ravenously

food.

Catching up

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I keep forgetting to post, but I do have some interesting meals to mention!

I made a huge pan of the chap chae from my last post and, uncharacteristically, ate it all, diligently, meal after meal, instead of eating it for 2 meals and letting the rest ferment in my fridge until moldy. I used a little bit of Morningstar Farms fake meat crumbles and a ton of spinach.

Rahul and Charlie went gathering mushrooms in the forest, where they got hugely lost in the woods for about 6 hours, but came back with a collection of huge wild morels, and we made dinner with their find. We sauteed the morels in butter (gobs of it! 1 stick, and that was 1/4 the recommended amount from the recipe we found online) until they were a bit shriveled and browned. They were delicious! The caps were more tender, the stems more leathery and chewy, both with a wild, meaty savor to them, slightly tangy, I thought. So good! We also made:

– cornbread, using the Skillet Cornbread recipe from John Thorne’s Serious Pig, and watered-down farmer’s cheese instead of buttermilk. It came out very good, and we ate it all before the rest of the food was ready.

– risotto and orzo, both only somewhat successful; the risotto turned an alarming fleshy pink during cooking for no discernable reason (it was cooked in an enameled Le Creuset pan with onions, carrots, celery, and broth) and both of them went bad before the week was out, strangely. Dinner was on Monday; Rahul brought the Tupperware over for me to smell on Wednesday, I think, and it smelled horribly rotten, like something that had been there for weeks.

– fagioli all’uccelletto, made in a Crock Pot our friend Jason gave us before moving out of town.  Pinto beans, water, canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, dried sage, soy sauce, black pepper, and bay leaf. I cooked them for about 6 hours at 180 degrees (the highest the Crock Pot will go) and they were meltingly tender and soft.

But the morels were the star of the show!

After dinner, we went to the Stepp Cemetery to try and see the ghost. However, Carol and I got so freaked out that we left pretty much immediately. (I was feeling brave until we got there and it was much darker than I expected, and much more like that creepy well in the field in Ringu. I think Carol was more afraid, sensibly, of murderers in the woods).

Other meals in the week:

– We went to Sushi Bar with some of the straggler business school people still left in town–Shalini, Lisa, Dan, Andre, Steve and Jeanne, Sheen, and a first year, Thierry. I like their sushi! I got a combo box with rolls and there was enough in it for two meals.

– I made more cornbread to go with the beans, this time with dried rosemary in the batter. Also good.

– We had dinner at Runcible Spoon and it was actually really good! I’ve always thought of it more as a place with good atmosphere than anyplace to get excited about the food. But Rahul got a Reuben (we have pretty much fallen off the vegetarian wagon, I’m sorry to say) with home fries and it was amazing–big, moist chunks of corned beef, and the home fries were a far cry from the undercooked ones I’ve had there in the past–these were more like mashed potatoes made into a cake and pan-fried till crisp. I got kippers on whole wheat toast, with lemon slices and salad greens and chopped tomatoes, and it made a really nice light dinner with half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

– I had a big Open Sesame salad at Roots–fried tempeh over mixed greens, with their green herb dressing instead of the sesame ginger stuff. I love that green dressing. Perhaps they’ll tell me what’s in it before I leave town. I also had a side of sweet potato fries. Delicious.

– We tried to go out looking for morels again yesterday. We were unsuccessful, though I found a beautiful orange flower that turned out to be a tulip tree blossom–later, I saw them growing all over a tree in town– and a box turtle who did not want to be my friend. Still, I was charmed.

– After the unsuccessful morel-hunting expedition, we drove north to Martinsville and found the town square. There was a fundraising barbecue going on for the Veterans’ Memorial in the main square. Walking around, we found a totally charming old-fashioned candy shop called the Candy Kitchen, where we bought
lots of candy they’d made in-house. Highlights included a chocolate-peanut butter fudge bar called a Tiger Bar, orange jelly cubes dipped in dark chocolate, and some snowy white old-fashioned pulled vanilla taffy (“It’ll pull out a filling if you chew it! You have to suck it,” warned the owner).  We had lunch at the barbecue on the square. The fundraisers were cooking meat in giant mesquite smokers, and it seemed like most of them were bikers. One guy at the grill tried to entice us by waving a cheeseburger at us. It fell off his spatula onto the ground. So we felt that we had to go back and have some food. It was $3 per sandwich–Rahul got a cheeseburger, I got chopped pork barbecue and put some sweet pickle chips on top, and they were both really, really delicious.

We ate at Village Deli today at lunchtime. The food was nothing special, but it was a pretty day–sunny and breezy.

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Written by orata

May 18, 2008 at 7:11 pm

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