An Indulgence, a Farewell, and Some Udon

The Udon.

That’s some slightly sub-par takeout udon. I didn’t make it (if I had, it would be better). I don’t particularly feel like eating it either, because when I got home from my shitty day at work I ate a bag of cheese popcorn while I watched American Idol. And you know what? I feel better, although I’m not sure if it’s because of the popcorn or Jason Castro’s intoxicating, ukelele-accompanied version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And if you want to judge my low-browitude, I respectfully suggest that you attend to the beam in your own fucking eye.

You may be wondering why I’m berating you in a post about takeout noodles. I would be too, if I were you.

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You can't beat this meat with a stick: Part Deux

Thyme for dinner, everyone! (Ba-da dum!)

Sometimes, life gives you extra Bolognese sauce. When that happens, I’m firmly of the mind that you should make lasagna Bolognese.

You’ll probably be tempted to invite some friends over for dinner when you do this, because one typically does not make a lasagna for two. I’m here to advise you that you might want to reconsider this; consider having your friends over on another night, a night when you’re having something not quite so good and you won’t mind having NO LEFTOVERS AT ALL because your friends LICKED the inside of the baking dish clean.

Just saying.

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Now that you mention it, we DO have some bananas today.

Three bananas, to be exact. Oh, did you need more than that? Tough.

You know you have them: excess bananas, malingering on your kitchen counters and gradually outliving their usefulness. Unless you’re one of those locavore people who only eat food produced within 1.3 miles of your Berkeley home*, which you built by hand from local stone carried block by block from your homemade quarry (it was a fun family weekend project!). You can go back to steaming your fresh-picked asparagus in the sparkling spring water little Timmy just gathered from the stream running behind your renovated eco-friendly but historically-accurate bungalow. Great job smelting those pots and pans!

I kid because I love! I’m pro organic, local foods that have not spent three weeks sitting in a refrigerated tractor trailer, and look forward to the start of the CSA season. But you know what else? I also love a frigging banana.

*If you’re a Costa Rica-based locavore, enjoy those bananas guilt-free!

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Thursday Night Smackdown: GOD DAMN IT

Step one: Cut a hole in the box.


I’m sorry, but I had to get that out of the way. I burned the HOLY HELL out of my right middle finger pulling a burning hot pan out of a 425 degree oven. THROUGH THE GODDAMN POTHOLDER. Not only am I right-handed, but that’s my prime birding finger, y’all. So you’ll have to excuse a shorter-than-usual post and some sub-par photos. I’m working one handed here, and it’s not because I’m doing anything fun with the other one.

Still, I managed to power through and produce saffron chicken with spring onions, snap peas and pea shoots and parmesan pudding, from Susan Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques. You heard that right: cheese pudding. It was almost good enough to make me forget the throbbing pain in my finger. Almost.

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You can't beat this meat with a stick: Quick Heretical Bolognese

You know you want it, baby.

Traditionally, Bolognese sauce is an all-day affair, which is why most people only make it on weekends if they make it at all. I reject that, because when I want a big pot of meat, I want it right fucking now. Also, because the recipe in The Silver Spoon, Italy’s Joy of Cooking, doesn’t have you simmer it all that long, and that book don’t lie.

This version veers even further into heterodoxy with the substitution of ground lamb for ground veal, and a pinch of cinnamon to play off the lamb and add a touch of non so che cosa (that’s je ne sais quoi, or “what the fuck is that?” for you non-polyglots). I’ve done it with veal and it’s good, but the eyes of a thousand baby cows haunt my sleep. Fully-grown animals, not so much.

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