Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mark Twain

Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835. Just in time for the tail end of cherimoya season (the fruit he and I both love). My parents sent me home with three of them after Thanksgiving. One of my roommates had it for the first time a few nights agoand described the texture as "buttery."

Creamy, tangy, and sort of chewy all at once. Kind of like Mark Twain's writing. At least what I've read of it.

I confess: I've yet to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer all the way through. Maybe next year. Maybe I'll venture to one of my favorite used bookstores the next time I go down to Orange County and pick up a copy of my very own. Or someone could lend it to me. Or I could pick it up from the library.

Aside: I think it's time for me to finally become a Friend Of The Library. The library system is seriously suffering these days. From being ignored. Around my last year of high school, I started going to Barnes & Noble to study. I slowly forgot about the library as a resource even though I was practically raised in libraries (mostly Santa Ana Main & Brakensiek Branch). Support your local library. In all likelihood, it's in trouble.

Again, happy birthday, Mr. Twain. I hope you're getting all the cherimoyas you could possibly want in whatever life you're living now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Google, You're So Cute

Did anyone else notice that you could hover over each of the dishes on the Google homepage and click for recipes of each of the items?

Nicely played, Google. I like ya. Now, please, be good. You know everything about me.

25 Foods I'm Thankful For

Thanksgiving falls on November 25th this year. It's been a while since that 25 Things meme came around. Let's go!

In no particular order, 25 Foods I'm Thankful For and probably could not (and/or would not want to) live without:
  1. Condensed milk. In Vietnamese iced coffee, of course. In any coffee, really. It was a revelation the first time I had shaved ice with bits of fruit, served with a squeeze bottle of condensed milk. Genius. Perfection. I could eat it by the spoonful. Sometimes I do. That's why I haven't opened the can in the cupboard yet.
  2. Almond Butter. Creamy. Lightly salted. This, too, I find myself eating by the spoonful. I like foods that fit in spoons. I also like foods that lend themselves to both sweet and savory dishes. Sweet? Spread over toast, sprinkle with cinnamon, add a dollop of blueberry preserves. Magic. Savory? Cook spaghetti noodles. Or any kind of wheat-noodle. While the noods are hot, add big helping of almond butter and soy sauce, and a not-too-conservative dash of sesame oil. Follow with your Asian (or not) pepper sauce of choice. Dinner.
  3. Half & half. Another item that lends itself to coffee augmentation. I can't help it. Since it's hard to eat by the spoonful, I don't. Sometimes I'm tempted to drink it by the glass. Shots of it would be nice. But I stick to coffee. I should become an athlete again. So that I can drink it by the glass without feeling guilty.
  4. Pomegranates. They're pretty. They're sweet. They're sometimes tangy. They're mysterious-looking. They're the stuff of myth and legend (literally). And after a day of cream puffs, rich potatoes au gratin, and general glut, they allow me to forget for a minute that I've devoured a week's worth of calories within a few hours. Almost.
  5. Black Pepper. Or, really, the four-pepper blend that I put into the peppermill a good friend gifted me a few years ago. I love being able to regulate the grind. I love the heat. I love-- I don't know. Black pepper is so ubiquitous that it's hard for me the describe the flavor. It's an earthy kind of fire. 
  6. Red Pepper Flake. It's not just for pizza. I don't feel right making any Italian pasta dish without a pinch of this in the oil along with the garlic and onion. A few weeks ago I forgot that my shaker was broken and accidently dumped 2 tablespoons into one serving of pseudo rice pilaf. I fed it to a gal with Louisiana blood. It caused her pain. She approved.