Unknown?: Port Royal Sugar Cookies

Monday, March 24, 2014

-That thing that apparently no one but me has heard of…-

Years ago when I was traveling through Europe, my brother and I having gotten tired of the hot springs and quaint village scene, which apparently can happen, took a day to ourselves and hopped a dilapidated train under a stainless steel sky from Baden to Vienna.  At 17 and 19 we did what most teenagers in Europe did: went to the museums, toured the architecture, and quoted lines from Faust at the statue of Goethe. Obviously.

Such wild, irresponsible rigamarole characteristic of our heathen-like ages took a toll and we were forced to finally put down our saddlebags and sparkling waters (something that at that age we drank with reluctance as still water cost at least another one of the curious new Euros) and decided that food was in order.

At the time I had little interest in food and if I have a regret it's not treating myself to some truly glorious meals through Europe. A sin, really, but I suppose it's one more reason to visit again someday. Rather than go to a cafe or restaurant where my appalling French and our collective total lack of German would likely embarrass us all into a blush-colored puddle we agreed that a nearby pastry shop would be the best option. Not wanting to appear too terribly American we could easily look through display, point, and then pay without more than a simple, "Danke!"

Recipes for the Jaded Cook

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fried Chicken
Get out the tallest, most sturdy pot you've got and fill it with four bottles of vegetable oil. Ignore the fact that this is probably one of the biggest food wastes ever because that would infringe on your self-image as a food-conscious individual who eats responsibly. Dredge the shit out of that free range chicken in heirloom flour and 120 ASTA paprika, and the buttermilk you got for $9 at the Farmers Market. Debate whether it's worth it when it doesn't taste as good as the fried chicken from the market deli. Spend the next ten minutes Windex-ing oil off of the counter, stove top, floor, and - somehow - the ceiling. You tried at least, right?

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Everyone tells you to age the cookie dough in the fridge for a week. Even two weeks. Hell, let's aim for a month for that dough. Those caramel notes will be buff motherfuckers. Realize that when you want chocolate chip cookies you probably want them now. Age them for about half of an episode of House of Cards. Good enough. Eat half the dough before baking the rest.

Trendy Cocktail #1
Have a Happy Hour cocktail for $8 that's served in a highball glass and has a sprig of rosemary sticking out of it. When you get home convince yourself that you can totally make that shit. Why pay $8? The next day be sure to spend at least $60 buying liquors. Make the drink once for five friends on a Saturday night before a Netflix binge. Forget about the mostly unused liquor and let it spend the next five years in a dark cabinet corner until you give them to a friend for an 80's themed party. Toss the rosemary in a month when you find it's gone bad.

First Spring: Asparagus with Lime

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

-Good with lime and feta. An easy peasy meal.-

Aside from trying to stop the slow advance of ants into the house with all means necessary - both organic and chemical - I'm slowly feeling out my first Spring in my house.

Projects are underway. The husband in all his do-it-yourself mindset has gone about stringing up trellises for snap peas and dug out the ancient, mercurial grape vines and replaced them with far more temperamental kiwis that are being trained about the arbor. He's also built a workbench and has dreams of wainscoting our bedroom (I'm trying to smile when he talks about it as I come up with a scheme to make sure that does not happen. S.O.S. Please send ideas.)

When we moved in the unkempt cherry tree hanged so heavy with fruit it groaned in the wind. At the time we didn't have a ladder to reach most of it but this year I plan to offer it continuous relief. In addition, during the winter we planted apples, pomegranates, plums, pluots, and too many citrus to count. Finally after months of dormancy green springs are burrowing their way out into the sun and it's rather exciting. I even called my first plum blossom glorious, because it was. It was tiny and small and won't bear fruit but that's not the point. The point is that our home feels like it's beginning to wake up and is eager to thrive.

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