on pause.

I'm going to go ahead and put this thing on pause for a while...I'm barely cooking at all, other than making these green beans once every couple of days (I like them with a few gratings of Parmesan or pecorino, and don't leave out the anchovy, it's critical!).

Other than that I'm frying tempeh, eating smoked salmon and other various non-thrilling things*, and for a change I don't feel much like babbling on glibly about the rest of my activities, so...let's all go find something more entertaining to do with ourselves for awhile. If you're really hard-up for action you can watch whatever tiny friction occurs when I bad-mouth someone and they show up to complain about it. O, the perils of fame.


* Not including the pozole de pato (duck!) that I made on Wednesday, that was/is totally thrilling. Unfortunately it was the last of the poSole, so my quantities were limited...there wasn't enough to freeze and Mara and I are both eyeing the sole remaining serving very protectively.



i take the zero.

Well, that sucked. I've injured my eye before, but never quite like this: I couldn't sleep because every time my eyes started to do that REM twitchy thing, my left eye felt like someone was using it as an ashtray. By now, Day 4, I'm just about OK.


face damage.

After my gig (above) Wednesday I sustained a non-life-threatening corneal abrasion and can't keep my eye(s) open for very long at the moment. Hopefully this will pass soon, as I've got reading and writing to do.



it's a wonderful life.

Had a shit experience at perennial fave De Zotte yesterday, don't know if they were caught off-guard by a packed Tuesday night or if economics are making them cut corners....but whatever happened, it was made worse by the fact that we had somewhere to be (pictured above) and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion.

The biggest complaint? Portions were small, expensive, and didn't taste like anything special. Boo. The only small consolation is that the show that we were made late for kind of sucked. Is that a consolation? Oh, and the beer was good.

Also got faux-berated by a new reader for getting a non-hot, limp bara at Toko Hangalampoe. Guess I need to stop in for a little quality control check whatever thingie.



beet conducta.

When I said I'd never heard of beets and bacon together, I wasn't thinking of salads. 

This swarm of Bs I've made before: beets, bacon, Bibb, blauwekaas, bieslook, balsamic....and some other non-B things.

Sometime next week I'll hopefully get to the recipe that started all of this: bietjes met speklapjes.


Not much blogging going on lately, maybe you've noticed. Nothing wrong, just not spending much time in the kitchen, which is for me sometimes good. The most interesting thing I cooked last week was sopropo or bitter melon, which I may write about one day. 

I did come to the conclusion that there's no way to prepare this vegetable that un-bitters it: if you've tried to make it before and found it too bitter, well then you're just S.O.L. It's bitter. I myself tried to duplicate the Surinamese treatment I encountered at the Ten Katemarkt (tomato, butter, trassi, garlic, Madame Jeanette) and generally succeeded.




belgian roulette.

Pictured above: the last truffle shavings over eggs and shrimp.


I'm conducting an interesting/stupid experiment tonight. Mostly stupid, but I guess possibly interesting for being so.

I bought a couple of kilos of mussels at the Dirk yesterday, as I've been doing every couple weeks this winter. For the first time ever, there was a rather terrible smell when I opened the package, something like a wet dog corpse probably.

Out of morbid curiosity and a not-insignificant sense of frugality, I dumped the mussels in the sink, discarded any half-shells or broken mussels, and soaked the remainder in cold, cold tap water for 5 minutes. Just to see what would happen. After draining them, they didn't stink at all.

Here's my experiment: they always say that one bad mussel can make you dreadfully ill. Of course I believe them, because I've been made dreadfully, apocalyptically ill by shellfish before. But I guess that was a long time ago, because I'm ready to chance it again: if I've removed the most suspicious suspects, and all of my remaining mussels appear healthy before cooking, am I still in danger?

Let's find out. For lunch today I cooked all of them and ate 5 of them. The rest I removed from their shells and put in the fridge just in case I don't die. Stay tuned!


AND? I lived. And then I ate half of the remaining mussels the next day and survived again. Lesson learned? Yes...mussels are not especially enjoyable when you're really suspicious about their toxicity.



Like Klary
, someone gave me a truffle the other day. Actually they gave it to me at Klary's house, though it didn't come from the same source as Klary's truffle. And the kind, kind giver was just about one of the last people you'd expect to hand you a truffle and say "No, really...take this," and I don't mean that in a bad way at all.

And also like Klary, mine was not the Most Potent Fungi Ever. It's taste approximated a very strong mushroom, but I think in a blindfolded smell test, I wouldn't have said "truffle" as one of my first two guesses. And that's not really what truffles are known for, being aromatically coy.

So, after using about half of it on some eggs (which didn't suck), I decided to stick the remainder in some olive oil for a couple of days to see if I could at least get some trufflish oil out of the deal...hence the chocolatey gloss on the slice pictured above.



she's a celeriac, celeriac, on the floor.

Yo. Gig Month is Over. Now a few weeks off so I can finish my taxes and go to the gym every day like a non-musician and generally behave in an upright and sober manner. Sounds like fun, don't it?

Saturday night was a birthday party that I managed to make it to the second half of, so I didn't taste all of the wonderful food but I did get some of the fantastic chicken + bread dish, musakhan, and the dessert was also totally ka-blam. And I got to take home leftovers. Happy Birthday indeed!


Oh and I should make this Fennel-Celeriac Salad this week since I have both in my fridge at the moment.