January 29, 2016
It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. I have cooked a couple of thoroughly forgettable dinners, a few pretty good lunches, and one memorable breakfast of poached eggs on toast with some ham I’d frozen from Christmas. (May have that again today for lunch, in fact.)
But I’ve done nothing exceptional in the kitchen of late. I’ve been busy on assorted work projects, and errand running, and getting stuff done that had to be done.
I do have a new toy — a monstrously heavy cleaver for cutting up chicken and such. I got tired of dulling my workhorse knives and struggling through chicken ribs with my kitchen shears. I’m going to buy my chickens whole, from the farm; that’s a given. If so, I need some convenient way to cut them up, yes? Yes.
So, this baby. Actually, for a day, him and his Japanese cousins, before I returned them.
How it was, was, like this. I’d been looking at cleavers. Wasn’t going to use it enough that I felt the need to spend $150+ on it, which is quite easy to do for a good Shun or Wusthof. I found a couple of Zhens on the Amazon Warehouse Deals page, and, not being familiar with the brand, I asked on the eGullet food forum as well as for recommendations. Put the two Zhens in my shopping cart so I wouldn’t “lose” them.
One of the Zhens was $50-something, the other $60-something. I would have sprung for either. But one of the responses recommended a Concord Cutlery model that was about $22.
Now, for an implement I’m not going to use but a couple of times a month, I’d a sight rather spend $22 than $50, let alone $60. So I clicked the included link, and ordered it (at 4 a.m., from my phone, because I’ve acquired this horrible habit of waking up at 4 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep). From Amazon. Where I already had two cleavers in my shopping cart. $160 total worth of cleavers.
First of the week, cleavers started arriving. One Monday. One Tuesday. One Wednesday. I could have run away and joined the circus, I guess, as a juggler, if I had that kind of faith in my coordination, which I do not. Thankfully, Amazon makes it REAL easy to return things, so the Zhens were lovingly deposited in the UPS return box yesterday, and their price should be lovingly deposited in my account by early next week. Thank you, Amazon.
And I just cooked a chicken this week, one that I broke down into frying-chicken pieces instead of roasting it whole, too. I should’ve waited until the cleaver got here. Oh, well. The chicken, an Indian tandoori-style, was one of the meals I didn’t eat, because I was queasy. I put the leftovers in the freezer, and will revisit those in a chicken curry this evening. Will detail both in a post later.
My other adventure of the week has been attempting to, as part of this eating plan, get three one-cup servings of vegetables down daily. Three cups of veggies is a LOT of veggies; think six standard half-cup servings. I’ve managed it two days by eating entree salads at a restaurant, but for whatever reason, I don’t make myself salads at home; not sure why. So, in addition to my homemade veggie juice/smoothie, I got a head of cabbage at the grocery and cut it up in wedges and put it in a plastic bag. It lives in the fridge, and I get a wedge out most days, sprinkle it with salt, and eat it with whatever I’m having for lunch. And my V8.
Oh. I did make an excellent bowl of oatmeal for breakfast t’other day. I have grown to love steel-cut oats, and keep them on hand all the time. I had some chopped dried dates in the pantry, left over from Christmas baking. I cooked oatmeal with some of those dates, and topped it when it was done with just barely half a tablespoon of maple syrup. Excellent, excellent oats! I love a hot breakfast like that when it’s cold outside.
Tomorrow, I’m on the road, headed to Tennessee to a birthday celebration, with AGC 2 as my traveling buddy. Back tomorrow night, so dinner will be catch-as-catch-can, probably something ordered in. I’m expecting delivery of some frozen King crab legs and some scallops Saturday, neither of which I have ever cooked but both of which should be fairly basic, so stand by for those. I still have Royal Red shrimp in the freezer as well. And midweek next week, I leave for NOLA, where I’m already gnawing at the old dilemma, two nights in town, and where to eat? I’d really like to go to Galatoire’s; haven’t been in ages. We shall see.
Meanwhile, it’s supposed to be pretty today. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em get outside and have a big time.