29 June 2009

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26 June 2009

Why I won't be opening up my own restaurant ...

My friend Chuck made a post about how he's not looking to go into cooking professionally. I'd have to say that I agree with a lot of what he says. Our reasoning may be different on the surface, but deep down inside, I think that what Chuck said resonates with me.

There's a difference between being the one to own the restaurant and the one who cooks in it. There's a difference between catering an event, wherein you show up, cook the food that the people have bought, using their dishes, and go off on your merry way when it's all said and done, and owning a catering company, employing others under you, and being responsible to a whole host of other things.

For me, the reasoning why I didn't want to go into business for myself started off with a gut feeling, but after seeing the logistics of it, have evolved into a "I really don't have what it takes."

I don't think there's any shame in admitting that, to be honest. It's important to know your limits, and to still strive for more. I know that I don't have what it takes to be a restauranteur, because I've seen what it's like on a regular basis. The business consumes you. You can have 100 good reviews, but one bad review can send you into a tailspin of nasty emotions that are forever threatening to break through the surface. You can be a kind and fair person, but forever have a nagging feeling that you're actually a bully and a jerk. You can do your utmost to be a decent person, pay the piper on time, and keep on the straight and narrow, only to watch everything come unglued, because one pivotal person has you by the testicles.

Sorry. Not for me.

But it all goes back to something Chuck mentioned, and something that I explain to others who ask me. Cooking, for me, is a highly personal and intimate act. Aside from feeding your body, which I do try to do healthfully and completely, I'm showing you a side of me that not everyone else gets to see. It's part of the reason why I don't post that many food pictures. I want that meal to be an intimate experience between me and whoever it is I cooked it for. To show it off would be like a public display of affection, which is something I indulge in only very rarely.

For me to be able to cross that barrier and cook for people whom I not only don't care for, but actively dislike, seems like it would cause me some mental strife. I've been eminently fortunate that the people who eat at Sacred Chow are awesome people, who have brains, looks, and good palettes. I've only met kind and interesting folk there, and I think it's because that's the sort of crowd that the space attracts. The nasty, negative, angry people either don't come to us, or they see my genuine smile, and relax, and have a good time.

However, that's not the case for every restaurant I've been to. People can be rude, and inconsiderate, and hurtful. I don't really think I'd want to serve that sort of person. I don't think I could, and still keep a smile on my face. It's kind of the reason that my circle of friends is fairly tight-knit. I make acquaintances easily, but it takes me a while to warm up to the person as a friend.

I'm rambling, I know. The point is that it takes all kinds, y'know? Some people do have what it takes to run their own restaurants, and they have the utmost of my respect. I, on the other hand, am one content to cook for my family, my friends, my husband, and occasionally, at Chow, where I don't really see the results of the food, except for the empty bowls that come down!

I seriously had a long and involved dream about salad. I'm so not joking. I dreamed about the different style dressings I made (dijon, hummus, creamy ranch style, and the chickpea cashew one I posted about), and then all the different vegetables I had laid out (tomato, onions, cucumber, grated carrots, olives [green, black, and kalamata], chickpeas, three kinds of lettuce, roasted mushrooms) and the various toppings (craisins, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, glazed pecans, croutons). I woke up, and was sad to see that I hadn't actually made that salad or the accompaniments.


22 June 2009

I stop, and think about things, and realise that I actually live in New York City. It's almost surreal how it's possible for me to be living my dreams. I have a beautiful husband. I live in a wonderful city. I work a dream job. My boss is a kind man, who I look up to like a father. I can cook for anyone, and have them enjoy my food. My parents are good to me. My sister and her husband are wonderful. I know I'm not dreaming, because I still have to deal with drudgery (paying bills, waiting in queues, doing grunt work like cleaning the house), but I almost wonder if I've been somehow singled out for the gods to bestow me with the best that life can give. It's a nice thought, for sure.

And more than that? I'm never bored. Every minute of my life provides me with new wonders. With new things to explore and think about. It's like knowing that everything that you do will form ever-increasing ripples in the ocean of life. That you matter.

It seems sappy if you're not living it. But if you are living it, it's life!

21 June 2009


I wouldn't ordinarily think myself to be vain (STOP LAUGHING, STEVE!), but it dawned on me that when I do get old, there's a couple of things I'd like to see happen.

1. If I do get wrinkles, I want them to be because I've smiled so much. I see evidence of it already, around my mouth, and near my eyes. It's faint, but it's there, and I can tell that it's because of how much smiling I do naturally. I think I'd be OK with having smile lines.

2. If I do start to lose the darkness of my hair (and it goes to "grey"), I want it to go in huge chunks at the same time, so that I can finally dye it fire engine red without having to go through a bleaching process. If I'm going to age, I might as well have fun doing it!

3. Consequently, if I do start losing my hair, I want to shave it completely bald, because I do have a beautifully shaped head. I'm not the only one to say it; every time I get my hair shaved completely off, people mention how lovely my head looks, unencumbered by all that hair! If anything, it'll certainly cut back on prep time in the morning.

4. If my already flimsy tolerance to the cold gets worse, I want to be able to use it as an excuse to be close to my husband, so he can keep me warm. :)

5. If my walking pace slows down, I hope that I remind myself that it gives me more time to look around me, and take in the sights more fully. Right now, I may pass by the same spot 100 times, but be unable to tell you what on earth is there, because I'm so focused on getting where I need to be.

6. If my memory starts to go, I hope it leans in the direction of forgetting petty arguments, and imagined slights, rather than the kindness that people generally show me.

I don't know if I'll get my hopes, but the best I can do is work towards it.

19 June 2009

Add garlic and ginger at the end, please

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: add your garlic towards the end of cooking. I've seen the cost of garlic skyrocketing like everything else in the stores. And, just like everything else, we can find ways to maximise the way we use said ingredient. If it's oils that are costing a fortune (olive, sesame, etc.), we can use them only as finishing oils, and in sparing amounts. With garlic, the magic is in adding it at just the right time to get the punch you want.

If you don't like strong garlic flavour--

Wait a minute. If you don't like garlic, what're you reading this for? Don't use it!

No, I'll be serious now. If you're not a huge fan of the sharp, strong garlic taste, add it in the mid-point of your cooking. Say for example that you're making a tomato sauce or something similar. Instead of sauteing the garlic with the onions, and missing out on having the garlic give any impact at all, just use less than the recipe calls for, and add it after you add the tomato. It's when you cook it in oil that the flavour disperses and weakens.

So now, suppose that you're a huge fan of garlic. Mince it up as finely as you can, and go ahead and add it as close to the end as possible. You'll taste the garlic, and smell it as soon as it gets to the table. In fact, if you want to use the mortar and pestle to grind it down to a paste, and go from there. It'll be all the more strong, and taste all the sharper.

This goes double for ginger. I myself have advocated cooking ginger along with the aromatics, but I've found that it cooks extremely quickly. It cooks even more quickly than garlic! Add ginger at the very last minute possible, once you've grated it finely, and you'll taste it clearly in the end result.

18 June 2009

Chickpeas are awesome in general.

I was in the vegan chat room today, and got to chatting with someone from Australia, who was just starting out her exploration of the humble, yes awesome, chickpea. She's been roasting them in the oven, and spending upwards of half an hour on the process, as the oven takes its own sweet time in making the roasty magic happen. I gave her a detailed explanation on how to roast chickpeas on the stove. She seemed shocked that it only takes a few minutes!

You can hear the results of the conversation here, on the new podcast episode. It was basically me catching up with my listeners, by reading their emails, and then plunging in head-first into chickpea heaven.

You start with a screaming hot skillet, some oil, some mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds. I get into more detail about the conditions of the whole thing in the podcast episode, and in the cook book, so either way, read up or listen up to the whole popping spices deal before attempting this. If you don't have the book, listen to the pocast which is free. Either way, you'll get the idea.

After the seeds are popped, throw in the well-drained chickpeas WITH NO AROMATICS. Aromatics kill caramelisation of your ingredients. They exude water, and increase the cooking time. This is supposed to be a quick five minute thing. Besides, adding aromatics adds to your prep time. Bother with that stuff when you don't care about time!

Then, you roast the chickpeas on high heat for about five minutes. If you want them more brown, keep going. Do not fear oil! Stove top roasting is a bit more oil intensive than oven roasting. If you see the skillet drying out, add a bit of extra oil, until the chickpeas are slightly shiny from the oil, and keep roasting. You won't get that beautiful brown unless you use a bit of oil. If you are watching your calories, read on, and I'll explain how to do them in the oven.

After the five minutes (or however long you decided to roast them) is up, turn off the heat, and let the chickpeas rest for a minute, while you contemplate how to eat them. They're excellent in a pita pocket, with some alfalfa sprouts, cilantro, and tomato. They're good over hot steamy rice. They're quite nice all by themselves, as a snack. You can use them as croutons over a salad. You can add a cup or two of water, and make it a soup (to thicken up the soup, either mash with a potato masher or grind in a blender about 1/2 of the chickpeas). I discuss other possibilities in the podcast.

If you are watching your calories, and want to reduce the amount of fat, use the following ratio for 1 pound of cooked chickpeas:

1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt, to taste

Mix the oil, sesame seeds, and turmeric powder into a spice paste. Toss the spice paste with the well-drained chickpeas. Arrange them onto a baking sheet, so that they have a fair bit of space between them. For me, a pound of chickpeas takes two baking sheets. Your sheets may be bigger or smaller. The idea is that you don't want to crowd your baking sheet, or else the chickpeas will not roast on all sides.

Sprinkle generously with salt, to taste. Let them roast in the oven for about 20 minutes (at 180ºC or 350ºF), and check and see if they're brown enough for your liking. Feel free to shake the pans a bit to turn the chickpeas over. Also, feel free to rotate your pans. Some ovens have "hot spots", and you might do well to move the baking sheets around your oven, so that they can all get cooked evenly.

If they are brown enough to your liking at 20 minutes, remove them. If not, keep roasting them until they're at the brownness and crispness of your liking. The longer you let them go, the more they dry out, and the more brown they get.

If you find that they are taking too long to roast, chances are that you're crowding the pan, and having them steam first, then roast. Make sure there's plenty of breathing space for the chickpeas in the pans.

Now go out and roast some chickpeas!

By the by, this whole entry and discussion with my friend on the chat room was spawned because of the mid week feast I made for Puppy. I've got the picture below and above this entry.

17 June 2009


So I have a couple of heads of romaine lettuce, and a few other random veg lying about the fridge. I had today off from work, so I decided to cook up a bit of a feast for lunch. First, I set the lentils that I'd soaked overnight on the boil. Then, I cooked up some aubergine for Puppy. I used fennel seed, cardamom (1 pod), sesame seed, and cumin seed. The recipe is in the book. Then I cooked up some cabbage, and used mustard seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, and sesame seed, with a bit of turmeric for colour. Finally, I composed the salad. I used two heads of romaine, two small Jordan cucumbers, grated carrot, fresh summer squash, chickpeas, Kalamata olives, onions, and of course, the creamy dressing of doom. It changes shape every time I make it, but it's got a similar base of hummus. This time, I amped up the flavour profile to be a little more adventurous.

I started with 1/2 cup of chickpeas (the other 1/2 cup went into the salad itself), and a small handful of raw cashews. I first whizzed up the cashews in the food processor until they were ground as finely as they would go (almost a powdery thing). Then, I dumped in the chickpeas, as if I were going to make a hummus. I let the food processor run until the cashews and chickpeas became a solid mass of paste of delicious. Then I added a sprinkle of salt, a scant teaspoon of oil, and let the food processor rip again. Every time I open the top of the food processor, I had to scrape down the sides, because I wanted everything to come together neatly. It was still at a thick paste stage.

Now comes the fun part.

I dumped in a heaped teaspoon of my own home made grain mustard. It has a kick like horseradish, which I hate, but a wonderful peppery back note that I love. Also, since I had so much chickpea and cashew to offset, I knew I'd be fine. Then in went the juice of one lime. Always remember to be conservative when you're building a good dressing, because you can add, but you can't take away. I let the food processor rip again. By this point, it was starting to resemble a very thick hummus.

I tasted it for seasoning, after grinding till the mustard was combined through, and almost fell over in bliss. It was such a strong, bold dressing. It was creamy, but sassy. It had boldness but with a soft touch. It was beautifully balanced, and I didn't even need to add any vinegar! Just had to use my cashews, chickpeas, salt, mustard, and lime juice. (Side note: next time, I'll add the zest of the lime as well to amp up the flavour even more.)

Unfortunately, beautiful as it was, it was also way too thick to use as a dressing. I ran the food processor at full blast while I very slowly drizzled in some water, allowing the last bit to emulsify in before adding more. I'd say if you went with a teaspoon at a time, you'll be safe. I think (but don't hold me to it or do the same thing) I ended up with about 1/4 cup of water in total, but I could be mistaken, because I tend to eyeball these things, and before I have a chance to measure what I've done, the dressing ended up perfect. I did stop a few times to check the texture.

All this took about five minutes flat. It just seems like it took longer, because I wanted you to have the experience with me, and share along in the discovery. I'm eating the salad now, and I must say that it's a beautiful matching. The best part is that because the dressing has such a strong taste, I'm not tempted to use too much, and drown my salad in dressing. Instead, the leaves are gently coated with a fine layer of silky dressing.

Give this one a shot if you like creamy dressing. For the first time you do it, leave out the mustard, or use a mild dijon mustard, and go with a scant teaspoon. The dressing does not need the mustard; I just added it because I wanted to make something different from how I've been doing it all this time.

By the by, this dressing would have also been wonderful with the addition of a clove or two of garlic, and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder. If you don't like cashews, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts would work fine. Macadamia nuts would work, but it'd be a bit extravagant to use macadamia nuts in a dressing! Brazil nuts would work, but you would leave out the fat, as Brazil nuts are very high in their own fat. Pistachios would work, only if you don't mind the colour being a very mild pale green. Peanuts might work, but I'd suggest that you use peanut butter, and not whole peanuts.

Try it out, and tell me how it goes for you!

I mention the chickpea dressing here.

Pictures of the salad and the dressing:


I just finished eating a giant piece of watermelon. Next to me was my little salt grinder. Now, anyone who's been over to my house to eat at one of my Saturday afternoon food for alls knows that I have a bit of a salt thing. You've probably eaten freshly cut fruit from atop my slab of Himalayan pink rock salt (it's shaped like a brick). You know that I use Kosher salt (and only Kosher salt) in my cooking, and I use coarse sea salt in a salt grinder for salting at the table.

So when I was staring at that little salt grinder, and wondering what would happen, my brain went back to that Watermelon Gazpacho (which is what it's called, but I couldn't remember the name) at Sacred Chow. If they can use salt on watermelon, why can't I?

On went a few ethereal grains of finely ground salt atop my glistening slice of watermelon. It was almost as if the watermelon slice grew more delicious than it already was! How was it possible that I've waited this long for the magic to happen? I'm quite pleased with my little salt grinder.

16 June 2009

The language of hope!

I was talking to a friend, Sandra, a few years ago. Unfortunately, I haven't spoken to her in years and years, because both of us got involved in different online communities and the rest, and hadn't really kept up with each other as we should have. Anyrate. We were just chatting randomly, and I'd mentioned Esperanto off-hand. Immediately, her response was "The language of hope!" I was stunned and immensely pleased, because I'd heard of the language back when I was ten years old, and my brother had bought me one of those "amazing facts" type books for kids, that I read religiously. They mentioned all the history of the language, and how it came to be, and for some reason, every time I'd bring it up with my local friends, nobody had a clue what I was talking about. It made me sad inside, because it really is a cool project, and nobody seemed to know about it. So about twelve years after hearing about the language, Sandra, who I'd met at random too, heard of it too. What a cool world we live in. :)

It's FREEZING out there. :(

What is going ON out there? It's down in the mid 60s (F). This is ridiculous. Where is global warming when you need it? Argh. I'm sitting here at the basement in Chow, and shivering away, in spite of my wearing a jacket. I'm hoping that the broccoli soup gets made soon, so that I can warm myself from the inside out.

In food news, I made a giant broccoli dish yesterday. I started off as I usually do with vegetable dishes, with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds. Then in went some very finely chopped potatoes, a bit of turmeric, and a bit of salt. Toss toss toss for about five minutes (yes, I chopped them that small that they cooked in about five minutes). Then in went the broccoli, stalks and all. All I did was peel off the bottom 1/3rd of the stems, with a vegetable peeler, to take off the woody part, and then sliced up the stems as thinly as I could. This was so that they would cook up at the same time as the stalks.

Toss toss toss. The broccoli was getting nicely roasted and toasted and smelling fantastic. To gild the lily, I added about a teaspoon or so of coconut oil, some red chile flakes, along with a couple bunches of scallions. Oh! It was like heaven in a pot! The smells were so intoxicating, and the whole apartment filled with the smell of beautifully roasted broccoli, toasted spices, roasty coconut, and the nicely browned potatoes. I wish you could have been there, because I made a good two large bunches of broccoli into this heavenly dish, and I love to share my food with people that I care about.

On the side, I had daal and rice, which I'd made earlier that morning (you remember how I mentioned soaking split peas). It was so good, and I'm still floating on the clouds to remember it.

15 June 2009

I have my computer back in my arms, so I might be able to record a podcast soon enough. The downside is that I'm typing this in TextEdit while there's an internet blackout from my cable company for all of Manhattan, so I'll have to wait until I get to work to upload this to the blog.

Last night, I did an experiment with my yellow split peas. Because the toor daal is too expensive for me to buy with any regularity (or alacrity), I tend to use yellow split peas instead. Or is that split yellow peas? Whatever.

Because of this, I've noticed that from cold water to perfectly cooked (as in, they fall apart, and make a rich split pea gravy, along with the ones that manage to just barely stay together) takes about an hour and small change. Then, to add my spices and do all the rest of the business, I take about an additional 10 minutes or so, because I like my daal to have lots of textural and flavour differences going on.

Last night, I soaked my split yellow peas in cold water, and left them over night. They seemed to swell considerably in volume, so if you try this hint, make sure that you use a much larger container than you think you'll need. To save yourself some steps in the morning, use the same pot to soak as the one you want to cook the split peas in.

The next morning, I got up, and drained out the soaking liquid. We hear over and over again that the soaking liquid should be discarded so as to avoid the added "bonus" of the gas that beans are said to give you. Mind you, asafoetida and cumin are said to release said gas, but I'd sooner not have it show up in the first place, thank you very much.

Then, I put the pot onto the stove over the highest heat that it could muster. I also remembered to stay in the kitchen until the pot reached a boil, because I've learned time and again that when cooking split peas, you always have the issue of boil over, no matter how large the pot is. As soon as the water hit a rolling boil, I dropped it down to a simmer, and went about my morning routine.

Just about 20 minutes later, the split peas were done to a turn!

I decided to be lazy, and use the same spicing technique as explained in the dry roasted garbanzo recipe in my book. That is, mustard seed, cumin seed, and sesame seed, and a hint of turmeric. I did use asafoetida, because I like the flavour, but it isn't strictly necessary. I didn't bother adding onions or garlic or ginger, although any of those would have been perfectly lovely in flavour. It was that I was in a hurry to get out the door, and I wanted lunch ready for Steve. I just used a separate tiny pot that I have just for popping spices.

So, the spicing took less than a minute or so. I then poured the hot popped spices back into the split pea pot, and raised the heat to high, so that they could boil at full heat for about a minute.

25 minutes later, we had a pot of perfect split pea soup to have over hot rice. Life is good.

In future, I think that if I remember to do so, I'll soak all my beans, just to shorten the cooking time, even when they are already "quick" cooking ones.

14 June 2009

Roti from the bread machine

There are few kitchen gadgets that I really care for, as I tend not to use too terribly many of them very often, because most times, I can just do it faster by hand. One of them is my citrus squeezer. It's a red number which resembles a large garlic press, only instead of being square, it's round and large enough to fit half a tangerine.

Another is my food processor. Few things can really get the job done like a good strong food processor, especially when I have large amounts of repetitive tasks to get done. It's not that I don't know how to chop garlic, ginger, or onions, but rather that if I'm about to chop around three heads of garlic, a pound of ginger, or three pounds of onions, I'd sooner run them through the food processor, whiz it a few times, and get on with my life.

Still another is the rice cooker, but this one is because it's so much more convenient to have a machine to make picture perfect rice every time. Frankly, we eat so much rice in my house that to cook it on the stove every time would needlessly tie up a burner that I could be using to cook up something else.

Largest and most ostentatious of the bunch, however, is the bread maker. I'd never buy one, but there are so many to be found for free either through Craigslist, or for really cheap, such as in garage sales and the like. The one I own now is from my mother, who got hers for free, because her friends went on a certain low carbohydrate diet, and decided that a bread machine is far too much temptation for anyone's own good.

Not only that, but she managed to snag yet another machine for free from yet another friend who was going off of carbohydrates. Apparently, this is a common occurrence. Fine by me, I say. More bread making for me and my husband!

At any rate, all this time, I've been using my own two hands, or the food processor to bring my flatbread dough together (roti, puri, etc.), and ending up with a hard dough. This is rather useless, because roti dough is meant to be very soft. Not soft because of lots of water and fat, but because it's been kneaded for a rather long time, until it becomes supple and pliable. Doing that with all purpose flour is bad enough, but I have durum atta, which is whole meal flour that's been finely milled. Even though it is finely milled, it's hard as rock when you attack it with your own two hands, and you'll frequently end up with tired arms.

As I side note, I feel that must mention that I do not make dainty little roti or puri like they do in restaurants. They are neither small not perfectly shaped into a perfect circle. They're vaguely circular in shape, but you wouldn't really call it a circle. And, they're on the minimum, ten inches in diameter. Why? Because I don't have all day to stand around rolling out dainty, perfect roti, and then griddling them one by one. There's way too much other stuff to be done, so I'd sooner make large ones, and bang them out quickly, than make aesthetically pleasing ones and stand over a hot cast iron skillet for hours on end.

By the time I'm done griddling off a set of roti, I'm usually fairly tired, since the kneading took so long. I don't know why it took this long for my dense skull to figure it out, but I finally realised that I could just chuck the lot into the bread machine, and let that wonderful invention do all the kneading work, as long as I used the dough setting. My dough setting does almost nonstop kneading for a good 30 minutes or so, and then goes for a 20 minute rest period, and then finishes off with another 30 minutes of kneading. Pretty cool, I think.

In it all went, flour, water, spices, and salt. On went the machine. I decided to just let it run for the first 30 minute cycle. It was a revelation! Perfectly smooth, round ball, and beautifully soft. It rolled out into a perfectly thin disc in no time flat, and I was slapping them on the cast iron skillet in just a few minutes. And the best part is that everything got perfectly mixed in. The roti taste fantastic.

For the record, there is an excellent puri and roti recipe in the book.

11 June 2009


Yes, it's true. I fantasise about having top of the line cookware, and using all the fancy tools of the trade. I'd have a giant kitchen, with a six burner range, and perfect, heavy cookware, calibrated to handle the high heat of the burners. I'd have a huge cutting board. So huge that I don't have to stabilise it or steady it with my little rubber mats that I use under my current ones.

And then I stop and think for a moment. It would be swell to have all those things, but they wouldn't be quite the same. I remember the day that I walked up and down Manhattan, on the hunt for cookware that I could easily afford. I found a wok, and a giant stew pot, and another pot or three. They all cost less than $10, and were light enough for me to carry back to work, and then onwards to home.

Home. I didn't think I'd ever call it that, when it's just me and my husband, but there it is.

I remember trawling the shelves of all the stores to find good sturdy knives to cook with. Then, all that time I saved and scrimped to have enough money to buy that giant granite mortar and pestle. Then, I found that really inexpensive cast iron skillet, and fell in love. And THEN there was that one day that I was in a thrift store, and I saw a carbon stainless steel wok, that had never been used, marked at $5. I was silently thrilled as I paid. It even came with a lid!

When I really think about the cookware that I covet, I'd have to say that my mother's beat up old wok calls to my heart much more strongly than the fancy ones that are on the store shelves and cost what I pay in rent every month. I treasure my little cast iron skillet far more than any amount of $300 cast iron enamel cookware from the expensive department stores. My wok, that I seasoned all by myself, with my own two hands, that cooked all those countless meals for the love of my life, and all the friends that have passed through our home and life, is far more precious ot me than that six burner range.

And of course, there's my beautiful mortar and pestle. He's ever faithful, and ready to do any amount of work that I ask him to do. He's a dear friend whom I've grown to care for more than I ever could a fancy marble number displayed at a cookware store.

I guess I don't want more than what I have. I love my cookware, because I worked for it, and in it, and with it. The sweat of my brow paid for it, and that same sweat created lovely dishes for the people that I care about the most.

Furthermore, I know every tiny bit of my cookware. I am quite used to their little bumps and dings and imperfections, and I love them anyway.

It's nice to know that what I have is far more worthwhile than any amount of money (although, if someone is looking to give me money, I wouldn't reject it by any means). I have the love of my friends and family, and that matters to me. So if you see or hear me talking endlessly about fancy tools and the rest, understand that it's exactly that: fancies that I dream of. For me, the reality is far more satisfying.

Strawberry & Spinach Salad

And back with the sweet and salty combos. There's this podcast called Delicious TV: Totally Vegetarian, where the hostess mentioned a Strawberry and Spinach salad.

Season 4

Posted using ShareThis

Sounds pretty good, as long as you add some basil, which I'm all about when it comes to salad.

Yes, I'm back to eating my words when it comes to salty and sweet together. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age? Either way, I think it's a lot of fun for people who like to explore and adventure with new things. The podcast is pretty cool. It says totally "vegetarian" but all her stuff is very easily veganised, and simple.

I covet her cookware in a small recess of my mind. I'll make a cookware post next, so I can explain myself.

09 June 2009

Sweet & Salty

Ordinarily, I hate any combination of sweet and salt. If it's sweet, let it be sweet, but if it's salty, please give me more salt. I found myself eating my words (and a yummy dish, at that) today when I went to work at Sacred Chow. They'd made this cold fruit salad thing with onions and avocado and watermelon and mango and cilantro. And there was a dressing on there which had something sour, and salt and something something. It was quite good.

Lemon. That's what it was. Either way, I'm quite pleased. However, just don't tell anyone else, because I'm supposed to dislike my beautiful salt be adulterated with sweet.

06 June 2009


Advertisers are bailing on the two cocksmacks who thought it was hilarious to talk about throwing shoes at little boys who might want to wear dresses or heels.

The best, is going back in the blog and reading the letters from the various advertisers.

It's nice to know that people actually care about others. That was a quote from my friend, who has three little girls. She's teaching her girls the meaning of respect for all people. If only all mothers could be as kind and wonderful. Thanks, my friend.