Elotes (Mexican street fair corn) salad

July 27, 2012 § 23 Comments

I’ve been meaning to make this corn salad for a ridiculously long time, ever since Joel first told me about the amazing grilled corn he used to eat when he lived in Mexico.  As far as I could tell, he couldn’t bring it up often enough, it was that good.  And from his description, I believed it was exactly as delicious as he remembered it being.

Elotes is grilled corn smeared with mayonnaise, rolled in crumbled cheese and spices, and spritzed with lime.  If you ask me, that hits pretty much all the most important food groups and flavor categories.  It sounded like something I wanted to be able to shovel into my mouth by the forkful.

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Coconut and Thai curry soup with pork dumplings

March 3, 2012 § 18 Comments

On Thursday it snowed!  Finally.  It wasn’t the best timing since Joel was flying back from a work trip that night, but it was snow, and I wanted it!  The winter has been so sparse and brown, and when I looked out at the fragile white coating on the ground I literally felt what is meant by “a sight for sore eyes.”  My strained retinas relaxed perceptibly, and something inside me that has been tight and knotted all winter relaxed and unwound just slightly.  I’m a northerner.  My heart aches for a real winter.

I think you can see it in the photos too, that de-saturated grey light that comes with flakes suspended in the air.  Today it’s drizzling, so the snow won’t last long.  But it was there, and I was happy.

But anyways, what was I here to tell you about? Focus.  Focus.  Reel it in, Emily.  Ah yes, soup.

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The Mamie Taylor

February 10, 2012 § 13 Comments

According to our bottle of it, Rye Whiskey was once the predominant brown spirit in the US, and the base of many classic cocktails.  But, Prohibition  changed all that “and the spirit of Rye was oft forgotten by many.”

My impression is that, actually, the entire ability to make a cocktail of any quality was forgot by many.  Replaced for years either by overly ginned martinis or tutti fruity funhouse drinks.

I can’t actually say for certain because first I wasn’t exactly around for most of the lost decades, and when I arrived on the scene I wasn’t allowed to drink for some time.  And then, not all that far into my personal era of being able to legally drink (which has been fairly dominated by craft beers and red wines, if I may please present myself as a total snob), classic cocktails had a resurgence.

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Indian spiced fish sandwiches

June 7, 2011 § 78 Comments

Shananana, yeah.  Shananana!  For some reason I feel like singing everything right now.  So, just pretend that this has a melody.  I’ve always felt life would be more fun if it were a musical.  Don’t you?

Actually, last week Joel and I went out for ice cream and our scooper (is that what you call the people who scoop your ice cream?) sang “what can I get for you?”  So, we sang our orders back, and he was so excited (apparently no one else was responding to him in song) that he gave us our ice cream for free – after an extended operatic interlude in which we discussed sizes and toppings and I tried to insist on paying.  We got a lot of stares from the other people in the ice cream store.

And, now I’m in a singing mood again.  I’ve been feeling very chipper ever since I did yoga in our backyard yesterday.  Yoga outside appears to be like a happy drug.  Who knew?!

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Lamb chops with coconut mint sauce

May 17, 2011 § 11 Comments

Gratulerer med dagen!  It’s Norway’s national day, so I’m all in a tizzy getting ready to celebrate, and I’ll get back to you with some delicious treat from the day, but for now I’m going to share this post, which I wrote yesterday but didn’t get a chance to publish…

As I’m sitting writing, I’m looking through the windows watching a couple of little neighbor girls outside playing in the rain.  They are a whirl of colorful rain coats and spindly legs, executing awkwardly graceful dance moves as they boogey around and over the picnic table, over and over again.  It’s sweet to see.  It’s giving me a better attitude about the rain, actually.  And, it also has me thinking about books.

I feel like I’m not a very good reader these days.  What can I say?  Something about the process of spending long days reading papers full of painfully passive sentences or obtuse allusions to social theory that I do not remotely understand (this, for example: “Structures exist paradigmatically, as an absent set of differences, temporally ‘present’ only in their in their instantiation, in the constituting moments of social systems…”  Do you understand that?  Because I don’t.) leaves me feeling rather loathe to crack open a novel at the end of the day, at least one that’s at all high quality since it’s almost bound to be depressing and require more thought than I’m willing to expend.

I have, though, been reading children’s literature.  These books are the opposite of convoluted, but still tell wonderfully engaging tales.  I just made my way through my favorite trilogy of dragon stories, and I suddenly remembered a book that I loved when I was younger that I might have to seek out to read again, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  Did you read that book?  It’s the story of Peter, a well meaning and generally well behaved fourth grader who has a younger brother called “Fudge.”  And, Fudge is a little hellion but somehow he almost always manages to be the one who gets the attention and gets his way because he’s so cute.

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Salmon tacos with avocado-tomatillo salsa

April 26, 2011 § 21 Comments

I never think of Easter as being one of my favorite holidays.  It doesn’t have the twinkle or well-worn, nostalgic set of rituals that some of the other holidays do.  I seem to celebrate it a slightly different way and with different sets of people from year to year.  And yet, every year Easter somehow exceeds expectations.  It bursts out of the gate accompanied by trumpets sounding and banners waving.

Perhaps it’s because we’re giddy with the smell of loamy soil and dewy grass and the promise of new life that suddenly feels eminently believable.  Or maybe that’s the effect of the malted milk ball robin’s eggs I ate along with the eggbake at breakfast (eggbake – totally epic!).  Either way, what I never anticipate as a super exciting event turns into an epic day of full contact Easter egg hunts, awe-inspiring whiffle ball tournaments, old-timey singfake the words-a-long marathons (without a song book it turns out that the only songs that I know the lyrics to are songs I don’t want anyone to know I know the lyrics to – Katy Perry and Phantom of the Opera mash-up anyone?), and creepy lamb shaped cakes. It was a sorry, sorry thing to have to come back to the real world today.  Whatever happened to celebrating Easter Monday?!  I’m going back to Europe.

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