Gray Day

Mar. 16th, 2013 02:31 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
In contrast to last Saturday, today is cold, windy, and gray. This is not helpful. I have lots still to do today, but my body is acting as if, having washed a sink of dishes and then picked up paycheck/deposited paycheck/bought groceries, it's done all the work it needs to do today.

I suppose it's partially because I've been feeling so exhausted the past few weeks. Work has been physically and emotionally draining, which sounds melodramatic when I put it in text but there it is. I'm trying to get the sleep I need but things keep happening to pull me off schedule.

As tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, cabbage is really cheap right now. I've picked up a few heads, in hope of finally fulfilling a long-time ambition to make sauerkraut. But maybe I'll lay down first for a few minutes--I almost dozed off writing this.
daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
I got home from work and immediately set to work washing all the dishes that got neglected over the weekend because I was washing clothes instead. (My washing machine hooks up to the kitchen sink, so it really is one or the other.)

I also did some cooking. Specifically, I threw together an eggah, which is a Arabic take on the omelet concept. I discovered them in Claudia Rosen's A Book of Middle Eastern Food and immediately fell in love with the idea because it is a main dish involving vegetables and because it is an egg dish with non-slimy eggs. I'm probably going to lose my foodie card for admitting this in public, but I cannot deal with half-cooked, runny, 'moist', or 'glistening' eggs. They are slimy and they make me want to gag. In restaurants I always have to order my eggs scrambled and give the wait person careful instructions on how I want them, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Anyway. An eggah is eggs mixed with some combination of vegetables, meat, and/or pasta that is either baked in an oven or cooked slowly on the stove until firm. Rosen provides recipes for a dozen different eggah using anything from brains to zucchini, none of which I have ever made because I never have exactly the kinds and quantities of vegetables she calls for. However, after reading through the collection it is easy to figure out the basic principles and go from there, so I just improvise. Tonight I had two beat-up small zucchini and a package of baby romaine lettuce, so I chopped them up and broke out the eggs. I cannot be the first cook who has ever cleaned out her vegetable bin by making an eggah, and I doubt that I will be the last.

I baked this one because I already had the oven on for something else, and after it cooled I wrapped it and put in the fridge. That is another virtue: they can be eaten hot or cold, so I now have lunch fixings for most of the week. Now I am looking forward to spring, when I can use garden gleanings in my eggahs.
daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
My apartment smells really boozy right now. This is solely because I am cooking lentiles au vin rouge--lentils in red wine, for my fellow Anglophones. I made this a few years ago when I first got the recipe and liked it enough to think that I ought to make it again. It's taken me this long to do so because it's not often I have six cups of red wine in the house. I always have lentils, on the other hand.

Anyway, last week I remembered to grab a box of merlot (what? You don't think that the French cook their lentils in anything other than vin ordinaire, do you?) and tonight I let the cooking begin. It smells great! I have rice going in my rice cooker to serve under it--no need to waste any of that cooked-down-wine-and-aromatic-vegetables broth, after all. I should probably try it with pasta sometime as well. It makes six servings, so I will have a lot to play with.

In the meantime, my apartment smells of red wine. This is a pleasant smell but it is making me want to enjoy a glass while I'm waiting for dinner to cook. I am holding off because I really need to finish a story tonight and alcohol is not good for my writing--I need focus to write. The sacrifices I make for my art....

I made cookies in my kitchenaid last night! It was fun, except for the part where I managed to smear the creamed butter-sugar-egg yolk mixture all over the mixer. Well, I am sure I will get better at this. I baked off half the dough then and stuck the rest in the fridge because it was getting late and I wanted to get a decent night's sleep. It was still a lot of cookies, which I am planning to take in to work this week to share some holiday cheer with my coworkers. This will probably be the only batch of cookies I have time to make before Christmas, but--as I remind anyone who gives me the slightest opportunity--Christmas starts on the eve of the 24th and runs till Epiphany. So I still have a lot of time for Christmas cookies. And breads!
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I have been reading [livejournal.com profile] yhlee's posts on Korean foods for awhile, and was inspired to try some myself. By this I mean, 'learn how to cook some Korean dishes', because I know from experience there is no point in falling in love with a cuisine that I cannot cook at home: my sushi habit is enough of a money-sink, thankyouverymuch. (To be fair, I do pretty decent vegetarian nori-maki, but until I find an unagi source I'm unable to fully satisfy my cravings.)

Tonight's experiment was Tak Toritang from Allrecipes.com. I followed the recipe pretty much as written, with a few changes. I used thighs instead of drumettes, instead of real gochujang I used a home-made approximation from a recipe found in one of my miso cookbooks, and I used all water instead of a mix of soy sauce and water. The last change was caused by my mysteriously having run out soy sauce, but I honestly think that was OK, as I don't like really salty food and I think the faux-gochujang had enough salt for the dish.

The end result smells fabulous and tastes good. It is not in the least hot, which I believe is due to the age of the cayenne pepper I used to make the faux-gochujang. I suspect this makes it inauthentic, but for a first try I'm ok with it. Tomorrow I think I will walk over to my FLAG and see if they carry real gochujang. I have a ton of left-overs, and I'm not above doctoring them up a bit when I reheat them.

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Current temperature: 98F (37C). Current heat index: 104F (40C). I am so glad I got today's cooking done this morning--I got up at six and after washing a few dishes and I having breakfast I made 3 pizzas, a chocolate cake, and boiled potatoes and tofu (but not together; that would be gross) for later use. I am now in a position to eat for most of the coming week without turning on my stove. Score! Also, I have barley simmering (I hope) in my solar cooker.

I am trying to get my nerve up to carry water out to my garden in back--I know my tomatoes and peppers will survive just fine without it, but I'm trying to coax them into giving me a really big crop this year. It is will only take three trips (each trip carrying gallons of water), but something that is trivially easy at 80F suddenly becomes an issue when it is 20 degrees hotter. I'm such a wimp.




daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I have been without air conditioning for over ten years now, and this has been voluntary on my part. People look at me oddly when this comes up, but I live on the ground floor of the building, with nice windows and a really big tree shading my apartment to the south--these things, taken together, mean that generally there are only one or two really bad heat weeks each summer.

This...is one of those weeks. As I write it is a little after nine at night, and according to the National Weather Service the temperature is 90F (32C) with a heat index of 105F (41C). This is down from around 6 pm when we had a heat index of 112F (44C, I think). I don't know how hot it was when I walked to the post office late afternoon, and it is probably better that way.

On the brighter side, I finished gluing my solar oven together Friday night, and given that it is going to be really sunny out tomorrow I plan to test it out. I think I'll try cooking some barley: grains are generally unfussy about exact temperatures and being able to cook some in this weather without heating up the kitchen sounds very attractive.




daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This morning was pretty much dedicated to doing laundry, of which I had a small mountain. I hadn't gotten to it for a few weeks (which says something about how much of a fashionista I've become in the past five years) and I had reached the critical point, being quite literally down to my last pair of underwear. Thus, I hauled a few weeks of clothes + sheets + towels out to the laundromat.

On the way I realized that I had left my laundry detergent at home. Luckily I was planning on stopping at the store to pick up another box of do-it-yourself dry cleaning, so I just grabbed more detergent at the same time. I needed the dry cleaning stuff because some of the clothing I wore to Madison is dry-clean only, and I had also decided to run the kimono I picked up though a cycle in hopes that would make some of the wrinkles fall out. Sadly, it didn't but it does smell much fresher. I'm planning on dry-cleaning the jacket once I assure myself that the cleaning chemicals won't do anything horrific to the colored threads in the design.

The rest of the day was spent doing various random things, including finding a second-hand copy of the Meditations of Marcus Arelious (yes, I realize I probably misspelled that) and making Fred listen to my writer's angst.

BUT! This evening has been spent working on cakes. A few months ago I discovered that the cookbook of the Nebraska Czechs of Wilbur had a recipe for a cake that looked very much like the recipe for the Mint Madness/Mexican Chocolate cakes we have at work. This excited me, because while I cannot give out our recipe, I could happily give out a recipe similar to it. So this past month I've been tinkering with the recipe to get it to a point I'm happy with. When I deem it worthy, I'll probably put it up here.

I've also made a buttermilk "pound" cake from a recipe I found on allrecipe.com . I say "pound" because real pound cakes have more sugar, eggs, and butter and no buttermilk, but I have personal and professional reasons for wanting a good loaf cake recipe and this one looked promising. It was drop-dead simple to make and used up some of the buttermilk hanging out in my fridge, so I considered it all around a good deal.

The chocolate cake is cooling on the rack and the buttermilk cake is baking away. My co-workers will love me Monday, because I refuse to eat all this cake by myself.







daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I did end up taking a walk, and came home feeling better than when I had left. There were several reasons for this. One is, exercise almost always helps improve one's mood. Two is, in the service of efficiency I had decided to combine my walk with a trip to my FLAG so that I could replenish my garlic supply, and there I made a number of happy discoveries. They have hijiki back in stock! Yay! Now I can make that one salad with hijiki and water chestnuts, dressed with soy sauce and roasted sesame oil. Mmmmm. Even better, I discovered that they are now carrying packages of smoked eel in the freezer section! It's kinda pricey, but one packet will make reams of unagi sushi, so it's all good. I didn't buy any right then, but knowing they have it makes me happy. Three is, the peonies are blooming now and on my way home I strolled on to a couple of abandoned lots and helped myself to some. (My commitment to law and order frays a little where flowers are concerned; proof, I guess, that at the very end I am Crane and not Lion.) So now I have a vase of white and burgundy peonies, strategically located so that I can look up from my computer and see them when I'm writing.
In which a Nebraskan goes on at length about trees. You were warned. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I've been up for several hours now, and in that time I've eaten, chatted, read up on norovirus on the CDC website (I'm not yet convinced that is what I had, but as I consider it the worst possible case I'm being cautious), called my local health department to consult on when it is safe for me go back to work, called work to inform them of my status, messaged someone a question on the care and feeding of kimono and taken a shower. I still feel like I'm not getting anything done today, but that is probably just an artifact.

Margot told me that my assistant manager did a brilliant job while I was away, which makes me happy--I like having staff who can function without me. I have heard of managers who feel threatened by highly competent subordinates, and I think they are insane. My general feeling is that if my department can't run without me for a week I've done something wrong. (This was validated in my eyes when my mom had her mastectomy, and I had to be away for three weeks and my bakery did NOT come to a grinding stop.)

My next big project is figuring out what to have for dinner. This is a normally simple thing now made complicated by the fact that I am just getting over being sick AND just back from vacation. All of the protein-type foods in my place are frozen hard, and my vegetable stores consists of a package of dried wakame, two cans of diced tomatoes, and a yukon gold potato. Someday I might make friends with wakame but today I am just not up to dealing with its mouth-feel; diced tomatoes are an ingredient, not a food; and a single yukon gold can only get you so far.

I could walk to my favorite local asian grocery, but while it is a nice stroll under normal conditions I am feeling too indolent today to be happy about this. I could get a restaurant delivery, but that will eat up the remainder of my wiscon cash and I'd been planning to apply that to my next bus pass. Also, I'd need to figure out some delivery-type foods that would not be too challenging to my digestive system--yes, I did have a Hebrew National All-Beef Hot Dog on the train yesterday, but that doesn't mean I should eat pizza tonight.

I could slice the potato, layer it with the tomatoes and bake it. I don't have any garlic or onions (*sob*) but I do have plenty of fresh rosemary. And...hmmm...do I still have grated parmesan in the fridge? I could add that. And cook up some brown rice for the side. I must ponder this further.



daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This past year I took some tea liqueurs to Bob Yager's post-Kotei party, and as with the previous years they were well-recieved. I got a number of requests for recipies, so I'm putting it here. Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I discovered a bunch of written-off heavy cream in the employee fridge and immediately gabbed a couple of containers. I have no use for it in my everyday life, but cream is the essential non-sugar ingredient in my caramel recipe (and the one I never have in my house) and I decided that it would be nice to cook up some to share with my fellow employees. A Sugary Epic )
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This morning I cold-bloodedly (but without malice aforethought) set about breaking a law.

The law in question was the one forbidding the carrying of concealed weapons in Lincoln city buses and bus stops. In my defense I had only the most innocent of intentions--I have six really dull knives in my kitchen and the deli at work has an electric knife sharpener. What's a woman to do? I rolled up my three second-best knives (the Chicago Cutlery ones I got when I was an undergrad in my first apartment) in a clean kitchen towel and buried them in the bottom of my book-bag.

I took my second-best knives because I had never sharpened a knife before and I decided that it was better to practice on them and not the very beautiful Forschner knives Karin and Ami had given me for Christmas a few years back. (After she gave them to me Karin told me I needed to give her a penny to honor an old superstition against knives 'cutting' a friendship. I gave her a nickel, because though neither of us is especially superstitious I don't think one should mess around where friendship is concerned.)

As one might expect I had no problem getting to work with my dire cargo. The sharpening process went smoothly, and the most trouble I had getting home came from the fact that the College View bus was running even later than usual. (It's been doing that ever since the snow last week. I blame the City of Lincoln's laughably inept excuse for a snow-removal program. I grew up in Omaha were the Public Works Department is familiar with the concept of the snowplow.)

I tested one of them out while making dinner tonight by slicing up an onion and a tomato. It was clearly sharper than before. Probably not as sharp as new, but clearly better. I'll try them all out, and then maybe take them back in again for another round of sharpening. Then I'll take in my gift-knives in and give them some diamond-edged love.

Assuming, of course, that the police don't catch me first.













Balm

May. 27th, 2007 10:33 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Since this is a three-day weekend for me I decided that I would take one day to do nothing in particular, and today was that day. I didn't set my alarm clock and ended up sleeping in until nine. Then I got up, made a pot of tea and spent the morning mostly drinking tea and reading crochet websites. Crochet Me magazine has a very nice primer on the effect of hook size on fabric drape that includes [geek alert] multiple swatches tested out on an improvised model of a human shoulder.[/geek alert]

Around noon I decided I should do something involving food. I had picked up a pound of new potatoes (none of them bigger than a marble) and some green beans at the farmer's market yesterday, so lunch was built around them. I boiled a cup or so of the potatoes until tender, drained them, then put them back in the pot with some butter and black pepper and warmed them until the water was all gone and the butter sizzled. While that was cooking I washed and stemmed a double-handful of green beans and chopped up some onion. I sauteed the onion in a mixture of butter and oil, then tossed in the beans and chopped fresh rosemary. Mmmm. In the interests of getting in some protein I scrambled some eggs with some of my lemon basil. I think it could have used some more basil--at the beginning of the growing season I'm always a little timid with fresh herbs. Still, it was a good lunch.

After laying around reading for awhile I got dressed in some old clothes and did some garden stuff. I garden more as a hobby than as a means of getting flowers and vegetables (they are a bonus to the activity), so this didn't count as work. Then I took a shower and got dressed in fresh clothes and went to church. "Church" in this case was the 6 pm mass at Cathedral, which is my usual option when I'm feeling really lazy on Sunday morning. Which tends to be often--sometimes I think that the only thing keeping me attending mass at my parish church is that I really can't abide the Cathedral Folk Choir, who almost always provides the music for the Sunday evening mass.

Dinner was simpler than lunch: broiled sausage from a local grocery that makes their own, broccoli and onion braised with dried thyme, and sourdough bread. Also, lemon balm wine, which was today's experiment in cooking. I took three nice sprigs of lemon balm, put them in the bottle of my half-sized carafe and poured some white wine in to cover. Then I put it aside to chill for awhile. The result was a wine with a very delicate lemon balm flavor to it--I really couldn't detect it while I was eating, but in finishing off a glass afterwards I could taste it clearly. Lemon balm has a pronounced lemon scent, but the flavor is like lemon mixed with fresh-cut grass--it might be an acquired taste, but I like it.

After dinner I read some more, then decided to post here. I'll go to bed soon, after setting my alarm for tomorrow--I have lots to do before I go to work on Tuesday. But today was a good day.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm breakfasting on left-over cornmeal blueberry muffins this morning; I'd made a batch for my lunch yesterday.

I'm not normally a muffin person, but yesterday morning while looking for something else I found a container of yogurt that was out-of-date. Now, there are a lot things that I will pitch immediately and without remorse in that situation, but at home yogurt is not one of them. It already has microorganisms in it and it is rather acidic, both of which helps keep down any of the bad spoilage organisms. (It goes without saying that I'm a lot more draconian on this issue at work.) I do prefer using old yogurt as a cooking ingredient, and the company had helpfully printed a cornbread recipe on the container. Sadly, I've made the recipe before and wasn't that impressed--but it would do as a base recipe. I increased the cornmeal slightly, added 1 T more sugar (it was already too sweet to be a proper cornbread imho, so why not?), 1 t of cinnamon, a few rasps of nutmeg and a heaping cup of frozen blueberries.

They were decent but not sublime. I think if I try again I'll decrease the wheat flour and skip the spices--I miss the corn flavor.

In other news I made it to the farmer's market Saturday morning. As is typical for May, everyone else lined up in front of the asparagus vendors while I circled around, trying to decide who had the best-looking radishes. I got some really large red ones, and some of the white icicle-shaped ones.

I was reading my copy of Larousse Gastronomique (a Christmas gift from Karin and Ami a few years back, and fun to browse) this week and learned that in France they eat radishes with butter, so I tried it Saturday night. I wasn't impressed, but the next time I bake bread I think I'll try radish-and-butter sandwiches, another variation on the theme.
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I don't know what I had for dinner tonight.

Actually, that is a slight exaggeration. I know that I had some canned smoked salmon and brown rice; it's the identity of the vegetable I cooked that is in doubt. I found it this evening at my favorite Asian grocery and picked up a bag for dinner. I suppose I could have picked up a bag of the baby bok choi, which is a vegetable I recognize and which would have gone well with the ginger root I was buying (cabbage + fresh ginger = love), but I really wasn't in the mood for bok choi. They had pea pods, but they are pricey and besides, I've always thought of pea pods as something you put in a dish, not something you ate alone and unadorned as a vegetable. Since my favorite Asian grocery has essentially no produce section (did I mention it's on the small side?) I was left with a choice between the mystery vegetable, eggplants, or going somewhere else. I've had the mystery vegetable before and liked it, I'm not all that wild about eggplants, and I was tired and wanted to go home--so, that settled it.

I had bought the mystery vegetable for the first time a few months ago in hopes it was broccoli raab, which it isn't. It's got a stalk and yellow four-petaled flowers like a raab, but when I got it home and got it out of the bag I realized the leaf shape was all wrong. Raab has an oval, almost pointy leaf with a toothed edge; this one was smooth and spoon-like. The flower structure is clear evidence that it is a brassica, but that doesn't get me very far. Cabbage, collards and kale are all Brassica oleracea, while broccoli raab, Napa cabbage, bok choi and turnips are all B. rapa. Brassicas, you will note, have identity issues.

I briefly considered asking one of the store employees what it was, but I feared that she would would give me the Thai name, and I wanted the Latin binomial. Now that I think about it, I think I had it wrong--given the nature of brassicas, the Thai name for it might be more informative. (I say Thai because the people who own and operate the grocery also own and operate the Thai restaurant in the same building. This may not be a safe assumption, given the number of "Chinese" restaurants in Lincoln that are run by Vietnamese or Koreans. But I digress.)

At any rate, it is a tasty vegetable and if you are fond of dark leafy greens I recommend it. The stems cook up tender and cabbagey-sweet, which makes them a wonderful contrast to the slightly bitter chewiness of the leaves. I used my "I'm feeling lazy" method of cooking them, which is wash, chop, stir-fry with garlic, add water and soy sauce and steam with a lid until the liquid is reduced to my satisfaction. I use low-sodium soy sauce, but this is something for you work out with your own blood pressure.

And if you find out the name, will you let me know?
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I work in a grocery store and in the grocery business there are times when the store has to write off food that is perfectly edible but no longer, for a variety of reasons, sellable. I don't know what other stores do with such food, but ours hates waste and so if it's a small quantity it goes in the free-box for employees and if it's a large quantity we call one of the local food-redistribution charities to take it. I'm always interested in the contents of the free-box because it frequently holds stuff that I would never think of buying and is thus inspirational--I love to cook, but after 20-some years the question of "What do I make for dinner tonight" can get a little tedious.

Yesterday the free-box was filled with bunches of kale--Produce had gotten a box that was aphid-infested and promptly written it off (after filing a pointed complaint to our produce supplier). This excited me to no end because while I like kale (though I like mustard more) I had never tried to cook fresh kale--my mom never cooked greens at all, and so when I first experimented with them a few years back I got mine from the freezer section. The thought of aphids was kind of a downer, but I knew from gardening that they do wash off with some effort. And besides, as an ex-Girl Scout leader I know I've eaten worse things, like french toast cooked on a campfire by an 8-year-old.Read more... )
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First, an FYI: My Yahoo email is giving me a 'Temporary Problem Accessing Your Account' message. I've contacted their help desk and am hoping for a speedy resolution to whatever the problem is.


I've been feeling very stressed and rushed these past two days, which is odd because as far as I can tell this is a fairly ordinary week. Granted I have a few extra meetings, both work-related and personal, but that shouldn't be enough to account for it. Maybe it is a reaction to my extremely laid-back weekend.

The cookout at our bookkeepers was lots of fun. After an afternoon of chopping vegetables, sitting around and having hay rack rides (though not, of course, all at the same time) we had vegetables cooked in foil packets and grilled shrimp. Then we sat around the bonfire for a few hours. So very pleasant!

I had put together a quick marinade for the shrimp, and I got so many requests for the recipe I said I'd post it for convenience. It's nothing fancy, just something I assembled out of what was available.


1 part cooking oil
2 parts soy sauce
2 parts white wine
finely minced garlic
Tabasco sauce to taste


I used soy oil here because I wanted a neutral flavor. If I'd been doing a Mediterranean meal I would have used olive oil, and for an Asian meal I would have added some toasted sesame oil. For the Tabasco sauce I added some to the mixture, tasted it (BEFORE adding the shrimp) and added some more--I didn't want it hot per se, I just wanted it to taste not like straight soy sauce. When it was right we poured it over the shrimp, stirred it around, and put put the whole thing in the fridge for a few hours. Ta Da!
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Wednesday evening, on my way home from work, I stopped at my favorite Asian grocery and discovered that they had a fresh--I mean really fresh--holy basil. Holy basil, for those of you not lucky enough to have encountered it before, is like regular basil with a strong overtone of cloves. I love cloves. I had planned to scrape together a quick dinner of lunch meat and bread so I could get some laundry done, but--holy basil, Batman!--how could I pass that up?

So I bought the holy basil and walked home, trying to think about what to do with it. I have no recipes calling for it, but I tend to regard recipes as something that happens to other people. I follow them scrupulously at work, or when I'm feeding a guest at home, but when I'm cooking for myself I tend to just...cook something. It's almost always edible, and it's frequently tasty, and that's usually all I ask for after a day of baking.

After inspecting my larder I came up with a clove of garlic, a quarter-head of cabbage, some leftover whole wheat penne (left over from Monday's attempt to re-create my mom's macaroni goulash with tofu), and a couple of eggs. After chopping the garlic and the basil, shredding the cabbage and beating the eggs I was ready to go. I sauteed the garlic in a little oil in my biggest non-stick skillet, added the cabbage and stirred it up a bit, then added the penne. I didn't think the penne would heat up properly from just being sauteed (the skillet was a little crowded), so I added a little water and dropped a lid on it to let it steam a little. After that I made a little room in the center of the skillet and poured in the eggs, gently stirring them a little to get them to cook into curds. When they were mostly cooked I added the basil and stirred it around a little until the Force told me it was done. Then I poured some wonderful sweet-and-spicy chili sauce that I get at the same grocery I got the holy basil from and decided that it was done. Oh, and I added a few pinches of salt at some point.

It was very good--I should have saved some back for the next day's lunch but ate it all up anyway. I'll probably make something similar in the future, and when I do I'll probably use more holy basil because while a quarter-cup was good I'm sure half a cup would be better.

The skillet, btw, was a gift from my best friend Karin and her husband. After dinner I took the remaining holy basil, chopped it up, and put it to soak with some vodka. After it's steeped long enough I'll strain it, add some simple syrup, and put it aside to age. The next time they come to visit I'll be able to serve them holy basil liquor.
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(No pun too low, I always say.)

Easter is coming, and even though I'm not planning any special celebrations outside of Mass I'm still contemplating dyeing Easter eggs. Growing up we always used the commercial dye kits, with the tablets of color and copper-wire thingie that you used to lower the eggs into the dye-filled coffee cups and the plain wax crayon you used to write you name on the egg before you dyed it. As an adult I've gone to using natural dyestuffs for my eggs. This process is less exact and much messier than the commerical kits, which makes it much, much more entertaining. I found a good summary of the technique here.

Experiments like this can leave you with a lot of hard-boiled eggs, so it's fortunate that the week after Easter--April 17th-23rd--is National Egg Salad Week. By way of the Food website, here's a recipe for Curried Rice Egg Salad. Enjoy.

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