Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hats And Furs

The first thing I learned when I threw the car away eighteen years ago was that the clothing I remembered from Seattle trolleys in 1954 was good weather protection. It was also a heck of a lot of fun to wear, although not for the mink.

Recent BBC live crack of dawn coverage of a state visit included an elaborate horse escort and London dignitaries in their traditional costumes. Herself presided, and the headgear on display outdid the last royal wedding. Now that I have seen a black tricorn edged with ostrich, life will never be the same. I am very glad to have invested in high-definition television.

Current retail is offering fake fur, at least I hope it's fake, that resembles vintage that has been badly stored. The stuff looks moth-eaten, crumpled, and like food for thought.

More after the jump.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Little Frig', Little Deli, Little Waste

Choice deli staples like peppers and olives come in little glass jars just the right size to store on the top door shelf of my small refrigerator. Nothing else fits. I wince when I buy these things, but they bring staples like beans and canned tuna roaring to life. An electronic pressure cooker makes short work of the beans. It takes just half an hour to turn edible pebbles into back-of-the-stove contest winners. 

A small refrigerator lacks the capacity to compost leftovers. As long as the appliance is within walking distance of a grocery, it's convenient and frees visual space in a kitchen. A two-bit foam cooler fills in for parties.


More after the jump.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cooking From Stores

Now that it's cool and damp, it's time to eat from the emergency stash in the pantry, just to rotate stock. One of the Sixties' prominent cooks observed that a fresh garden pea and a canned one are different vegetables. That's a helpful point of view. In my experience, any version of any ingredient serves perfectly well, depending on circumstances.

A can of peas can easily be transformed into a manageable batch of soup with a vegan bouillon cube, some onion powder, a few shreds of smoked pork or dry sausage, and a pinch of corn starch dissolved in a little cold water. Frozen peas are good, too, and either canned or frozen replaces the dried peas called for in standard cookbooks. Whatever the pea, bind the soup with a little corn starch, arrowroot, or white flour to keep the texture smooth.

The can of chicken breast sitting on the kitchen counter became a delicious congee (see October 29). It could just have well been the filling in a chicken salad sandwich or the protein in creamed chicken over rice.

The canned staples it's so easy to disregard were miracle provender before electricity and automotive transportation. 

More after the jump.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Short Cut

Trader What's His Name sells packets of dried apricots that resemble gnarly spring-flowering bulbs. Side-stepping the no-stick lining of the rice cooker, I put a handful of the fruit into a small stainless bowl, covered them with water, and set the bowl into the rice cooker, adding enough water just to float the contents.

I put the cooker through a cycle and found that the apricots were delicious. Their subtle perfume was more than enough seasoning on its own.

More after the jump.