Month: October 2012

a tough old bird

–> tomatillo husks make lovely flowers, if you have both time and tomatillos on your hands A while ago our pal Tommy brought us some frozen chickens.  He raises chickens like we do, in the sense that we both have chickens.  We differ in scale (by a couple of powers of ten) and in that his birds retire to the freezer when their egg-laying days are concluded, rather than reclining on a bed of free room and board like ours do.  His is the practical approach.  Ours is the ridiculous approach.  There’s no vegetarian moral high ground for us to speak from; we eat chicken, just not our own. “These are stew birds,” he told me, and I thanked him profusely and stowed them in the freezer and promptly forgot that little tidbit of information.  So the first one that I cooked I roasted, producing something with a texture that pretty well approximated a hot sneaker, or so I imagine.  I have never actually chewed on a sneaker.  But now I have come as close …


what you can rely on

Certain things in life can be counted on.  For example, if you forget your umbrella, it will rain very hard.  If you are running late, there will be traffic.  If you are early to meet someone, they will be late, and vice versa. This is known as Murphy’s Law.  Murphy was a real guy, it turns out, and pretty cranky about the “commonplace” interpretation of what he set out to posit as a serious principle of defensive design.  We regular old nimrods who do our thinking outside the field of aeronautics take his law to mean, simply, than anything that can go wrong, will.  Apparently there was some more nuance to it.  Nimrod, you may as well know, was also a real guy (the great-grandson of Noah), and he did not live long enough to see our feeble-minded culture sully his good name with insulting associations, perishing as he did long before Elmer Fudd came along, and so probably he was not cranky. If you would like to read an excellent piece of writing decrying …


my roving eye

We didn’t go hungry here, last week.  But nor did we eat a lot of thoughtfully prepared, photogenic food while there was light enough to take its picture.  Well, it was thoughtfully prepared–in advance of a trip I did not end up taking.  Postponed at the last minute, after a whirlwind cookscapade.  Which of the five dinners I made would you like tonight, I asked my kiddos yesterday after school, and as a result my son asked tentatively, at dinnertime, “is this for tonight?” as he eyed the green salad in front of him.Speaking of food ideas banked against future needs, here are a few morsels I am tempted to try, when the dust settles.First off, the smashed potato, which in fact we did try, and it was delicious.  I boiled some not-very-large taters in salted water with a garlic clove until they were tender, cooled them down and flattened them between two cutting boards (quite satisfying).  I had just roasted some cauliflower so I had a nice oily, parchment lined baking sheet handy, and …