Tag Archives: Food

Bloomin’ Onion

 

AKA onion blossoms. They’re always at state fairs and greasy steakhouses. Do people outside the States eat these? It’s one of those things that’s just so bad for you, but worth it. Like everything at the state fair, all of which is deep-fried. Cowdog Creatives and I were joking about writing a poem about onion blossoms, now it’s reality.

 


 

 

greasy witch hands reach upward

pointed fingers of batter

inside are pale, limp worm bones

lost vegetable, battered and fried into crustacean

oil pooled in pockets

golden anemone

god of saturated fats

I think there’s an onion in here somewhere

pick a piece like a flower

light, empty crisp

loose guts slip out

 

How are we going to finish this and then

a sodden cold napkin and dark brown leavings

which even we couldn’t face

throw it away, wipe our fingers

and pretend it didn’t happen

but evidence remains

in our fingers, breath, stomach gurgles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Love poem

 

You are my comfort.

You wrap me in your warm embrace.

Softly console me when I cry.

You know me inside and out.

The only one I can rely on.

Any time, day or night

You are there

Always willing to spark a little joy

Into my waning mindset.

You are so tender

But sometimes you have a little bite.

Rough around the edges

You are bitter enough to match me

You are sweet enough to sweeten me

I can feel my brain chemistry change in your presence

When you are gone your memory lingers.

Why is it that nothing good can last?

My greatest love

My finest friend

My hopeless addiction

O chocolate brownie

 

 

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At My Sister’s House

For some reason my subconscious is full of dragons, and that’s all that seems to end up on my blog. But make no mistake, I love my life. I guess the following is closest to a journal entry.

 

8/14

At My Sister’s House

“Sarah’s here!” Three little voices sound off. “Sarah’s here, Sarah’s here!”

The dog comes bounding over with a smile. The kids run up to hug me, their enthusiasm just as pure.

The house is warm and comfortable. Sean keeps it clean; Jessica keeps it colorful. There is always something fragrant sauteing on the stove. On the counter are homemade pumpkin muffins, chocolate covered espresso beans, a bottle of wine.

As we cook, we make fun of her old and busted food processor. We laugh, giving it a hazing that a sentient being could not endure. She has little interest in technology; her kitchenaid mixer is the only food gadget that gets any respect. I ask her to taste my pie filling. She swipes a finger through and licks it. “More sugar,” she says. Of course she’s right.

The children pop by occasionally for hugs and samples. They’re young but these kids already know their way around a spice rack.

Friends file in. Every person brings a dish, and a story about their day. Each familiar face gives fresh warmth to my heart.

Two rules in this house: everyone gets a hug regardless of their comfort level, and they must taste everything at least once, regardless of their comfort level.

The people distract Jessica. She starts talking, gesturing, telling stories. She focuses her whole self on this, usually waving a spatula or fork instead of using it to stir. This is my time to shine: I prompt her for directions and finish up what she has started.

The craft beer and wine make everyone’s faces bright. Neighborhood kids wander through: “Did you get permission to be here? Use my phone, call your parents.” We shoo the dog out of the kitchen repeatedly, the children’s fingers must be extracted from the chocolate batter, the cat lays on the floor in the center of the chaos, unconcerned. And what a beautiful chaos it is.  We laugh until we cry. “Anybody want tea?” “Is something burning?” “Come see what we drew today!”

Usually the food gets prepared and consumed at different times, but this time, every dish is ready at once. Dishes pack the table: chocolate pie, angel food cake, roast vegetables, tacos, olive cheese toast, dip, salad, bread, cajun shrimp, cheese biscuits. We stare at the spread, impressed, unsure how to begin. “Anybody religious?” Jessica quips, hoping to give this gorgeous meal a proper sendoff. I propose a toast after our family tradition: “Good health and happiness, for the rest of our lives!” People circle the kitchen island, grab random beverages so they can join in, until everyone’s glass (bottle, cup) has tapped everyone else’s.

We eat until we can’t eat anymore. We laugh until we can eat again.

We finish our food on the porch in the evening summer air. There is a cage with two hairless rats out here; they are the subject of some snuggling and much ridicule. Careful not to pet the ball python after you pet the rats.

Things are quieting down. Guests leave. Everyone gets some leftovers to take home.

Sean and the kids put on YouTube. Jessica and I linger in the kitchen, clean up a bit, talk some more, mull over the events of the day. What were the best dishes, did that thing you cooked turn out like you expected, how is homeschooling coming along? We eventually join the TV crowd and work our way underneath the warm heap of animals and children, where we comfortably enjoy the company and let the kids show us what they’re most excited about.

At some point I must reluctantly extract myself from the couch, say my goodbyes, and drive home. But the warmth lingers in my bones. Deeper, even, than that.

Eating healthy isn’t so expensive

“Eating healthy is so expensive!”

Says the person who doesn’t cook? I don’t get it. I did a poll once of my friends and determined that some people think eating healthy means you have to do everything everyone says lately. If you can’t eat fats, starches, sugars, meats… what is there left to eat but members of the squash family, boiled? That’s not living. I think they want to live on a diet of nothing but superfoods, but man cannot afford to live on avocados alone.

I love food, so my healthy eating agenda is fairly open. Of course, I’m lucky because I have no food sensitivities except for a little psoriasis breakout when I drink too much milk. And red dye got me good once when I was a kid, so I generally avoid dyes.

These are my rules:

  • If you make it from scratch, it’s healthier
  • I mean really, make it from scratch. Tortillas, pasta, pizza, etc, are all better from scratch.
  • Try to eat less sugar
  • Try to eat less meat
  • A handful of almonds every day (I’ve noticed this makes my weak nails tear less)
  • Everything varied and in moderation
  • Lots of water, some tea or coffee

Sometimes I’m not so great with the sugar rule. Who am I kidding, I break a lot of these rules all the time. But that’s a part of moderation too, isn’t it?

My best meal for today is home-fermented kimchi (it’s not fishy and horrible at all, it’s spicy-sour and amazing), sour cream, mozzarella cheese, fresh spinach and olive oil on a baked potato. I’d take a picture but it’s ugly. I gotta start being better about taking food pictures before I eat them, but it’s so hard to remember when eating gets to happen.

This meal is pretty cheap. I love potatoes as a cheap carb/vegetable/meal. My sister Jessica decided that I’m obsessed with potatoes and even though this isn’t entirely true, I didn’t argue very hard with her, because I do like potatoes a lot.

Let me add up the price:

Kimchi sauerkraut (recipe adapted from here https://www.makesauerkraut.com/kimchi/)

  • 1 cabbage = $1
  • 1 bunch of green onions = $1
  • 1 bunch of radishes = $1
  • 2 carrots = $0.20
  • 2 inches of ginger = $0.50
  • 2 cloves garlic = $0.05
  • Pickling salt = $0.50
  • Red pepper flakes, spices = nominal
  • A week or two of waiting
  • Total: $4.25
  • One unlisted cost is that of a smelly house. I actually ruined an old nonstick pot of mine fermenting kimchi in it, the kimchi smell has permanently permeated it. I need a real fermenting crock.

Now that I figured out what the kimchi cost, let’s see what my lunch cost:

  • 1/16 of the kimchi (about ½ cup) = 0.13
  • 1/2 massive potato = $0.25
  • 3 T sour cream = $0.20
  • Handful of spinach = $0.10
  • ½ oz cheese = 0.13
  • 1 T Olive oil = $0.18
  • Total: $0.99

Okay, so it’s not Mr. Money Mustache levels of frugality but it’s about a million times yummier and more nutritious than a box dinner, which would cost three times as much, not fill you up, and make your day WORSE with its flaccid flavors. Or if you went to a restaurant, it would taste good, but you don’t really know what happened to the food back there in the kitchen while it was at the mercy of all those underpaid cooks, and you would be paying eight times as much for a damn potato.

Here’s something else to think about when moaning about the time it takes to prepare food. Thoreau explored this concept in Walden. He said in the end, everything costs close to the same. For example (and this is clearly not the example Thoreau used), you can spend $4 and 60 active minutes making a big jar of amazing kimchi tailored to your own unique tastes. Or you can work for 60 minutes at your job, gain an extra $8, and use that to purchase a really nice $12 tub of artisan kimchi of equal quality at the farmer’s market.

Humans are supposed to spend a great majority of their time collecting, preparing, storing, and eating food anyway. It’s the natural order of things.

Maybe kimchi isn’t the best example. If you really hate kimchi or cooking, you can spend $1 on a meal at Taco Bell, then you can use the other $3 to buy a gallon of gasoline and a lighter, and set yourself on fire. But you’ll have used up all your time doing a different stupid thing. One of the joys of modern civilization is that we have the luxury of wasting our time doing whatever stupid things we wish.

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Journal – Sick kitty and pasta

I had a rough day today. Kato kitty is sick. I took him to the vet and he has bladder stones! Poor kitty. She gave me meds and special food to hopefully break them up. When I got home, I was all stressed out by the cats being stressed out, and Don started asking me a lot of hard questions about the decisions I’d made, and I was like, wait a minute, why didn’t you go with me? FROM NOW ON you go with me to the vet.

Then I got extra tired and needed a nap, as I will do when I’m stressed. When I woke up, the concept of giving the kitties separate foods and giving Kato antibiotics every day for a while wasn’t unapproachable at all. Everything was fine and I was capable again. We administered the drugs without any trouble, and Kato likes his new food.

I used to be repressed, to the point where I didn’t have feelings about much and didn’t know what I wanted. I’m much better now, but still have some room to grow. I am a little startled by how upset I got over Kato’s sickness. This is a good thing for me, though. Since I’ve gotten in touch with my emotions, I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with something horrible like a pet dying. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. Maybe I’ll throw a big fit. I threw a small fit today. Don was alarmed, lol.

Here was a nice thing about today: a Brioche Burger Bun with Butter and Blueberries. I like to do this instead of jam. It feels healthier and has a nice fresh flavor.

I also had homemade pasta with seafood and sausage, but it’s two days old, and for some reason, it tasted 100% like Spaghetti-o’s. There was a lot of love in that pasta, I made it for my dad and brother’s birthday, spent over $30 and four hours on that meal, Jessica’s kids and I made the pasta by hand, and it turned into frigging spaghetti-o’s? What kind of a world do we live in where injustices like this can happen?? At least I know it’s more nutritious but I still have to make my way through another serving. It’s a little bit funny though. Maybe if I warm it up right next time it won’t be so bad.

Well, that’s all the guts I have to spill.

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