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Showing posts from February, 2010

Kinda Salt-Free Kalua Pork

Kalua Pork is a Hawaiian Luau dish that you can make easily and cheaply. It is one of my comfort foods. How comforting? I froze 4 to 5 meals worth of it last week.

Traditionally, Kalua Pork is a whole pig that's wrapped in taro leaves and then cooked slowly in an underground pit. That's what kalua means. Not to worry, you can make your own version of this delish pork that falls off the fork and melts in your mouth without bothering to dig a hole in your backyard.  You also don't need to buy a whole pig. A pork butt (with or without the bone) is just fine. And, if you don't have taro leaves, that's okay too. In my recipe I substitute chard.

Making Kalua Pork does requires slooow cooking. Some people use a crockpot. I use the oven. Just like almost any other dish, there is no standard way to make Kalua Pork. My recipe is heavy on the herbs to compensate for not using salt due to the husband's diet.  Here 'tis.

Ingredients
5 pound boneless pork butt
1 bulb of garl…

Superstitions of the Mama

I now sweep the kitchen floor after dinner while the husband washes the dishes. I used to do it in the morning. That is when I remembered. Most mornings, I didn't.

Until recently I rarely swept the kitchen floor in the evening because I was taught to not do that unless something bad happened such as a glass broke on the floor.  So, what changed? I read an article about 10 good cleaning habits to have, of which one was sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner. Made sense. No stepping on crumbs or unpopped popcorn first thing in the morning.

The other evening the mama caught me sweeping the kitchen floor. Just as I thought she would, she said, "It's bad luck to sweep at night."

"Why?" I asked. She didn't respond. She just left the kitchen. I doubt she has an answer for that or any of her  superstitions.  I think grownups taught her superstitions when she was a kid as a way of getting her to obey. I also think that she made up her own to control my actions ma…

To a Bright Blooming Day!

I woke up to the sounds of doves cooing outside and the husband snoring next to me. Signs of a blooming bright day?

Sure. Why not?

Happy Valentine's Day, Dear Gentle Readers!

What I'm Not Reading Now

Today, I moved all but one book from my nightstand because the dust collecting on them was bothering me. I mean a lot of books...and a lot of dust! Some books have been waiting patiently for years for me to crack them open. Bookmarks peek out of other books to show that I abandoned them after only several pages or a few chapters for various reasons. I have very good intention to return to each of these books. Some day.

The Octopus: A California Story by Frank Norris. I aim to re-read this book. It's a novel about the ruthlessness of big agribusiness in California at the turn of the 19th century. Much of the story is set in a fictional place based on San Benito County where I was born, raised, and now live again.

Execution Dock by Anne Perry. Another novel I want to re-read. It's part of a series about a detective, whose regaining his memory, and his wife who solve crime in the mid-19th century. Perry is one amazing writer. She's able to bring the sights, smells, and noises…

Shrimp Toast

The other week, I wrote about my day of frenzied cooking with a promise (mostly to myself) that I would post some, if not all, of the dishes I made. As usual, I had good intentions. Here's the but: I can't find my notes. Oh well. I do have a positive but though: Here's a photo of the shrimp toast I made that day for lunch. I recall the husband and the mama were smackingly happy about the repast.

Many of you dear readers have probably ate shrimp toast as part of a dim sum treat. They really are simple and easy to make at home. You can combine as many, or as few, ingredients that you want with the shrimp. You can add fresh and/or dried spices and herbs. You can mince the shrimp, or dice it not so finely, as my photo shows. My recipe was very simple. Here's what I did:

The Mixture. I combined diced shrimp with garlic powder, black pepper, minced chives (fresh), and a couple of teaspoons of rice flour. To make everything stick, I mixed in a teaspoon or so of mayonnaise. (…

Stop!

In DMV language, this sign means: "There's a stop sign coming up, so get ready to stop, drivers. We mean it!"

But, if you're a passenger in a car, or someone walking down the street, it means, "Hey, You! Stop and Look! Spring is starting to show itself."

Connecting With Ones You Don't Know

This afternoon, the husband and I went downtown to do a couple of errands. It was a beautiful afternoon, so we ambled between places. The best part of the walk was peering into store fronts. A woman was knitting inside a beauty shop, a little girl was doodling on paper in a restaurant, and a barber was sitting in his chair reading the paper. All three looked up as we passed by. Each one smiled and waved back at us.

Smiling and waving at people who you don't know just makes the day more delightful.

The Husband, the Momentary Cook

I'm the cook in my household. The husband is the dishwasher.

Ever since we've been together, which is going on 15 years, I've been the cook. I was also the dishwasher, until the husband left his nine-to-five job. The husband becoming the dishwasher rates right up there with him not going down the path towards a heart attack, which he was bound if he hadn't left.

I'm glad the husband doesn't mind washing dishes. He likes to say that he is a professional dishwasher. For one summer in his youth (a thousand years ago), he likes to remind me, he worked as a dishwasher at the Oregon Caves lodge.

The husband says he can cook, but I'm still waiting for that yummy omelet he says he can make. This morning, I did get him to help me prepare tonight's dinner. My hands were all chickeny from cutting up a big ole chicken. Not wanting to wash my hands, I asked the husband to pull out a Pyrex container so I could soak some chicken parts in yogurt to make oven-friend chic…