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Talking about food

Instead of one or two massive goals (I won't say resolutions) for 2010, I have a whole host of small ones. You may hear more about others later, but one of them is to try new recipes more often:  for one thing, I need to eat more real food - I'm generally good about not eating out or eating a lot of processed foods, but I get busy and eat lunch after lunch of cheese and crackers, or fruit and cheese, or bread and fruit, and while that may be healthier than day after day of McDonalds or cans of spaghettos, I feel cheated. I want food. Real food. With variety. And exciting flavors. Food that took some thought to create.
There's also the fact that I obsessively print recipes off the internet, copy them from books, and tear them out of magazines. I could make something new every day for five years and not run out. So an added benefit is that I'll be able to weed some of what I end up not liking, because really, having fifteen foldiers full of recipes as a little much.
A third reason is that I tend to cook without recipes, so 1) my skill set isn't really growing, and 2) neither are my tastebuds. Exposing myself to new things will make it easier to continue making things up, but in new and creative ways.
(In all honesty, even when using a recipe, I don't follow it religiously - just ask amea  - but even just having a recipe as a starting point will expose me to new combinations of flavors and techniques.)
So, what have I tried so far?
Machacado con Huevo (shredded dried beef with scrambled eggs), from Saveur magazine. That was a sucess! I sorta fried the beef in bacon grease before adding the eggs, HOW COULD IT NOT BE GOOD?
Next was quinoa with salted butter, dried pineapple, currents, and honey roasted pecans, my own recipe, which probably shouldn't count BUT I'm learning to use quinoa in new ways, and I loved this. The combination of sweet+salty is my kind of comfort food.
Then I made Three Citrus Marmalade, from Cooking Light magazine, only mine was Four Citrus Marmalade (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime.) I've made marmalade before, but always with just oranges, and usually the sweeter American variety. This was the more bitter British style, and I love it! I need to chop the peel smaller next time, and not cook it down quite so much (heh heh), but it's good.
Then I used some of it to make Marmalade Loaf, a vaguely fruitcake like thing from the Celtic Folklore Cooking book (which is a little scary and contains many recipes "for the fairies"). It was verrrrry dense but the longer it sets the more tasty it gets, and I think I could make it with more fruit, less batter, soak it in rum, and have a proper fruitcake.
(Or I could go out and find a proper fruitcake recipe, but where would the fun be in that?)



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Mmm, I love quinoa and your recipe sounds really good!
Jan. 8th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
I think you're the first person I've known besides me who likes quinoa. :)
Jan. 8th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Make it two! I just had quiona for lunch, actually. :-)

Jan. 11th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thanks for the link - that's going to have to be my next quinoa experiment. Anything lemon is a winner in my book.
Jan. 9th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
I like it :) but I'd totally love to try your rendition--it sounds amazing.
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm excited to read how goes! I find it extremely difficult to properly cook something for one person, so I'm interested in how you deal with that and other aspects of the whole thing.
Jan. 8th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
It can be a bit tricksie, at that.
Jan. 8th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
I could make something new every day for five years and not run out.

Hey, you could be like Julie Powell and do that...and blog about it! :-)

I'm glad you're doing this, Marie 'cause you always have the yummiest, most interseting recipes ever! :-)
Jan. 8th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
And get a book deal and a movie? Awesome!
Jan. 8th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
"In all honesty, even when using a recipe, I don't follow it religiously"

Haha! That's usually the case with me because recipes tend to have an ingredient I do not have, or they seem to lack spices. :-D
Jan. 8th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Exactly so!
Jan. 8th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Mmm, recipes.
Jan. 8th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I usually don't follow a recipe very religiously either.;) They are just suggestions, right? Unless its a French recipe. I figure they know what they are doing when it comes to food.;)
The marmalade sounds wonderful!
Jan. 9th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
love love love love love. especially the marmalade loaf and especially adding rum to it. I WANT.

(but slightly less still than I want your cooking skills. I really admire them! I stand in awe of a recipe a day for five years when yours truly gets to dinnertime with a hapless sigh of, "uh, spaghetti?")

please take pictures of your experiments! and 365 them? (ish, seeing how the year has already started, of course.)
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
I'll take pictures of some of the better-looking ones, at least. ;)
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
It's already culinary <3 for me. As much as I am qualified to say that. Thank you :)
Jan. 9th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Sounds fun!! :)
Jan. 10th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
I should experiment more but am not really a foody type of person so talk myself out of it before I have begun. I always have hugh hopes regarding myself and cooking! I did take a meaty WWII recipe and convert if to vegetarian yesterday.
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
I really think taking a recipe and modifiying it to meet your preferences and needs is very good fun. I'd like to try some rationing recipes - wouldn't it be neat to put on a WWII dinner?
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
I have thought of doing that actually! I'd like to ruin most peoples notions of WWII food, as most think grey stodge or boiled beef and bacon .. oh and powdered egg.
Jan. 15th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I think people get the most creative during hard times/rationing - for instance, there are some really great recipes that came out of the depression era here in the states.
Jan. 16th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
It never occured to me that the US would have gone through similar during the Depression, though now it seems very obvious.

Over here they would colour mashed potato to make it more appealing to fussy children, though I'm not sure how I would have reacted to orange mash!
I once made lemon curd from marrow and mock cream. The latter did not go down well!
Jan. 10th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Fun! I'd like to get my collection of recipes a little more organized and bless my husband with somewhat more variety in meals, which means I MUST get a little more organized than I've been!
Can't wait to
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, organization is something that I only dream about. Ideally I would like all my recipes digitable and searchable by ingredient ("I have five pounds of brocolli! What should I use it in!"), but I also am so very partial to my food-stained paper copies.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )