"The stars are threshed, and the souls are threshed from their husks."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm the world's leading authority on canned beans

This is my favorite food blog-of the three I read. I don't think I've ever done the 'look at this blog' thing on my own, but now I feel like it.

Something in Season

It's a sweet Valentine's rumination about his differences in the kitchen with his wife. It references a NY Times article about Alpha cooks and Beta wives. The blog's take on it charming, but the article itself, though often funny, assumes that Alpha cooks are always male, though in fact I find the whole division of the world into Alphas and Betas if anything more annoying than assumptions about men and women. What do little fish have to do with anything anyway?

What Something in Season doesn't recognize in his zeal to be a better husband, is that his differences with his wife are one of taste- i.e. butter or not. But the article was focused more on technique, i.e. you don't know how to cut an onion- get out.

I've banished Olga from the kitchen *when I am cooking* for a couple of reasons. The first being her tendency to tell me not to do things, like add wine, or sage, or citris, or cheese, or any number of things to something I am making. When I am making something I carry with me some taste-vision of what it will be when I am done, and I poke at it until it gets there. Sure, it is edible or even tasty before then, but that dish is not the one I am making. Plus, as I am a total amatuer in the kitchen, to be told that I am about to ruin a dish hits home. After all, she might be right. It's dispiriting. I want to make something beautiful and the least thing can ruin my ability to believe myself capaple of it. We talked about this and she is better about doing that and I am better about letting it get to me. The other reason is simple. Sometimes my ambition is so outsized that it takes every teaspoon of my attention to keep my eye on all four burners, two cutting boards, the grill, and the oven, with a sprinkling left over for what is marinating or chilling in the fridge. At these times, I can barely stand myself in the kitchen with me and am likely to spin around and sprint out to the grill with my beet-stained knife still in my hands. And empty kitchen, then, is a kitchen without loved ones finding themselves turned into a knife rack.

Olga is actually a great cook, and I love it when she decides to make something. This is rare mostly because she works and I am home. If she's in lab until 8:30, and I've been home all day, I really ought to have something for her to eat. She makes things I do not, mainly because my cooking is pretentious and she cooks things her family makes. Her method is better because it is repeatable and usually I've forgotten whatever feast I made within a week (if not a day). Though I am working on repeatability. This is last year's menu.

Oysters on the halfshell with chiles and sea salt

A salad of pea sprouts, radiccio, and baby greens with radishes, pears and
bulgarian feta

A broth (from beet and radish greens, pear cores and skins, half an orange, and
tuna fat) served with whole garlic cloves and a quail egg.

Roasted baby red and golden beets with roasted pears, walnuts, and red pepper

Bluefin Tuna tartar with fresh squeezed citrus, slivered radishes, salt, and
pepper, garnished with the raw yoke of a quail egg.

Hedgehog and wild Chantrelle mushrooms sauteed in rosemary, olive oil, and


Vanilla ice cream with raspberries and a drizzle of ten year old muscato.


This year's menu will follow, once I know what it will be. I think I might need a clay pot.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Last year I thought the hedgehog was real. Then somebody told me it was a joke. Or maybe at one point it was a porcupine, and that was the joke. I'm so confused. But mostly curious. Where do you buy hedgehog? Does it look like hedgehog when you get it, or is it just a little fillet? Are there drumsticks? Do hedgehogs even live here or are they imported? I probably asked all these questions and more last year, but I've forgotten all the answers. Probably under the assumption that the whole thing was a cruel jest on my credulity.

My parents argue a lot about the proper way to load the dishwasher. Strangely, this issue is not the subject of any sweet Valentine's day dishwashing blog posts that I can find. I cannot imagine why.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Aw, hell. They were hedgehog mushrooms.

I'm such a dope.


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