Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm In The Navy Now

Ah, send me out for a ladies night on the town and you never know what I'll come home with...

On the left, we have a cheese-grater. Or, it once was a cheese grater. After seventy years of continual service, first by my grandmother, and then by me through the first 14 years of my marriage, it no longer shreds anything but my fingers.

(Why is that? How is it that I could barely grate cheese with it, but it was eager to take chunks of flesh out of my hands? I would have thought my finger-flesh would offer more resistance than cheddar. Huh.)

On the right, my New Improved Cheese Grater, loosely modelled on the Eiffel tower, and guaranteed to turn anything I make with it into haute cuisine. My friend and I went searching for dried beans the other night, in the bowels of a fancy-schmancy kitchen goods shop.When I left, my paper bag (paper!) held zer black beans, zer white beans, and zer Parisian grateur du fromage. So much for frugality.

However, I won't bludgeon myself too severely for the purchase of one cheese-grater per lifetime, especially as it'll reduce the amount of meat-products in our diet.

(Ick. Sorry.)

The Ancient of Days? I didn't quite know what to do with it. It was rustier than the old motor home parked behind our pole-barn, but I still felt frivolous and foolish letting go of such a "good" utensil. Finally I dropped it into the recycle bin and didn't look back. Lot's wife I am not. I wonder what its next incarnation will be?

So about the beans. I'm going to have a stab at Meatless Mondays. I'm not dabbling my toes in the River of Vegetarianism. I'm just a little uncomfortable with how hidebound our diet is in this house, and moving away from meat-potatoes-vegetable will make me work outside my normal parameters. I'm definitely not adventurous about food. Partly it's upbringing, partly (largely) it's paranoia about hidden glutens and things that might make my small intestine writhe, and partly it's pickiness.

Hard to know where the pickiness ends and the healthy wariness begins. I've always had a built-in aversion to tomatoes and peppers. Turns out that according to my health-profile from a Chinese medicine point of view, tomatoes and peppers, as well as citrus (which I've CRAVED all my life), are all discouraged for my constitution. Too stimulating, too hard to digest.

I wonder about that, too, and how to juggle my body's needs with the realities of what grows in this area. But that's just part of the ongoing internal dialogue.

So, zer navy beans, they're soaking and anxiously anticipating what exciting thing I'm going to do to them tomorrow in our next exciting episode of culinary experimentalism!

No meat....


(Pull yourself together woman! This is a public post!)

Pardon. Don't know what came over me.

I meant to say, what an amazing opportunity!


e4 said...

My personal favorite way to reduce meat is with nuts. I don't know where that would leave you from a locivorous point of view (I may have just made up a word), but I do love the texture and taste added by a handful of nuts or nut pieces - especially if slightly toasted.

Congrats on the cheese grater. May it last as long as the last one!

Jim said...

We're real beaners around here, but we often throw a ham-hock into the works along with collard greens or tomatoes or chili peppers.

But all this talk of meat, nuts & cheese has left me feeling a bit lascivious, or, at least, mischievious.

Nice grater, I like the handle/knob

Madcap said...

Good morning, e4!

I've heard about wild hazelnuts in Alberta, but I haven't actually seen one in the bush. Not really a nut climate, I don't think.

But nuts don't require refrigeration for transport, and they keep really well, so they're something I buy in reasonable conscience.

(Not that I don't buy other things, like bananas, but I get the inner-nagging, you know?)

I made a brown rice casserole at Christmas, with chicken broth, almond slivers, poultry seasoning, apple juice, and bits of apple. MMMMMMMM!!!!

Hello again, Jim!

(Every time I go to type "Jim", I end up typing "Him", which I think must be a reflection on your God-like inner self.


We're going to try to incorporate beans into our diet a lot more often. And ham-bones and poultry broth and such will figure in with that, because I'm not trying to be a purist about this, just working on using more foods that A) aren't in my usual repertoire and B) are easily stored without electricity. Things like beans.

Like you're ever NOT feeling mischievious - leave it to you to notice my Big Black Knob!!! That's what ladies are looking for on their evenings out, didn't you know?

Jim said...

That's what happens when you let your fingers do the typing, and here I thought I had that obnoxious god-like self buried deeply beneath an impenetrable facade of devilish child-like behavior.

I suppose you're correct in your assessment that I'm rarely NOT mischievious, but hey, even us Gods have to find some way to keep our senses of humor admidst this mess we've created.



the brown rice cassserole sounds delicious...

Shadowmoss said...

I had a package when I went to get my mail! The coasters are lovely! Thank you. Hand made is so much nicer than mass produced. I was at a loss for awhile as to what I could make in return (not that you asked for anything). I just want to join in the energy. I knit and crochet. Don't know if you do also. I am thinking either a dishcloth or a beanie hat, knit or crocheted. I would enjoy making either for you, or if there is some other project that you would like, please let me know. I'm looking for motivation and an excuse to prowl a new yarn shop.

You pegged the colors perfectly, by the way. And the feel of the material is wonderful.

Madcap said...

I'm so glad they made the trip, and that the colours worked for you! I had a blast making them and shipping them out.

You're absolutely not obliged, but if you're really keen to make something, one of those hand-made dishcloths would be lovely, any colour combo at all. But it would be just as nice to pass the gesture along to someone else, and keep the circulation going!

Shadowmoss said...

Dish cloth it is. And, I'm inspired to do a give-away for my 3 readers on my blog as well. I just didn't want to put that in the same post as the passing of my Father. Not the HE would have minded.

gfid said...

i'm sure you've done the research on matching proteins etc and mixing things like cornmeal with things like beans to complete the 'incomplete' proteins, yada yada yada.... i find it does significantly decrease the flatulence factor. and beans need strong flavors or they're just bland. that's why they're so often found in strongly seasoned dishes. mashed beans make a very good pumpkin substitute in pie. just substitute equal amts of mashed or blended cooked beans and follow the recipe. some cream or blended cottage cheese helps complete the protein in the beans.

Madcap said...

Yeah, I've looked into the protein-matching, and several of the recipes I'm going to try incorporate quite a lot of cheese. Getting the complete protein isn't really a big deal, since we're not vegan, just something to keep in mind. I suppose I could try halving the pumpkin in a recipe - hadn't thought of that.