I’m already thinking ahead to next Christmas and that I’ll likely make a dish. Perhaps something that I can’t pronounce like bolognese. Meat is definitely a requirement.
What happens when you try to come up with a menu to appease seven human beings, each with differing dietary restrictions, penchants, picadillos, likes, dislikes, preferences, predilections, disinclinations, propensities, and predispositions?
Answer: Exponential permutations.
Good news. It looks like we’ll only need 128 different dishes to satisfy everyone.
My wife used her iPhone to send a recipe to my iPad.
Remember the video footage of all the wonderful things the iPad could do? Boundless creativity. Family photos. Reading books. Painting masterpieces. Getting jiggy with some tunes. Keeping up on current events. Watching movies. Organizing your life. Unparallelled worlds of productivity. Publishing novels. Maps to everywhere. Recipes in the kitchen.
Recipes in the kitchen? Are you kidding me?
They showed busy home cooks and restaurant chefs consulting the magical device while they cooked. Just a touch away, all the knowledge of cookie at your fingertips.
I figured I’d give it a try. I clicked the recipe link my wife had sent and it opened a page in Safari that was consumed by about 80 percent advertising. Video was playing. Things were blinking. “What the?” I stammered, befuddled by the onslaught on my senses.
“Where the hell is the friggin’ recipe?!”
Oh, yeah. Right. They didn’t mention that part. You have got to have useable content for the iPad to be able to be of much use. Otherwise it’s pretty much the world’s most energy inefficient paperweight.
I squinted and looked really hard. There it is! I found the recipe buried alive and in a tiny tiny font. I used a gesture to try to to expand the page and make it look bigger. No dice. I looked for a print button. No dice. I checked the address bar for the world-famous Safari “reader” mode. Nope.
In desperation I made the commute to my office where I could actually read the page. I was hungry.
At last. I see we have a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I looked over the instructions. “Pour the reserved liquid and grime into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.”
Crap. Here we go again.
Grime?! Grime?! Grime?! Is this some kind of master chef word that has eluded me throughout my career? “Oh, grime. Why are you so coy?”
“Honey!!! Where the hell is the grime???”
I went back to the kitchen and chucked the prep so far. It was time to improvise. At least the iPad made a serviceable cutting board. Finally! Dice at last!
Attention food manufacturers: I could be representing your product online. Hire me and experience a whole new world of exposure. What would it be like? Here’s a little taste. –Ed.
“What is that?” some moron asked me one day.
I chewed and gulped hard. “It’s a ham and cheese sandwich,” I replied even though my mouth was still full.
“And what the hell is that?” they continued with their clever line of questioning.
“I’ll be happy to explain it for you.”
First find yourself some wheat. Harvest the caryopsis (a combination of endosperm, germ, and bran) and mill it to a fine powder. Add some water and a handful of single-cell microorganisms (species Saccharomyces cerevisiae), stir, let rest and insert into a high-temperature chamber for awhile.
Meanwhile kill a pig. Process the meat via curing, smoking or salting. Slice the meat thin.
Find a cow (preferably a female). Gather the white liquid produced by the mammary glands. Allow the liquid to curdle, then beginning mill when it becomes curds. Do this for a long while until the sharp edges of the curd pieces are removed. Allow to ripen. Finally, process the whole thing with additional cow white liquid, salt, preservatives and food coloring. Shape (wheel or loaf) and allow to harden. Be sure approx. 10% or less of the final product is mold. Slice into thin pieces.
Using the same white liquid, agitate forcefully until the fat is separated from the rest. To the fat add salt, flavorings and preservatives. Spread this substance on half of the baked wheat product made earlier.
Finally, take an emulsion of oil and combine in a blender with the golden-yellow part of the chicken reproduction process and vinegar or lemon juice (your choice). Spread this on the remaining wheat product.
Stick the processes thin meat and thin pieces of white liquid mold between the wheat product pieces. This entire assembly is known as a “sandwich.”
Optional: Fry the whole thing in a skillet, if you wish. It can be served hot or cold.
Note: You can skip the “find a cow” sections by purchasing Kraft Singles which adds the following additional ingredients: milk, whey, milk protein concentrate, milkfat, sodium citrate, contains less than 2% of calcium phosphate, whey protein concentrate, salt, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, cheese culture, annatto and paprika extract (color), enzymes, vitamin d3. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Today we feature a traditional dessert from the Abyss Recipe Cookbook that you’re bound to enjoy time and time again unless you try it on yourself.
The valaska is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, especially in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The features of a valaska combine a tool with a walking stick, that could be used as a light weapon. It has symbolic historical and cultural connotations and is still used as a prop in many traditional dances, for example the odzemok.
Note: For this recipe a valaska with an ovenproof handle is a must.
You can find valaska in any quality Czech hardware/weapons store. If not available in your area, a hatchet may be used instead. The results will be similar.
Akutaq (aka Eskimo Ice Cream) is traditionally made with animal fat but you can make your own using Crisco as a modern substitute. Reindeer tallow, if you can get it, is highly recommended.
- 1 valaska (see note), traditionally a little over 1 metre in length
- 4.2 pounds of akutaq (may be substituted with gelato, frozen yogurt, or ice cream)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. This temperature is necessary for a cooking process known as searing.
Place the valaska in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until an angry crimson glow can been seen. If the valaska won’t fit, it is permissible to place the valaska with the head-piece inside and the handle sticking out. Adjust cooking time as necessary.
While baking, prep the akutaq by placing it in a large metal bowl.
When the valaska is ready, carefully remove from oven (it will be hot). Dip the head-piece into the bowl of akutaq ensuring a full equal coating. The combination of heat and cold will sear the akutaq creating a fond.
Garnish with fresh slices of human head.
- Add eight (8) pieces of crisped bacon, crumbled, during akutaq prep
- Aim for the kneecaps
- Vegetarians: Replace akutaq with a pine nut pesto
From Grandma’s Kitchen: “Baked Valaska doesn’t kill people. People do! En garde!“
No longer do you ask the question, “What’s for dinner?”
Continue reading →
I am now recovering from The Cooking Incident. This post has bumped, temporarily, the previously scheduled post about The Camping Incident. (Which is still to come at some later date.)
This was an incident of titanic proportions.
I had decided it would be fun to make some BBQ beans for the Fourth of July. I took out my gigantor America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook and found the recipe. I noticed right way that it contained bacon. (That’s out because my wife is vegetarian.) No worries. I’d just leave that out and find another ingredient that was almost as much fun.
I searched the net and found a recipe that contained green pepper. I love green pepper. The wife said no.
One recipe contained chipotle chilies in an adobo sauce. We happened to have some frozen in the fridge. The wife said yes.
An interesting idea was tossing in some fresh mango. The wife said no. “I don’t like fruit in my beans,” she said.
Lastly, I had the idea of dumping in some bourbon which is always a great idea IMHO. The wife said yes.
With the ingredient lineup approved, I went to work. The recipe called for a dutch oven. The wife recommended our cast iron dutch oven. This moment would turn out to be akin to Captain Smith ignoring the iceberg warnings, although I did not know it yet. Continue reading →