Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

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I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.




Monday, August 21, 2006

Mmm

No flying since the last entry, and I'm thinking maybe I'll not blog about that. Maybe I'll do it on my class blog. I don't imagine others are all that interested.

If you're not into cooking, skip this entry.

On a culinary whim of sorts I picked up several pounds of vine ripened tomatoes. In the store I shop at they are medium sized, of a nice color, and are attached to the stem in bunches of two to six. That makes me wonder if that is considered on the vine, meaning they still aren't ripened while connected to a root system. They aren't nearly as good as home grown tomatoes, but they are much better than the regular old grocery tomatoes.

I cut the tomatoes into large chunks, 4-8 pieces each, and put them in the crock pot on high for a couple hours, along with some salt, oregano, and rosemary. Every so often I went at them with a potato masher. Then ran them through a strainer, using a spoon to push the pulp through. Then leaving the lid ajar on the crock pot, I returned the pulp and let it sit at low overnight. I wouldn't want to use any few tomatoes.

Sunday morning I checked my concoction and at first I thought I'd spoiled it, but it only looked like all the moisture had cooked off. It had reduced to just a tenth or less of what I started with, and dried looking skin formed on the top so it looked like a disaster cooked to the bottom of the pot. It was only skin deep, and a quick stir showed it to be a nicely textured tomato sauce. I tasted it, and got the shivers. I never encountered tomato sauce like that. Amazingly tasty, and it was hard to resist taking continual tastes.

Then I moved on to the rest of my project, thinking I had a batch of tomato sauce that was too good for this use. Diced a large yellow onion and 4 medium carrots and added them to the pot, stirred, and set it to low. In the evening I made meat balls out of ground lamb and brown rice. The broke up a bit, so I need to find a good binder. Maybe a little rice flour or xanthan gum? (I'm not planning to see if my system likes wheat for a couple more weeks.)

Added the meat balls to the rest, and simmered at low about one more hour to blend the flavors before refrigerating. The sample was pretty good, but it was hard to tell. I was cooking up a lot of stuff for the week, so it will be easy to eat without busting the diet. I grilled some marinated chicken breasts and fried some chicken sausage (made by a local butcher shop), and made chicken gravy using rice flour as a thickener. It was all a bit of work, and everything seemed pretty tasty. It was hot for our area, and my house was especially muggy. Not so fun for cooking, but I survived.

The gravy was a very nice surprise. I like the flavor better than using wheat flour as a thickener, though it tends to clump a bit more. Unlike wheat, the rice flour clumps are not icky at all. I suspect simply using a sifter when adding extra flour after adding water to the roux might do the trick. The rice flour seems more absorbent, so less can be used to make the roux.

The meatball concoction did make for a good lunch. If nothing else, this diet has made my sense of taste more acute. It was a very tasty repast. Last night I had Thai food at a great place in Issaquah, simple stir fried vegetables and chicken. I wonder what I'll find in restaurants, and this time I found that I could taste the seasonings, especially the fish sauce. Usually those flavors don't jump out as distinct attributes. A nice little surprise from the diet. Made my lunch more enjoyable too.

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