?

I just don’t get it. Someone was actually paid to come up with these flavors. Pretty good scam of a job if you ask me. Basically I was disappointed all the way around with this new candy. Original Skittles are among my favorite candies, but not these. Of course, this is not to say I won’t eat them again.