Monday, July 03, 2017

Computer blues…and cooking adventures

A shout out to Colin and Lisa Alter who were married 17 years ago today on the beach at Grand Cayman Island. Wish I had a digital copy of the wonderful picture of the entire wedding party, guests and all, standing barefoot in the water on the beach. Lisa always said she wanted to be married barefoot on the beach, and she was. In deference to her, we all shed our shoes. Colin looked adorable (oh, how he’ll hate that word) in a tux and bare feet!

My day was marked by computer frustration—formatting problems. As they always say, you have to turn the computer off and let it collect itself. I did that several times, and each time I turned it on either another problem had solved itself or I was able to solve it. Finally got that manuscript back to the editor for a second go-round.

The rest of the day was spent cooking. I’ve been cooking now for between forty and fifty years, yet every day I learn something new. Much of it has to do with adjusting to my current kitchen with a hot plate, a small toaster oven, and a small microwave. No stove. Tonight, I made a squash casserole. My kids always say I get into trouble when I don’t follow the recipe, and that was true today. I’ve made squash casseroles off the top of my head for years, but tonight I printed off a recipe and followed it—sort of. It called for Ritz crackers in the topping, and I didn’t have them. I used panko crumbs out of the freezer. First of all, not monitoring the toaster oven closely enough I burned the topping. Second, the combination of grated cheese and panko crumbs, when cooked, turned into something resembling concrete. The squash got swallowed up in it. Lesson learned. One squash actually made two casseroles, so I will take the topping off the remaining one and simply use grated cheese.

I also sort of followed a recipe for my loin lamb chop—I adore lamb, and those thick chops are a real treat. I could never afford to feed them to a whole family, but for just me they are a splurge. I sautéed it in olive oil and got it a tad more cooked than I like—I like it very pink in the middle. But it had a good brown crust. Took it out of the skillet, and added a scallion to the skillet. The recipe called for ramps—a pungent wild onion found in the East that tastes like a combination of onion and garlic. If I’d had a leek or a shallot, I’d have used that but I didn’t. Then I squeezed in a good-sized dollop of anchovy paste. I couldn’t tell a lot of difference in the lamb, but the scallion soaked up the anchovy and was delicious.

Bored on a long weekend? I recommend cooking. Now I’m off to read a mystery.

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