Saturday, August 1, 2009

Someone Else's Words Today

I figured that in honor of this, my 500th post, I would lay off pounding you with my OWN words (because obviously, I've done quite enough of THAT in the past year and a half) and instead direct you to someone's else's words. Specifically, these words in the New York Times, thoughtfully pointed out to me by RLS. She thought maybe I would enjoy reading this article about food, and cooking, and how it has changed over the years to something more akin to a spectator sport (Food Network, anyone?) than a participatory activity. She was right.

You should read it, too. If only for this quote from food-marketing expert Harry Balzer (who is, incidentally, a complete jackass in my opinion), which I was greatly amused by:

"Here’s an analogy,” Balzer said. “A hundred years ago, chicken for dinner meant going out and catching, killing, plucking and gutting a chicken. Do you know anybody who still does that? It would be considered crazy! Well, that’s exactly how cooking will seem to your grandchildren: something people used to do when they had no other choice. Get over it.”

Did that man just call me crazy? I think he did. And we should all devoutly hope that our grandchildren NEVER think that way about cooking. Because God help us all if that comes to pass.

Harry the Jackass is also firmly convinced that cooking as a skill is already lost. Who, he asks, is going to teach the next generation to cook? You know what I say to that ridiculous remark? I will. And so will thousands of others like me (and like many of you, for that matter). But I'll be damned if any of that home-cooked food will ever go to Harry. He can keep eating his Twinkies and Stouffer's frozen meals and bitching about the certain demise of the home-cooked meal. I'll be over here eating my crustless quiche and laughing all the way to the brownies for dessert.

P.S. Huh. Somehow I managed to produce quite a few words of my own in this post after all. Imagine that.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mystery Solved

The Mystery of The First Tomato has been solved. I know--you've all been wondering and fretting ever since I mentioned that I didn't know what variety The First Tomato was. "What COULD it be?" you've all been thinking. "I MUST KNOW."

Calm down. I'm going to tell you.

I braved the tomato jungle yesterday to whack the tomato plants down to size and impose some order in that chaos. I don't stand for chaos in my garden. Because I am a garden dictator. So me and my scissors attacked the tomato plants without mercy, giving them military haircuts and tying up yet more branches to the tomato supports. During the great purge, I discovered some of the original markers I had put in that had gotten covered by the out-of-control plants. And it was then that I discovered that The First Tomato was, indeed, a Stupice.

I know--Tina and Mark both suggested that. And I had always figured the Stupice would be The First, since they are, in fact, an early variety. But I was misled by the fact that they had grown so enormously large this year, they did not in any way resemble the small, neat Stupice we grew last year. They looked more like one of the standards, like Jet Star or Celebrity. But no, The First Tomato was a Stupice. As was the second, which I graciously offered to the MiL yesterday. There will be a few more ready today, so A. might actually get one, too. And then all bets are off, as they ripen faster and faster, until I'm shoving bags of tomatoes at anyone who ventures up my driveway just to GET THEM OUT OF MY KITCHEN, I CAN'T CAN ANYMORE AIIEEEEEE!!!

But we're not there yet. All is still calm in my kitchen and I haven't reached the point of no return yet. Well, except for with the cucumbers. But that's another story.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Food for Thought

Yesterday I harvested one of our huge green cabbages. The cabbage was so big, about the size of a volleyball-verging-on-basketball, that I weighed it. It weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces. The MiL remarked that that was A.'s exact weight when he was born.

I found that inexplicably hilarious.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Things that Have Nothing in Common

There is no "thread" in this post. No connecting idea, no segue, no coherence whatsoever in the two topics that are shooting out of my brain and onto the screen. Just so you know.

You'll all remember, I'm sure, that I ate The Tomato yesterday. The much-anticipated, long-desired First Ripe Tomato of the Season. And no, I did not share. I NEVER share The First Tomato. We even have house guests at the moment, and I ate The First Tomato right in front of them without offering them even a bite. And I didn't even feel bad.

You'd know how unusual that is for me if you understood my highly developed guilt complex and Compulsive Hostess Disorder (if you ever come to my house, just eat everything I try to force on you--it's easier that way).

BUT ANYWAY. So I ate The First Tomato. Then the MiL asked me what variety it was. And I couldn't really tell her. IRRITATING. It's irritating because we have about a dozen varieties of tomatoes out there, and the little marker was gone from near this particular plant. Luckily, I had thought ahead to this eventuality and actually diligently recorded the variety and position of each and every plant, making little diagrams and charts for the entire garden in a little notebook.

Then I lost the notebook. Dammit.

So I can't tell her (or you) what variety The First Tomato was. Except I know it wasn't a Black Krim. Because it wasn't black. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine. So much for organization.


Yesterday afternoon, I got in the lake for the first time this summer. So far this summer, we've had rain, and thunderstorms, and cool weather. Not swimming weather, in other words. But it was hot yesterday, and the lake beckoned. So I decided to take my bath in the lake, since I was going down there anyway. This seems like such a simple, back-to-nature sort of idea. And it would be, if I didn't have to get all prissy and schlep shampoo, conditioner, a comb, mousse, hairspray, and lotion down to the beach with me (we were going out to dinner that night, so I couldn't let my hair be wild and free). It's a bit labor-intensive. But it was fun. And refreshing. Of course, by the time I had hiked back uphill to the house, I was hot again, but it was nice while it lasted.

The end.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Age-old Question

No, not "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" but "How do you like to eat your eggs?"

Can you tell I have a big fat nothing in my head to write about today? Yes. Which is why, of course, I put the onus on you to talk to me in the comments. And today, you're going to tell me about your egg preferences.

Because we know how to have a good time! With ovum.

Okay, so. As to MY egg requirements? WELL. I'm so glad you asked. Because I didn't used to like eggs. I didn't eat them. Or, when I did, they had to be scrambled and covered in a lot of ketchup. So they wouldn't taste like, uh, eggs. But slowly, over the years with A., who is an egg eater, I started to like having eggs for breakfast. And occasionally dinner. I even got to the point where I would eat them in non-scrambled form. Except I still require there be no runny yolk, ever, anywhere on my egg GROSS.

Which means that I now eat my eggs scrambled, hard-boiled (but only fresh--cold hard-boiled eggs make me gag), or fried with the yolk purposely broken and cooked all the way through. I know. I'm a rebel.

Incidentally, I still like to have some other flavoring with my eggs. I don't really like them plain. My current favorite for scrambled eggs is feta, dill, and chives. With fried eggs, I like to either cook a fresh tomato along with the egg (not that I have HAD a fresh tomato since last year, but soon!) or dump a heap of salsa on top.

I should also mention that after eating my own chickens' eggs, I have an aversion to store eggs and their pale, anemic yolks. But that has nothing to do with how I cook them.

And now, please entertain me with your thoughts on eggs. Scrambled, fried, poached (fancy-pants), hard-boiled, or too disgusting to be eaten in any form whatsoever except baked in a cake?

Update: After writing this, I went out to the garden to harvest my daily five pounds of cucumbers and decided to check on the progress of the first ripening tomato. It was ripe. And I ate it. And it was glorious.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Breaking News

The first red tomato has finally (FINALLY) been spotted in the garden. Further developments will be reported as they occur. (Like when I pick it and shove it into my maw. Yum.)

Over and out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blessed Nuptials and Wedded Bliss

Today A. and I celebrate six years of wedded bliss. Well, as in all relationships, the bliss has been thin on the ground some days, but overall, two thumbs up.

I think the following exchange sums it up well:

A.: I'm glad we're still pretty happy after all these years.

Me: Yup. Better'n the alternative.

P.S. This conversation occurred in A.'s truck yesterday, a day that was hot and sunny and humid. A.'s truck overheats, which means the heater has to be going full blast when it's hot, to cool the engine down. I think the fact that I was half-dead from heatstroke and hanging out the window like a dog in an attempt to cool down, and yet still replied in a positive way, is a testament to our relationship.