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eG Foodblog: jgarner53 - New kitchen: new food


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I have to start cooking tomorrow.

I haven't cooked dinner since the beginning of the year.

I don't even know where my pots are, but somehow I have to find them.

Hi, I'm Jennifer, and this is my foodblog. I have been posting about my kitchen remodel here. for the past few months. With all my heart, I wished my remodel would have been complete on Friday, but there are a few details left to handle (like dusting out my cabinets) before I can begin moving back into my kitchen.

With luck, I'll be able to actually start putting things away and getting to know my new kitchen this week. I definitely have to start cooking again, as the homecooked frozen dinners I squirreled away last fall finally ran out at the end of last week.

My husband and I live in San Francisco. He's a technical writer; I'm a pastry cook/production manager at a French bakery. We're both "near" 40.

Join me as I try to settle in to my new kitchen, adjust to the taller counters and expansive storage, fine tune where everything goes, and adapt to having to cook again. I have a new professional-style range. I'm not entirely sure that I won't just burn everything with the intense heat it produces.

Right now it's quite late for me. Typically I go to work about 5. As in a.m. Today, being Easter, I went in at 3, which meant getting up at 2:15 a.m. I did get a nap, but a good amount of wine at my brother's Easter fest and plenty of good food means that by now I'm just about wiped. I apologize in advance for the typos I know are lurking in this, but I wanted to introduce myself and get this foodblog rolling.

Answers to snowangel's post of my teaser photo tomorrow. At least one of you had one ingredient right.

See you tomorrow morning!

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Congratulations on your kitchen! I've just seen the pics in the other thread; the kitchen has a lovely green glow, and the soapstone is beautiful.

Will the first meal in your new kitchen be something symbolic, or something quick (or both)? :smile:

Happy blogging!

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Good morning! I feel much better after a lot of lovely, lovely sleep! Mondays and Tuesdays are my weekend days, so I have plenty of time today to get this thing off to a good start, go shopping (with Easter yesterday, there wasn't time), and dig out the tools I'll need to make dinner tonight. They're somewhere in this mess:

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When I packed up the kitchen after Christmas, I started with the less used stuff and worked towards the stuff we use all the time. Ideally, that should mean that the stuff I'm most likely to need will be close to the top. So far, I've found my cast iron skillet, Husband's moka pot, the popcorn popper, the waffle iron and my pizza stone.

Still, I think I have fairly ambitious plans this week.

Will the first meal in your new kitchen be something symbolic, or something quick (or both)?

I don't know that it will be either, actually. It will be based on what I know I can find. After three months of soups and casseroles, I'm craving lighter foods and more fresh veggies.

Right now, I'm enjoying my breafkast while I write. I took in bagels to work yesterday morning for my crew, especially those who came in early or on an off-day to help crank out the morning's production, larger than usual because of the holiday. There were leftovers, so I am taking a break from my usual bowl of cereal for this, an everything bagel with smoked salmon/chive shmear and a bit of OJ:

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I haven't completely unpacked my dishes yet. Where would I put them? :unsure: So I'm using the last paper plate. Boy, is this a delight! I'm practically licking the plate to get up all the goodies that fell off the bagel: caraway seeds, poppy seeds, salt, bits of onion... Yes, I do work in a French bakery, but even heavenly croissants get old and a person needs a break.

A bit about my work. A few years ago, out of work and burned out as a graphic designer, I got hooked on eGullet at one particularly slow temp job. I was starting to think about a career change to pastry. I'd always enjoyed baking, why not? I began to focus and get intent on the science of baking and ultimately went to Tante Marie's here in San Francisco. It was a six-month part-time pastry program and about 1/3 the price of the California Culinary Academy, also here. I really enjoyed it, and Husband's coworkers loved eating the fruits of my labors!

After I got out of school, I got a job at one of the top French bakeries, a boulangerie that does more rustic pastries. We do amazing croissants and French bread. I do tarts, mostly, but we also make pound cakes, madeleines, financiers, macarons, the lovely cannelés de Bordeaux, cookies, etc. We only make one cake, a flourless chocolate one. Generally, I like my job and the people I work with. I've been there just under two years now. Last month I was promoted to production manager (there are 8 people in my department) which means that I have to figure out what gets made, how much of it, who makes it, each and every day. I do get production numbers so I know how many of a particular thing to make, but there is an art to knowing whether we have enough madeleine batter, or it should be mixed today, for example.

I do promise to take you all to work with me one day!

Time for tea (and a typical shot of my very, very, very messy desk:

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I tried to learn to like coffee when I was in my early 20's, but found that it made my stomach jittery and fluttery :sad: so I happily went back to my first love: tea, which I had discovered at 13 on a family trip to England. I do occasionally (maybe twice a year?) have a mocha or frappucino-type beverage, but I really don't even like coffee ice cream. Husband is a coffee fiend, however. (He's also a homebrewer, but that's all for another post, I think). Lately, I've been drinking generic green tea from Trader Joe's.

I have a busy morning: grocery shopping, getting new glass cut for the cabinet doors in my kitchen, meeting a friend for lunch at my favorite taqueria, all to be back here by 1pm. My new freezer's started getting frosty ever since it was moved into the kitchen from its first home in the dining room. :unsure::sad: So I will rush around only to come home to wait until probably 4:30 when the tech shows up. :wacko:

Oh, my teaser shot:

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From the top, going clockwise: cherry juice, palm sugar, flour, miso paste, and I'm sure you all guessed the lemon in the middle! Tonight's dinner will feature the palm sugar, but I'll be prepping the miso paste into a marinade for tomorrow's dinner.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Jennifer, I am very much looking forward to spying on your life this week, especially given the new kitchen situation.

Are you going to do the big reveal here, or over on your renovation topic? Can't wait! :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I love it that you can show us the un-finished kitchen, with all the unpacking going on! Good for you!

I know nothing about miso paste and little about Asian cookery, so I'll be interested in seeing what you do with that. Ditto the palm sugar. How is it different than cane sugar or beet sugar? What will you be doing with it?

Do, please, be sure to let us know what the weather is doing there too. I know it's getting warm in the interior of the state, but San Francisco has its very own weather. Meanwhile, it's still snowing in northern Minnesota. :angry: Show us some spring!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Good morning from my temporary home base in the Oakland hills!

Nice to meet a fellow messy-desk person. Apparently we are the more creative types, according to some article I read recently.

I'm having a great time out this way, as you may or may not have divined from random posts to the California and Pennsylvania boards. You live in a wonderful city full of Mediterranean spirit, charm and climate. (While waiting to board my OAK-SEA flight, I read The San Francisco Chronicle's TV columnist dissing The Weather Channel. I wanted to write back to him, "Of course you don't get The Weather Channel. That's because where you live, you have no weather.")

Good luck putting your kitchen together, and I look forward to following your adventures in baking. Have you ever made sourdough?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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This is perfect! It's been so much fun to follow your kitchen renovation thread and now we'll get to see the new kitchen in depth as well as your first week cooking in it. Thank you for blogging this week; I'm looking forward to it all, including the visit to your bakery!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Nice to meet a fellow messy-desk person. Apparently we are the more creative types, according to some article I read recently.

Oh, so that explains it! I will go through bouts of neatness where I will clean off the desk in a frenzy, put things away, etc. and then within a matter of days, it's back to its old messy self again. I guess I should just embrace the messiness! Strangely, I am hyper-organized except when it comes to clutter (see dining room photos above - each box is labeled, and I have a rough idea of where things are, but the overlying mess makes it nearly impossible to dig through!)

Have you ever made sourdough?

I have. I haven't been successful getting my own starter going, but I do have a culture in the fridge. Since I got my job at a bakery, going to the effort of making my own bread seems a little, oh, not worth it, when I can bring home a baguette for free any time I want. But I did get some pretty tasty sourdough, and would make it about once a week.

I know nothing about miso paste and little about Asian cookery, so I'll be interested in seeing what you do with that. Ditto the palm sugar. How is it different than cane sugar or beet sugar? What will you be doing with it?

Palm sugar is made from palm trees and is common in southeast Asian cooking. After a trip to Thailand 3 years ago, I came back enamored of the cuisine and determined to learn how to make it myself. I found a woman in Berkeley who's a cookbook author and cooking teacher, who teaches very popular (she has a wait list) Thai cooking classes in her home as well as leading food-based tours of Thailand periodically. We learned a lot about Thai ingredients, tasted different brands of coconut milk to get a feel for the differences in quality, and then would collaboratively make a meal of the week's recipes and sit down to a family-style dinner at the end of the night. It was a great class, and I learned a lot.

The palm sugar in this case will be going into the green curry chicken I'm making for dinner tonight. It's my absolute favorite Thai curry. It helps to enhance the heat of the curry paste and soften it a bit, too. Brown sugar works, too, but as long as I have the palm sugar, why not use it?

I'll get to the miso paste later.

Do, please, be sure to let us know what the weather is doing there too.

You want spring? Will this do? :rolleyes:

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I took this this morning out the sunroof while driving downtown to the Container Store. Not a very interesting view, as it's downtown traffic (Union Square is about 3 blocks north of where I am), but you can see the nice blue sky. It's about 60F and breezy.

I had to rush to get all my errands done, but managed to do it. Husband was kind enough to go to Trader Joe's for me yesterday morning for staples like OJ, milk, yogurt, cereal and lunch fixin's. So I just had to shop for produce and get things for dinner. We love TJ's for staples, but I'm not keen on their produce. Because why buy your produce elsewhere when you can go to this local gem, the Fruit Barn?

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It's about a 15 minute walk from home, but since I was also going elsewhere, I took the car. Fruit Barn was originally owned by Greek George and his wife, but they have since retired and sold the business to either George's cousin or brother, I'm not sure which. This place just oozes local charm. I love the murals that run around the top of the wall, each one naming a famous movie with fruit or veggie characters.

This would be "The Grape Escape"

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Here's "The Last Mango in Paris"

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Maybe because George was Greek, but my personal favorite is Zorba the Leek (not shown), wearing a mustache and vest, and doing a Greek dance.

Fruit Barn is tiny, but makes up for it by cramming in produce, bulk foods, and health foods in just about every square inch of space.

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Produce here is pretty basic. You won't find exotic ingredients, a huge selection of organic and non-organic produce, and sometimes they don't even have some things I'd consider more basic, like rhubarb when it's in season. There's really only so much space, and I guess they know their customers. But it's usually cheaper and better quality than you'd get at any supermarket, TJ's included. So I stick with Fruit Barn and head to the supermarket when I do need something they don't have.

Here's what I came home with today:

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Salad stuff (lettuce, yellow bell peppers, cuke, an avocado, and mushrooms), baby eggplants for tonight's curry, asparagus, a couple of zukes, some grapefruit, lemons, basil, rosemary, Fuji apples, and a can of tomatoes.

My other grocery stop was here:

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Since it was Monday morning (a great time to shop), and there was staff everywhere restocking the shelves, I didn't feel comfortable trying to take pictures in here, but MizDucky's recent foodblog had some great shots of her 99 Ranch. I love this place for the juxtaposition of very traditional Asian ingredients and things you'd only find in the US. Where else could you buy durian and Pringles in the same store? :raz: I usually come here when I need Asian ingredients. They're definitely cheaper than a supermarket and have a much better selection. I can choose from 10 brands of soy sauce vs. maybe 3 at a regular market, for example. Most days I love to sort of wander and just enjoy the experience - the unfamiliar ingredients, inscrutable packaging, and the great debate over whether Thai jasmine rice or Vietnamese jasmine rice would be better.

But today I had a lot to do, so had to be relatively businesslike and efficient. I picked up what I needed, making a brief detour into the Pocky aisle and decided on a treat of some matcha Pocky and also grabbed some mochi (the unfrozen kind, filled with red bean jam). Here's my haul:

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New sesame oil and fish sauce (who knows where mine are, plus I think my current bottle of fish sauce is a bit on the old side), coconut milk (on sale for 69¢/can - Mae Ploy is also very good), Thai basil (I hope - I pricked the packaging open to sniff it once I'd purchased it - it wasn't labeled and seems to smell basilly), some basa fish fillets and chicken thighs, and the aforementioned Pocky and mochi.

A quick stop at home for the photo shoot and to put everything away. I found Piccolo the cat "watching TV" as we say upstairs in our bedroom:

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I also managed the obligatory fridge shot before I grabbed another bottle of water and ran out again:

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This is the most food it's had in it since we got it in January. The takeout containers have Chinese leftovers from this great Shanghai dumpling hole-in-the-wall we went to on Saturday. No doubt they'll be my lunch tomorrow.

The freezer's a lot emptier. Most of the stuff's downstairs in the spare garage freezer because of this:

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I'm currently waiting on the repair people and crossing my fingers that because it's under warranty, whatever's wrong is either fixable, or they won't hassle me about replacing the fridge.

After running a couple more errands, I met a couple of friends for lunch at one of my favorite spots, which I discovered when I was temping a few blocks away. It's in an unlikely area, near the Design Center, and a quasi-industrial neighborhood bordering on residential. I wasn't initially impressed with their burritos, but when I discovered their soft tacos one day when I didn't have much money for lunch, I was instantly hooked. These little gems are only $1.50 each and come jammed with your choice of meat, topped with some diced onions, cilantro, and house-made salsa. Topped with a squirt of lime juice, they're heavenly and worth the drive across town. Lucky for me, I was already in the neighborhood. Being in the same city counts, right? :laugh:

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This place is always busy, from the Culinary Academy students to designers to people who work in the offices a few blocks away. We were lucky to get in when we did because not 15 minutes later, the line to order was about 10 deep, and we got the only booth in the place. Most of the place is stools and decorated with very bright paint and hot sauce bottles.

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I had my usual: two carnitas soft tacos, and because this is my Saturday, a Negra Modelo. Within about 3 minutes, my order was up, and I picked up some salsa to go with the chips we got for the table.

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The red salsa was a nice, roasted tomato with just a hint of heat. The green tomatillo salsa was spicier and had a nice kick to it.

Kira had the same tacos, but made "super" with the addition of guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. I kind of like the simplicity of the basic version, but after seeing her plate, I might have to rethink that next time around:

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These tacos are so good. I'm not even sure I can accurately describe their deliciousness. :wub: Something about the combination of the buttery soft shards of pork, the bite of the onion, the herbal freshness of the cilantro, the earthiness of the corn tortillas, and the spark of lime juice combines to make one damned fine taco. Hours later, I'm still savoring the taste of it.

I should go downstairs to do something like start cleaning or at least finish cutting the shelf lining for the cabinets. The doorbell's been disconnected during the remodel, and it's sometimes hard to hear a knock at the door when I'm back here at the computer. I'll be back later.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Husband was kind enough to go to Trader Joe's for me yesterday morning

He has a name, you know. And even a EG log-in! :raz:

He just hasn't checked it since he was bizzy watching the beer forums 2 years ago...

"I would kill everyone in this forum for a drop of sweet beer." - Homer Simpson (adapted)

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A quick stop at home for the photo shoot and to put everything away. I found Piccolo the cat "watching TV" as we say upstairs in our bedroom:

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Oh my goodness that is cute.

There are getting to be as many 99 Ranch references in eG foodblogs as kitties -- good crossover!

Blog on!

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Happy blogging, Jennifer! :smile: Looking forward to adventures both in your new kitchen and out and about in San Francisco.

Yeah, aren't 99 Ranch stores da bomb? I too love just wandering around, looking at stuff, poring over labels, pondering species of fish unfamiliar to me, plotting in my brain various ways I could use the stuff I see there.

And yeah, while I adore Trader Joe's for some things, I don't depend on them for produce--mainly because I find their stuff tends to be a little overpriced for what it is; plus I find their habit of prepackaging produce rather annoying, not only because it prevents me examining the goods but also because the packages are usually in quantities too large for a single person cooking for herself alone.

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gallery_28660_4440_41704.jpg

From the top, going clockwise: cherry juice, palm sugar, flour, miso paste, and I'm sure you all guessed the lemon in the middle! Tonight's dinner will feature the palm sugar, but I'll be prepping the miso paste into a marinade for tomorrow's dinner.

Lucky guess, picking you out as a baker--then again, not too many powdery white substances out there. :smile:

I vote for extensive work related photos!

(I love your red walls!)

Edited by seisei (log)
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And at the exact moment I was trying to read your blog and got down to the adorable photo of Piccolo the Kittie, his troublemaking doppleganger Turbo was standing in front of my monitor and poking me in the chest with his paw because I was far more interested in Piccolo than him. :angry::rolleyes:

Great star to the blog Jennifer! Looking forward to seeing your new kitchen, your work and some cooking. Blog on sister...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Husband was kind enough to go to Trader Joe's for me yesterday morning

He has a name, you know. And even a EG log-in!

Yes, aiki_brewer is Husband. He is a second-degree blackbelt in two different martial arts (aikido and iaido) and an avid homebrewer. He's been brewing now for 10 years and just brewed batch number 123, a dandelion rye. We've been married for 12 years and only furry children.

(I love your red walls!)

Well, it's just the one wall in the dining room, but I love it too. Made quite the scene when we'd first moved in and had no blinds. Neighbors could watch us painting it. After the sedate beiges and mauves of the previous owner, I'm sure it was startling. :laugh:

I vote for extensive work related photos!

I'm not sure how to pull off the photos; I'm sure the owner wouldn't mind, but I'll check with him first. Then again, how am I supposed to get any work done if I have to wipe my hands off every 3 seconds to take a picture??? :wacko::raz:

the packages are usually in quantities too large for a single person cooking for herself alone.

I find the same thing to be true at 99 Ranch as well. We're two, not one, but the same thing applies in many cases. Do I really need a whole pound of ginger? :unsure: The idea of packaged produce somehow strikes me as wrong, certainly wasteful. San Francisco recently banned styrofoam packaging for food. I wonder how this will effect 99 Ranch and the large supermarkets.

After dealing with the refrigerator repairmen who claimed I had no warranty and that I'd bought my fridge in 2002 :shock: , I set them straight, showed them my receipt and receipt of delivery and then watched them cavalierly make a huge scratch in the freezer door handle with the refrigerator door! :shock: They said that the doors hadn't been put on properly (they'd been removed when the fridge made its way through the kitchen window on a crane), and tried to say that it wasn't their fault that the freezer door handle now had a 3-inch gash in it! :shock: I said, "No way. You knew the door wasn't level, but you didn't take any care to prevent what you did. You're replacing it." They did realign the freezer door and told me to wipe out the frost (such helpful fellows, these), but they wouldn't touch the fridge door -- "not under warranty" they said. So I have to get GC, my general contractor, to remove the door and reinstall it properly, which he should have done in the first place. :wacko:

So after that, I needed a breather and a little pick-me-up. And what's better to pick one up than Pocky!

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I really adore the mousse Pocky and am quite partial to the purple yam variety, though I think they were a seasonal or temporary thing, and I haven't seen them in quite a while.

Aiki_brewer goes to practice Monday nights after work, so I go ahead and make dinner on my own. We have a long-standing arrangement that we alternate cooking dinner by the week. If it's his week, he usually will make something Sunday night so I just have to reheat it. But we worked it out so that it's my week, and tonight it's Thai green curry with chicken and eggplant.

Finding the rice, pots and pans was fun and only required moving and opening about half a dozen boxes. :blink: What's especially awkward about this phase in the remodel is that the kitchen is fully functional; all the outlets work, the lights, the sink, garbage disposal ( :wub: ), etc. But I can't put anything away yet, so making dinner involved a lot of running back and forth to the dining room for things. And, of course, after dinner, it all has to go back in the dining room until tomorrow. :wacko:

I started with the rice. In my Thai cooking class, we learned a technique for steaming rice that will guarantee it never overcooks and won't crust onto the pan. Also, the pot I was using for the curry would have been the rice pot, so I needed an alternate method. I also don't have a rice cooker. What you do is this: In a heat-proof bowl (I use Pyrex), measure out your rice and cover by about 3/4-inch of water. It's been a while since I made rice this way and only remembered halfway through that it should have been boiling, but it seems not to have mattered. Place the bowl in a large stockpot on the stove with about an inch or so of simmering water in it (I put in a silicone hot pad to cushion the bowl). Cover and steam for about half an hour. You can even turn the heat to low once the rice is done, and it will stay warm that way. So I put the rice on and prepped the rest of the ingredients: chicken thighs, baby eggplants, some frozen peas, asparagus, basil, and kaffir lime leaves.

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It's important not to shake the can of coconut milk prior to opening it. The first step is to fry up the cream on the surface.

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After that, it's kind of one thing after another. My curry paste isn't brand new, so it's not a bright green anymore, but it still tastes great!

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It took me a little bit of tweaking to get used to controlling the temperature under the pot. On my old stove, there was very little play between "high" and "off," so you'd have to bend down and watch the flame while you veerrrrry carefully turned the knob. I got good at it, but it took time. With this super-powered stove, the flame was at medium-low for most of the cooking, and down almost all the way to low while it was simmering. It's also going to take some getting used to the knob placement. It's exactly opposite the stove I use at work, so I repeatedly find myself reaching for the wrong knob, then wondering why the back burner's on when I turned the knob for the front one! :laugh:

Finally, time for my first dinner (grilled cheese sandwiches not withstanding):

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Really, this is comfort food for me. Macaroni & cheese may take the top comfort food honors, but it's followed closely by this curry. It was just spicy enough, though I'm sure aiki_brewer wouldn't have minded a little more heat. It didn't make him sweat. :laugh: Over the years, I've learned to like spicier food, but I still can't tolerate the heat that he can. When I was a kid, I even thought taco meat (ground beef seasoned with one of those little packets) was too spicy! :sad::shock:

(As to the salad, we have a green salad most nights. If I'd known where my rice vinegar was, I'd have used it and some sesame oil, but I couldn't find it, so it was dressed with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yes, I know it doesn't make a very authentic meal, but so what? This is how we eat.)

Aiki_brewer and I have a bad habit of watching tv while we eat, sitting on the sofa. There are placemats on the coffee table all the time, except when we have company. Usually, we use cloth napkins, washing them each week, but with the remodel, we lapsed and have been using paper. Nothing says "festive" like Halloween napkins in February! :rolleyes::laugh:

Lastly, dessert. We are big dessert eaters (surprised?) and almost always have something to round out a meal. Tonight we finished off last week's ice cream, from a local place called Mitchell's. They sell real half-gallons and make their ice cream in small batches, on site. Over the years, they've added flavors like Thai tea, ube (purple yam) and macapuno (young coconut) because they have a real following with the Filipino community. Double Rainbow, another SF original, may be my favorite vanilla, but Mitchell's wins hands down in the overall competition. Tonight, it was Mexican Chocolate, a chocolate ice cream with a hint of cinnamon in it.

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I'm stuffed and yawning. The dishes are done and stashed back in the dining room, the lights are off in the kitchen, and aiki_brewer's already in bed. We are not night owls, though on Fridays and Saturdays he will frequently stay up until around midnight. I rarely make it past 11. :sad: During my work week, I'm usually falling asleep on the couch by 8:30, but then again, I do get up before 4.

More tomorrow!

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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My blood pressure was rising on your behalf as I read about your run-in with the fridge repair flakes. That kind of "service" really makes me want to scream and throw things! :angry::laugh:

Cool about the rice cooking method. I learned a similar routine, only done in a pressure cooker, for doing brown rice.

Can you say a little more about the curry paste you used?

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yay! late to chime in my enthusiasm for this week's food blogger!

it was great to read your 'blog' when you first started working at your (then) new job...and then the kitchen remodel...and now, a week with you! great!

sounds like your husband and mine (from reading the most recent post on his blog) share some skeptical sensibilities...i think my husband just finished 'the god delusion'...uh-oh! and i'm a pastry chef. we'll have to meet one day as we only live in cupertino.

can't wait to see how your week unfolds. so far it has been delicious.

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This will clearly be another interesting blog.

One remark about the palm sugar: When I was in Malaysia, the palm sugar we got was darker because it was smoked and had a wonderful smoky flavor. And in answer to Smithy, I find the taste of palm sugar more similar to that of maple sugar than to cane sugar, but it's not quite as -- I don't know, perfumy? Maple sugar is the best kind of sugar I've ever had, but palm sugar is close.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Oh, I love orange cats! Actually, I love most cats, but I have a special soft spot for the orange ones.

With regard to the refrigerator door: since your contractor's guys were the ones who didn't install it properly, I'm thinking he owes you a new handle, or a slight price break. You haven't fully settled up yet, have you? And do you have definitive information (yet) that the freezer isn't malfunctioning?

'sFunny about the rice. In some Middle Eastern cookery, the rice crust on the bottom of the pan is considered the very best part, to be divvied up among the honored guests. :laugh:

Thanks for the spring shot! Too bad about the traffic :rolleyes: but you've reminded me why I live out here. :laugh: The clear blue sky is a beautiful sight, though.

One remark about the palm sugar: When I was in Malaysia, the palm sugar we got was darker because it was smoked and had a wonderful smoky flavor. And in answer to Smithy, I find the taste of palm sugar more similar to that of maple sugar than to cane sugar, but it's not quite as -- I don't know, perfumy? Maple sugar is the best kind of sugar I've ever had, but palm sugar is close.

Ahh, that's the kind of information I was after. Thanks, Pan.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Happy blogging, Jennifer!  :smile: Looking forward to adventures both in your new kitchen and out and about in San Francisco.

Yeah, aren't 99 Ranch stores da bomb? I too love just wandering around, looking at stuff, poring over labels, pondering species of fish unfamiliar to me, plotting in my brain various ways I could use the stuff I see there.

And yeah, while I adore Trader Joe's for some things, I don't depend on them for produce--mainly because I find their stuff tends to be a little overpriced for what it is; plus I find their habit of prepackaging produce rather annoying, not only because it prevents me examining the goods but also because the packages are usually in quantities too large for a single person cooking for herself alone.

There are times when you really only want just one apple.

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I Love:

Soapstone

Orange Cats (John -- our cat-- looks just like yours)

Renovations

Renovation stories.

Questions:

Does aiki_brewer use his powers for good or evil?

If it's been answered upthread, forgive me -- but who's the adorable avatar girl?

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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I agree what the others have posted - that is one cute cat picture (of course, very cute tabby too!).

In the Philippines and here in Korea (I just found this out recently) the crusty rice at the bottom of the pot is also cherished and divvied up - like what Smithy posted. My mom and grandmother would purposely fire up the rice pot to produce a nice brown crust which my Dad and sister-in-law would hoard among themselves.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I agree what the others have posted - that is one cute cat picture (of course, very cute tabby too!).

In the Philippines and here in Korea (I just found this out recently) the crusty rice at the bottom of the pot is also cherished and divvied up - like what Smithy posted. My mom and grandmother would purposely fire up the rice pot to produce a nice brown crust which my Dad and sister-in-law would hoard among themselves.

Ooh! DG, that crust ... what's the word for it? (My Asian Cuisine chef would smack me upside the toque for forgetting.)

Aside: I'm getting ready to go through what your family is now, JGarner, and will access this blog to remind myself that others have lived through it, and very well.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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