Monday, July 14, 2008

Mid-July Blog Roundup

Been busy the past 2 months. My days mostly consist of wake up, work, come home, maybe watch some TV or internetting for an hour or two, and then go to bed. Except for the much welcome fourth of July weekend, I've averaged about 1 day off in 14 days so haven't really had any energy to blog. Here's a reserve roundup of some random events.

With a healthy bounty of fresh produce (see below), I sacrificed sleep to get some cooking in. Here is a delicious Purple Pesto Penne. Purple because I used purple basil (see below!)

And an assorted fresh greens salad . There are peaches, goji berries, and almond slivers in there.
OK, so that was Sunday morning. After eating, I went to work but the food was really good so... well I certainly could have used the extra sleep but it was just nice to cook again.

"Below" This is the forementioned below section. Being the second week of July, that means it's fruit picking time. I went to my aunt's place to collect some earthly bounty. Above is the infamous Shanghai Peach. When ripe, it is so soft that merely handling it will bruise it. As such, you cannot find these in stores. All that softness translates to juicy juicy sweet flavors.

Santa Rosa Plums. These are also awesome. They are hard to find really ripe because they too become super soft when at their best (flavor-wise). If you find them in the grocer's know that you want to pick the darkest and softest ones. Those are most ripe and delicious. The meat of the best is a nice deep red. The not so ripe ones are still yellowish and can be a lot tarter.

Pluots and plums. Note the dark dark colored plums on the right. A note on pluots, you want to select the more yellow ones. The greener ones are not so ripe and are harder and less sweet.

An herbal cornucopia. See? The basil is really purple!

Some pre-broiled shrimp skewers marinated with Sha-Cha (shrimp paste), soy sauce, and chinese rice wine.

Beans, beans, good for your heart...

A colorful basket of fruit. I remember playing this crazy game "FURUTO BASUKATTO" when I was young. It was part of the "Japanese" semester at GT (grade school nerd-corps).

OK, La. So this is from fourth of July weekend. I got a 20% your entire purchase coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond so I went gonzo buying stuff. I was hoping for some additional holidays savings but I didn't really notice any. Oh well, this CCM saved over $100! So if you do the math, yeah I spent a lot of money. Above my Kitchen Aid Blender has received her spouse. The big fat and overweight Food Processor I've been wanting for some time. I'd love to get a mixer but honestly, I have ZERO room left in my kitchen. I need to install one of those pan hanging racks over my sink. The ones with hooks and shit.

Big purchase #2, I was looking to get a chef's knife, a pearing knife, and a boning knife (even though I don't think I've cooked meat (that requires to be de-boned) in my house in the last 4 months. I ended up just getting this knife set because it was cheaper and I needed to replace the scissors I lost at Anthony's BBQ from last year. So I get a new bread knife, a Santoku knife (for sanitary cutting of vegetables I presume). Six steak knives (the way they are supposed to be made with the curved tips and all), and a sharpening rod. I had to get the boning knife separately. All the big knifes are made of super compressed steel. The steel starts off as thick as the handle (as it is all the same piece) and is compressed to the thickness of the blade. Not quite a katana but still very nice.

Bargain of the day! Or so I think. I could have been majorly scammed but this is a 10 piece pyrex set. With 20% discount, only $23! That's less than $2.50 for each piece. Totally saved me from having to buy a lasagna dish separately which was on my list. Speaking of the list, the only things I was unable to purchase were 1) a bowl scraper 2) a china cap (pointed strainer for soups) and 8) (eight, I forget what eight was for, but nine nine 9) some oven grills like the ones you see in that shrimp picture above. For doing stuff exactly like that!

I finally traded in my safeway plastic measuring cup set for a real deal professional set. The small set of spoons in the middle; measurements read (from smallest to largest) as smidgen, pinch, dash, tad. Are those real measurements? Or is humor a requisite of a "professional" set?

Measuring scale. Some other crap I bought: random bathroom stuff, kitchen cleaning stuff, bench scrapper/garlic smasher, can't remember rest. (I need rest).

And then I guess the week before that I bought a Sharlyn Melon. These are awesomely sweet and juicy. If you've eaten honeydew, that is like the ugly step sister of Sharlyn. This is the melon that is featured so iconically in several Japanese video games. Often with its T-shaped stalk still attached.

Being crazy and in need of therapy I harvested the seeds and oven roasted them with some salt. Actually I pan roasted them first to remove the moisture and then tossed them with salt and moved them to the oven.

Then the insane part was I ground those suckers up in my pestal and mortar I got from Sur La Table (whose kitchen timer/thermometer timer has the worse interface in the world). It took a long time but it was a fine way to unwind (and get some light exercise in) after a long day at work.

And some strawberries and said sharlyn melons.
OK, you are now caught up with pretty much anything interesting and food related (other than the previous posts) that I've done in the past 2 months. Back to work/sleep/eat.


bittermelon said...

geeeeeeeeeeez, someone's building his dream kitchen. i don't even have a knife set yet.

enb said...

albeit quite long, that was a fantastic food post nat.
hungry hungry!