Farmers Market Strawberries (and Shortcake, and Morels, and Salad)

Like a month ago now (maybe more?) we went to the farm­ers mar­ket here in Over­land Park for the first time. We bought straw­ber­ries and morels and greens more stuff, and went home and had a most fab­u­lous din­ner. We cooked the morels, added them to pas­ta, had a light greens sal­ad, and made straw­ber­ry short­cake (with real­ly whipped real cream). And I took pic­tures.

Strawberry shortcake, yo

Straw­ber­ry short­cake, yo

Introducing the Pringle

Over break­fast this morn­ing, while look­ing through the news­pa­per ads, my sev­en-year-old son asked me what a Pringle was. I explained, and we dis­cussed why they come in a can­tube, instead of in a bag like nor­mal chips, but there’s noth­ing like expe­ri­enc­ing some­thing for your­self.

So today, while I was at work, I bought one of those lit­tle cans of Pringles.

Their first Pringles

Their first Pringles

We shall see what he (and his lit­tle broth­er) think of this.

The intricacies of Crystal Light

Crystal Light bit

As a result of the South Beach diet we’re not real­ly on, I have been drink­ing a lot of Crys­tal Light late­ly (yay, Aspar­tame!).  I flirt­ed with Crys­tal Light a num­ber of years ago, most­ly with the “Nat­ur­al Lemon­ade” fla­vor (which is far from nat­ur­al, but pleas­ant­ly sour and cloy­ing­ly sweet, btw), but we’re drink­ing the whole Kool-Aid, as it were, this time.  There are a num­ber of Crys­tal Light fla­vors avail­able, as well as the pseu­do-healthy vitamins/energy/herbal tropes that seem to be squeez­ing water off the $2.00-a-bottle shelf.  So we’ve been doing this for about four or five months now, and a thing I noticed right at the begin­ning has only now crys­tal­ized (if you’ll allow me that pun) in my mind.

While each indi­vid­ual Crys­tal Light pack­age is the same size (a lit­tle foil­ish tube) they are filled with dif­fer­ent amounts of pow­der for dif­fer­ent fla­vors.  That is, I would have expect­ed a fake fla­vor­ing change to involve just chang­ing the “fla­vor crys­tals,” but it appears that they have to change oth­er stuff, too, enough that the Blue­ber­ry White Tea tubes are packed to the gills, and the White Grape seems to have just a puff of dust in it.

There are intri­ca­cies to the mak­ing of Crys­tal Light that I had not pre­vi­ous­ly sus­pect­ed.

To wit, from the box­en:

Fla­vor oz. per pack­et
Nat­ur­al Lemon­ade Fla­vor 0.14
Nat­ur­al Blue­ber­ry Fla­vor White Tea 0.12
Berry Splash Arti­fi­cial Fla­vor Hydra­tion 0.09
Peach Iced Tea Arti­fi­cial Fla­vor 0.07
White Grape Arti­fi­cial Fla­vor 0.05

So, the Nat­ur­al Lemon­ade has almost three times the pow­der of the White Grape.  I leave it to you to rumi­nate on the impli­ca­tions of this for world peace, par­ty uni­ty, and/or the future of the pack­ag­ing indus­try.

Speak­ing of the pack­ag­ing indus­try.

We’re in diet detox

This week­end we went to Bor­ders, here in town, and bought two South Beach Diet books (the Book, and a cook­book).  In read­ing the Book of them, it became clear to us that we eat too much of some bad stuff, most­ly refined sug­ar and processed carbs.  Or, as I like to think of them, Pop Tarts.

So, on Mon­day, we began the South Beach Diet.  Here’s the gist.  For two weeks—what they describe as detox—you eat no refined sug­ar, and no carbs.  All sal­ad, lean meats, eggs, and a wee bit of cheese.  Then, after those two weeks, you start to re-intro­duce your body to the good stuff, a lit­tle bread, a lit­tle pas­ta, maybe a lit­tle sug­ar, here and there.  Every­body online says the first three days are hard.

And I’m here to tell you: hell yeah.  I’m not hun­gry, mind you.  The fridge full of romaine, boston let­tuce, bell pep­pers, cel­ery, scal­lions, and toma­toes sees to that.  But I feel… unsat­is­fied.  Tiffany described it as the feel­ing she has when she drinks a lot of water, and I know exact­ly what she means.  Like I’m full of noth­ing.

Plus, I real­ly miss is the time I used to have to… I don’t know, do any­thing but cook.  The SBD is full of good green stuff, which means it costs a hell of a lot at the store, and we spend every wak­ing moment prepar­ing food.  Morn­ings used to be about pour­ing cere­al.  Now we actu­al­ly have to prep the night before, and cook the morn­ing of.  And while din­ner is not much more work, after din­ner is the killer.  We used to put the kids down and then do some work (dur­ing the semes­ter Tiffany always brought work home), have a snack, maybe watch some TV, pay bills, catch up on email… now we put the kids down and we cook.  In addi­tion to hav­ing just cooked a din­ner, we now wash the din­ner dish­es, make lunch for the next day (last night we cooked shrimp, cut up sal­ad, made jel­lo, and would have made a dress­ing from scratch, but we gave up), prep any­thing for break­fast (last night we cut up mush­rooms), and then wash dish­es again.  And by then it is 10 pm or lat­er, which means we go straight to bed or we stay up and get five hours of sleep.

Some­thing is going to have to give.  We’re going to try our best to hold on these first two weeks of detox, but it had bet­ter get eas­i­er.

Oh, and two results to report so far: In about 58 hours so far on the diet, I’ve lost 1.5 pounds, and pooped zero times.  I’m sure you need­ed to know that.

Making dulce de leche

I come from Argenti­na, where dulce de leche is a sweet­en­er, an ice cream top­ping, a pan­cake spread, and often­times a snack by the spoon­ful.  There are many rea­sons I am not going to make my own dulce de leche this way, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t!

Honest Ade Reviewlet

So, I final­ly had some Hon­est Ade, by the Hon­est Tea peo­ple.  I wrote about it a while ago, but had not found it local­ly.  Now I have, and I was a bit under­whelmed.  Fruity water.  If I’m pay­ing that much for a drink, I need it to be extra fla­vor­ful, so I don’t think I should have just had water.  Next time I’ll stick to the Nan­tuck­et Nec­tars in the same dis­play.

Just the fish

I approach the deli counter at our local gro­cery store (which is, admit­ted­ly, in Nebras­ka), after hav­ing hunt­ed in vain through their dis­play cas­es.

Me: “Excuse me, do you have any lox?”

Guy: “Uh.”

Me: “You know, lox, like for bagels.”

Guy: “Do you mean, um, like pad­locks?”

Me: “Whu?”

Guy: “Um.”

Me: “No, like smoked salmon.”

Guy: “Huh, well, um,” he looks at his dis­plays hope­less­ly, “Maybe you should try the meat counter,” he ges­tures over to the land of pork, beef, and chick­en (and pale, under­nour­ished seafood).”

Me: “Okay, thanks.”

Mmm-mandoline

We bought a man­do­line yes­ter­day. I was plan­ning on going to Williams-Sono­ma, since we have a gift cer­tifi­cate, but I got a wild hair while I was at the gro­cery store, and I bought one (next door, at Linens-n-Things). It’s the Oxo one.

We used it last night to thin­ly slice a cucum­ber and an onion. It was heav­en. Plus, the whole thing is dish­wash­er safe! But watch those blades, they just might be the sharpest thing we have in the house, and we just got our knives sharp­ened.

I hope to make crin­kle-cut pota­to chips just as soon as I am able.

Wine Day Celebration

The wine box haul Every year for a while now, my father has sent a case of wine to Tiffany at the end of the year/for Christ­mas. He picks the twelve bot­tles him­self, though some­times some of them are mul­ti­ples (if he real­ly likes the wine, I sup­pose). This year’s case arrived today, and here is the haul:

Year | Wine | Grape | Region, Coun­try

1996 Château Labé­gorce Lédé — Bor­deaux — Mar­gaux, France 1997 La Bastide Dauzac — Bor­deaux — Mar­gaux, France 1997 Chateau Lan­goa Bar­ton — Bor­deaux — St. Julien, France 1998 Les Bruliéres de Bey­chev­elle — Bor­deaux — Haut-Médoc, France (2 bot­tles) 2000 Jean-Luc Colom­bo Les Bar­tavelles — Rhône — Châ­te­uneuf du Pape, France 2000 Château Glo­ria St. Julien — Bor­deaux — St. Julien, France 2001 Castel­lo Ban­fi Cum Laude — blend of Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Mer­lot, San­giovese, and Syrah — Mon­tal­ci­no, Italia 2002 Con­cha y Toro Casillero del Dia­blo — Caber­net Sauvi­gnon — Chile 2002 Navar­ro Cor­reas Colec­ción Pri­va­da — Mal­bec — Men­doza, Argenti­na 2003 Trapiche — Caber­net Sauvi­gnon — Men­doza, Argenti­na 2004 Crios de Susana Bal­bo — Rose of Mal­bec — Men­doza, Argenti­na

I think Tiffany would be hap­pi­er if I drank wine, because then we could enjoy it togeth­er. As it is, she has to take it to par­ties, or wait until some­one vis­its. I shall have to con­sid­er it.

The family that eats strange meat together…

I was born an Argen­tine, and some­where on my pass­port (the expired Argen­tine one) it says in fine print that I must eat meat, or I’ll lose my cit­i­zen­ship. Argen­tines eat a lot of meat, and when it comes to the cow, they eat most of that, too. Empanadas (rough­ly trans­late as meat turnovers), blood sausage, beef kid­neys, sweet­breads, stew, matam­bre (stuffed beef roll), and bone mar­row on a crack­er. Among oth­ers.

Tiffany, bless her, is a Mid­west­ern girl when it comes to beef. She grew up with steak, usu­al­ly on the grill, with some kind of sauce. On one of her first trips to meet my par­ents, she was offered the afore­men­tioned bone mar­row on a crack­er. To her cred­it, she tried very hard to like it.

This all came to mind when, yes­ter­day, I got her to try a lit­tle of the chick­en liv­er that came with the whole chick­en we were roast­ing. She knew she wouldn’t like it, and I knew she wouldn’t like it, but I like liv­er so much that I thought maybe she should try this par­tic­u­lar bit of liv­er, and I can only imag­ine that she likes me so much that she thought maybe she would try this par­tic­u­lar piece of liv­er. She bit it off and chewed and smiled and I came back inside. And a few sec­onds lat­er she rushed in and spat it out into the sink.

I do love her so. She doesn’t need to eat all the strange meat I do.

I can always eat liv­er with her moth­er (or my fam­i­ly, but that’s a giv­en).