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My life is full of hard choices

PIE vs Harry Potter.

Made from scratch key lime pie in which we tested out two different recipes… versus the new Harry Potter book.

Pie made with some absolutely lovely people who are wonderful people… versus the new Harry Potter book

Pie with people who live in the city versus my pre-paid Harry Potter book out in the suburbs at least 40 minutes away.

what do you think happened?

I totally managed to do both!

There was socializing and talking and baking – with an extra trip to round up enough ingredients for the *two* batches instead of the single one originally planned. We found that the Nigella Lawson one was bizarrely fluffy and that we probably liked the simple recipe printed on the bag of key limes best, but we are reserving final judgment until the pies have had a chance to cool and set in the refrigerator.

Because we ate the pies warm!

Pies came out of the oven about 11:20ish.

There was tasty sampling that was reasonably leisurely so as to fully judge the pies’ merits.

And then there was freakishly fast driving. And I did not get a speeding ticket even though I totally deserved one.

Got to the bookstore at 12:10 to a bunch of people leaving – but there were still a bunch of people buying. My pre-paid receipt was not in the special box, so manager-type person was called over and a list was checked – and I walked out with a copy at 12:20.

And now I need to calm down a bit before getting into the serious business of reading.

Tofu Shirataki

Food experiment: Tofu Shirataki

Yeah, so this was a total shot in the dark as to whether they would be edible, but they were both weird and on sale so they fit my standard requirements for a culinary adventure.

Shirataki noodles are made from a root (often translated on the packaging as yam) and – in this case – tofu. They are packaged wet, kind of like sauerkraut.

Because the packaging warned that they are often parboiled to get rid of the smell (other notes included “distinctive texture”), I drained the packaging liquid and set it to marinate in a spicy cooking sauce. Then, I fried it all up in a pan with eggplant and shredded cabbage.

Right after cooking – fairly tasty, but still not as sexy a texture as proper noodles… they ended up having an almost al dente texture. Maybe I should have parboiled, but I was more worried about the flavor.

After freezing – No. Just no. So the website has a warning not to freeze, but the packaging didn’t, and ew! It turned into thin strips of plastic, I swear! So I am picking those out and dropping them in my trash so I can eat the rest of the goody.

Moot hors d’oeuvres – tomatoey goody on shortbread, lil pancackes with trout, hot pork on pork action

tomatoey goody on jewish shortbread
[cheese/herb shortbread recipe]

take a lovely pint of grape tomatoes, and just slice them all in half and put them on a roasting tray. Drizzle them with some olive oil and roast them in a hot oven. When they are warm through, but not caramelizing, pull them out and sprinkle with a fistful of shredded fresh basil leaves. After the leaves are wilted and the tomatoes have cooled off a bit, stir in some well-crumbled feta cheese (if it has been stored in brine, it is worth your time to do a soak in fresh water so that it won’t be as salty)

Serve over the shortbread (what makes the shortbread jewish?)

lil pancackes with trout
[lil pancake recipe with extra dill]

combine in a bowl:
1 tin of smoked trout
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon minced dill
2 ground/pounded white peppercorns
some grated nutmeg, not much

add enough sour cream to make a stiff mixture, and then add heavy cream, one Tablespoon at a time, until you have a lose mixture.

Top each pancake with a schmear of trout, dust with paprika, and add a festive sprig of dill.

Hot pork on porn action

take lil breakfast sausage links (cut them in half?) and wrap them in (half?) a strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Cook on in a pan, turning as necessary.

When done, drain on kitchen paper. While still quite warm, move to a serving dish and drizzle all over with a Tablespoon of maple syrup.

Note – as of now, some of these recipes are incomplete, but I will update as I find more information
ETA: Hah – the bready bits will never have recipes, but just so you are extra jealous, I’ll tell you they were gluten free bready things, too, and very tasty.

Barbecue Ribs

This past weekend at moot, [redacted] made what were possibly the second best ribs I have ever had. (the first being, oddly enough, the ones made in my college cafeteria. Even the people from Texas raved about them.)

The rib recipe started out from Southern Cooking by Beverly LeBlanc & Philip Back, but was modified

For moot, we were starting with two honking huge sides of ribs, so [redacted] tripled the rub recipe, and quadrupled the barbecue sauce recipe. I shall give those measurements.


tennessee rub
3 Tablespoons cumin seed
3 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs: sage [and what else did you add?]
3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

bourbon barbecue sauce
3 Tablespoons corn or peanut oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
8 large garlic cloves, minced
generous 1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
8 Tablespoons tomato paste
24 Tablespoons (woot!) of bourbon Jim Beam
8 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 Tablespoons apple or white wine vinegar
a few drops of hot pepper sauce to taste

Put all the whole spices for the rub into a mortar and have a slightly tipsy Molly pound it. Add that to the bowl with all of the rub spices that come already as a powder. (have [redacted] grate the cinnamon stick on the bias for maximum efficiency. Then, have a licensed massage therapist slowly and methodically massage the rub into the rack so that every surface is covered with rub and the ribs are completely relaxed and tender. Wrap the ribs and refrigerate overnight.

To make the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and then the garlic, and cook it until the onion is soft and translucent. Meanwhile, put this next batch of whole spices into the mortar and let [redacted] have a go at them, too. Once the onion is ready, toss in all the rest of the sauce ingredients. Slowly bring the sauce to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until dark brown and very thick. Stick that back in the fridge, as well.

About half an hour before you are ready to cook, pull the ribs out and let them come to room temperature. [put the oven at what temperature?] Brush the barbecue rack with a little oil and put on a pan lines with tin foil (which helps cleanup more than you would believe). Cook with also a covering of tin foil, turning a few times, for 40 minutes [longer?]. If it seems to be drying out, brush with water.

Next time you take the ribs out to turn, coat them with barbecue sauce and let them cook uncovered for 10 minutes, turning and basting a several more times. When finished, the ribs should be dark brown and glossy.

Cut apart and serve.


There were also fried chicken bits and sangrias made by [redacted], but I wasn’t watching those being made.