Fatty Dumpling

A piece of cake does not exist until someone eats it.

Category: Savoury

Moonblush Tomatoes

I’ve been in school for nearly two weeks now. I am in school in order to learn of and memorize dusty theories conjured by old men sitting in their old man thinking chairs, wearing their old man thinking caps, and smoking their old man thinking pipes, pondering their old man thoughts.

Hmmmm, the old men would ho-hum. Hmmmmm. What human behaviour shall I explain away today…

Before I left home for Guelph in order to take part in this serious study of old men thoughts in university, I was too impatient to wait for the sun to dry my tomatoes. My mom’s friend had gifted her with a bag of wee home-grown baby tomatoes, and she in turn, gave me the power to decide how the red things would end up in our bellies. I chose Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Moonblush tomatoes because it sounded neat. And pretty.

How pretty? Pretty like a name for a unicorn in those little kiddie books that I used to read. About some bookworm girl who finds out that she is the long lost princess of Faerie? And she now must join forces with the unicorn prince in order to save their magical world? From Queen whatsherface’s destructively evil takeover and plans to obliterate all remaining unicorns from their world and ours? You know?

And, well, the tomatoes, I find, came out pretty neat. Instead of using the sun to dry them out, Nigella uses an oven overnight. Next time, I’d probably halve the amount of salt. But overall, I think that I enjoyed the look of them more and wanted to share how pretty they are with you. They’re so bright!

The day after I made these tomatoes, I left for school. By leaving for school, I also left my family figuring out what to do with this experiment. I imagine that they’d be great tossed into a salad or pasta. But my family’s not a salad or pasta people. I can imagine my loyal mom snacking on random tomato halves while the rest of my family glances suspiciously…thanks, mom :)

Moonblush Tomatoes
from ‘Nigella Express’ by Nigella Lawson

500g (about 24) on-the-vine cherry or other baby tomatoes
2 tsp Maldon salt or 1 tsp of table salt
1/4 tsp of sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius

Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, thyme and olive oil.

Put them in the oven, and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or for a day without opening the door.

Brown and Black Rice

I think that chickens make some of the funniest sounds alive. Bwaaaaaaak. They prolong it just like that. Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaak-ak-ak-ak-ak.

Fresh eggs, anyone? Straight from the chicken coop?

I once watched a chicken lay an egg at my co-op and it looked painful. The bird is trying to push out something of her body that’s bigger than her own head. She was probably also quite stressed out by the kids wandering around doing farm chores such as changing her water and adding food to her feeder.

“The chicken’s in labour!” a kid yelled when he saw the bird working on her egg.

One day, I found these two eggs in the coop. The egg on the right of the photo is a regular extra large chicken egg. The one on the left is the monster chicken egg. “I was surprised I didn’t see any of the chickens limping”, my bossman said upon seeing the eggs. I was surprised too: it must have hurt her greatly.

I was happy to receive fresh eggs from the farm during my co-op work term—I mean, who doesn’t think that is crazy cool? I’m embarrassed to admit that I had half the expectation to see perfectly same-sized eggs like the ones I buy at the grocery store. Instead, I got nice eggs that were as individual as the chickens who laid them. Not that I could tell them apart, though.

So, one thing that I used to eat a lot as a kid was a simple egg and rice meal, with some splashes of Maggi sauce to add some tasty saltiness. So, I did the same for a meal in my co-op location, ‘cept that I made an omelette with some cheddar cheese, green bell peppers, and tomatoes. Another thing that was different in this meal from my young days was the brown and black rice mixture in the place of traditional white jasmine rice.

My parents introduced me to the brown and black rice mixture about a year ago and it has quickly become the staple rice in our rice-lovin’ household.

To get this mixture, we mix up a ton of brown rice with a wee bit of black rice. The mixture is not rocket science, really. It’s more like the arts and crafts style—add more black rice until it looks good—maybe look for a 4:1 or 5:1 brown rice to black rice ratio.

The rice tastes superb, let me tell you. It tastes nutty and earthy and good. It’s more chewy then regular white jasmine, and the black rice stains the brown rice into a funny purple colour. The water that the rice had been soaking is also stained purple. Jellyfish, my old housemate, suggested reusing that water that the rice had been soaking in to cook the rice in because you may be pouring the nutrients down the drain if you chuck it. Smart girl.

Funny story: My rice always came out stick-like and crunchy, but I never gave it a second thought. I didn’t realize until I came home from school a few months ago that my mom’s rice was fat and fluffy and generally more fun to eat.  It was because she cooked the rice in more water. The rice is so much nicer when it’s soft and fluffy. When it was crunchy…I got to exercise my jaw at least.

Brown and Black Rice (1 serving)

1/2 cup of the brown and black rice
1 cup of water

After rinsing the rice a few times, soak the rice in the water for at least 1 hour (overnight if possible).

Cook the rice in the rice cooker. Or alternatively, pour the rice and water mixture into a pot and cook on high heat over the stovetop until the mixture is boiling. Then, turn the heat down low so the rice can cook over simmering heat. Keep the rice under a watchful eye. The rice is finished when all of the water has been absorbed by the rice, about 20 minutes.

Seitan Pepperoni Crumbles

Hi there. I want to share some stories that are just 6 words long, written by some notable sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers. Be careful though, there is some profanity ahead. Some are hilarious–some are sad—all are devastatingly witty.

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
Margaret Atwood

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
Gregory Maguire

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
Ronald D. Moore

It cost too much, staying human.
Bruce Sterling

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
Stephen Baxter

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
Orson Scott Card

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
Kevin Smith

To save humankind he died again.
Ben Bova

Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
Paul Di Filippo

Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
Stephen R. Donaldson

whorl. Help! I’m caught in a time
Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel

God to Earth: “Cry more, noobs!”
Marc Laidlaw

Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back.
David Brin

I saw, darling, but do lie.
Orson Scott Card

Dorothy: “Fuck it, I’ll stay here.”
Steven Meretzky

Those stories made me laugh out loud.

Besides reading good tales this past week, I also made a pizza, topped with some Seitan Pepperoni Crumbles, recipe by Celine of Have Cake, Will Travel. Pizza pie tasted good. After making the pizza dough (also from the same blog post by Celine), I threw on a cup of grated mozzarella cheese, the seitan crumbles, and a whole chopped sweet red bell pepper. It was superbly tasty, the crunchy seitan made a nice contrast to the soft pizza dough.

I made some changes to the recipe though. Made it sans liquid smoke and star anise simply because I didn’t have any. I also lowered the amount of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper to ¼ teaspoon because…my tongue’s a wimp sometimes.

The seitan crumbles tasted like instant noodles. Seriously, it did. I had a lot of fun standing in front of my stove, shoving crumbles between my lips, wondering why it tasted oddly familiar. Deliciously so. I really liked it, especially as a part of pizza. I’ve made a few seitan foodstuffs before, and I have to say that I like this recipe the most so far.

I think that dried basil smells like Asian foods.

Now…I want to ask you. What would you call a defining act of a nerd? Perhaps when said nerd pulls out her nifty graphing calculator to calculate what colour an apple is? Perhaps when said nerd refuses the vacation trip to Mexico because she did not want to miss the lecture on neutrinos broadcasted live from the SNOLAB?

Perhaps one defining act can be when a person stuff plastic bags into her suitcase in order to protect  and cushion her books and CDs from possible bumps and bruises? Or can she be considered the coolest person ever?

I like to think the latter.

Hunter Style Muffin

You know what’s kind of shallow for me, but so very true at the same time? Food photography. And its complexities. I look at a sweet red bell pepper in the grocery store and think, “Mmmm…pepper…pretty pepper…must purchase pretty pepper and put in belly”. I go home and take a few photographs, and there’s a whole new dimension of gorgeousness.

 

Who knew a pepper can look that…nice? Why do I not see peppers as that attractive in everyday life?

I blame lighting.

To heck with romantically dim mood lighting. Throw out your candles, ladies. Bury all of your cocktail dresses, sirs. Slap on a pair of shorts and eat outside in full daylight, I say. At best, when it’s nice out. Then, at least you know what your food looks like. And the people you’re with, it’ll be good to see them clearly too. Hopefully, the food’s tasty as well.

Now, what can a red sweet bell pepper, an onion, and black pepper go into together? Besides your belly. Add lean ground chuck to the list. It’s not a meatloaf.

These ingredients can be a part of a delicious muffin. A meat muffin! How cool is that? When I thought “muffin” I thought that I would see wet cakey batter. Instead, I was staring at dough in my mixing bowl. But fear not, my dears, it will come out delicious. (Can you picture cake with meat anyways?)

The muffin is soft and savoury. It is wholesome and filling. It has your four food groups baked into it. What more can you ask for in a muffin? Of course, with that argument, you can begin to argue the health benefits of a cupcake. Anywho, these muffins combines the need for bread and meat into one handy little thingamagig. Next time, perhaps, I’ll sub with soy milk and seitan to make it vegetarian. Wouldn’t that be wonderful to see?

 

By the by, you should start questioning how you spend your time when you tell your food “to work with you” when taking pictures of them.

Hunter Style Muffin

Adapted from Mad about Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

½ lb. ground chuck

¼ cup fresh onion, minced

¼ cup green pepper

½ cup stewed tomatoes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon pepper

pinch of dried chilli pepper

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk, plus juice from the tomatoes to equal one cup

4 tablespoons meat drippings (if not enough, combine with oil)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brown the ground chuck in a frying pan. Add the onion and green pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent. Drain and save the drippings. Add the stewed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and Tabasco sauce to the ground chuck. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine ½ cup milk and the juice from the tomatoes to equal one cup. Add the 4 tablespoons of meat drippings. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until blended. Add the meat and vegetables and mix well.

Fill greased muffin tins full. Bake 18 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned. Serve warm.

Refrigerate leftovers. Yum yum.

Intraracial Diversity and Relations among African-Americans: Closeness among Black Students at a Predominantly White University You know what’s kind of shallow for me, but so very true at the same time? Food photography. And its complexities.  I look at a sweet red bell pepper in the grocery store and think, “Mmmm…pepper…pretty pepper…must purchase pretty pepper and put in belly”. I go home and take a few photographs, and there’s a whole new dimension of gorgeousness.