Insane Food Geeking.

Until last night I hadn’t slept more than three hours a night since last Tuesday. Whenever I’m not intently focused on something else my mind switches over to chef mode, puzzling out how to make things southwestern in a small kitchen designed for making things Asian. I’ve almost got it figured, but the plan I’ve got at the moment still leaves me microwaving the sauces which I would rather not. Oh well… gotta do whatcha gotta do.

I’ve got the menu figured, anyway. As much as I hate to do it, there will be no frijoles as there’s just not room in the kitchen for them. I absolutely will not serve crap from a can and there are no burners to spare even if I would. Besides, no one with a brain holding the ears apart wants beans and eggs for breakfast on a workday. 😀 If I had room for it I’d gladly serve food for the brainless, as it’s their money and not their quality of conversation I’m after. 🙂 I’ll have to deviate from the “nothing from a can” rule when it comes to tomatoes for sauces, as the red tomato-like things from the store taste quite green in sauces. Amethyst made some tomato juice this morning that tasted like she juiced the vines rather than the fruits. The half gallon of red sauce I made just a bit ago also tastes of vines, even though the tomatoes are of a different variety and sourced from a different country and a different market. The sample taste I had before tossing ’em into the blender didn’t give up a hint of green, but it’s quite pronounced in the sauce. On the down side I’ve got a half gallon of it, but on the up side I’m not serving it to anyone who’s paying.

That’s kinda like being glad that the alligator who’s swimming away with half of your ass in its mouth has got none of your balls.

We ran down the road to the nearest tortilleria this afternoon, which will become a weekly routine unless I can find a way around it. I hope to find someone who goes that way anyway who’ll be willing to pick up my tortillas for me in exchange for free breakfasts all week, and so avoid being on the highway any more than I absolutely must. But if need be I’ll make the trip because their tortillas are as they should be, and not the crap that one finds in supermarkets or foodservice distribution warehouses. My homemade corn tortillas taste better than theirs, but they add cellulose gum to make them flexible which is important for tacos, flautas, enchiladas, and anything else that needs a bendy tortilla, and theirs are still better than anything anyone else in town is using. Their flour tortillas are better than mine and also better than anything anyone else in town is using. I’m geeked about that. Now that I have confirmed that their tortillas are as good as I remembered them being I’ll have to ask about wholesale pricing.

The big supermarket down the road had neither pork butt nor skirt or flank steak, none of which are presently available in Dinkytown either. 😦 That means I can’t do my final recipe trials on the carnitas and carne asada. Oh well. I’ll figure out a workaround. Or I’ll ask Johnny to order some up and hope he doesn’t mind keeping the stuff I don’t need right away frozen until I need it.

Did I mention that Amethyst and I quit the tobacco habit yesterday? She’s still quit, while I’ve had five cigarettes today. I was doing okay, but driving on the highway did me in. I get really super brainless and my depth perception suffers when I quit, so it as a real challenge. On the up side, neither of us has been grouchy.

As if I haven’t done way too much cooking for just the two of us lately, I’m off to do some more because it’s past dinnertime already. Be well, friends and neighbors, and if you’re ever blowing through Dinkytown early in the morning don’t forget to stop by for breakfast!


10 thoughts on “Insane Food Geeking.

  1. Dian Gansen

    No frijoles! OMG! But now that I think about it, I’ve never had them for breakfast. Do you use lard in yours? They’re so good with lard, but almost no one uses it anymore. I’ve heard chefs say that there’s no shame in using canned tomatoes, and I agree. I’ve learned that using a little tomato paste that’s been fried a bit until it’s fragrant, adds a nice flavor.
    It looks like Dinkytown breakfasters are in for a treat!

    1. happierheathen Post author

      Of course I use lard in my refritos! There’s no other correct way to do it. It’s difficult to find a good lard on the commercial market, so at home I use a mix of whatever I’ve managed to render myself, bacon grease, and the commercial stuff. Still, the commercial stuff (e.g. Morrell’s Snowcap) fouls up the flavor.

      I’m hoping that my efforts prove to be a big hit. Time will tell!

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I’ve heard that adding lard to beans was originally done to up the energy content of the meals for poorer folks who couldn’t always have meat on hand. I don’t know how true it is, though.

      Myself, I prefer my beans without the lard — give me a bowl of beans fresh out of the olla with some tortillas hot off the comal, skip the additional cooking with lard, and I’m a happy gringo. If the beans are cooked until the broth becomes sludge, I’m even happier.

      1. Roadkill Spatula

        I cook beans in a crockpot, usually for 12-13 hours (I put them on at midnight and have them for lunch).

        Colombians often add a chopped green plantain to thicken the broth. My sister used to flavor them with pig’s feet, but I prefer smoked neck bones so as not to deal with all the knuckles and grease.

  2. solberg73

    I’d read about your nev challenge. Go for it, bro. You obviously love things culinary. My experience as half-ovner of ‘The Chilli Hut’ vas principally as a server of the food my partner prepared. he’d learned, quickly, at the feet of the former ovner from California. Did I mention that our goal vas to ‘NOT’ make money? I can’t detail vhy here, to my sorrov. ‘
    Every time I quit smoking I vreck, or come close to it, a car, tractor, plane, or lavn-mover. Best of luck vith that.
    I do knov that there is no greater pressure in life than having seven customers vaiting, each for something different, requiring a unique tortilla frying time, vith only tvo pots, and look, I just ran out of grated cheese, Stand by vhile I fight traffic and back to the super. Makes one glad to get a relaxing job as an air-traffic controller at O’Hare, for example.
    Still, I’m thrilled, and more than a little ravenous, at the thought of tasty food vhat makeeth your brov sveat, and just 7000 miles avay…

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I’ve identified dozens of ways to avoid profit but have never undertaken to do so intentionally. I guess that’s because I’ve never had photosensitive revenue. 😉

      So far I’ve avoided wrecking anything except the red sauce, but I’ve got some errands to run today so I’m not alive yet.

      In theory I’ll be able to keep up just fine, as I can prepare one to four egg dishes in three minutes or so and the only thing that takes longer is the wings which can be fried ahead and left swimming in simmering sauce. Time will tell how well my theories hold up in reality.

  3. g.

    This all sounds great–exciting and interesting. (Although I’m not sure how quitting smoking at the same time will work. Not that there’s ever a good time, I guess.) I can see how this whole venture will appeal to your problem-solving side. And it sounds so tasty!

  4. Dian Gansen

    I enjoy a good black bean soup, though I can’t seem to get that in a restaurant. I bought some in a fancy restaurant and it had so much coriander in it, that it was inedible (for me). After reading this conversation, it sounds like I need to cook my beans longer for soup.


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