Food, fun

Who else loves watermelon in the summer?!

That’s right!  It’s the season for it! 

I must have had watermelon 6 times this summer so far. And once, it was a hot day and I was walking through midtown Manhattan and there was a food fair that had WATERMELON JUICE! 

BOOYAH!

Ok, I haven’t exactly bought “a watermelon” this year. I don’t have a knife big enough to cut one. Plus, I don’t need a whole watermelon at a time. Just some, and the markets near me sell these nice single-guy portions of pre-cut watermelon.

But waitaminute, something’s missing. What could it be? 

SEEDS! Remember seeds? If you’re a Millennial, probably not!  At some point,  scientist geniuses started breeding seedless  watermelons! Normally, I’d say don’t trust GMOs, but seedless watermelons EFFING RULE! Thanks GMOs!

And to boot, it’s August. It’s so RIPE! Yes, watermelon! You’re sweet, cool, watery and crunchy. 

GET IN MY BELLY! 

Coincidences, Food, Relationships

The Purple Coincidence

Yep,  the magic is back on my side. 

So I was watching a Mike Birbiglia stand up comedy special on Netflix. During his act,  her mentioned the book The Color Purple (I forget the context, but it was funny.)

Not one second later, Mona texts me a picture of our favorite spice that’s a different color than normal, and she writes:

COIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINCIDEEEEEEEEEEEEEENCE!!!!!!!!!!

family, Food

The Meatball Identity

So today is my last day at my parents house in Florida, so mom made her signature meatballs and I made my signature homemade cavatelli pasta:

They’re both pretty exceptional. Mom’s meatballs are legendary in my family and they have been for 30 years. 

Enter: my cousin Bill.

Bill is a foodie- watches cooking shows, cooks a ton himself, some very fancy meals.  He knows his stuff. And he’s a knowitall in general. He comes over my parents fairly often and they bond over food. 

So he and Mrs Bill came over today to join in the meal and to help make it, or at least help me make the pasta (although to be honest we made WAY too much.)

Anyway, as Bill was helping in the kitchen, he was mentioning to mom that he has a meatball technique that takes longer to cook and he actually thinks his meatballs are even better than mom’s.

(GASP) WHAT DID HE SAY?!?!

As he said it, everything was fine. BUT after they left… my parents spoke as if he told them that 2+2=giraffe. Or worse, that he stripped her of her gold medal from the 1000 meter Meatball Cooking event in the Food Olympics. 

Everybody in the family knows that mom’s meatballs sit atop the Meatball pyramid. Anything else does not compute… does not compute… does not compute… (smoke coming out of mom’s ears.)

Personally, I said “big deal, he likes his own meatball better than yours.”

Now my mom is very sensitive in her old age, this is true. I had not realized that this shook her to her very foundation. I’m sure Bill didn’t mean anything by it, but in her eyes, this was her domain and couldn’t he just give the old lady her due? It’s one of the only things she’s really proud of. As I see it, she’s 73 but still needs to feel like she has purpose and value. She does food really well. It’s really tied to her identity. It’s like telling Michael Jordan that he actually has six championship rings in tossing crumpled paper in the trash basket.

I know we’re obsessed with being the best in the USA, and his might be phenomenal but without realizing it, he went right for the jugular.

Oh well, more leftovers for me. 

Food

I cooked chicken cutlets for the first time

Yeah, you read correctly.

Background: 

Who doesn’t like chicken cutlets? Nobody. On a plate or a sandwich… they’re awesome. 

I grew up on them, mom made them probably once every two weeks. Usually with Rice-A-Roni (the San Francisco treat!)

So ok, I’m a 44 year old man. I cook a little: pasta, steak/ chicken on the grill pan or George Foreman or stir fried, homemade chili. That’s pretty much my rotation. But I know making chicken cutlets is easy. But sometimes being easy isn’t a good enough reason. 

But saving money is!

Lately, I’ve been cooking more and in large portions so I have food to eat for lunch. So I wanted to try chicken cutlets. I called my mom and looked up recipes. Dip chicken in flour, then in egg, then in bread crumbs, then fry them. Easy.

Ok, I burnt a few. No biggie. And to be honest, they taste pretty much like every chicken cutlet I’ve ever eaten. They seem to be something that’s hard to screw up. And since I can use gluten free flour and gf bread crumbs… now I can cook something for Mona that has a little flavor. 

Pet peeve: the term foodporn. Food can taste great. Food can be looked at. But food is not porn. Even metaphorically. Just stop it.

Food

Dammit! I overcooked steak!

Ugh. What a waste!

Ok. I rediscovered my George Foreman Grill two weeks ago. Easy, quick, easy to clean. I’ve cooked london broil (I think) and chicken breasts in that time.

Today, I wanted pizza.  Really badly. There’s so much in my neighborhood in walking distance. HOWEVER, I’m committed to save money, and for the same amount I could buy food to cook to eat over more than one meal. 

 So I bought London Broil again, intending on eating a bit for dinner but saving some to eat for two+ lunches over the weekend. I even marinated it first.  This was going to be good.

I usually like my steak medium rare to medium. I don’t go by the suggested cooking times. Actually, I’ve never looked at them. Hadn’t dawned on me. I just cut it open occasionally and eyeball it. Sounds like a solid plan, right? 

Well, I’m starting to realize that what I think is borderline raw while it’s cooking is actually medium rare. I let it go what I thought was just a bit more and I got this instead

That’s medium -, maybe medium well +. Probably 30 seconds too long. Eating the bit tonight was fine but microwaving it on future days might make it all well-done.

Oh well. It’s not burnt through and through. Live and learn.

Happy grilling all! Thanks George! 

family, Food, fun

I cooked a fruit salad for Thanksgiving

So I went to my cousin Dawn’s house for Thanksgiving. I did not bring Mona this year. She had her kids and she’s not ready to introduce them to me yet. Which I’m fine with. 

I’d offered to make my special homemade pasta for the pasta course. Alas, this year, no pasta. Soup instead. And I don’t have a special signature soup.

But she said I could bring fruit as the fruit portion of dessert. So I decided to get a fruit salad. No… I decided to MAKE a fruit salad.

I went to my local market and bought several pint containers of pre-cut fruit:

  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pineapple
  • Mango

That’s right. Mango. I meant bidness.

Dumped them all in a bowl, mixed them up. Then I had to put it all in a plastic bag for transportation because I didn’t have aluminum foil to cover the bowl. 

Ok, the presentation was lacking. But the effort was there. It wasn’t a pre-mixed friut salad. The fact that I bought them separately and mixed them myself made me feel like I actually cooked something. Kinda. 
Ah, the low food-bringing expectations of a single man. 

Happy Thanksgiving all!