Sunday, August 5, 2007

Temptation everywhere

Or perhaps it is more like inspiration. Warning: There will be porn following soon.

During the past week, I didn't do much cooking because heating stuff in the microwave is not cooking. I did read quite a few food blogs though. And they were filled with stuff that I can't eat currently. Chewing is OK but the idea of biting into something that is not relatively soft fills me with dread.

I had purchased some wild salmon from Andronico's because of other bloggers. (Sorry Cookiecrumb, but I forgot to see if it was local.) Each of the three offered something that looked completely tempting. My usual is to do it with a leek sauce, but I had other plans for the leeks, or with a saffron mussel sauce, and seeing as I still do not know if I will be employed in the next month, I decided that splurging for saffron was not a wise choice at this time. Besides, I had already made the splurge on the salmon. And while these were all tempting, I suddenly had an idea. So I searched the internet to make sure that it wasn't just the vicodin talking. I found this.

Bacon-wrapped salmon.

Because that was what had started to drive me nuts -- bacon. I kept thinking, "Bacon makes everything else better. Why not salmon?" And bacon does make salmon better. I also decided to skip the spinach and went with chard instead. I don't know why but there is something completely appealing about chard and kale. Maybe it's because my mother never took the opportunity to overcook either -- This would be because she never cooked either. -- when I was growing up. She has ruined many vegetables for me. And I won't even get into the amount of salt that she uses. She will tell you that I have always been a kind of picky eater.

I think I can blame Zoomie for planting that bacon thought in my mind as well. Ever since I saw this breakfast sandwich, I had been unable to think of anything other than bacon. I wanted that sandwich. But biting into an English muffin is one of those currently scary thoughts.

Saturday I had to head out to return a pair of shoes because my 30 days were almost up and to pick up more food for the cats. My biggest fear these days is that I will run out of food and that the cats will kill me in my sleep. And then I figured that it wouldn't hurt to stop at the El Cerrito Farmers' Market on my way home because I definitely needed to go to Trader Joe's. Tuesday afternoon I had discovered that I had allowed myself to get down to just two eggs in the house. I have never been that low on eggs as far as I can remember as I like to think of them as a staple -- like butter, flour, and sugar. And having at least five different types of oils. And at least five different types of vinegar. And the same of mustard. I am starting to wonder if there is a 12-step program for condiment junkies.

Monster bunch of basil.

The basil was the first thing that began to call to me when I arrived at the Farmers' Market. I kept saying, "But I'm only supposed to be getting chard and shallots." Then I remembered that I haven't made pesto in years because whenever I see basil in the store I decide that it's a bit too expensive. That bunch of basil? $1.00. How could I leave it behind? Besides pasta is one of my happy foods these days.

Left: Pine nuts with olive oil. Right: Walnuts with walnut oil.

I have made both pestos over the years. Well, except I usually use olive oil with the walnuts as well. After I mixed up the first batch, I realized that I was starting to run low on olive oil. That's what I get for going shopping without checking the cabinets first. So I decided to go totally walnut since walnut oil is one pf the many oils that I always keep on hand as well. This was the first time that I was able to taste both at the same time. I prefer the walnut. The flavors seemed subtler, if that makes any sense.

French carrots.

And then the carrots called to me. Because I had some trout around and when I poach it, I like to use leeks and carrots. And I had enough leeks around to make potato leek soup and I always put carrots in that soup. Besides they looked pretty. Oh, and the carrots were $1.50 for the bunch. Another bargain, if you ask me.

So then it was into TJ's. I needed eggs, lemons, and limes. And more of the Italian Blood Orange soda. And crumpets.

Breakfast sandwich.

As soon as I finished eating this, I called my dad for suggesting crumpets as a substitute for English muffins when I whined about my inability to bite certain foods. He also shared with me that he actually prefers crumpets to English muffins.

So thank you friends and family for all of your wonderful ideas over the last week! (And yes, I am starting to feel better.)

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