14 tagged with #food

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muesli #1: "basically maamoul"


somehow, it only occurs to me that i can experience different ways of getting nutrients into my body when i visit a new place and eat how they eat.

in a bowl, combine:

  • 200g rolled oats
  • 100g chopped/sliced almonds (i only got whole almonds, so i hand-chopped them), roasted recommended
  • 100g minced dates (pitted/dried)
  • a pinch of ground clove
  • a pinch of ground mahlab
  • a pinch of cinnamon

mix it well; the date bits like to stick to each other. stick in a jar for later. eat it by the handful, or in a bowl with your favorite milk or milk-like product (try: turkish yogurt, soy milk), or cook a little in a saucepan with powdered milk and water like it's oatmeal. add jam, or honey, or brown sugar, if you have a sweet tooth.

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24 August 2018 08:17


to sweat


i dump red chili flakes liberally into hot oil, pushing it around so the smoke burns my eyes. i fill it with chicken powder, mashing it into a paste so i can crack my eggs into it and stir green beans and cold rice into the mush.

my body doesn't sweat well, so i force it to by pressing this mass against the roof of my mouth. and then once i sweat, i crave the salts, so i lick carmelized soy sauce and dehydrated chicken and MSG from the spoon, which makes me so thirty i drink two pints of water in three breaths.

this is the price i pay for being a mammal.

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02 July 2018 23:00


what the hell ever apple crumble


friends who travel will sometimes text me while they are packing, realizing that they've left more perishables in their fridge than they can reasonably eat before they leave. 'do you want these?' they ask. even if i can't eat them myself, i accept them; the remains get chopped up and fed to the compost, which will become dirt for next year's garden.

there are dozens of apples piling up on top of my fridge. the most desperate, a quad of golden delicious, are soft to the touch. every morning since we adopted them, i smell apples whenever i open the freezer to get to the ice cubes.

'apple crumble,' i tell myself. 'i can make apple crumble.'

i looked up recipes from the internet and wrote down proportions. i appreciate when measurements are given by weight, instead of volume. dutifully, i tared the mixing bowl over the kitchen scale and started measuring out flour. by the third scoop, i was bored of reading numbers, and i knew i didn't have enough butter, and that i'd want to put in more oatmeal, and that i've never agreed with anyone else's spice mixes. so, i winged it.

the full recipe

filling (mixed in a pyrex dish):

  • 4 golden delicious apples, peeled/cored and rough-diced into half-inch cubes
  • a little water with a splash of rice vinegar
  • a spoon of brown sugar
  • a little ginger, thinly mixed, sprinkled on top

topping:

  • ~100g white flour
  • ~30g brown sugar
  • ~30g oatmeal
  • ~35g butter, cut into small cubes
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, clove to taste
  • a splash of canola oil where it looks too dry

bake at 350F for like ~60m, or until it looks done

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10 May 2018 20:30


songs


i tune my bicycle the way i've tuned pianos, violins, guitars. there's a physicality, a rhythm, a sonorance that i need to understand. this front wheel is old enough to vote; dented rims compromise my braking ability, and the spokes freeze in place even as i rotate the nipples. i pluck each spoke and listen to the sound it makes, knowing by feel what is too tight or too loose. they snap with a startling pop when the most recent set of adjustments settle in.

wheels can be assessed for trueness in three reasonable ways: lateral centering of the rim (if you roll the wheel, does the rim seem to drift from left to right?), radial consistency (is the distance between each point on the rim and the center of the hub the same?), and dishing (is the rim centered on the axle?). guides that describe how to check trueness refer to spinning the wheel in place and checking for uneven scraping; over time, i've learned that this is an auditory cue, rather than a visual one.

i spent weekends one summer riding over to the shop, locking up my bike, and going straight to the stack of trashed wheels in the corner that no one would touch. the truing stands were unfortunately located in the middle of the workshop, so i had to learn to tune out the chatter of other mechanics and visitors if i wanted to have a productive wheel truing session at all. sometimes, i wore headphones to tune them out, keeping a finger against the calipers so i could feel the vibration that the scrape would make. i worked with my eyes closed; the spoke wrench fit into my palm so well that it felt like turning the nipples with my bare fingers. the wheel hummed as it spun, and i hummed back. each click of the calipers rang out through the hollow rims, a steady rhythm that cued to me exactly which spokes needed adjustment.

but when i learned to tune my piano, it was by taste, not sound. upper notes had three strings per key, middle notes had two; when the strings were not aligned perfectly with each other, my mouth felt uncomfortable, like tasting a rotten pistachio i didn't expect. i'd bring each string up, down, far past the correct point to taste the worst it can get, then ease it slowly into harmony with my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, tasting a cool, creamy smoothness when the notes were corrected.

my mother cooked fish once while i was trying to tune my piano, and the briny smells distracted me so much that i needed a piece of chocolate in my mouth to counteract the fish, and then hoped to taste the strings by leaning my cheek against the wood and feeling the vibrations through my cheekbones, wiggling the roof of my mouth, settling in my sinuses.

this is touch, maybe. this is sound and smell and taste. sometimes, i wonder, if i ever use my eyes for anything at all.

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15 April 2018 22:47


fish tales


i remember a day when my parents and i brought a white paint bucket and a fishing rod to the dam and strung worms on hooks and threw them into the water all day long, and caught nothing. i remember watching my father tie the worms in knots so they wouldn't fall off. i remember the dingy water that smelled like rotten fish.

we watched in disbelief as a group further down pulled fish after fish from the water, catfish that scraped the mud off the bottom of the lake and came up squirming. they'd always throw them back, until they noticed us staring. after a while, they started keeping the ones they caught in their cooler once they'd finished their lunch, and when they were leaving, they dumped the whole cooler-full into our bucket.

maybe we really did look hungry.

my mother made fish head soup, putting a cut, gape-mouthed, greyish face in my bowl so i would have the most nutritious parts. i didn't like seeing it.

once, a summer flood came and went so fast that the sides of the road were full of fish, still flopping. my father's baby brother was visiting us; he yelled for the car to stop, then jumped out and scooped fish into his shirt. 'fish soup for dinner, fish soup for dinner!' my father's family grew up on starvation rations during the great leap forward, and once tricked one of the other brothers into eating sheep droppings by first saying they were candy, then saying they were special medicine. i didn't know if picking half-dead fish from the muddy ditch was also a joke.

years later, i followed the farm dad around during his evening chores, and he pulled a bass from a bucket; it was still alive, but he needed to dress it for dinner. he cut into it on the chopping block next to the chicken shed, eying me over the wet ripping sounds that i was fascinated to listen to. 'i'm not sure your parents would want you seeing this,' he said.

'why not? we've had fish before.'

it was grilled whole, but i had to go home before it was time to eat.

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08 February 2018 21:59


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