Well this was pretty much the final point of my Atlanta stay that was an unqualified success, some time Friday morning. This is a turkey carcass that literally has my name on it. Like I walked up to the fridge, saw it in there and said "Oooh, that has my name all over it", and Jeanie Jeanie was conveniently right there to say "It literally does have your name on it". And it did.
For the rest: how do I say this to myself in a believable way. Go back to the happy places from this month-long adventure and try to bring those things here, because for a couple weeks there it really seemed like you were on to something. Oh yeah, and avoid situations like this one, you idiotic man:
Yesterday: bidding the boyz a fond farewell. 3.5 hours in a pretty empty airplane. Walking into a kitchen in full-on "hot food" mode. Turkey, gravy, sweet potato, rutabaga, cranberry, broccolini. Planning documents. Pumpkin cheesecake. Green Jell-O with mandarin oranges and punkin pie.
Today: O'Neill. Tomorrow: Durians. Sunday: maybe a visit to cousins Chris and Carla's new restaurant. Monday: Department of Motor Vehicles. Tuesday: back to Amsterdam. Wish me luck.
Last day in Phoenix, off to Atlanta tomorrow. Above, one last brutal badminton tournament. Below, unexpected vegan lunch at Green, not bad, not really anything super special either other than the decor, which was very nice. Tonight: West Side Story and Thanksgiving leftovers.
My dad has a pretty great new camera. New dog's not bad either.
I forgot to tell this story about the football game. It's halftime, we're in a long line for the restroom, maybe 20 people or so. Right when we finally make it inside the door and are next in line, watching the backs of a room full of burly men in football fan garb silently peeing, my dad turns to me and says, in his normal speaking voice, which is not quiet at all, "Hey I bought West Side Story today".
I can't believe we got out of there alive. Granted, the night before, we had been talking about West Side Story and he couldn't believe I hadn't seen it, and it's true, I should see it. So he bought it, which is potentially great. But there's no need to announce that into a men's room full of drunk, peeing Cardinals fans.
Combine everything from the first group of ingredients except the butter in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse ten times, four seconds per pulse. Add almonds and pulse five more times, one second each. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while you put the apples together.
Adjust rack in oven to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 190C/375F. Add second group of ingredients to a big bowl and stir to coat everything thoroughly. Put apple mixture in a 9" square baking dish or similar, distribute topping evenly over top, bake for 40 minutes. Drizzle brown butter over top, turn up oven to 200C/400F and bake for 5 minutes or until everything looks properly bubbly and brown.
Points to ponder: the awesome Alcohol Compliance shirts worn by the guys checking people's IDs; the family of four next to me must have consumed over $100 worth of food during the first half of the game, they ate constantly (that's their sandwich pictured), and everything cost $9 (a bottle of water was $4.50); I wonder how many of the hundreds of people wearing Pat Tillman jerseys saw the documentary; the Cardinals franchise has made their mascot/logo look meaner in recent years; habanero cheese is a good idea.
So I'm not really in charge of cooking any more b/c dad has the week off. What tends to happen now is that he has some grand design for dinner and my challenge is to provide some vegetable support, which is kind of even more fun than doing the whole thing myself. Last night he wanted to make a vegan, gluten-free pasta marinara, so we ended up doing rice penne with a Quorn marinara, with lots of black pepper and parmesan you didn't miss meat or gluten. And I made that celery/mushroom salad.
Then we played Name That Tune for about two hours, each of us playing something off our laptops connected to a central Bluetooth speaker (this great-sounding thing from UE) and everyone else trying to guess/remember who it was. Good stuff. I have now officially split Charlie Rich and Charlie Pride into two separate people, they were both filed in my brain under the same entry, problematic b/c for starters one of them is black.
No idea what tonight's plan is, but I'm going to try to sneak this Oaxacan string cheese pictured above into something soon. The item below I just picked up in the checkout lane at Wal*Mart, a tamarind-mango lollipop.
Now off to a real NFL football game, my first in a very long time, Cardinals vs. Colts. It should be a hoot, a Real American Experience, too bad/good thing I'm not drinking beer at the moment. Then I come home and cook an apple crisp and some cranberry sauce for tomorrow's Thanksgiving.
The rain relented long enough for everyone to learn how to ride a bike this morning, it literally took about 20 minutes, the advantage of waiting until you're 8 to learn how. Nobody fell once.
Below, jalapeños waiting for pickling.
Further below, a rare successful recreation of a simple Italian salad. This is something I had in Milan a couple of years ago, and though I made to be served as a contorno for the pasta, it was really much better suited to the next morning's breakfast of chicken, smoked mozzarella and artichoke sausage, kind of surprisingly classic.
celery and mushroom salad with parmesan.
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly with a mandoline
5 celery hearts, shaved crosswise with a mandoline
2 tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp scallions, chopped fine
freshly cracked pepper
juice of 2 lemons, zest of one lemon
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
This is an occasionally NSFW, mostly gluten-free kitchen notebook that also occasionally threatens to turn into something else and fails, thus remaining its same old cryptic and superficial self. These posts begin to fail to explain (start at the bottom).