Running out

Last night my brother asked me if I had “run out of spiteful, or run out of chef.” I will take that to mean that I’m behind on blogging. Dick.

Sadly, he’s right. I’ve run out of both to a certain degree at this juncture. But it’s temporary, I swear.

My spiteful is running low because I’m just so damned excited to go home that it’s oozing out of my pores and making me all pert and grateful and spiritually aware of how little control you really have over life, and how sometimes things just seem to work out for the exact best, exactly when you need them to, and not because you deserve them, but because something is looking out for you and wants the best for you. I don’t care what religion or belief system you subscribe to, it’s universally cool to think you’re being watched over by someone.

Also, the blazing, hateful, relentless, wet heat of impending summer doom is vampirically sucking my life force from my body, and taking with the energy it requires to be actively spiteful. Or at least mildly entertaining. There are occasional rainy days where it’s (only?) 82 degrees outside, but then I run into my second problem.

I’ve run out of chef. We’re still EATING, mind you, but it’s nothing that would interest you. For example, here is a menu of what we had this past week:

Thursday– I cooked a beef chuck roast in the crockpot with a quart of Hatch chiles from last year’s canning spree, a giant farmer’s market onion, a heap of garlic, some salt, and a small basket of tiny red potatoes, also from market. The roast got tender as can be, then all of the juices and veggies got whirred in the Vitamix until they made a fiery green chili of sorts, and then hunks of roast beef were laid on a bed of rice and had green chili poured over them.

Friday– Chris’s work party. My offering was another batch of the green chili, this time made vegetarian. I stirred in about 2 lbs of asadero cheese, slapped it in a crockpot, and brought some chips. It was delicious. I wanted to eat nothing but it. That’s why I suck at potlucks– I’ll usually only want to eat what I made, and am suspicious of other peoples’ kitchen cleanliness. I live in fear of the day that I have the flu and well-meaning neighbors start bringing by casseroles that I can’t bring myself to eat.

Saturday–Chris and I had a big lunch, so when we got home I grated another mess of asadero cheese, threw it in the leftover vat of beef-tainted green chili, and we ate that and chips for dinner. No joke. While watching a bad movie starring Heather Graham. I really, really can’t stand Heather Graham.

Sunday–Spent the day messing around with moving chores and car-selling chores, so we ended up having Chipotle for dinner.

Monday–I turned some spring garlic into pesto using Unikaas Robusto (we had a leftover hunk in the back of the fridge), basil, and pine nuts. Simmered it with heavy cream, then tossed it with fresh pasta, olives, seared mushrooms, and caramelized onions. All market finds. Very tasty, but not photogenic at all.

Tuesday–Shaved the leftover pot roast on the meat slicer, Chris whipped up a spicy BBQ sauce, bought some King’s Hawaiian rolls, and had BBQ beef sliders with more caramelized onions. Cut the leftover potatoes from the pot roast in half, seared them aggressively, then sprinkled with oil and truffle salt. A whole new dinner, made entirely of leftovers. Delicious. Very brown on the plate, though. You wouldn’t have wanted to see it.

Wednesday–MEZZE! Cut carrots into tiny matchsticks and sauteed with olive oil and oregano. Made hummus with roasted red peppers and garlic confit. Made a big batch of (successfully puffed up) pita bread. Made a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and sweet onions, all marinated in a dressing of sugar, white vinegar, salt, and dill. Made a tzatziki sauce with more garlic confit. That’s it. Stuffed pitas full of dips and ate them for dinner.

A word on mezze– In the Middle East and Mediterranean, they often begin a meal with mezze, which is just a whole spread of small plates and dips and salads. It’s usually served with pita bread, and is incredibly satisfying. In the summer, mezze can be a great, cheap, satisfying, fresh, vegetarian way to get multiple servings of vegetables in a single meal, while still feeling like you’ve had an awesome, complicated dinner experience. And it takes no time at all. Spring and summer have got so many offerings of fresh vegetables that it’s no bad thing to get all of your recommended servings at one meal, and forego the meat and heavy parts altogether.

So try it. Get hummus, tzatziki, cucumber salad, carrots, olives, and pita bread. Then rent a movie, or sit on your deck with a glass of white wine, and go to town. You’ll be full and have consumed a ton of veggies and not too many calories. Also, your house will stay cool. You’re welcome for this advice.

I’ll try to take pictures of tonight’s meal, although I promise it’s going to be mostly fresh vegetables, very minimally cooked, and probably leftover pita bread. I have an idea, though, so we’ll see if it pans out.

Oh! And I almost forgot to employ my excuse about having to keep my kitchen immaculate because of the strangers that keep coming and looking at our house to see if they want to rent it from the leasing company. I’m SO glad that we’re buying our next house, and have no immediate plans to move. Because I HATE having strangers in my house. I just hide in the bathroom with the pets and listen to see when they leave. It’s really creepy. For them and for me, because if they open the door that says “do not open,” they’re going to find a jumpy blonde girl, a pissed off dog, and two equally pissed off cats. That’ll teach em.

8 thoughts on “Running out”

  1. Oooh, one of my favorite dinners in college (yes, not exactly a time of culinary extravagance) was pita bread with little bowls of hummus, tzatziki, and ajvar (roasted red pepper dip). Eat a little salad, and you can munch on bread and dip while doing your homework! Stunning.

    So excited for you to come home!!

  2. I'm the same way with strangers in my house, except the opposite. I stay right there with them the entire time, never turn my back on them, and generally don't have my hand far from a weapon. I get them in and out of there as quickly as possible, and don't allow them access to any part of the house where they don't need to be. That's probably a large part of why I do so much work myself on the house.

  3. I definitely keep a firearm in the bathroom when they're here. And because I'm a not-very-burly girl, I tend to stay very near to an exit, holding the dog in "heel" when people are working on the house. I don't ever like to be closer to the workers than I am to an exterior door. Chris thinks I'm a little silly, but I watch a lot of SVU, so whatever.

  4. Hopefully you'll get out of here before the REAL heat sets in. :)

    I think I may pull the Mezze for dinner sometime soon. Only I'll probably be lazy and just buy the hummus, and a cucumber (I don't have time to be waiting for my stupid plants to produce cucumbers…though I don't know what I'll do when they actually DO produce cucumbers…it's not like Shawn eats them or anything).

  5. So….your lazy dinners that we "wouldn't be interested in" are WAY more advanced than mine. Let's just say that we've been eating a lot of cheese and crackers lately……

    Hello to the huge difference between Canadian and American culture. Can't speak for the country as a whole, but for myself and most people that I know, if there are strangers in the house we react by offering them something to drink, a snack, and use of the lavatory. I also don't know a single person who owns a firearm or other weapon less mundane than a kitchen knife. And really? I'm okay with that.

  6. ….WHICH WAS NOT A CRITICISM! It just always shocks me what a huge cultural divide we have when it comes to firearms. And if I was a stranger in your house, you would probably be wise to threaten me with it because I would TOTALLY be snooping through your cupboards.

  7. I offer beer to anyone who steps into my apartment. This includes census workers and comcast installers at 9 AM. I am weird about people using my bathrooms, but I let them if the request to do so.

  8. I love visitors. I offer to feed everyone. I DON'T like realtors dragging people through my home at all hours of the day or night, just because we're leaving in a month. It's invasive, and I'm not supposed to be there when they do it.

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