October 2, 2008
October 2, 2008
Preheat oven to 350′
Cut sweet potatoes into thin french fries.
Each person will easily consume one full potato’s worth of these fries. Don’t be stingy.
It will look like a lot, but trust me.
Place in glass pan thingies or on cookie sheets.
Spread ’em out so they aren’t overlapping too much.
a glug of olive oil
4 crushed cloves of garlic per pan
lots of sea salt
(Fun fact! Loosen the little knobby thing on your pepper grinder to get a coarser grind!)
Mess it all up with a spoon til all fries are a little shiny with the oil.
Shake the pan to even it out a bit.
Put ’em in the oven for a bit.
Toss ’em around, add a little more olive oil if they’re sticking.
Put ’em under the broiler til the smoke detector goes off just before the smoke detector goes off.
Curse at smoke detector.
Climb on chair & yank smoke detector off wall.
Throw smoke detector down stairs.
Stir em up and add more salt.
Yam Yam Yam.
The whole thing will take about 35 minutes from cutting to burning completion.
September 17, 2008
Wow. Did this really just happen?
Today I didn’t have time to pack a real lunch, so I threw in a packet of dried soup and hoped there would be a pot in one of the kitchen cupboards where I’m temping that I could use. There was. It also had a sign near it that said, “please don’t use these plastic containers, they have an owner” but I thought, “well, this isn’t a plastic container and even if it belongs to someone, surely they won’t mind me using it for 10 minutes as long as I clean it and put it back.”
Low and behold, the owner of the pot, a woman I had met previously and who seemed rather nice, came into the kitchen while I was making my soup. Here is the conversation that followed:
Woman: That’s my pot.
Me: Oh, sorry…
Woman: yeah, that’s my pot.
Me: Okay, sorry, do you want me to-
Woman: I don’t like it when people use my pot and that’s my pot.
Me: Oh, sorry, I’m done I’ll just wash it up-
Woman: I don’t like people using my stuff, and that’s mine, so.
Me: Right, got it. (washing pot quickly, feeling like child who has just been scolded)
She warms up her lunch in microwave while i finish washing pot. Her pot.
Me: Do you want to use this right now or-
Woman: No, it’s just I don’t like people using-
Me: Right, I got that, I just wondered if I should leave it out or if I should put it back in the cupboard.
I put pot back in the cupboard and leave with my soup.
So maybe she’s a vegetarian? Or kosher? Those are the only reasons I could think of for someone to have such an ISSUE with someone borrowing their pot. Thoughts?
September 14, 2008
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Here is one of those things that you probably knew all along but never really thought about: Asian groceries and grocery stores are way cheap. But why? Luckily for us, the Internet knows.
Unsophisticated Retail Tactics
Almost no Asian market owners spend money or time on such consumer spending optimizers as fliers, advertising, competitive pricing strategies, market research, information systems, shelf-space positioning strategies, frequent shopper club memberships, or interior decorating.
Western supermarket chains do not do these nice activities because they like you! Supermarkets do these things to bring you in the store and because they generate more revenue than they cost to perform. That extra profit comes from your pocket.
Market’s Economies of Scale
Economies of scale kick in in major cities with a large concentration of Asian people. There are frequently one or two major Asian markets that have more shoppers per square feet than any western supermarkets I’ve ever seen. Visit the fresh fish counter in a major Asian stores in a city like Boston or San Jose just to see the massive volume sold. I remember from some market research a couple years ago, in the US, the average Asian and Hispanic shopper buys more groceries and cooks from scratch more frequently than the average western shopper. Volume drives down prices.
Weak Asian Brands
Frequently, foods made in Asia are sold very inexpensively in their home country due to weak branding, low labor costs and extreme price competition. This bruising competition is carried abroad at every stage in the wholesale chain keeping prices low.
Almost No Product Advertising
Asian branded products are not advertised internationally. When you buy TV and print advertised products, like those from General Mills or Kraft, you pay about 7% in direct advertising expenses and frequently far more for “brand value”. If companies don’t spend on ads, you don’t learn the differences between brands without trying them yourself, but you also don’t have to pay for their ads.
I’m very nostalgic for Chinese candy, which Scott thinks is utterly vile. He also reminds me that “sometimes Chinese factories forget not to put fertilizer and lead paint in the candies”. “Confucious say Everything in moderation“, I usually reply, squinting and bowing my head in wisdom. He never has an answer for that one.
September 2, 2008
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Do you like low carb, hi protein pizza, which maybe isn’t exactly pizza, but is delicious, and easy to make? Like, in under 10 minutes, prep included? Yes. FOR REAL. Here is what you do:
1 small can salsa
1 small can sliced black olives
couple handfulls of shredded orange cheese
one handfull of crumbled feta for shits and giggles
pinch o’ dried oregano
1 block extra firm tofu
1. Squish water out of tofu.
2. Preheat oven to 450 or something.
3. Cut tofu in half so you end up with 2 thinner slices. Cut each slice in half so you end up with 4 square-ish pieces altogether.
4. Mix together some of the olives from the can with most of the salsa from the small jar. Spoon over tofu. Make sure the tofu is thoroughly covered with the salsa/olive stuff, nice and thick.
5. Put lotsa orange cheese atop the salsa, followed by a smaller sprinkling of crumbled feta for shits and giggles.
6. Add the world’s teensiest sprinkle of oregano to each tofu pizza square.
6. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or as soon as the cheese is nice and melty and brown but not burned. VOILA. Easiest meal ever. You could make some substitutions (ie. yellow cheese, flavoured tofu, etc), but I don’t recommend it. Do exactly as I say and you will not regret it.
August 27, 2008
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Maybe you’re like me and likey las quesadillas from time to time. Maybe you buy “flour tortillas”, ie “wheat flour tortillas”, to make them. You’re making a big mistake.
Yesterday I purchased “corn tortillas”. They are smaller than flour tortillas (maybe 6″ in diameter), and a little tougher-feeling. Friends, I did some really advanced mathematics on these and proved that they also taste ONE ZILLION TIMES better than flour tortillas. You heard me. In the arena of tortillas (and bread, and muffins, for that matter), corn is a superior ingredient.
Wheat-flour tortillas are insipid, textureless, and doughy. This means that wheat-flour quesadillas require an overload of cheese to make them palatable. Never let it be said that cheese overloads are not good-possibly-great things. But my friends, why make a 2-ingredient snack that relies the fat in one ingredient to camouflage the tastelessness of the other? (Don’t answer that. Rhetorical.)
Corn tortillas, on the other hand, make for quesadillas that are deliciously crisp at edge with a dense, toothsome texture throughout. The tortillas themselves have a slightly nutty, corny thing going on, and that thing is muy delightful. You need use only a reasonable amount of cheese because the tortilla itself has flavour and texture.
They are delicious, my friends, and I just ate four.
Corn tortillas. The superfood of the Aztecs of the future. That could be you.