Over the holidays, the bums and I dug deep through our crania in search of great ideas that we could sell to great companies to get big bucks. My best idea was attachable pockets so that pocketless attire might become functional. Luckily, better thoughts have come along. While I won’t get rich off of them, they might make my meals tastier and cheaper.
Buy cilantro, parsley and mint. Don’t even panic that they will whither into brown sewage in the back of the vegetable drawer. No. Take a knife to each bunch. Chop and freeze immediately. Remember it is there chilling. Sprinkle generously on soups, beans or rice dishes.
A mousse in the garage
My first recipe of the year is lemon mousse. Obviously from the “Moosewood Cookbook.” I must say that it will be difficult to make this dessert without an electric mixer. If you’ve got one, though, this lemon treat is a fluffy alternative to cakes, cupcakes or fruitcakes. Plus, this is a recipe calling for a mere five ingredients!
A moose in the garage
One of my New Year’s Resolutions, brought to you by my bum colleague Mike, was to cook more and blog more. Thumbing through Bittman’s “Everything” book for inspiration aroused my only critique of his masterpiece. It is so big! The breadth of choices and variations upon variation of those options leaves me wondering how to pick a meal. So I’m deciding to keep a moose in the garage in 2012. A moose? I am adopting “The New Moosewood Cookbook” as my source of simple vegetarian fare. Mollie Katzen’s vegetarian cookbook was originally published in 1977, one of the original collections of meatless recipes. I may be a vegetarian, since I restrict my meat intake for financial and environmental reasons. But I must admit to being at a lifetime record high of enjoying pork and beef! Nonetheless, when Katzen says cookbooks exist in people’s lives, “for the simple purpose of getting a few ideas for good things to cook and eat, and sometimes they have come out with more,” it seems fitting to use “Moosewood” as inspiration for the family blogshare.
On your next trip to the store, grab a gnarly garlic root and add it to your cart. It’s super cheap and will take your stir fry to the next level. I just peeled about a half inch, sliced thin rings and added them with the garlic.
Grocery Report: New CapabilitiesTo build a kitchen on a minimal budget is to encounter triumphant peaks and desolate valleys. On this week’s grocery run, for example, I found to my disappointment that I have not yet cracked the “cheese barrier” and am stuck with yogurt as my sole dairy for seven more days.
To my great delight, however, I splurged on Balsamic vinegar! Thanks to a previous oil purchase, I’m now completely vinaigrette-eligible. To that end, I’ve added to my existing broccoli stalk and beefed up on onions and bell peppers ($1 each on reds and yellows — seems like a great deal but I can’t tell).
Other welcome purchases include:
- Four (!) - pound tub of peanut butter (mainly for oatmeal enhancement)
- Jar of raspberry preserves (ibid.)
As well as Crumbs and Bums Kitchen newcomers:
- Bananas (finally getting in the fruit game!)
- Lemon and two limes (ibid; get ready to actually have flavor, pinto beans)
- Sourdough bread — thank Heaven for manager’s discounts; keep smooshing those loaves, guys.
I still pine for my home state’s trademark foodstuff, but I may not have long to wait; this week’s double-down on oats and rice should free up space on the ledger for some Parmigiano Saturday next! With that I will have taken another small but meaningful step away from involuntary veganism.
I fried extra spuds and put them away in the fridge before adding the egg component. Maybe they’ll show up later in the week!
My first potato dish is a variation on the spanish tortilla, a potato omelet. In Spain I was always surprised when my glass of wine or cup of beer was accompanied by a perfect square of egg and potato. I enjoyed the appetizer freely, and abused it as conversational bait when speaking with a Spaniard. How do you cook your tortilla? How many times do you flip it? Knowing that everyone had their unique style and unique recipe, down to the shape of potato chunks. Disks or chunks or cubes?
While I’ve never really tried to recreate a veritable Spanish omelet, I have taken to frying potatoes, and sweet potatoes, with onions and garlic. For the eggs, I scramble a few in a bowl. Then I transfer the hot, cooked spuds from the stove, into the bowl to soak up the yoke. This helps the mixture congeal a little before I dump the entire mix in the same, original pan and cook it to imperfection.
It’s potato week. Buy spuds: sweet, Russet, yellow, or Yukon. Get busy and show us what you’ve got.
If you make a week’s worth of pinto beans now, that’s another $1.79 you’ll have next week to buy … a bell pepper? A squash?