Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday & Sundry

Almost two weeks since my last post here at Be Food.  Not quite two weeks, but almost.  Still.  Laaaaaame.

I'm taking a few minutes to compose today's post whilst my husband and 14-year-old daughter discuss what exactly "watch me nae-nae" means.  Also, he appears to be shocked that photos of him are on her Instagram feed.

But anyway.




This brief montage pretty much sums up my Saturday.  Puttering in my kitchen and making magic happen.  We're having a teacher friend and her electrician husband over for dinner...as a thank-you for all the incredible good work he's done for us the last couple of weeks.

I really dithered over the menu...I mean, it is just friends, but there's still a small part of me that really wants to wow.  However, I didn't want to knock myself out completely in the kitchen and not enjoy the company.  I haven't made the Bolognese for some time, and with the cooler weather as of late, there seemed no better time to do so. 

A simple Caesar salad and a Italian red wine should go well with the pasta.  I suppose a tiramisu would have been an appropriate dessert, but I've got some local Granny Smiths I needed to do something with.  Add some frozen peaches and voilá! Apple-Peach Crisp. 

Honestly, I've got two of my favorite, favorite, favorite things on the menu tonight.  A good, solid, tasty red sauce and a fruit crisp.  Smells like fall around here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nudity And A Big Reveal

Oh, now, don't you just want to read on with a provocative title like that?

By nudity, I mean of tomatoes.

The harvest from the garden is ongoing, although things appear to be slowing down a bit.  I have more tomatoes than I can eat fresh without causing my mouth to erupt from overacidulation.

I have diced a bunch and made tomato juice...and frozen all of it.  So, today, with the mass that was ripe-n-ready, blanching, peeling, deseeding were the order of operations.  And luckily for me, my two sons pitched in and helped.  The youngest, who's 11, wanted to know what 'blanching' was.  Blanching, of course, is the process by which food is cooked quickly in hot water/oil and cooled immediately in ice/cold water.  Tomatoes benefit from this process because it makes them way easier to peel.  However, blanching is a good thing to do for any food that usually takes a long time to cook (e.g. vegetables).  Once they're cooled down, they can be recooked later, much faster.  I particularly use blanching with my green veg like beans and Brussels sprouts.  I blanch them quick, shock them in ice water, and reheat in a sautĂ© pan with butter.

And by golly, Bean stood right there and listened to the whole lecture, patiently.  Hurrah, youth!

My daughter, who's 14, walked by this pan of naked tomatoes and commented how weird they looked.  Yes.  Well, they are without their skins...think of how weird we'd look without our skins. 

Ew, actually.

Then, the 16-year-old and I set about deseeding the tomatoes after they'd been stripped.  Easy process, really, just scrape the membrany seeds out into a bowl, the sink, your mouth, whatever.  And Bean then shoved the tomato parts into a freezer bag for later use.  I plan on using these suckers for sauce-making later in the winter.  It shall be good.

And, then the Reveal.  Not as provocative as you might think...it's the new logo for my food truck.  Ready??

There's some other catchy stuff that goes with it, but overall, it's fun and cool-looking.  Hurrah!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

These Quilts Would Keep The World Warm

Mini-bacon quilts, that is.

If every small child and homeless person had a quilt like this when they were cold and/or scared, they would stop being that way immediately.

The inspiration for this came in the form of an subscription email from Food & Wine.  The Mad Tips guy, Justin Chapple, complained that most BLT sandwiches have one major problem in common.  The bacon is in strips, and doesn't lay properly in a square sandwich...meaning, and this is a big deal, it's nearly impossible to get bacon goodness in every bite.

For the record, I'm really not into bacon that much.  I don't go to Baconfests, I don't drool over bacon-wrapped stuff, I don't even have it in my house that much.  However...


and if I'm going to do BLTs...then boy howdy, I'm going to do it right.  Enter Chapple's tip about the bacon weave.  Bacon in every bite.  Tomatoes from the garden, and lettuce from the fresh food co-op basket.  That's summer, folks.


The important thing here is to weigh down the bacon mini-quilts, because this pork product has a high shrinkage factor and the quilts become half the size.  I used wire cookie racks to keep the bacon flat, and as you see, they stayed together nicely.  And guess what? We have bacon in every bite!

Good stuff, and totally doable for families and small parties...but there are no real practical commercial applications with this one.  That means, doing bacon quilts for my food truck?  Nope.

Too bad, really.  But hey, speaking of the food truck, and I have not in awhile...stay tuned.  Tomorrow is Social Media Day for WanderLunch Food Truck.