This morning we all got up early and went to get cruffins from Mr Holmes, a bakery in San Francisco. (I secretly hope there’s a rival joint called Dr Watson around the corner selling muissants, muffins in the shape of croissants). The muffins were gloriously ridiculous, a frankenfood combining match, strawberry jam, croissants and muffins, and well worth the wait. Afterwards, I retreated to the couch and read one of the cookbooks I bought yesterday, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches.
This is a wonderful book, possibly written by somebody who is very drunk. There’s a recipe for squid that’s almost completely redacted, there’s advice on veggie burgers:
Put the burgers on buns with whatever toppings make you feel badass, listen to “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy, eat your super-awesome veggie burger, and flip people off from the window.
There’s an entire chapter on sandwiches that are puns based on Meat Loaf (the singer) and meatloaf (the food). There’s a sandwich called Famous Battles Of Rap History. And through it all, the recipes are neither so basic you feel you wasted your cash, nor too baroque to attempt. They’re sandwiches, after all.
At the same time, there’s political advice around not eating shrimp (sustainability concerns and potentially a food farmed by slaves), there’s a valid point of view around what to do when you have substandard ingredients, and a general no-nonsense approach to making food that makes you happy. I finished the book (incapable of getting through any chapter without reading parts of it aloud) in just over an hour, and it excited me about food in a way even cruffins struggle to do so.
Then I went out for mimosas for lunch, but as soon as I’m back in Singapore I’ll be on sandwich duty.
We woke today to a house devoid of food, and had to quickly head out to the bakery to find croissants to placate both the girls. There’s something wrong there but I can’t say what it could be. After that, the family split: my wife took La Serpiente to a birthday party while I went with Destroyer to the travel agent to book a holiday in Taipei for me and La Serpiente, for a bit of father-daughter bonding in September. And then I went north to buy a new toaster.
Continue reading “What I learned today about toasters”
Today I baked a cake from Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus, a cookery book I borrowed from the library solely on the strength of its title. I borrowed three books: one by Gordon Ramsay that had at least one example of egregious copy-and-paste, a compendium of recipes from Epicurious, and Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus.
Of the three, I found MLPGLH the easiest to get on with. The Epicurious book feels quite impersonal as it’s just recipe after recipe from an assortment of random people on the internet. Gordon Ramsey’s book is dense, but MLPGLH is short, has an anecdote to frame each recipe that doesn’t go into too much detail, and has a chatty tone that implies the author is one of your mates who happens to like cooking a lot, rather than some expert stood on a lofty pedestal.
Plus, it includes a recipe for cake made with cola.
Continue reading “Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus”
Last week when we went to the library, my wife picked up Dirt Candy, a cookbook from a fashionable New York vegetable restaurant. (Note that it’s a vegetable restaurant and not a vegetarian restaurant, as the author and chef takes pains to point out. The former celebrates the wonders and tastes of things you dig out of the ground, the latter are a bunch of crummy joints run by bearded nutjobs with terrible body odour. And that’s just the women. Amusingly enough, the publisher didn’t pay attention to this and the strapline on the front cover calls it an upstart New York City vegetarian restaurant. Details, details…)
It’s a nice book, heavily opinionated (although perhaps not as ridiculously committed to that as Baking Bad) and leavened with lots of black and white comic strip sections explaining the outlook and approach of the chef. Leafing through it, I happened upon a recipe for coconut poached tofu, which sounded fun, and prevailed upon my wife to make it. And there our troubles began.
Continue reading “Dirt Candy”
While we were in Seattle, I bought Isa Does It, a book of vegan recipes. Alone in the house without my wife to cook me tacos, I extracted a recipe from the book and attempted it.
Continue reading “The Zen of Taco”
Back to the track for what felt like the first time in ages tonight, with two goals in mind: testing out the new running jelly, and trying to maintain a consistent pace throughout the session. Regular readers will be aware of my tendency to storm out on the first lap, and then fall apart, my willpower and lungs in tatters, long before the end of the session. Going into tonight with a rather stiff shoulder and a grumbling foot, I wanted to make sure I could at least get round. To finish first, first you have to finish.
Continue reading “Mr Consistency”
This evening, my wife and I made about a hundred blocks of sports food, squidgy lumps of energy to quaff while out running. I’ve been buying Clif Blox (which taste a bit chemical) and Gu Chomps (which, the Bon Jovi of sport food, taste exactly like bad medicine) but it’s hard to get Clif Blox in Singapore and they’re expensive and probably not the best thing in the world to eat. My wife found a recipe on the internet, we bought some agar and some frozen orange juice, and set about making them.
Well, I say we made them. My wife did all the measurement and preparation and cooking, and I turned up and stirred the mixture for three minutes.
Continue reading “Doing it better”