Category Archives: AndyImage
We survived Andy’s first week at work. I’m not going to lie. It was rough. It is rough. This morning was rough. Shem threw up at 3am. I was cranky and couldn’t get back to sleep. But tonight we have teriyaki brown sugar salmon to go with the red curry lentils I made yesterday.
Yesterday Andy started his new job. He had new employee orientation at an offsite location all day yesterday and today is at his job. It’s his first full time job in 5 years. And honestly it’s going to be a big change for us both.
It was weird not being able to call him whenever I wanted to talk to him. I feel kind of lonely. I also relied very heavily on Andy to do so many things. He bought the special cat food from the vet and mailed packages and deposited checks, Andy would marinate seafood for us and clean the house. And who can forget the laundry?
This last weekend I did a load of laundry. The first in a long time. I also mopped the kitchen floor. I honestly cannot remember the last time I did that. I’ve never used the vacuum we bought in August. I mean I’ve turned it on before but never vacuumed the apartment with it.
Plus there’s the new schedule. Andy works from 7-3:30 or 7-4pm. His commute is much longer than mine. I don’t go to work until 8am or so. So he needs to go to bed early. Like around 10pm or earlier. If your significant other wakes up at 4am chances are so do you. Even if your alarm was set for 6:30am.
I’m so glad I received 2 gift cards for Starbucks. I’ve had an extra cup of coffee both today and yesterday. Yee haw.
For dinner we went to Bella Union in Jacksonville and had oysters and beer. Honestly they were some of the best oysters we’ve ever had. Best thing is that every Thursday through April, they have oysters and beers on special.
I love hummus. Although I didn’t try it until I was about eighteen years old, I believe that I have made up for those hummus free years. I love it on a bagel with onions and tomato. I chop up vegetables and use hummus as a tasty dip. I eat it with bread and lick it off my fingers.
I have been buying it from Winco but they recently raised the price and I cannot justify spending $3.50 on it. So I asked Andy to make me some. He found a fantastic recipe from Epicurious.com.
The toasted pinenuts are so good in this recipe. I honestly think the hummus Andy made was much better than the store brand and cost a fraction of what the store bought kind does.
So, Aleta has finally “encouraged” me sufficiently to finally write an entry for our blog. As I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately while swimming through the masses of employers offering me glamorous positions running very complicated laboratories for extravagant salaries, I’ve been doing a bit of cooking. I’ve usually enjoyed cooking, and I really like to tinker with stuff, so I’ve been trying a few things lately that I’ve either never prepared before, or have tried to prepare and failed at miserably in previous attempts. I’ve done crispy hash browns, pancakes from scratch, a few different breads, and I can honestly say that I am currently more comfortable preparing a nice light ‘n’ puffy gnocchi than I am at pronouncing the things. One of the more exotic things that I prepared recently is something that I had never heard of anybody I knew EVER attempting to prepare fresh, that being Bloody Mary Mix.
When I set out to make Bloody Mary Mix, I was under instruction from Aleta, who told me to “perfect a Bloody Mary mix from scratch”. ‘Okay ‘ I thought.. How tough can that be? I figure that If I try to do a few batches that I’d be able to perfect this mix.. So, after finishing the (very overpriced) Bloody Mary that was in front of me (this conversation, surprisingly occurred over Bloody Marys) I hit the world’s most complete cookbook (i.e. “The Internet”) and began looking for recipes. Uniformly, these “recipes” ran along the lines of: ‘open a can of tomato juice..’ or ‘open a can of V8’… Really? This is a recipe? So, I resigned myself to a bit of research. How to make V8 at home seemed a good place to start, so that’s where I started. It turns out that the original V8 has a bit of weirdness in the ingredients: carrot (okay), spinach (fine), celery (also fine), watercress (really?), parsley (really?!), beet (hmmm, don’t those stain?), and lettuce (?!). I noticed that the one thing that was missing was, well TOMATO. I also knew that aside from adding a bit of tomato to the mix, that I’d want some other flavors in there as well. I thought that onions, garlic, scallions, a spicy pepper or two, and a host of other seasonings had a good deal of business being included as well.
As soon as I had my tentative list together, I hit the stores. I needed a whole mess of produce. I needed enough that I skipped the regular grocer and headed to the restaurant supply shops. A flat of tomatoes, forty ounces of spinach, industrial bag of parsley and a host of other ingredients were making the closing of our refrigerator a serious gamble I got started. On the first batch… And then on the second batch…. By the third batch I had a good idea of how things should probably go when making this stuff, so instead of giving you a list of everything I did and didn’t do over these batches, I’ll just tell you what worked for me.
My ingredients: About fourteen or so tomatoes, cored and sliced (retaining the juice), two white onions, thinly sliced, one bulb garlic (also thinly sliced), one bunch of beets (cleaned, peeled and sliced), one full bunch of celery (sliced- leaves and all), a half dozen or so carrots (scrubbed and thinly sliced), one HUGE yellow pepper (sliced into fine pieces), a big bunch of scallions (eight or nine shoots, sliced thin), one colander full of spinach, three big handfuls of parsley, one bunch of watercress, one large and mean-looking jalapeño (sliced- ribs and seeds included), a couple lemons and a lime, celery seed, coriander, cardamom, black cohosh, black pepper, dried prickly ash and a good bit of salt.
My process: I put the tomatoes, onions, yellow pepper, jalapeno, carrots, beets, garlic, celery and my spices into a very large pot, scattered salt across the surface, and set it on the high end of medium heat, covered firmly. When these veggies had cooked down to a soupish consistency, I added the leafy veggies- first the parsley and the scallions, which I let cook down for a while before adding the spinach and watercress along with another scattering of salt. After another ten minutes or so, when the spinach was well cooked, but not yet going dark I ran the whole mess through a food mill. What didn’t g through the mill was discarded, and the liquid was saved in both a large mason jar and a milk jug, which were stored in our poor overcrowded refrigerator. To this chilled liquid (the mix- shaken before use to distribute the sediments) I added a dash of Tabasco, a splash of Worcester sauce, a bit of lemon juice, lime juice, ice and vodka (of course I added vodka). I think that my recipe is pretty good… Or maybe after making nearly three gallons of the stuff over two days time in three batches I’ve just managed to convince myself that it’s good.
Yesterday’s happy hour turned into a slow morning for us. We skipped dinner and opted for a liquid meal instead. So this morning, we are hungry. I thought Andy was making hashbrowns. It turns out he is making hashbrowns, pancakes, and something else. Yum.
The bread in Europe was fantastic. Seriously delicious. Andy and I both love chewy, dense bread with seeds and nuts galore. Although we live close to a bakery, Andy decided to make his own. And it was good.