Monday, December 24, 2018

Up on the Rooftop


Well, here it is Christmas eve.  I suppose I should wax eloquent on “’tis the season”, the meaning of the time of year, etc.  But, I’m going to postpone that kind of stuff till tomorrow.   MFO and I are joined this year by her sister, I suppose MFOS, and it will be a low key event.  FOJTE will be visiting over new year’s, so will be nice to see them.  FOJTY will be working his law enforcement duty, so they won’t be coming until later in the spring. 

Accordingly, we’re kind of scaling back.  People might remember in years past we have had our lovely large

with many presents.  This year we have “tree Junior” which kind of has a charm of its own

And, we’ll be missing FOJTE’s famous Lasagna Christmas Eve dinner in his lovely historic home in St. Charles, MO

But, he said, we won’t be bereft of food, not eating dried beans and tuna from a can (as a good friend says).
You might remember we tried a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving from Braunfel’s Smoke house in Texas (mixed reviews).   This year, keeping with a low work load plan for MFO, we’re doing a Chicken.  Not just any chicken mind you, this one is locally sourced from “The Chicken Lady” of The Farm at Glen Mary in nearby Park Hall, just down the road a bit. 

They are raising free range poultry with no antibiotics, etc.   So, we have this five pounder

 We are going to brine it with a commercial brine (yes, I could have made my own) we discovered a couple of thanksgivings ago at some friend’s house

That produced a very flavorful bird.   Has lots of “stuff” in it.  Begin brining tomorrow

Will most likely do a pretty much traditional roasting tomorrow (no flipping, oven up, oven down, etc).

And we’ve had other pretty good food lately as well.  I got a lesson from a local chef in searing salmon with a lemon caper sauce. 
from dusting the fish with flour

and finally producing the (caper) sauce

And final plating.

  it was very good!  nice little crunch outside, just opaque inside

Although I don’t get around much anymore (isn’t that a song?) I can do pretty well at cooking in the kitchen.   So last night I used Sea to Table shrimp to make a “Shrimp in a tomato cream sauce over Capellini” starting with mise en place (oddly minus the can of “no salt added” diced tomatoes)

And finished with a pretty nice dish

Another diversion I’ve been pursuing is improving the quality of my food photos.  I’ve found (with help from a friend) a food photography blog called The Bite Shot  which is pretty informative, covering lighting, food styling, equipment (which has cost me $$ - thank you B&H).   Anyway, I’ve been messing around with lighting, using flash, diffusion, etc.  Makes a difference (without, with light manipulation)

 and just pretty

I have stopped short of a new camera body, however, not quite ready to invest thousands yet.  My trusty Rebels work fine.

So on the eve of Christmas 2018, I wish a happy time tomorrow with loved ones who are here, far away, and only in our memories.  As somebody once said: “God Bless Us, everyone!”

And depending on your plans it might be fun to
And put the Mason Jars in the recycle bin…

Ho Ho Ho…

Monday, December 10, 2018

Quick tour of Turkey

No, not the country....

Even though it is almost closer to Christmas than Thanksgiving some inner demon compels me to wrap up our Turkey day before starting on the Jingle Bell day (am I this way because I’m an engineer? or am I an engineer because I’m this way?).  Anyway I’ve made a pact with that inner demon that I won’t leave the computer before I publish this blog that has been tormenting me for weeks.

I was going to do an in-depth introspective of the day, but you know those TV commercials you see where you get a whirlwind barrage of images, usually with some upbeat high-energy music?   Well, I’m going to quiet the demon by just publishing a rapid fire series of pictures of our Thanksgiving without the usual inane Feeder Patter to go with, so without further delay, here is our 2018 Thanksgiving season from beginning to end (without the music):

 And there you have it, from box to table, to scraps, to stew, and back in freezer!  The life of this year's smoked turkey experiment..
Begone Demon!!

Other hangovers:
Those of you with good memories may remember I published this picture from some food magazine:

And asked the readership "What's wrong with this picture?"

well of the hundreds of responses I got back, neither one came up with my answer (which, of course is correct).   My solution is that no respectable wine drinker EVER holds the glass by the bowl!  puts finger prints on the crystal, warms the wine, and just is not good practice.  It is not out of affectation that people hold (proper) wine glasses by the stem, there is a reason.  Which is also a reason not to own any of those stupid "stemless" wine glasses.  Do it correctly! 

Apparently there is no truth to the rumor that Subaru will change the company name to "Love", and give a car to anybody that requests it..

and lastly, if you will allow the Feeder to be serious for a moment, I came fairly close to suspending the Bottom Feeder, which is why there was a dark period for a while.  Then, as happened before, I ran into somebody somewhere that said "I really enjoy reading your blog.".  Thank you. It does mean a lot to me.   So, I will continue to remind you (for another ~15 years) to

DFD and
get those damned Mason Jars into a canning factory, not a restaurant