Saturday, July 27, 2013

In the beginning

Well, this isn't the beginning, but rather a continuation of what went before. Which reminds me that I must figure out how to link my old blog to this one. Anyway, I got to a point - with the other one - where I was still inspired, but not to write. I got to a point where I felt I had no time. I got to That Point. And I simply stopped. For a while, I still looked at blogs I liked. Then I stopped that too.

I continued to read about food: Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Seattle (mag), as well as various books and online articles. I follow chefs on Twitter.

I continued to cook and grow my repertoire too. I even took a few cooking classes, including a really cool forage-then-cook class with Langdon Cook.

But I think I am back now. I keep thinking I should give myself a challenge or have some cool shtick to keep the blog rolling. Like, 365 days with no repeated meals. Perhaps 365 days with no takeout. Or have weekly influences: Jacques Pepin week, Julia Child week, Marcella Hazan week, vegan week. But I have a feeling just blogging around these two kids who keep interrupting everything I do every three minutes or less (I timed it this morning and it wasn't even a full minute that I was able to keep my gloves on to clean the toilet) will be challenge enough to start.

I just want to get back on board and feel like I am doing some Thing. This means getting into The Habit. I have to remember to take and post photos. I have to remember to write. I do remember that it was a pleasure and that when I got just one page view, I felt giddy.

So, let's try again, shall we?

In the beginning, there were seeds. And these seeds begat an enormous head of lettuce. With child next to it for size comparison.

The thing about growing your own food is bugs. Bugs is the thing. And lots of dirt. My counter looks a complete disaster after having garden material plopped on it. But, man oh man, vive la difference. I spent early spring buying up boxes of mixed greens at the store so I could have a salad for lunch. I am so glad to be out of that rut and to simply walk outside and cut myself a few leaves or a whole head.

This one I turned into Thai Beef Salad. Which I forgot to take a picture of, so I thought I would distract you with my tofu bibimbap. Did it work?

Now, I would like to post more recipes than I attempted to post last time 'round. BUT there is an issue of ownership and giving credit where credit is due and money and all that. I have heard various discussions about this and decided to come down on a side previously taken. That is, I will post a recipe that I have made my own through tinkering, a little or a lot. If I just copy the thing verbatim from a book every time I make it - as I do with the Thai Beef Salad - I won't post unless begged to. I will, however, tell you wherefore I get my dish.

So this particular one is from America's Test Kitchen. I do tinker slightly with the meat cut and the vegetables, but that doesn't really count. I fell in love with this salad at one particular Thai restaurant in Seattle, Jamjuree, but we never go there anymore, since moving out of the 'hood. My version is really good, especially since I take most of the chiles out in order to staunch the flow of sweat that normally appears whilst eating Thai cuisine.

Oh, hell, I'll just tell you what's in the dressing, how about that?

Beef Salad Dressing, slightly changed so that I am not totally stealing and copying, from ATK.
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
4 tsp. brown sugar
chile pepper flakes, to taste (my taste is zero)
you could also throw in a serrano chile, if you like

Mix all to dissolve sugar. Voila.