Friday, December 20, 2013

Quinoa Salad and the Rolling Pin of Doom

I get on these kicks where I am determined to do something - usually prepare some recipe I found online - and I jump in head first without even thinking about the needed materials, the time frame, the sheer ridiculousness of the idea, and on and on and on.

This was one of those moments. BUT. It was one of the moments when I TOTALLY REDEEMED MYSELF. 

They approve.

I decided, on a whim, to make this recipe: Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Dried Cranberries. I found it on the interwebs on FOOD52, and could think of nothing else until I got to the store, purchased the few food items I needed, and got home.

Cook the quinoa. Okay, fine. But first! Rinse the quinoa. Have you ever made quinoa? It is the tiniest little grain-like entity ever, and even my fine mesh strainer was not fine enough to contain them. It took a bit of swishing in a bowl of water, but I finally got them sparkly clean. (Also, it apparently isn't really a grain, it has some kind of bitter coating on it - hence the rinsing - and it is loaded with protein. Worth the hassle, it seems.)

Disclaimer: Many pictures have been staged to protect the innocent.

Chop the parsley - done. Chop the green onions - done. Sautee celery and yellow onion - done.

Roast the hazelnuts.



What it should have said was, "Roast the SHELLED hazelnuts," because my dipshit self had never cooked/baked with hazelnuts before (unless Nutella counts) and didn't realize that she needed to get the fucking nuts out of the fucking shells before throwing them in the fucking oven.

They took three different trips into the oven before I realized this.

So there I was, sitting on the kitchen floor at eleven o'clock at night whacking a ziplock bag of hazelnuts with a rolling pin. Those fuckers were SUCH bastards. It took a while of trying before I got the movement down, and when they cracked, it was the most satisfying crack.

It didn't get easier from there, however. They went back into the oven, and the recipe promised that the peels would slough off, but THEY DID NOT.

This is a picture of PURE FRUSTRATION.

My perfectionist self did not appreciate that the peels were still there, and went at them with a paring knife until realizing that it was after midnight and perhaps I was a jackass.

But this is the output, and it was awesome:

I forgot to take a picture, so here's the one from Food 52 instead.

Anyway, it was a huge success in that it was delicious, but it was not a success in that I didn't get to bed until one in the goddamned morning and had to get up at six. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Best of Boots, The Worst of Boots

My Dear Merrell Spire Peak Waterproof Boots,

After visiting Betsy in New York and coveting her pair, I acquired you in the early spring of 2007. It was love at first sight. For the DC winters, you were not at all necessary (unless it was Snowpacalypse or Snowmaggedon - both of which occurred in the era of insane social networking and after I moved away and during which the entire DC area went fucktard batshit insane). 

You were an art form for the feet!

Brand-new you!

And you were available in my size!

When I relocated to Michigan, you were most definitely necessary. That first winter back saw many, many snowstorms, and you kept my feet toasty, warm, and dry.

We had so many good times - I was able to wear skirts and dresses in the winter because of you! I was semi-fashionable while surrounded by undergrads because of you! I didn't slip and fall on my ass as many times as I probably would have if it wasn't for you!

But I got older. And so did you.

A mere shadow of your former self...

Now, my friends, I must say goodbye. You have sagged and buckled around the ankle, and you are digging into the bad one with such disdain that I have to stifle a scream with every other step. 

In fact, you are hurting my ankles so badly that I am tempted to walk to the parking garage in my socks. And it's 21 degrees out there right now.

No amount of shoe polish can return you to your former glory. Believe me, I've tried.

I hope that one day I will become acquainted with others in your family, but until then, I am broke and bootless.