Jiminy

I am so far behind on this blogging business, it’s unreal. It’s not like it’s been a long time since I posted, but I have done essentially nothing but really cool experiments and food bonanzery in the time since my last post. I’ll skim over the less interesting stuff, just showing you some pictures, and then post a blog with the goodies.

In follow-up to my last post, I ended up taking most suggestions. I made Montana Special for Chris and me to eat that night (Brooke and Brittany, I love you for that recipe), I made potato and Hatch chile casserole for my culinary class (they ate it quickly, except for my product-stealing classmate, who assumed -correctly- that I’d try to poison him), and potato-Hatch latkes fried in schmaltz for the doctors (under the assumption that they’d have faster access to health care when the coronary incidents began). This was a pretty big sacrifice on my part, since I’ve been greedily hoarding all chicken fat bits for months in anticipation of a confit orgy sometime during the holidays. I used about a quarter cup to make the latkes, and they were crispy and rich and spectacular, so I won’t begrudge them their fat-withdrawal from the bank of my freezer. This time. I sent along a sauce made of Greek yogurt mixed with apple butter. It really went well with the chiles, shockingly. This was because I was out of applesauce, and have lots of apple butter in my pantry from my canning spree That’s right! I managed to complete all three of those dishes without having to leave the house! Because let’s be honest, I hate wearing pants.

Here is a latke photo for those of you who have a free hand and a little bit of time alone. It’s not as great as it could be, since I forgot to take an after shot when they were all brown and crisp, but you can see the melted chicken fat, and that should be enough to take you over the edge:

I also made a couple of desserts to send with the latkes, since it was Halloween and all. One of them is my Tuesdays with Dorie contribution, so I can’t reveal it until Tuesday, but the other one was POPCORN BALLS.

There is really no limit to how much I love popcorn balls. I can’t stand the packaged, stale, ACT III ones that inundate the grocery stores at Halloween, but the homemade variety get me so excited I can barely hold still. I am partial to the ones that have Jell-O in the mix, but they can be pretty cloying for normal adults, so I went with the traditional Karo syrup variety. I then proceeded to eat about 5 of them. I challenge you to tell me that was wrong. The only slight problem with popcorn balls is that it involves working with exceptionally hot sugar syrup that also happens to be exceptionally delicious. I wore latex gloves on my hands to keep my skin from peeling back and disfiguring me for good, but I forgot to put any latex on my mouth (dental dam?). This was poor planning, because I badly burned my mouth not once, not twice, but THREE SEPARATE TIMES by trying to put popcorn that was visibly dripping with sugar-lava into it. Isn’t there supposed to be a brain mechanism that prevents you from touching a hot stove repeatedly? Was I born without this? They should find a way to test for this with newborns so they can be appropriately trained to deal with life. “Well, she’s got 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes, but my guess is she’ll be kind of a dipshit when it comes to hot sugar.”See how happy I was before the burning?

I forgot to take a picture of our Montana Special, which is okay because it’s not pretty, but is very, very tasty. I’ll substitute a few pictures of our dinner from the other day–chicken lettuce wraps. I love lettuce wraps because they take about 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish, and they’re intensely flavorful. I only dislike them because they traditionally involve iceberg lettuce, which I assume is only grown for the fast food industry and people who live below poverty level (bless their hearts). Can’t win ’em all, I suppose.

And now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, I can go write about some solid, liquid, gas, and plasma AWESOME.