Friday, July 7, 2017

First They Logged The Woods

Now they're logging the houses built from the woods.

An early ambition was to own a piece of freshly-harvested timber land, put up a little shack on stilts in the middle of a field of stumps, and sit there watching the next crop of trees mature. That never happened, but it's been a lifelong pleasure to do the same thing on Capitol Hill, that is developing faster than the eye can see. 

The one relic I truly miss is a towering and ancient pine on the shoulder of Denny Way. On a bus trip downtown in 1973, a retired logger pointed it out as a rare species that had survived the first wave of development. Presumably early loggers had recognized its worth. Plant Amnesty might have saved it, but the organization was not founded until around 1987 -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New-fangled Odor, Old-fashioned Cure

It's hard to visualize life without the electronic pressure cooker, but not so hard to visualize life without the ghost scent of the last dish that was cooked in it. It appears that the silicone pressure seal has an affinity for the ranker aspects of an onion. 

I tried the Refrigerator Cure, an open box of baking soda. Works fine. When it no longer grabs scent, I replace it and use the old one as a laundry supplement -30- More after the jump.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Potato Studies

I've been experimenting with using baked potato in dishes that usually call for boiled. The baked tuber has a richer flavor. Irregular faceted slices of a barely cooked baker fry into deliciously crisp pieces.

Baked potato salad is also exceptionally flavorful, but it can be so fluffy as to deteriorate into a lumpy batter (that can be fried). Barely mature potatoes about five inches long cook into slices that tend toward firm and pliable. Watch the timing closely: about 400 degrees for twenty minutes if you start with room temperature tubers. Pull from the oven when it is just possible to insert a tester smoothly. 

Residual heat will finish the cooking while the potato cools enough to be handled. Peel, slice, and dress with sour while hot so the flavor will be absorbed completely. I flavored today's version with the brine from a jar of pepperoncini and then added some of the pickled peppers, seeded and diced.

Afterword: the salad was even better on day two and would be delicious with an overcooked pork chop or perfectly cooked steak -30- More after the jump.