Wednesday, February 4, 2015

odds and ends

After many hours of neglecting books, killing time while lab stuff comes together, and occasional insomnia... I've finally reached a point where I have to search hard for something to watch if a new episode of Shameless or How to Get Away with Murder or Top Chef isn't online.  Landed on the decision to rewatch CSI from Season 1.  I think I know why I like to rewatch shows and movies and 90's music videos so often - my record is probably all 10 seasons of Friends on loop dozens of times.  I think it's because I like the nostalgia.  It's like how I spent some days two summers ago just watching my old baby movies (and now I have no idea where they went... and I'm sad).  I like going back to see things the way they used to be before this most recent memory imprinted in my mind.  How young the actors are, how old the things are (cell phones were HUGE back in the day), how faded the colors are.  Early episodes of TV shows, especially, also feel simpler, more straight forward, yet more developed at the same time.  Before the idea well runs dry and everyone becomes a caricature.  I like being reminded of how it used to be, and I like the feeling of shock, the feeling that time actually does move too fast.
So in keeping with that theme, I found some random bits from the depths of my photo history (which really doesn't go back that far).
One of my first meals in Madison before I went and bought bread and cheese and ate grilled cheeses everyday.  I found the famous mac and cheese pizza on Yelp, and once I got to Ian's, I was somehow talked into getting a slice of margherita as well.  The logical conclusion I ended up at was that I needed the vibrant margherita to balance the denseness of the mac and cheese... in other words, I was trying to be "healthier."  Don't question it because I don't have an answer.  In all honesty, I don't really like rubbery crust of Ian's pizza, but I have a soft spot for them because I was starving and primed for a new mac and cheese obsession... and I'm not in a financial position to turn down free pizza from time to time.
I had maintained that I'd try insects if I didn't know I was eating them and if the integrity was well hidden (but I guess those two things go hand in hand).  Well thanks the Developing Solutions PD challenge from IFTSA this year, I can now check "cricket" off my "weird foods to try" list.  Thanks again to Chapul for donating the samples.  The Aztec Bar was my favorite.  I was slightly alarmed when I felt a gristly leg on my tongue, but you know what, the day for insect flour as a protein source is approaching.  And it's not so bad when masked in dates and nuts.
We were encouraged to take home any and all leftovers from an energy conference centered around reducing waste, so naturally, I was happy to carry home a container crudites (and watermelon).  I made a little frittata with peas and gochujang.  And I ate it all for Saturday brunch.
Then for dessert, I attacked my unfortunate-looking bread pudding.  Yet another use for JJ bread (getting tired of hearing about this stuff yet?)  My main problem is that I didn't have enough liquid - lesson learned for next time.  We can call this a coconut porter bread pudding work in progress.  Bring coconut milk and a bottle of porter (Red Hook pumpkin porter, in this case) to a simmer.  Temper in an egg.  Pour it over a dish of ripped up JJ bread.  Toss in some coconut flakes and white chocolate chips.  Bake at 350F until set - probably like 30 minutes.  Turned out pretty good, surprisingly - I ate it for a couple days.
Homemade stock made from rib bones and used for beef noodle soup.  I enjoyed the way the apartment smelled for the following hours.  I felt bad dumping the bits and pieces in the trash so I picked out the softened veggies and threw them out the back where the squirrels and birds live.  Did I mention that there's a family of birds above our back door?  It's very exciting every time I go out the back.

Taking it back to summer when I actually got a hold of whole chickens to roast.  It's on my to-do list, but I couldn't resist 99c/lb drumsticks.  Those have lasted me for months.  The best part about whole chickens (besides that it's.. you know, whole) are all the giblets they stuff in the cavity.  I usually collect the livers to make a bit of pate to spread on toast and top with nuts and goat cheese, but this time I battered and fried the things whole (which was a bad idea - should've sliced them up first) and made a sandwich with green apple, spinach, and Swiss on some leftover hamburger buns.  Mmm.
We got ice cream coupons at orientation in August, and I used mine on the last possible day before going home for break.  Caramel apple ice cream, slowly eaten as I walked home in the snow after a Pchem final and some quick science.  I'm not the biggest fan of ice cream.  It usually assaults my stomach if I've had more than four bites.  But this stuff was great, combining all my possible choices into one.  By the way, February is half priced ice cream month.
Need I say more?  <3 caribou="" p="">

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