Sunday, May 22, 2011

Still Haven't Been Devoured by Raptors

I'm still behind on my blogging.  Oh well, I am at least sort of caught up on my school work.  Somehow these two states go hand in hand.  I consider this regrettable.  I'm beginning to feel like I might have enough stuff for an online design portfolio, so I'll be working that out soonish.  Heavy on the -ish. 

Meanwhile I have been eating and sometimes cooking.  I bring these insights therefore to the table.

1. The Culinary Arts program at Seattle Central is run by a bunch of maniacs out to convert the world to a bizarre cult of deliciousness and pastry cream and really cheap slices of amazing cake.  On Friday my friend A and I stopped in at the coffee stand and satellite chapel of the CA and came away with one goat cheese, onion, and proscuitto pizza-ish baked good, two shrimp and rice salads, and two cream puffs, an almond croissant, and a slice of Seville cake*.  All of it verged on the transcendantly good, and the Seville cake achieved apotheosis, despite getting melty in the sun. 

2. I am baking brioche this afternoon.  I have always wanted to try my hand at it, but have not always had a stand mixer at my disposal.  Today it occurred to me that I have a stand mixer, all the ingredients, and TIME, which as my posting rate will show, has been at a premium lately. 

Or rather I claim to be making brioche, because I did not actually read the recipe all the way through before embarking.  As everyone knows, this is one of the classic blunders:  land wars in Asia.  Going up against a Sicillian when DEATH is on the line.  Frying bacon shirtless.  And not reading the recipe all the way through.  Turns out I will not be baking brioche today, because it needs a minimum of 12 hours to rise slowly and elegantly in the fridge.  I am however eagerly anticipating the results of all of my patience. 

Brioche dough is extraordinarily elastic and tastes sort of like slightly yeasty cake batter, probably because of all the butter and eggs.  As I was scraping the brioche dough into the bowl it will rise in, I couldn't help that think that a) it moved like an alien life form, and b) there ought to be a use for something this strange in the aerospace industry. 

3. Kale continues to be my favorite leafy green,  Closely followed by butter crunch lettuce.  I really like lettuce.  This goes back to a trip to Ireland as a teenager.  During the three weeks I was there, almost the only vegetables that appeared edible were the lettuce and the chips.  So lettuce not only tastes good, but also carries this nostalgic thrill harkening back to the first time I left the country by myself.

I should say that I have since returned to Ireland and eaten some truly excellent meals.  I remember with particular fondness the vegetarian buffet at Govinda's.  I had no idea what I was eating, but I knew it was delicious. 

4. I have currently decided that the best way to cook a game hen is to rub a mixture of butter, herbs, and a pinch dried mustard under its skin, stuff it with a few apple slices, and cook it in a casserole with more apples, kale, and garlic.  350 for an hour and a half, serve it with rice and make your friends, even the gluten intolerant friends happy. 

5. Snoqualmie Ice Cream is the best ice cream for sale at QFC.  Especially the coconut.  Especially the honey cinnamon custard.  No, I can't decide which is better. Molly Moon's may be better (and I'm not even sure about that), but Snoqualmie is cheaper.

*What the heck is Seville Cake, you ask?  In this case it was a cake largely composed of dark chocolate mousse,  on a substrate of chocolate sponge cake, with an intervening layer of custard flavored with marmalade.  Just the description makes me want to drool on the keyboard.

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