"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Three Years of Dinners

Tonight: Burgers
     Three years ago this weekend was the first weekend of the blog.  In the past three years I've written one-hundred and fifty-four blog posts, and Cyrus and I have each cooked somewhere in the range of eighty meals.  We've made hamburgers, and pizza, crickets and pirogi, sushi and steak and squid.  Our dinners have coincided with the death of Osama bin Laden and a solar eclipse.  We have made countless memories.
     There is no better way to describe the last three years of my life than through the lens of Sunday Dinners.  Every experience, every memory of mine from the past three years happened alongside these once-weekly dinners.  When I was finishing middle school, I was making tilapia and a mango salad.  When I first got glasses we were making stuffed burgers.  After our trip to Spain we made catalonian food.
     The weekly meals have provided a regular event to connect our memories to.  Many of those memories, both directly and indirectly related to the food, I am sure I will remember for the rest of my life, and over the next few years I am sure there will be more well worth remembering.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spring Greenery

     Friday and Saturday this week were the State Swimming Championships.  They were held at Mount Hood Community College, in the same pool were we have the City Championships in the summer.  At this time of year though, the pool is kept under a giant canvas bubble, sixty feet high and held up by air pressure.  On Friday, while walking into the bubble's airlock, a teammate suggested to me that it was such a nice day that we didn't need the bubble.
     Saturday had it's fair share of nice weather too, but with intermittent downpours and rainbows.  I figured it was a nice enough day to break out the grill, despite consistent clouds.  We made lamb chops,  with a cucumber salad, and grilled some asparagus on the side.
     While Dad spiced the lamb chops, I peeled, sliced, and squeezed water from a half dozen cucumbers, and tossed them with salt, fresh mint and lemon juice.  With the grill ready, we went outside, crouched around the fire and watched the meat sizzle, the fire flare up.  Our fronts, facing the fire, were warm, our backs cold against the weather.
     The lamb chops and asparagus were both done after only a few minutes, at which point it was time to run inside and dish up the food.

     The lamb chops were excellent, even if it was a little tough to get the meat off the bone.  Served on a bed of the cucumber salad, the lamb chops felt like spring.  The bed, cucumber salad, was fresh, and salty.  It tasted like it belonged later in the year, in the early summer.  It was a spring meal, green and fresh and promising, yet it is early enough in the year that that promise was of the days to come, warm and sunny and fresh and green.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rice, Fried

     We stumbled upon a small storefront today, the Pacific Pie Company.  Housed in an old warehouse, we decided to take a gamble and walked into the restaurant.  As the name suggests, the entire menu is pies, pot pies, australian meat pies and pasties make up most of the menu, while classics like key lime and chocolate peanut butter are the dessert menu.
     The beef and stout meat pie I had was stunning, as were the others.  I would have liked to make some sort of meat pie tonight, but that will have to wait.  This weekend was Organicology, an organic produce conference, so Dad is having a business dinner, and Mom asked that I make something that wouldn't require another set of hands.
     I opted for fried rice, which Mom makes occasionally, choosing it for it's simplicity, and use of two-week old leftover ham.  It took only a few minutes prepare garlic, ginger, carrots, red bell peppers, onions and the leftover ham.  As the vegetables and rice fried together, I scrambled an egg.  When that was ready, I added it, the ham and some soy sauce.  Dinner was ready.

     As far as I'm concerned, dinner turned out quite well.  The flavors were calm together, nothing clashing, and the ham bites were explosions of flavor.  The greatest part, we've got leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2013

This Game Has Wings

     Sometimes, things we can't predict make a Sunday particularly memorable, things like slicing off a chunk of my finger (January 2, 2011) and the operation to kill bin Laden (May 1, 2011).  Sometimes, things we can predict make a Sunday particularly memorable, like a solar eclipse (May 20, 2012) and and the Super Bowl.
     Cyrus, obviously, knew the Super Bowl was coming, and decided to make wings.  Spicy, with celery sticks and cooling blue cheese dip, they were more or less what Cyrus was looking for, if not the most traditional wings.

     The cooking started just before kickoff, and when I went back to the kitchen in search of a first quarter snack, I could smell the grill.  The wings came in during the second quarter, and lasted only a few moments.  In addition to the all important celery sticks there were baked beans on the side.