bargain huntaz.

Spine-tingling toast! Carrots are on sale at Dirk this week. Carrots and apples. What to do, what to do.


moroccan carrot salad.

500gr carrots
3 tbsp green olives, chopped
2 tbsp almonds, toasted and chopped
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 tsp harissa
pinch cumin
pinch cinnamon
salt and pepper

Peel carrots, leaving 1/4 inch of stem attached. Cut them in half lengthwise and boil until tender in salted water with a crushed clove of garlic. Drain and cool to room temperature. Toss them with a little ground cumin, paprika, and salt, and a pinch each of cinnamon and cayenne. Toss together with lemon juice, olives, almonds, olive oil and chopped cilantro,and set aside to marinate for at least an hour before serving.



dirty ape flavour.

We saw Attila the Stockbroker downstairs last night, wouldn't have guessed that it was my kind of thing but imagine a hard old Billy Bragg/hooligan hybrid playing a giant mandolin...how could you not be swayed.


Decided to get serious about a home backup strategy, bought my first 1 terabyte hard drive, an amount of data that we used to use as a futuristic example back in the 1990s, as in "well it's not like a home user is ever going to need a terabyte of data for anything anytime soon, hahahahaha."

Of course this was before any of us had any practical experience with even a gigabyte of data, when laptops had 80MB hard drives and Windows could be installed (and reinstalled, and reinstalled, and reinstalled) from 6 floppy disks. The real engineers among us (as opposed to my "sham engineer" status) talked about Moore's Law, and how it would persist into the 21st century, and people would eventually consume terabytes of data. But it all seemed like fantasy to me, further evidence of the miraculousness of my managing to be anywhere near the bleeding edge of The Internet Revolution.

So anyway, now, at home, we're kind of trying to neaten up our hard drives so as not to back up huge random piles of useless crap, and for me that means deleting lots of pictures that don't seem to be useful for anything, or posting them here and then deleting them.

Below, tasting better than it looks: this morning's huevos rancheros amidst a pile of one-room apartment debris.



kale frittata.

Trying to eat our way through Dirk's bargain leafy greens, this was a nice change from my standard egg repetoire. We also did it again with escarole/andijvie and that was a totally acceptable variation. Basically caramelize onions to whatever degree you prefer. Then set aside and saute the greens until tender, 6-10 minutes, then add a pressed clove of garlic, turn to low and saute for a minute or two, being careful not to burn garlic. Reincorpoate onions, salt and pepper everything, adding nutmeg and paprika if using. Add cheese, then eggs, and finish. Serves 2 to 4 people, depending.


kale frittata with smoked goat cheese, gorgonzola, and caramelized onions.

1 small onion, chopped/sliced
1 tbsp butter or ghee

2 cups kale/boerenkool or escarole/andijvie, chopped, blanched
1 clove garlic, pressed

5 large eggs
black pepper
possibly nutmeg, and possibly 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3-4 tbsp smoked goat cheese or possibly smoked mozzarella, grated/crumbled
1 tbsp gorgonzola, crumbled
salt to taste


back to normal.

OK, OK, this is good...two or three days in a row of "feeling like blogging". I was getting a little worried.


Non-food moment 1: I inadvertently bought the wrong deodorant and now I no longer smell like myself. I keep having the sensation that I'm wearing someone else's already-worn (but not stinky) shirt. Disconcerting.

Non-food moment 2: if you've been reading this blog regularly at all, you know that, back in the typically difficult summertime timeframe, we had a brush with somehow thinking it was a good idea to talk about personal things in a straightforward manner around here. That feeling has mostly passed, probably because the difficult summer months are over and our needle is out of the red. 

But one artifact of that whole episode is that "the line", you know, the line that if you crossed it things would be different, that line has been pushed further out, or in, as the case may be.

So, for example, now I can casually tell you that I read these two articles almost back-to-back last week that provided sudden and useful insights into my own psychological issues, more so than months of "professional help" has been able to do, and I can tell you this without really agonizing over whether or not it's TMI, because...well, it's not. 

Parental/spousal/friendal advisory: just because one of the articles has the word suicide in it and the other one is an interview with a person who may or may not have just committed suicide, this does not mean that it's time to hide the sharp objects. I promise I'm mentioning these not as a cry for help, but because they really were extremely accurate and helpful, and as you know, I like to recommend helpful things. 



as big as my arm.

This looks pretty unassuming. But it's something I'm going to keep making until I get tired of it or I can't find daikon anymore. This sounds familiar, I know.

I guess you'd call it chicken and daikon soup/stew. Basically chicken soup with carrot and daikon as the featured vegetables. But you dress it like pho, so: scallions, cilantro, mint, and a squeeze of lime if you want, followed by the appropriate amount of sriracha. You almost don't miss pho anymore.

Now we're making Elana's pumpkin bars. Nice to be cooking with the squawker again.


UPDATE: By popular demand, more deets on the soup. I didn't include a recipe b/c this was basically an inefficient kind of improv thing.

What I did: I made a neutral but delicious chicken soup, with 4 liters of water, a whole chicken, onions, celery, and carrots, seasoned only with salt and black pepper. Maybe there was a clove of garlic. Oh and there were definitely 4 or 5 uncut chiles in there, the ones I think of as "Szechuan chiles", about the size of your pinky, dark red, not scarily hot. When the soup was done, I took the chicken out, ate half of it, shredded the rest and put it back in the soup.

That was Day 1. Day 2, I ate it as regular chicken soup.

Day 3, I had this big fucking daikon that needed using, so I cut half of it into cubes (I pickled the rest via Momofuku's recipe), probably 3 cups' worth, and added a little water to the leftover soup and simmered this new version of the soup for about 45 minutes, until the daikon was totally soft. Oh yeah, I added four more little carrots as well.

To bring this new version up to taste I used soy sauce instead of salt, maybe 2 tbsp, you could probably use fish sauce as another interesting variation. At this point, it's ready to go, served with plenty of chopped scallions, mint, and coriander. And the sriracha bottle.

Next time I try it I'll probably add some whole aromatics to the initial broth and remove them afterwards, I'm thinking lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, or galangal would all be welcome additions.




So, I'm reading the weekly sales flyer thingie from our local grocery store, the Dirk (that's what we affectionately call it, Dutch people never seem to do this, or do they), because, you know, times are tough, things are tough all over, etc.

So I'm standing there like a 75-year-old man reading the sales insert, and...there are maybe...75 things on sale (75 is the only exaggerated random number I'm using today). There are two fresh vegetables on sale. One is escarole. The other is pre-chopped kale in a bag.

I know what they want me to do with these, but I'm not going to. Let's think of some other ideas for these two. Otherwise it's going to be a long winter. Caldo verde and white beans + escarole spring to mind, and sound pretty good, assuming I'm allowed a tiny grating of manchego on top. 


(the next day)

I awoke after a TERRIBLE dream, one of these performance anxiety/fear of public failure dreams that I occasionally have, but this was the worst one in a while, basically revolving around me being unable to gather all of the equipment I need to set up for our theatre piece, and the clock ticking.

They normally last about 150 dream minutes (2 x 75), but these minutes seem to go on FOREVER, with me constantly struggling to stay focused and look for the things I need, constantly fending off obstacles, while I know someone is waiting for me at the venue.

This time the obstacles were mostly friends/acquaintances showing up out of nowhere wanting to talk, like "so, hey, man...how's it been going." And I'm like: "Hey, man...(rummaging around)...ehhhhhh.....it's....ah, OK....(rummage rummage) hey, sorry, I really have to find this tiny RCA-to-1/4-inch adapter, maybe you can help look for it? Actually, there are two of them. You don't have any gaffer tape, by the way, do you? I'm also looking for a yellow balloon if you happen to see one. And a watch battery for a kitchen timer."

And they're like, "Yeah...I can help you look, no problem....so, I just got back from London...and I ran into Gavin...do you know Gavin? He was that guy from the thing that what's-his-name set up over at, uh...um...the place, that place called, ah...fuck, with that asshole bartender! Jesus, that guy was a douche..."

Meanwhile, I'm (rummage rummage)ing and can't find ANYTHING, hindered dramatically by the sloth-like speed at which I'm moving. In my versions of these dreams, the 2 x 75 minutes in question typically span from just before the time we're supposed to be soundchecking to just past the time we're supposed to go onstage, normally ending with me miraculously only having half my gear and still not being at the venue yet.

So I woke up panicked and exhausted and realized we didn't have any milk for coffee, and I thought again about the kale. And I had a vision of a frittata, one with a kale-almond pesto, caramelized onions, and a little roquefort. I wish the cosmos would find a less traumatic way to tell me these things.

UPDATE: I made caldo verde for breakfast, minus sausage. It was totally delicious: lots of garlic and a pow! of smoked paprika being the kickers.


commence relaxation period.

It remains sad but true that I have not one iota of interest in blogging at the moment. Why ees thees? We just don't know. I am the complex organism. 

Mara is back from her Brief Test Thrust with the band this week, having made a quick dip through Luxembourg and France, and apparently it was all a smashing success, so she leaves again tomorrow for a UK jaunt that includes Leamington, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, and Nottingham. 

I myself am enjoying a couple of days off after a couple of weeks of semi-intense sonic development that, hey, resulted in two very different but pretty satisfying shows. So I'm cooking a bit: roasting a chicken this very minute, and before that I made some red sauce for I don't know what, and started the days' cooking adventures by braising a big old honker of a daikon in dashi for a kind of soup. I always buy daikon whenever the Maroc/Turk (I've given up keeping track) has one because it's versatile and healthy and very cost-effective (one the size of your arm for a little more than a euro).

After I braised my daikon (euphemism alert), I picked up Momofuku to see what Mr. Chang does to his daikon, and it turns out we do the same thing (I imagine this is also euphemistically correct, generally speaking).

Fascinating story, I know. What else is happening, Peter. We just watched the first half of Mad Men Season Two, I must say it seems a bit scattered in terms of its atttention span and pacing, but maybe that'll change. 

OK, well, yeah! You know sometimes you call a friend and they don't have anything to say and don't really sound like they want to talk? I mean, I hear that this kind of thing happens. It's a bit like that. 



get it off me.

I'm pretty sure this is the kind of status update I don't need to give, but in the absence of any other status changes, it's like this: Still spending days in the always-entertaining rehearsals for the thing we call Hardly, which plays at Bellevue in November. We're simultaneously trying to remember how it works and then improve it without breaking  it, which is a delicate operation.

Beyond that? Nothing much, other than gaining weight. Looking forward to upcoming days at home and not eating like an idiot.



lost, found.

Above: sunset Monday night on the way to check out Theater Bellevue.

Nothing happening here, getting ready for gigs and trying desperately to reconnect with MFSDxiv. I think I've finally gotten over my "I must eat as much bread as possible to make up for the bread I didn't eat this summer" phase. It was great while it lasted, this phase.

Oh yeah, those stolen recordings? Found. Guy who got robbed found his machine for sale online, bought it back, memory card was still inside with recordings on it. Don't have any more info regarding the obvious question: did the guy bring the cops with him when he went to buy it back?

Probably not, because he's a fellow immigrant, and we like to have as little contact with the authorities as possible. I was just imagining what kind of revenge I might personally go for, and I came up with "bringing a live beehive with me to throw at the thief", which if you know me is almost the least likely scenario in the world (I hate bees).



honourable mention.

Dinner at Marius last night, preceded by a drink at De Gouden Real and followed by Zattes in front of the fireplace in our backyard under the sushi tent.