Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Fat Chat

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I’m not particularly obsessed with my health or appearance.  There are plenty of things I could be doing better; then again, there are plenty of ways I could be worse.  As you might guess about a programmer, I’m largely sedentary; I choose to commute by bicycle in large part to ensure that I stay active.  I eat fresh fruits and vegetables because I enjoy them, pace out sugars and fats to avoid immediate bodily consequences, and pack protein for lunch to ensure that I can get home without shaking.

For my spouse, such issues aren’t exactly an obsession, but a frequent source of irritation.  This week’s rant was triggered by Boy Scouts of America, who are refusing Jamboree admittance to individuals based on their Body Mass Index.  BMI isn’t particularly accurate at measuring obesity, nor is obesity particularly great at determining fitness.  Even if it correlates strongly with heart disease and similar health problems, that doesn’t mean that any particular person will be unable to hike three miles uphill in an afternoon after walking around all morning.

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Written by eswald

16 Jul 2013 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Cycling, Food, Lifestyle, Spouse

Baking With Confidence

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Labor Day morning, I didn’t feel particularly great, and had no idea what to make for breakfast.  We were out of a few key ingredients for certain recipes, but I happened across a basic muffin recipe that sounded nice.  A nearby recipe had a cheesy biscuit recipe that the kids enjoyed, so I took inspiration from there to use up the last of our cheddar before it got too moldy.  A fine grater turned three or four tablespoons of cheese into nearly a cup while I melted a bit less butter than called for.  On a whim, I stirred most of the cheese straight into the hot butter, mixing the remainder into the dry ingredients.  The end result was very nice; slightly savory throughout, with a few dots of yellow cheese in each muffin.  If I do it again, I’ll probably decrease the sugar, too, and perhaps add an herb for extra flavor.

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Written by eswald

4 Sep 2012 at 10:53 am

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Cheese Soufflé

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I couldn’t decide what to make for breakfast this weekend, so I searched through recipe books.  Sadly, our Fannie Farmer cookbook doesn’t have a breakfast section, but it does have an Eggs & Cheese chapter.  That’s where I found this recipe, with an ingredient list that sounded reasonable.  Not until halfway through did I realize just how many steps it takes, how many bowls it uses, and how long it takes to bake.  It was my spouse, when I finally admitted what was in the oven, who brought up how easy it is for a soufflé to fall.

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Written by eswald

16 Jun 2012 at 8:45 pm

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

German Pancakes

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When I was young, one of my favorite breakfast items was something we called German pancakes.  For the whole family, we used two glass pans full.  In college, I mangled the recipe into something about equal parts eggs, milk, and flour, mixed in a blender until slightly thick. Then, after marrying a vegetarian and living for a few years without eggs in the house, I forgot about them.

A cookbook recently given to one of our children has a recipe for something it calls a Dutch baby pancake with buttery apples.  I’m in charge of breakfast, and generally make some kind of pancakes or waffles every Saturday, so I decided one day that it sounded like fun.  As the batter came together, I suddenly recognized what I was doing, and got very excited.

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Written by eswald

14 Feb 2012 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Food

French Peas

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This recipe has been a family tradition from my mother’s family, but I had never done it myself until this year. (My siblings and I had specialized responsibilities, but the one who normally does peas was visiting in-laws this year.) Now I get to decide whether to continue the tradition.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cube chicken bullion
  • ½ cup water
  • 16 oz. peas
  • 1 small can water chestnuts
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over high heat until browned on edges. Drain the excess fat. Add the green onions, lettuce, and flour; cook over medium-high heat until some of the lettuce turns transparent, stirring frequently. Add bullion and water, and cook until thick. Add peas, water chestnuts, and salt; cook until peas are tender.

Makes 5-6 servings.

Comments

For six adults and three children, we doubled the recipe and had plenty left over. My spouse finds it a bit soggy, so it might be largely nostalgia for me. Nevertheless, I might experiment with less water and possibly different kinds of lettuce. Given that a co-worker has recently sung the praises of kale, that could be a good place to start.

Written by eswald

27 Dec 2011 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Apple Opinions

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I was offered a few Empire apples this week.  They were billed as similar to Braeburn, but a little more tart.  In this I was not disappointed; either variety could easily be my second favorite, though Braeburn might still have a slight edge for lacking the acid aftertaste that makes me crave something heavier.  In that respect, the Empire reminds me of Fuji apples, but sweeter.

My absolute favorite, at least so far, remains the Cameo.  I’m surprised, then, that the Cameo owes its heritage partly to the Red Delicious, my least favorite of the apples popular enough to have come my way.  It must be the influence of the Golden Delicious on its firmness and flavor.

I have a friend who once tried to convince me that Red Delicious were the best apples of all.  They certainly seem to be the most popular.  I still can’t understand it; they simply seem mushy to me, and the red veins inside aren’t appetizing.  In my poorer days, I was happy enough with the Gala apples that were just as cheap, but I’ve become a bit more discriminating with increased budget.  Sadly, the kid-related expenses may curtail future experimentation.

Written by eswald

1 Nov 2011 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Food

Too Sweet to Last

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We recently had tilapia for dinner.  It was an impulse buy, prompted by an in-store sample booth with the four-year-old’s approval.  The coconut milk crust was interesting and flavorful; indeed, a few of our favorite dishes involve coconut milk sauces.  Sadly, this one proved too sweet to last for more than a few bites, so it was a terrible flop at the table.

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Written by eswald

11 Oct 2011 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Food, Lifestyle