Apple with cheese

Caraway seed. Basil from the grocery live plant that will not stop. 

It's the kind of basil that comes in a small bunch. It already had roots. It's been put in a jar and benefits from irregular low wattage fluorescent lights. I've been dipping a chopstick in this liquid fertilizer which is like thin mud. Then dip the chopstick in the basil's water to clear off the fertilizer mud directly into the plants roots. I've done this three times. Each time the plant instantly grows tiny new leaves. It's the thing casting the shadows and it grows so fast it's messing up the shadow casting by filling in too thickly. I have to keep picking leaves off it to create holes. That's why this apple has basil leaves on it. 

I learned caraway goes great with apple and cheese. 

Fried chicken


This is the chicken that the guy chopped up in five seconds and bagged so I wouldn't have to touch it. The backbone segment is included too so I have that for stock. I didn't touch that either. 

The spices were seeds that were crushed in a heavy morter mortor mortar and pedestal pistol pestle.

I kept the lid on the cast iron pan. It is very heavy. There was not much oil but a lot of liquid was released during cooking. The pieces braised on moderately low stovetop heat for forty-five minutes. Turned once. 

Angel hair pasta, simple tomato sauce, basil

A return to something sure and familiar. 

To hustle past the recent memory of something unpleasant. 

Don't you hate it when somebody squeezes the anchovy paste tube in the middle? 

Kidding. I don't even remember using that. I saw it on the teevee and it seemed like a good idea. 

The two pastes are squeezed directly onto the hot pan along with the spices that are heated, to put a little singe on the pastes and another layer of flavor developed.

A few things are crushed with the mortar and pestle. 

* mustard seeds. My new favorite thing. I think I like them in everything.
* fennel seeds. My other new favorite thing that goes in everything
* black pepper already ground to coarse 
* sea salt, very small amount because the cheese from Parma has a lot of salt

Then also:

* Parmigiano Reggiano, indiscusso il re di tutti i formagi duri.
* nutmeg, I do not know why. It doesn't make a lot of sense. It goes well with the cheese but it will be nearly overwhelmed by the other spice. 

lychee in lemon JELL-O fail

Tinned lychee. I had this tin in the pantry for a long time. I was interested to know what lychee is. They look nice.

Red Cock on the Mountain. Brand. 

The lid to the tin is nice too. 

So that is what they are. I tasted one. It was okay. The syrup could not be used. 

It is altogether quite ugly. Looks like mushrooms are in it. 

This is what the thing that I ate looks like. All the rest of the whipped cream.

The balsamic was impulse. I was going for the vanilla extract to whip into the cream when I noticed the balsamic. I almost substituted to see what the acid would do to the the cream once it is whipped but then decided not to test that.

I feel a little bit ill.    

Conclusion: I don't like it at all. Plain lemon JELL-O would be better. But I am not going to let this one tin and lemon JELL-O experience ruin lychees for me. They are very popular so I will keep an eye out for them in a different form and try again.

Spaghetti with cream

Cream is the sauce. 

A mixture of ground spices is prepared from whole seeds to coat the pasta. Olive oil is drizzled to the extent that it is needed to keep the pasta moist and to help the ground seeds adhere. 

The idea is that the spices coating the pasta will eventually combine with the cream but at the table and not at the stove. Cream becomes a flavorful sauce by moving the pasta around the plate. 

* dark mustard seeds, these things are tiny
* fennel seeds, these sound good in everything lately. 
* cumin, a very small amount to compliment but not compete
* hot chile flakes, tiny amount for a little oomph
* gray sea salt
* ground black pepper, not whole seeds because I wanted to go fast and my grinder is fairly coarse. 

* nutmeg scraped over the whole finished plate. 

It is odd not to include Parmigiano Reggiano when it is sitting right there ready to go, but tonight is different. A squirt of lemon is directed onto the pile of pasta which brightens the noodles and does affect the cream eventually turning it into the familiar consistency of sour cream except flavored with lemon and the spices coating the pasta. So the cream becomes flavorful sauce then becomes flavorful sour cream, which is a delightful transformation to observe right there on the plate. 

Parmesan cheese could participate in the splendor of the transformation, and usually does, but not tonight.

Scrambled eggs with avocado, polenta, cheese crackers

So now you see why I needed cheese crackers.

To make a stegosaurus.

What is it with boys and dinosaurs anyway?

It's a thing. Il est le petit garçon en lui, n'est-ce pas? Il aime jouer à un jeu de dinosaures.

These scrambled eggs will have avocado folded in at the end. Seasoned avocado.

I do not have any sour cream, any crème fraîche, any buttermilk, nor Mexican crema. But I do have yogurt, and I do have heavy cream.

Heavy cream is soured with lemon and my own mustard and seasoned with the same spice mixture that seasoned the cheese crackers. The citric acid thickens the cream more than it already is. Within a few minutes the cream becomes the consistency of familiar sour cream.

The sour cream does two things.

* It flavors the scrambled eggs as if they were a sauce. It is the same thing going on except a little farther than a sauce goes.

* Slams the brakes on the cooking action and reverses slightly the process of thickening the eggs. That is, the eggs are actually stiffened ever so slightly beyond the desired thickness and whisked back to sauce consistency with  the addition of sour cream.

It is important to have the emergency brakes ready at hand when the moment comes to halt the cooking action.

That is all there is to say except will you please stop playing with your food?

Cheese crackers

The cheese is produced by the impressive cheese makers of Wisconsin. It was on sale at Whole Foods and it is a very good cheddar. I wish I had bought more. This is the last 5 ounces. 

You can make crackers directly from cheese, as a parmesan tulle. Grated cheese directly onto parchment paper or Silpat. Such a cheese tulle can be formed while it is still hot and pliable, shaped around a drinking glass, formed into a basket, and so forth. But cheese crackers are different from that.

It's as if you are diluting the cheese with flour. Making up for the dilution with spices, apologizing for it by increased flavor, compensating for the blandness of the stretching material with excitement. And more fat. Good fat. 

So the cheese is turned into particles surrounded by flour particles. Then water is added to turn the flour therein to paste that unites and holds everything together. A paste that can be dealt with. A paste in the form of dough. Wet dough that can be lightened with baking powder. Flavored. Manipulated. Moistened or dried. Spread out thinly or thickly. Decorated if desired. Baked.

The whirling disc of death. It does in half a second FrrrrrraP! what would otherwise take ... several, um ... well I guess it saves a couple of minutes. 

The whirling disc of death is switched out for the spinning scimitars of massacre. Two cups all purpose flour added and processed further. More than shown below. To near complete homogenization of cheese and butter and flour. 

Water is added incrementally through the feed tube while processing. Do not tarry. It is very easy to overprocess once the flour gets wet. You do not want to develop the gluten as you would with bread. Here the flour is stretching material for the cheese and glue to form a stiff paste with cheese, it is not intended to build a gluten network that is expected to contain expanding air bubbles. 

The seeds of life with the spinning short blades of hurt. The coriander and the cumin seeds have potential. Up until now they could have grown. Odd, to value the seeds for their flavor more than for their growing potential, but that's the way it is. I don't think the pepper seeds would grow. They've been through too much already, boiled or something as part of the process. I never tried planting black peppercorns. 

At length I did learn that each round coriander seed is actually two seeds. That is why two plants sprout from one spot when they finally get around to germinating. 

The cheese-paste, the dough, is rolled out. The dough could have been wetter, it could have been rolled out more thinly, it could have gone undocked, it could have taken less spices. 

Space-saving animated GIF. If you would prefer the jpg version of the photos. 

Bacon and eggs with hash brown potatoes and toast

Not shown: a single chipotle en adobo chopped up fine. They come in tiny tins around these parts, but even that is too much for usual things so most of it was stored in a jar from last time. 

The problem with that is the jar I used with its distinctive lid is a recycled jam jar and the chipotle in adobo inside it looks a lot like the original raspberry jam which is already replaced so there are two similar-looking things in there that are vastly different in taste and effect.  

It is also a mess. It stains everything it touches. Cutting boards must be bleached after cutting up one or two of them. It's the adobo sauce that does it. 

I never put bacon in a pan without separating them before. They separated themselves. With a little encouragement. Like this:

"Line up!" 

Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh, I almost forgot. 
When the chips off the potato way up there ↑ are parboiled before they are fried, a little bit of vinegar in the water indurates the surface of the potato allowing the interior to soften while maintaining its shape. Indurate -- it's a wuuuurd. 

This acid in the water thing for parboiled potatoes also goes for chips that are fries and chips that are crisps and chips that are chips like these chips here. I would say, oh, one tablespoon or so of vinegar, however much spills out when you pour it and it goes glug glug. 

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