Sunday, March 25, 2007

Avocado Lives

We thought we lost it.

We had a couple of frosts this winter and after each frost more leaves turned brown. Then, they started to drop. After the big wind in February most of the leaves were gone and we had this stick that used to be a tree. OK, a very skinny tree, but considering it started as a refugee from a bowl of guacamole it was doing fine, just fine.

Now, lookie, lookie! Leetle green leaves!

I hope it grows lots and lots of leaves this summer. Millions and billions of leaves!

Do you know what you call a tree with 6.02 x 10 23 leaves?

An Avogadro.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bacon Saving

You need to eat more vegetables, she said.

I’m on the Atkin’s Diet, he said.

Since when, she said?

Since this morning, he said.

I smell bacon, she said.

You’re having an olfactory hallucination, he said.

No meat for the rest of the week, she said.

!!!, he said.

I mean it and you’d better produce something good, she said.

*#$@%**, he said.

It so happened that just that very day an interesting recipe had been posted on one of the prime food blogs that just might fill the bill. Vegetarian and with no spices. Hmmm, no spices? What’s up with that?

The dish is called “mujadara” and it derives its wonderful flavor from caramelized onions combined with lentils and basmati rice.

You can read all about it at Orangette but I’ll provide the blueprint here.

You’ll need a couple of onions (I used red Spanish onions as I would for onion soup), a cup of lentils, half a cup of rice and some olive oil and salt. That’s it.

Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them in about a quarter cup of olive oil until they’re golden brown, same as you would for onion soup. Scrape and turn, scrape and turn for about 20 minutes until the onions are golden, brown and possibly black in spots. Cooking the onions thoroughly is essential to this recipe.

While this is going on, as if you have nothing better to do, cover the lentils with about an inch of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. You probably won’t need to drain them and I wouldn’t bother because of what happens next.

Add the rice to the onions and mix it up. Add the lentils, a teaspoon of salt, two cups of water, mix well, bring to a boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes.

That’s it.

I was a little worried that the recipe didn’t call for garlic or black pepper or cumin or curry powder, but I needn’t have been concerned.

This is the best thing you’ve ever cooked, she said.

You always say that, he said.

Yeah, but this time I really mean it, she said.

He said nothing but thought, “Thanks, Molly!”

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kink 1, Cutting Board 0

I don't know how he did it. The cutting board weighed as much as he did and it was sitting flat on the counter. I heard the crash and went into the kitchen in time to see Kink pawing playfully at the remains.

Just as well. I "need" to go to Williams-Sonoma, anyway! I need a new cutting board, yep, and a new sauce pan, a knife (can't have too many knives. I always say that.) and one of those French things that I don't know exactly what it does but it's French and I could probably use it. Somehow.

Friday, March 09, 2007


We got rolled!

But, the question is why? Why would anybody roll us? We have no kids in high school. We live in an ordinary house on an ordinary street in an ordinary subdivision. So why pick our pitiful trees from which to hang toilet paper?

On the plus side, I gathered up about a months supply so Woot to that!

In fact, roll me in a month. I could use the supplies!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ouch, No and Owww!

Kink the Kitten is a well-trained little cat. At a mere five months Kink has learned how to ask for food (bite my ankle), how to ask to play (bite my ankle) and how to go outside (bite my ankle).

What a smart kitty!

New with Kink is sharpness. He is sharp in mind and claw. I caught him the other day sharpening his claws on a tree, after which he honed them to razor sharpness with his teeth.

Silly me, I thought he was flossing.

Not so.

Witness the following recent conversation:

What happened to you?


What do you mean “nothing,” you look like you went through a shredder?

Just a scratch.

Looks like a zillion scratches.

Please! It’s not like I get a transfusion every day. I mean, once a month, isn’t that the norm?

What’s to be done with a sharp, playful kitten with razor sharp claws and teeth and did I mention sharp?

Number One: Avoid confrontation. When confronted with a sharp kitten, the sharp kitten will win. Back away slowly and chant “Nice kitty, nice kitty.”

Number Two: Feed often. A fat kitty is a slow kitty. A fat kitty is a sleeping kitty. However, the corollary is a fat kitty is an energetic kitty. (See Number One)

Number Three: Assert yourself! You’re the king of the house! Act like one. Failing this fall back to Number Two and Number One.

I’d write more but I have to staunch a recent wound to my ankle. And feed Kink who’s looking a little famished in spite of my blood dripping off his left fang.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Future Chefs

In a few hours I will be up to my eyeballs in young chefs hopefully learning some of the basics of cooking.

It was a moment of madness that I agreed to serve as Merit Badge counsellor for Cooking, but, hopefully, by this time tomorrow some of the 40 young men who take my course will be more confident in the kitchen, at the camp stove or around a fire.

In addition to Health and Safety I'll try to impart some basic knowledge about food and our relationship with it, how to season lightly, when time in the pot is necessary and how to pack lightly while eating well.

My kitchen is strewn with bags of chopped food, trail mix, charcoal and plasic bags. At the end of the day tomorrow I will have supervised the cooking of over 150 meals. Don't people get paid for this sort of thing? Naw, that would ruin the adventure!

p.s. Kink is laying on the keyboard and I'm having to "mouse" around him which is sort of weird if you think about it too much.

Seems Reasonable to Me

You'll die from an Unlikely Illness (like the plague).

You will unfortunately succumb to a random and unlikely disease. Only to find out after death that eating more broccoli would have cured you.

'How will you die?' at

I like broccoli! More?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blog-a-Day March

I had a plan. I had it all mapped out. With all the time in the world I would do this and that, go here and there, have my people call your people and we'd do lunch.

The plan is still there but I'm not on it. I'm not with it. I'm out of it.

Shiny objects are my bane and I confess that I've been attracted by them. Chalk it up to no discipline and no willpower. Where did it go? I used to have both, at least a little bit.

Well, it's time to get back on track. March is Blog-a-Day month, go to the gym month and clean the garage month.


No, really!

This time I mean it.