Friday, July 12, 2013

Burned Rice, Sprouting Fails, and other Kitchen Calamities.

I finally managed to successfully burn the rice. Joshua, my head mentor teacher and owner of the largest nutrition school in the world, would surely smile at this statement and nod his head in approval, as he waited for me to breathlessly exclaim my findings. I'm also sure that at least a hundred others wrote the same exact creepy words on their blog...all you can do is smile about it.

I also managed to over salt the fish, undercook the kohlrabi, and made creamy parsnips that were delicious in flavor but had woody cores whose warnings I had ignored. I wished I hadn't for the mere fact that it really disturbs the smoothness of whipped parsnips with inedible bits that do more to annoy, despite the delicious and naturally sweet flavor. With parsnips, it was the first vegetable where I noticed it quelling a sweet craving. No other vegetable has inspired me to even think something so ridiculous...

The salt block is an incredible natural event and a phenomenal invention from someone who found that one could cook on it as well. God bless them. But here's the thing. If you don't really know what you're doing, you could come out with one salty mess-terpiece. I mean, let's really look at this. Unless its a super dense piece of meat, don't venture to leave anything moist on the block for longer than a minute or two, otherwise you will have some very highly salted food. No matter how much I claim to love salt, there is such a thing as too much. 

Well, I found it. Now I use the Touch It Once technique on my salt block: smooth the food over it, or lay the food down MOMENTARILY. Then abruptly pick it up and transfer to a nonsalty plate. Now, if the food is dry or you place a film between the food and the block, this could be something to look at, whether that film is oil, plastic wrap or a banana leaf, just a few ideas. Of course the wrap would make tacky the natural salt patina, but it's your dinner! Choose wisely. Meanwhile, the pink salt provides a well rounded flavor profile that completely compliments the natural flavor in the food. I find it to be miraculous and have not enjoyed my food until I discovered it. Also, finishing with salt is different than the salt plate. Try it and see what I mean. Just like any food, leaving it in its whole state closest to how it's found in nature, applies here. 

Whew! Meanwhile, turning to my kohlrabi, he and I needed to have a discussion about the nature of him still being in my fridge. A very sturdy but watery root vegetable, it cooked up nicely and has a lot more crunch than most root vegetables so it takes a long while to cook. No mystery here. It needed another five to ten minutes. Instead I seasoned it very simply and began to consume with reckless abandon. A small shake of black and red pepper, mustard and salt, did the trick. Not a huge fail after all, but it's fun to practice talking about what DIDN'T work. Honestly it's just the talking about it at all, that makes it so special. The kohlrabi must feel loved. Every living thing should.

Okay, I'm just gonna say something short about the sprouts because I did an inhuman amount of veggie prep cooking for someone who was cooking for no one: no dinner parties, partners or children, just exploring the kitchen and my ability to transform and repurpose food. Oh and of course I've got dinner ready tonight without any prep at all, and this pleases me to no end.

Okay, the sprouts. First there were gnats, then fear of over fermenting, then it was too cold in the fridge (because I wanted the gnats to leave), so big sprout fail. But there's still hope. I'm going to try again with a new batch of different beans and hope for the best while salvaging these at least. I know there must be some additional benefit for the fermenting. I still ALMOST win...

Okay enough failing. Here are two successful reports: my Peruvian hot sauce, and my cabbage. These both did so well, that in my final stretch when writing on deadline at the wee hour of the morning, I decided to cook them at 6a. Yes, I had managed to stay up all night.o got a nap and celebrated my food win. I now have some nutritious hot sauce for my cabbage and rice! Speaking of rice, I'd better check on my rice sprouts...

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