Friday, February 8, 2008

A brainstorm of sorts

by Lisa

Oh, no. I think I have writer's block.


Okay, so I just took that to my wonderful roommate Maria, and we talked it out. So here's how I feel: I have been cooking up storms and taking pictures like nobody's business, but have had absolutely no inspiration this past week to write about any of it. Sure, I wanted to show off my pictures, but, having been an English major, I sort of cringe at the idea of having no theme for my writing. At the same time, this feeling reminded me of brainstorming ideas for papers in college or high school. I would have all these brilliant ideas jotted down on sheets of unlined paper - or if I was lucky, on a huge white board (thanks, Ms. Moore!) - seemingly disparate but somehow connected. Many a time I wished I could just turn in my brainstorm, filled, as it were, with bursts of ideas - raw, distilled, and ready to be unpacked, reinterpreted, connected, extended.

So that's what I come to offer today. My raw, unedited thoughts and reflections on what has been going on in my kitchen (and beyond). Is it okay if I show off - my work and others' - in unorganized/conglomerate fashion?

Let's start simple. I've been enjoying a lot of toast and English muffins lately. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. Like I'm-not-having-lunch-but-instead-I'll-have-three-slices-of toast-with-butter a lot. (Daily bread? Um, how about hourly bread?) I think the ability to be content with this simple jewel of a food has to do with the fact that I recently added salted butter to the repository that is our fridge; usually, unsalted does the trick for all the baking that goes on around here, certainly not by me.

(Steph wants to know if anyone else eats buttered toast upside down so that the butter hits your tongue first.)

I tried to make cornmeal pancakes, like they make at Rick and Ann's, but I have yet to perfect the recipe. If anyone has ideas, please let me know!

My friend Milton (whom I had over for shepherd's pie) made me amazing chicken katsu, which is what inspired today's adventure with Stephanie. It was such a pleasant, satisfying meal - brussels sprouts gave it a spin on the traditional bed of shredded cabbage. Recipe to come soon (perhaps), along with a magic sauce. In the mean time, find yourself an old t-shirt to wear while deep-frying.

One word: quiche.

Also, I went through a phase this week when I made things from other good food blogs: curried egg salad, quick black beans with cumin and oregano, and (ahem) more of that parsley pesto. The humbling reality of it all is that I really haven't made up much myself. But that's okay, if it means I get to have Arizmendi pizza. (Steph and I are in the process of whipping out a plan to storm all the good pizza places in the area.) And I certainly don't mind the simple things like oranges and buttered toast.

I don't need to end this thing formally, do I? It is, after all, a brainstorm. Maybe I'll expand on any one of these topics someday. But until then, have a happy weekend!

I feel like breaking all the rules today and not leaving a recipe. This isn't because I don't love you, because I do. It's because I almost never write down recipes, which I know surprises people when they find out I was also a chemistry major. (I hated lab notebooks, except for finding other uses for carbon paper.) And so it's a lot of work when I write a post and have to figure out what I did and share it so you can replicate it at home. Sometimes I even do it again on my own with the measurements just to make sure it's exactly the same. (Example: tonight I tried to redo the katsu sauce and it just wasn't the same as when I did it the first time without measuring.) And now I'm tired and just want to get this post up on the web. But I'd be happy to give rough instructions for anything if you give me a ring. Or, better yet, just show up at my door and I'll make you something real quick. I may not feel like writing, but I almost always feel like cooking.

Thanks for reading!


Molly said...

I most certainly do not eat the toast butter side down! While I can see the tasty advantage to having the melty butter hit your tongue first, it's how you get to that point that freaks me out. You can't set the butter side down on your plate, so inevitably you'd be flipping the toast around every time you take a bite. Perhaps I'm just uncoordinated, but I think I would end up with butter all over my fingers, which means less butter in my mouth, so all in all I think you come out ahead by eating toast butter side up. I realize you just asked for a response and not an analysis, but you both know how good I am an not analyzing things...Love the post and love you!

Sarah said...

Yumm...english muffins.

By my standards, which are very high if I do say so myself, one must consume a minimum of 2 packages of english muffins a month. Which packets do you say. Well for us sophisticated folks, only a 4-pack of Thomas' from Costco will do. It is a wonder that they do not come in 6-packs for they do share quite a few similarities with some unmentionable alcohol.

Some similarities include:

Ok, well maybe no similarities, but they are both sold at the wonderful land of costco. Regardless, 6-packs it should be because 6 is better than 4.

Case closed.

Stephanie said...

lisa: brilliant as always. i enjoy sharing this blog with you partly because i get numerous shoutouts from you per entry...yesss...

molly: eat your toast fast and you won't even need to keep putting it down on your plate. you are silly. toast butter side to tongue is superior by far.

sarah: i have no idea why thomas' taste dramatically better than other brands of english muffin, but there you go.

kd said...

I don't know about the cornmeal pancakes at Rick & Ann's, but I have had them at Meal Ticket on San Pablo and can definitely vouch for their amazing-ness.