Happy Friday! I genuinely thought it was Saturday, and went around this morning talking about how it was the weekend, and nobody corrected me, but apparently it is Friday. So here is what we ate this week:
Italian sandwiches, chips, and OPERA NITE
Saturday (actual Saturday) of course I went shopping, so we had a quick, easy meal of sandwiches and chips, and then we had our long-anticipated annual OPERA NITE, which requires elaborate snacks at intermission.
We watched Tosca, which I will review next week. It turns out I was the only one in the room who knew how it was going to end!
Right before bed, I started some pork brining for tomorrow’s bo ssam. I guess “brining” is the word? You mix a cup of sugar and a cup of salt and slather it all over the meat, then cocoon it up in plastic wrap and leave it overnight. And that is what I did.
Bo ssam, rice, kiwi, chopped kale salad
Sunday after Mass, we went to a wonderful spot called Trap Falls in Ashby, MA. It was just a lovely as I remembered it, and we had a beautiful afternoon wallowing around and clambering up and down and in and out of the falls.
More pics (kind of a lot more pics) here:
Then we stopped at Kimball Farms, quickly took out a second mortgage, and got ice cream. Very good ice cream! I had peppermint stick.
Before we left, I had started the bo ssam cooking, so when we got home, all I had to do was start some rice cooking in the instant pot, cut up some kiwis, and tear open a few bags of chopped salad, and then slather a little sauce onto the pork and finish it off
and we had an excellent meal. (I just do the bare bones of the recipe at My Korean Kitchen, although the sauce and sides she includes are also very good.)
The chopped salad was I think kale, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, or something along those lines. I squirted a little Polynesian sweet hot sauce on my plate, but I didn’t really need it. That bo ssam is *ahem* so bbomb.
Chicken strawberry salad
Monday I can barely remember. I guess I roasted some chicken breasts and toasted some almonds and sliced up some strawberries and crumbled some feta cheese, and served it on mixed greens.
It seems like we just had this meal, but I guess that’s no reason we can’t have had it again. The strawberries are very sweet and juicy this year, so we’ve got that going for us.
Cute Pinterest-y Bananagrams background courtesy of my unwillingness to clear the table.
Green masala goat curry, samosas, rice, pork dumplings
They started selling goat meat at the International Market, so I was more or less compelled to make this curry. I used goat instead of mutton and black cardamom instead of green, and it called for “green chilies,” which is a little ambiguous, so I just threw in a big jalapeño; but otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (I used my Instant Pot and pressed the “meat/stew” button for the cooking part), and it was magnificent. (If you’re not aware, when a recipe says “nos” it means “numbers,” as in “that many,” so “cashews 8 nos” just means 8 cashews.)
You make a paste with a ton of herbs (cilantro and mint) and spices and a few cashews that you grind into a paste, then add turmeric and yogurt and that’s your marinade.
I let the meat sit with that for a few hours while I was driving around doing this and that.
Then you wake up some cinnamon, bay leaves, black cardamom, and cloves in hot oil
and then brown some red onions in there,
then brown the marinated meat in the spicy oil and onions, add a little water, and then you pressure cook it. And that’s it! Here it is:
Tender like you wouldn’t believe, and this dish goes right straight down the middle of my favorite kinds of Indian food. Spicy enough to keep you on your toes but cause no pain, and just green and fresh and glittering with flavors.
The goat was quite expensive, so I only got a little bit, and filled out the meal with some frozen vegetable samosas with tamarind sauce from Aldi, which were very good. A little spicy and nicely crisp on the outside.
The dumplings, I made in my pretty little bamboo steamer.
They didn’t really go with the rest of the food, but some people don’t like Indian food at all, but they do like dumplings.
Definitely gonna make this curry again. I loved the goat, and I even like the neat little bones. I find little goaty bones pretty entertaining. But it was sad to have a small portion of something so delicious. And that’s why I’m fat! Whatcha gonna do. Oh but anyway, I was going to say I’ll just have to buy some kind of cheaper meat and make a larger amount of this same curry again, because goat is great, but that green sauce was the real star. So good, and it took no real skill to put together, just a bunch of bashing with the mortar and pestle, and then the Instant Pot does the rest.
Burgers and fries
Wednesday I drove over to Portsmouth to do a really neat interview that you guys are going to like very much! When I was done, I thought, “I’m not going to drive two hours to the seacoast and go home again without seeing the ocean.” So I figured, well, I’m on a hill, I’ll just drive downhill until I see water. This never works, but I always think it will. I didn’t work this time, either, and before I knew it I was on a four-lane highway with, like, Rite Aids on both sides. Clearly not any kind of historic seaport situation. So I asked my phone what to do, and it said I was 8 minutes away from Rye Beach. So I went there, and it turned out to be just a big dirty parking lot where people were waiting to get on board a whale watch, and you had to pay to park there.
So I was just kind of sitting in my car staring at the guy in the shack with my mouth hanging open, and he says, “What’s your plan?” So I said, “I, I’m just here for work, I don’t come to the ocean a lot, is there a way, do you think, is there a place, could I just kind of sit here for a few minutes and, you know, ahhh, look at the ocean?” So he just kind of sighed and said, “Five minutes, next to that trailah” and pointed. So I went and parked next to the trailah, I got out of the car, I looked at the ocean for five minutes, I took a picture, and then I left.
I was going to pass this off as one of those “When you get to be my age, you just don’t care what people think and you just go for what you want!” but it wasn’t that, exactly. Anyway, I saw the ocean.
Anyway, Damien made burgers.
And very good and juicy they were.
Sandwiches of darkness
Thursday we had a big giant sudden thunderstorm, and we lost power for several hours right before dinner, so I took the kids out and we got a bunch of sandwiches and stuff at Walmart. Last time we lost power, it didn’t come on again for three days, so I also bought a game called Happy Salmon; but as soon as we got home, the power came back on, so we just watched Frasier. Anyone know this game? It looks promising, and you never know, maybe I’ll have the willpower to turn off the TV at some point this weekend.
Pizza, TMNT cake
Today is Lucy’s birthday celebration, and I’m going to make a TMNT cake. I baked the cake last night using this coconut cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and it came out very tender and mild.
We have discovered that many theaters in the area will let you rent out the entire place for two hours, and play a movie that you bring, for about the amount of money I usually spent on throwing a party with decorations and games and whatnot, so that’s what we’ve been doing for older kids. Worth checking out, if you’re having a hard time figuring out how to do birthdays for teenagers! I think they are watching Renfield, which I understand is absolute disgusting. Listen, I just bake the cakes.
Speaking of which, I guess I need to decorate a cake! I have been instructed that the 80’s TMNT cartoon turtles are the definitive ones, so that’s good to know. Hey, did I ever do a post about Corrie’s under the sea cake with the gelatin water and the fish and seaweed suspended in it? That was a very cool cake. I can’t remember if I ever got around to show it or not.
Oh, also, hey, look at this:
Vol. 242 on Feb of 2021, and then Vol. 242 on March of 2023. If that don’t beat all.