Sunday, July 23, 2006

Update from the Kitchen

One houseguest, third birthday party, husband's protracted business trip, major power outage, and tree explosion later, I'm back. I've made about three grocery runs since last we talked, including one to replace stuff I had to throw out when the fridge got too warm for comfort. I will tally the results of those visits in a day or two.

We're still doing a good job of living out of the pantry and freezer, though, with the addition of produce and dairy. I have been taking advantage of some loss leaders at the Superfresh to restock (e.g., butter and cheese to freeze, Snapple for D's lunches, canned olives, tuna).

Just a few notes:
  • Potatoes baked in the microwave (russet and sweet) really don't taste any different to me than those cooked for an hour in a hot oven. The "experts" always complain that the texture of oven-baked is so much more delightfully fluffy. I've never oven-baked a fluffy potato in my life, and I've tried every recommended method I've come across. What I like most about baked potatoes--the potato taste, the salt, and the butter--can be had from four minutes in the micro. (Be sure to poke it with a fork a few times unless you like cleaning baked-on potato crud from the walls of your oven.

  • My salad days are a-changing. I have very few lettuce plants still producing, but the tomatoes and cucumbers are just now getting started. I should be letting go of salad greens and moving on to marinated and fresh vegetable salads at this point. However, I purchased some Romaine today for $1.99/lb, and probably shouldn't have. I have a taste for Salade Nicoise and couldn't resist. I didn't have time to make it tonight, so we had a Caesar salad instead, but I'll do the whole Nicoise shmear tomorrow.

  • My 16mo daughter likes Romaine lettuce with Caesar dressing. Very strange indeed. She likes it so much she learned to say "salad" after just one bite.

  • It's a monetary blessing that my grocery store is out of pine nuts. As I am burdened with a ton of fresh basil (poor me), I will give walnuts a try for my pesto. I already have some in the freezer, and this recipe looks darn good. I'm also going to throw caution to the wind and use the trusty green can of Kraft grated Parmesan that's on my shelf rather than spring for pricey chunks of Parmesan and Romano.

    Tribe said...

    Mary, if a guy (like me, for instance) can make a fluffy baked-potato in the oven, so can you. My solution, wrap 'em in aluminum foil and bake the shit out them!

    Mary Louisa said...

    Tribe, I've tried that. The damn things weren't truly fluffy.

    Maybe it's my oven. Maybe it's my potatoes. I have simply given up, I guess.

    Rev Dr David Adamovich said...

    I found your comment on microwaved potatoes during a google search. I too love the salt/butter combination BUT if you want to try something that'll knock your socks off try a smear of Coleman's Mustard (from the jar, not made from the powder) instead of the salt/butter combo. I did it once and it's become the gold standard for me.
    (ex-professor from another life)