Monday, October 25, 2004

Playing catch-up

It’s been a hectic few days. There was the whirlwind trip to Cape May last week, then there was the prep for a get-together with my friends yesterday. In between, there were wimp-out meals when I cooked some spaghettini and dumped Paul Newman’s marinara over it (but it’s so good). Anyway, I’m back, but if there was a baseball game on tonight, I’d be otherwise occupied tonight, too.

Tonight’s meal begs a snack later on, but I have lots of leftovers from the get-together: cookies, chips, dip, salsa, veggies…the leftover pizza was taken care of for lunch today. Excellent pizza, even cold.

In Europe, I understand they shop for a day’s meals on that day. My version of this is to stick my head in the fridge and determine what needs to be used up before it goes bad. That got me Saturday night’s meal of a cake of firm tofu garnished with the essence of Japanese flavor in a bottle (EJFIB) (diluted with some water) and a couple of chopped scallions. Not enough to really mask the bland tofu flavor, but it was a solid meal. That approach also got me tonight’s sautéed spinach with a soy-sesame sauce based on the “Sesame Spinach” recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. The water in which the spinach was cooked weakened the sauce too much, though. Better follow the recipe next time: the last time I did, it tasted great.

After fantasizing about all the exciting hors d’oeuvres I could prepare for my do yesterday, I just made some mulled cider. I adapted the recipe from Erma J. Fisk’s A Birdwatcher’s Cookbook. Half a gallon of cider, four cinnamon sticks, six cloves, a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of allspice are the ingredients: heat them over high heat, then simmer over low heat as people chat. Replenish when needed. The place smelled great, especially when we came back from our walk at the nearby nature preserve. It still smelled like mulled cider this morning when I woke up. Tonight it smells like master sauce, because I just boiled the sauce. It tastes more mellow today than it did the last time I boiled it; the aroma is a little sharper than the flavor.

Maybe I’ll cook a real meal tomorrow.

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