After my morning constitutional, I considered my Friday off. I wanted to get things done, see some accomplishment, show some results…all that.
It began with a stop at Cafe Trieste where I considered what I might get done this day–looking through my library copy of David Tanis’ Heart of the Artichoke which is filled with his practical approach to life and cooking, I considered my original thoughts of making chicken broth. God, to hang out at home all day while the pot slowly simmered, skimming scum and fat off the surface. Naah. Screw chicken broth, but there was this Scallion Broth which called for cooking chicken legs in it for a main dish, and using the broth as a simple starter soup.
Ok, I’d use the chicken backs I bought and follow the directions and would end up with a reasonable facsimile of the scallion broth–though the cooked chicken would go and be tossed. Ok, ginger, garlic, scallions….cook, cook.
There was a dessert to be made, but seeing as it lacked both chocolate and fruit I can say with some measure of certainty that The Wife will not be greatly delighted. Sesame Peanut Candy with…uhh…sesame seeds, raw peanuts, brown sugar, and egg whites. Baked. Trimmed. Cut into little four-sided serving pieces.
I snacked a bit on the edges which were slightly overdone, but even slightly burned candy has never kept me from trying out sweet things. As a kid I delights in licking the bowl of cake batter but am no longer so enamoured.
The Sesame Peanut Candy sorta squares came out fine–quickly done and they hardened in a short time. I trimmed off at least an inch from all sides, as they were overdone and too carbon-ish.
Next up was the Herbed Rice Salad, arborio rice boiled to effect for fifteen minutes, cooled, and then introduced to a vinaigrette of wonder–shallots macerated in wine vinegar, salt, and lemon juice, and whisked with olive oil. Just before serving, a mix of herbs like chervil, parsley, dill, mint, and chives get tossed together. I added a bit of lemon zest as well. Perfectly fragrant and delicious.
The trout with dill and lemon cooked in parchment was absolutely the bomb, I gotta say, despite the fact that ‘boneless’ when applied to any fish is usually a truth only about 98% true; we were picking small bones out of our teeth occasionally. Regardless, another keeper.
Oh, and to show off how productive I was, here’s the kim chee I started. In two or three days it will be ready. Wifey may indulge occasionally, it will depend on how spicy it turns out.
For those of you who followed along this far, you may wonder about the ‘worms’ reference in the title. Yes, my wife and I some months ago bought a vertical garden tower so we could start to whet our gardening whistle again. In the years since we last gardened, our tree in the backyard has grown prodigiously, our neighbor put up a new fence, and available light for growing veggies is not what it once was. We will see what we come up with in the months to come as spring and summer roll on.
The vertical tower holds up to 50 little sconce-like holes to put plants, while in the middle there is a cylindrical pipe where kitchen scraps are put such that in a few months we will have a rich nutrient bath for our plants. The whole idea is to grow more produce in less space.
To help the process of fermentation of kitchen scraps along, I stopped in at a bait and tackle shop today and bought about $5 worth of red wriggler worms to help convert those scraps.
They will live here in this plastic tunnel of kitchen veggie scraps, surrounded by organic soil and hopefully, thick plants of lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, and garlic.
Kinda looks like a tunnel of worm love.