Thursday, March 22, 2007

News from the Front

Greetings, readers. Is it April 18th yet? I ask that question every day at work, and the answers I get have, so far, been decidedly unsatisfactory.

Those of you who have heard me whinge about this before read my blog regularly will know that because I am ear-deep in the muck (an appropriately appetizing metaphor for a cooking blog, yes?) that is tax season, I am doing little cooking and less writing about cooking. But I thought I'd say hello and report a few things:

1. I am the proud winner of Lindy's pointless contest. This significant honor (at least as important, surely, as the Nobel Prize, though slightly less remunerative; you can't buy me with your big bucks, Stockholm!) proves that I am the most pointless person ever! Frankly, I don't think there was ever any doubt, but it is certainly gratifying to have the recognition of one's, well, we can't really say peers, since I am peerlessly pointless, but it is nice to have the recognition of good people. There are those who have suggested that "pointless" was meant as a modifier of "contest" in such a way that one would say, "oh, this contest is pointless," rather than "oh, this is a contest of pointlessness." Sour grapes, readers. Those people knew they couldn't match me in pointlessness, so they denigrated the whole contest. In any case, the contest could not really have been pointless since that would mean that it was without point, and it cannot have been without point since I am now the proud possessor of Gillie Basan's Modern Moroccan. I have, thus far, only been able to browse through the book, but I will assuredly be cooking something from it at my earliest convenience. Or perhaps sooner than that, since my earliest convenience is weeks away. In any case, the existence of a prize makes any contest decidedly pointed, and this contest just keeps on giving: I can certainly use having won the book as an excuse to buy myself a tagine. Or perhaps a set of 4 6 8 10 for my next dinner party.

2. The cooking that I've been doing has been mainly batch cooking of things to take for lunch. Most recently, I adopted my fabulous (really, it is) turkey burger recipe into a turkey meatloaf. I did this by more than doubling the amount of chick peas. I also cooked my own chick peas, which meant that they were very nice, but I only had enough time to cook them one night, and then I had to wait a couple nights more before I had time to make the meatloaf. Unfortunately, I really did not adequately season the meatloaf, so that while the level of salt was about right, it was bland. Fortunately, I'd used a meat thermometer, so it was cooked perfectly and not dry, despite having very little fat in it. I heated some up at work today, and then I addressed the blandness issue by taking some leftover packets of mustard and sweet sauce (from the Chinese food that made me sick last weekend) and mixing them together to get a fairly strong sauce for the meatloaf. Tasty and very brightly colored. It probably does not do to dwell too much on just how they achieve that fluorescent orange and yellow that mix together to look like the sun, but I was momentarily comforted to read "No MSG" on both sauce packets. But then I realized that I would not have assumed that they had MSG in the first place, and I wondered whether that means that I must now assume that anything that doesn't have "No MSG" on the label might contain MSG. Just today, I have consumed the following foods, which, apparently, might have contained MSG: an egg McMuffin; two containers of nonfat yogurt; a triple venti nonfat latte; a venti skim, no-whip mocha; two slices of garbanzo turkey meatloaf; four Poptarts (hey, it's busy season); an obscene amount of Diet Coke; and a small package of trail mix. My body might well be 10 - 20% MSG by now. I feel pretty good, though, considering.

3. In other labeling news, a week ago, I was at Costco, and I bought a two-pound, refrigerated container of mango slices. They were delicious, and I was very happy with them until I looked more closely at the label (which, I only now realize was silent on the subject of MSG!). It assured me that my mango slices were "Alpine fresh." DO I EVEN HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY THAT IS SO, SO WRONG?

Anyway. That's the news for now. I'll be back with some recipes soon. Soonish. Relatively soonish. I hope that all of you (or at least all of you who are due refunds) have filed your taxes. Uncharacteristically, I filed mine before the end of January, and I received a substantial refund weeks ago. I was tempted to spend it on truffles, but I set most of it aside for tuition (A.'s tuition, not mine; she starts college in the fall) instead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee hee! Apparently tax season is making you a little bit crazed. Or maybe its the MSG?

I would like some mango from the Alps, it sounds very refreshing -- perfect for those hot summer days to come.

And no, I have not done my taxes yet.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous David in KC said...

I made your recipe for easy lentil soup. Thanks - it was good and froze well. As a non-cook, most of your culinary efforts are beyond me. I appreciate the occasional simple, toss it all together, and simmer type.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

my taxes were done in January!

When i was a little child living in Switzerland, we had three Mango trees, I remember when the snow melted we would have the most wonderful mango fruits.

wait no that didn't happen

6:51 PM  

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