Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The steer's rear, and other mysteries

This morning, checking my email, this cracked me up: "Recipes for Breakfast Casseroles, French Toast and Hashes."

"Hash" is just one of those words you never see in the plural. But why not? I found myself wondering that this morning. You cannot have enough hash. That is for sure. Why not have more than one?

What about the hash from Wacky Packages?

Ha, ha! I found that on the Internet and could not believe it. There is a whole site devoted to Wacky Packages, another thing that dates to my earliest days. That should not surprise me but it does.

It has been a long time since we last weighed in on the weird ways of cooking magazines. I was just thinking the other day, it is getting to be that time of year when it is best to stay away from them. That is because they all jump the gun on spring and summer and start behaving right away as if you have fresh tomatoes and basil. Whereas here in Buffalo and in a lot of other towns too we will not see those things until August. And not only that, your body tells you when it is time for them. It is not time for them yet!

That is why these magazines drive me crazy. Of course I read them anyway but still.

Here are other things that baffle me.

1.) Fennel. Recipes are always calling for this veggie, which, is it grown at all around here? I never hear of anyone growing it in the yard and I have never seen it at the Clinton-Bailey Market. Also, I like fennel but I do not see what the big deal about it is, I have to say that.

2.) Where are these Eat Local folks when it comes to cheese? Because all we ever see are recipes for Parmesan and Romano and feta. Especially Parmesan. It is the Leonard Pennario of cheeses. The greatest! That is what I read last night. And I am thinking, fine, maybe it is. But what about our local cheddars and Swisses? I would like more ideas on how to use them.

3.) Also along the lines of constantly calling for things on the other end of the world, this business about pine nuts. They are what, $150 a pound? Probably they are cheap in Sicily where they fall from trees, or something. But quit asking me to buy them, OK?

What about walnuts? That is what we have around here.

I am having fun with this! What's next?

4.) Please no more cutesy stories about how to cook with your husband/partner/whoever. I do not want to share the kitchen, oh no no no no no no no.

Here is a picture of me in the kitchen when I am being encroached upon.

5.) You can carry on about hard times all you want, we will still be told to use saffron and buy pre-cut vegetables at the salad bar to save time.

6.) Does anyone else froth at the mouth when told "best-quality"? As in "One pint best-quality ice cream." You know what, I know what I can afford, don't get all elitist on me, OK?

7.) Also, you know what, I will use Shur-Fine and it will still be good. I get that phrase "you know what" from my friend Gary. He says that all the time.

8.) Flank steak! Still mythical! It was not at Lupus Meats at the Broadway Market last week and if it is not there it is nowhere.

9.) Why isn't it? I picture this slice of meat off the steer's rear, and this piece, this one particular piece, gets put in a separate pile and sent everywhere in the country but here. Why?

10.) This is a big one!! Doesn't it drive you nuts when cookbooks or cooking mags assume that you have been eating slop your whole life, and they are here to save you? "Pot roast is always too dry --" "Banish all thoughts of gluey oatmeal ..."

I will just have to write my own cookbook. Toss it up on Booksurge or something.

Perhaps that will be my next project!


Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I bought saffron for the first time for to make Arroz con pollo for Valentine's day. Only $17 for the little envelope stuffed inside another little envelope stuffed inside a spice jar!

2009 will be the year of saffron rice.

Unknown said...

Mary, you will have to write your own cook book, but I guess that will be after you finish your current book. I have my own cookbook, and all the recipes are the same. Open the can, dump the contents into a plastic bowl, put in the Nuke and heat until it is WAY TOO HOT to eat, put in fridge to cool, take out and eat it cooler than you would want. Clean up after wards is optional. Thank God my wife does all the other cooking, or I'd probably starve!!! They have a "Man's Cookbook", actually several of them, at Viddler's, and I almost bought one just for the heck of it last time we went there. Maybe I'll still get one and "expand my horizons".

Unknown said...

Skirt steaks are also not sent here. I've been everywhere and can't find skirt steaks. I'm not sure what I used in place of. The Wegaman's butcher had not even heard of that cut.

I think the recipe author is still snickering over that treasure hunt.

Unknown said...

I have to say, I previously worked in the meat department of a now defunct supermarket and I also had never heard of a "skirt steak".