What day is this?

November 3, 2010

I’m not even sure what I posted last.

Oh. Beignets, and steak, and Saturday doings. Was that like, last  year? This week has sort of, well, vanished. As well it should have, given the election results yesterday. But we won’t go there, because I don’t think I have enough alcohol or drugs in the house to sustain me if I think much more about that.

Really crappy cell phone pic. I think the Olympus is about to be declared MIA.

What else did I cook? I made chocolate gravy to go with biscuits, scrambled eggs and country sausage on Sunday, and I made moussaka for a late lunch/early dinner since I was hitting the road in the late afternoon. It was one of the better moussakas I’ve made — sauce was Just Right, had about the right amount of eggplant, bechamel was thick enough, and in general, I did right well. Made Israeli couscous with chicken broth, toasted almonds and parsley — a tad bland, but I do like Israeli couscous as opposed to the regular stuff. It had actually called for toasted pine nuts, but pine nuts are just too stinkin’ expensive; I ain’t goin’ there. And I had almonds. Toasted those babies in butter, used the brown butter that was left to toast the couscous before I added the chicken broth, stirred the almonds and the parsley back in when it was done. Nice.

Chocolate gravy, though. I’d never heard of chocolate gravy until I moved to Arkansas, and really not until I had kids who got old enough to spend the night with other kids who had parents or grandparents who made chocolate gravy for a weekend breakfast treat. So I began occasionally making chocolate gravy.

It’s pretty much what it sounds like. You start out like regular gravy, with a roux (this one of butter and flour, as opposed to bacon or sausage drippings). You whisk in your milk. You stir in your sugar, and you add your cocoa, which actually dissolves better if you add it to the sugar first. And you whisk it over medium low heat until it’s as thick as you want it, and you spoon it over a split-open biscuit.

NS was a happy camper, as was Child C. I can take or leave it; it’s OK, but I’m not the chocaholic in the family, either.

Proportions? About like:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt the butter, add the flour, stir for 3-4 minutes; add the milk and whisk away until the lumps are gone. Add the vanilla, (I forgot vanilla when I was describing it earlier) sugar and cocoa, and cook it over medium low heat with frequent whisking. I’d guess it takes maybe 5 minutes, max, to get it to nice thick gravy consistency. It’s still going to be a little grainy from the sugar, so if that puts you off, use powdered sugar. It’ll work as an ice cream sauce, either, and one of the Food 52 cooks, where I’d posted it in the ongoing gravy contest, suggested one could use it to make chocolate lasagna with nuts and dried fruit, which is something I’m going to HAVE to try.

Since then I’ve eaten nothing really exceptional except some really, really good smoked salmon/cream cheese spread, with salmon caught and smoked by my friend Lisa when she was in Alaska this summer, and chives from my back porch, and a selection of nice cheeses I took with me to Kate’s Sunday night. Then I had Burger King for lunch Monday (the shame! the horror! the yucky chicken on the salad!), nothing Monday night when I got home, and nothing last night because I felt like hell and I was distraught at the election returns.

Today I went to lunch at a local joint which has at least turned out reasonably decent home cooking style stuff in the past, and ordered pinto beans and cornbread because it was cold and rainy and that sounded good. However, the beans were so salty I couldn’t eat them, not to mention having the temperature and consistency that they were just dumped out of a can and warmed up in the microwave. I sent them back and got vegetable beef soup, which consisted of a watery broth, unpeeled potato chunks, approximately two green beans, and ground beef. Also so salty as to be nearly beyond consumption. Chalk THAT place off my list.

Damn Republicans win and everything goes to hell.

I cooked burgers for NS and Child C tonight, with oven fries, but I don’t think that’s what I want. I think I’m about to slice myself up some cheese, eat some fruit salad that I brought home from an over-catered lunch at work, and call that dinner. With the rest of this quite excellent Grayson Cellars pinot noir.

You and y’mama ‘n ’em be sure you vote Democrat next time, OK?


One Response to “What day is this?”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Sorry to hear about the Olympus; it was a good camera.

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