Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oh I'm On My Way I Know I Am

Most likely you know this already.  Soup gets better the next day.  But if you've already had leftovers, the 2nd day can actually be even better if you add new ingredients.  Wild rice and fresh tomatoes went in to make a full meal out of this full bodied broth and finish the pot.
Daggummit, it's the little things I tell ya that make life not just tolerable but downright joyful.  Sometimes a chunky soup is all you need to live that day slightly happier.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

No, You Ain't Afraid to Stick It In

I was surprised how good a roasted chicken sounded so soon after Thanksgiving.  I had a ton of fresh herbs leftover and of course I happily stuffed them into it's little cavity.  Somehow this bird was so dang luscious! The buttered herbs made the skin so crisp that you took a bite and the juice ran down your chin.  I ended up filling the peppers with leftover stuffing.  That made such a cool holder for all of those amazing complimentary flavors.  Genius!

Monday, November 26, 2018

It's All About That Base

With the turkey bones I made a deep, rich stock for a tranquilizing soup featuring kale, potatoes, white beans and shredded turkey.  
It truly is all about that base.  Water, celery, garlic, carrot, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf all locked in a hot pot with the turkey carcass and left to reduce and give up every bit of it's flavor is about as poetic as food gets.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

I made a very small turkey this year so there was not a huge amount of leftovers. I had the idea to do a carnitas-type tostada with well-seasoned, crisped strands of turkey.  Then using the leftover kale from the ginormous bag I bought plus the seeds of the pomegranate felt kind of genius. It's so dang festive and the colors are on point for the holidays.
The citrus guacamole was the base, meaning no beans so they were terrifically light. The seeds made them look lit.
I baked the shells in the oven using no oil so they were nice and crisp with no added fat.
Adding cheese is a sign of disrespect in many cases if you want to go authentic but who am I fooling? I can't even speak Spanglish.  I'm here to make the food fun and cheery.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Thanksgiving 2018

I don't know if everyone is the same way.  I talk a lot of shit and complain about everything in the day to day.  But inside, I'm super duper grateful.  When I take a shower I think of all the people that don't have that luxury, to get completely clean and feel so rejuvenated.  That one thing everyday that helps us to clean the slate and start anew.  When I sit down to a meal with P I think how lucky we are to have plenty of food to eat every single day.  That we never go hungry.  We often get to share home cooked meals together.  When I ride my bike I thank God for my health, that even though I've been such a knucklehead in life, I figured out how to make my body last longer by not abusing it.  I try to keep it up, muscles stretched and slightly hardened, heart pounding. And so thankful for the mind.  The ability to keep learning and discovering, exploring.  I appreciate the friendships that I have fostered and the relationships with family that grow stronger every year.  I hold all of this very near to my heart and praise God for it.

Thanksgiving for me is a dinner made for all of this gratitude, an offering.  And so it's bounty should reflect that level.  When I look at this plate I am basically looking at my life that year.  It shows we came out the other end of something yet again and hopefully both of us will be even better than before. 
Finally a super moist delicious pumpkin cornbread.  A raw cranberry relish that was better than any previously made.  Gravy that held it's own in richness.  Homemade green bean casserole with fried onion rings made from delicate shallots.  Stuffing with sausage mushrooms, apples and celery.  And a spinach apple walnut salad with bleu cheese to start.  The creamy mashed potatoes were heavenly with roasted garlic and Parmesan.

I also like these end of year holidays because no matter what went down in your life for the last 12 months, we all get a pass of sorts, to take that year out with yesterdays trash and start fresh.  We prepare for the one ahead, where there is always a chance to make it better.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Carry You Down

I am hesitant to write this story about what happened at work recently but all names will be changed to protect the innocent.  Our fire alarms go off at ridiculously high volumes which is one huge point of contention for me.  In fact, I could hear them full blast as I was riding up into the parking lot on this day. I got half excited thinking maybe we wouldn't be able to open and we would all be sent home to enjoy a full free day.  Instead, I went to the morning meeting where the manager on duty gives a state of the union and makes necessary announcements.  I don't have to attend.  I'm like the girl from the Breakfast Club that just goes because she's bored.  I like to study the higher ups and our mid level managers for kicks.  We came to understand we had no working elevators but would open on time and somehow make it work. There were so many questions.  How about the elderly?  Strollers?  Who would carry the bags and boxes down the steps for customers?  The store is on stilts so there is no ground floor, everything must be schlepped down a full flight of stairs.  Normally customers put large flatbed carts on the elevators and bitch about having to load their own shit in the car. They will love this.  As everyone is beginning to talk at once I notice this manager was looking worse for the wear.  His normally well groomed hair was disheveled and his head looked sweaty. His face was bloated. He had put on several pounds since arriving only a few short months ago.  He had on tattered Keds type sneakers which made him look short. Perhaps he was called in the middle of the night to handle the issue with the fire department.  There was talk of someone working on the problem since 3am, which was a broken pipe that caused a flood that caused the power outage. 
Even so, our concerns were not addressed in any type of realistic plan.  We were given answers that parents might hand out to their 5 year old. We'll see. We'll have to make due.  He continues, 'we'll figure something out'. We're opening in less than an hour I thought, now's the time to and these are the people to make that procedure. 
I'm just here for the ride and knew I'd probably not be inconvenienced at all but was miffed that many of my male coworkers would.  They could hurt their back, be injured.  We aren't supposed to be doing this type of thing and should not be asked.  All day I'm thinking this was the wrong call made by a long term company man.  This guy came here as an interim head dude.  A hot shot from Spain with thick black hair and blue eyes. He speaks like Inspector Clouseau and I've often felt he mistakes people in Brooklyn for uneducated clueless idiots. I've seen him sighing and in general looks like he's above it all and wouldn't mind slapping some of us. 
Image result for inspector clouseau gifs
Handsome chicken breasts split and stuffed with apples and cheddar.  Served over a bed of spinach and sweet potatoes.  I was quite pleased with myself on this one.  Adjustments for next time would be to keep the red skin on apples and to use yellow instead of white cheddar for more color.
Later that day I come to find out that this manager had horrible chest pains and an ambulance was called for him.  And as the administrative offices are on the 4th floor....yep, they were unable to carry him all the way down the steps.  Boom! What a karmic disgrace.  I actually felt bad for him.  Everyone makes mistakes, but this could have put him in jail. What if we had a fire?  I would read a couple of weeks later that he is leaving the company after 30 years to 'pursue other ventures'.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Beautiful Ones

This was one fine ass pork chop.  I finally braved the Stop N Shop at Atlantic Center again after they had switched from PathMark and after I realized after a million years I was incorrectly calling them Path Mart. The changeover was clumsy and I figured it would be poorly run but it's actually not bad in there.  Produce will still be purchased from my local green market and surprisingly, the prices there are much better and the vegetables are fresh and crisp.  But for meat, this is the place. 
Besides, I miss shopping the big aisles of a proper grocery store.  I also am fond of the perks card.  These magical plastic badges turn a nineteen dollar chicken into six dollars and fifty eight cents.  That feeling you get when you save is real.  Definitely a marketing scheme that works. 

Pan roasted broccoli rabe with mushrooms and garlic. 

We had us our first snow storm last night but by morning things were melting fast.  We lost a lot of trees and branches around town.  I don't understand the reason.  Some say the trees were dry and branches just broke off.  I thought maybe the ground was saturated and that caused the trees to fall. But that doesn't explain both.  Could be the weight of the wet snow.  I'm observing the trees more in general these last years.  I've even began worrying about certain ones that I notice aren't blooming properly.  I love the trees especially that live in the city because I imagine like us humans, they are tasked with finding the best way to survive in this crazy place and must have their challenges.  The beautiful ones are even that more impressive when they stand proudly in the projects or in abandoned lots, along an otherwise uneventful block.