Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekend of broken [cooking] dreams ...

I think the title phrase came to me on my walk to work today, because I read a little notice in the newspaper that a book by a former almost-roomate, Karl Harter (I lived in a co-op house that was founded by a group of people that included Karl, but after Karl moved out - although when I was "interviewing" for living there - going to dinner and hanging out with folks at the house - Karl was part of the group) is getting made into a movie. Karl's book, Winter of frozen dreams, is about a murder trial that was all over the papers when I first moved to Madison in the late 1970s. This is not the first time anyone's tried to do the book to film thing, but I guess this time the project's a little farther along - they are actually shooting - in Schenectady NY, not Madison WI.

Anyways, this seemed to be one of those weekends where I thought about cooking a lot more than I did it - we started off Friday feeling like, "oh it's the weekend, we can do anything", but ended up waiting around for John to get back from Milwaukee for the start of his spring break. We went to buy a wireless access point for the supper club house, and then bought day-old bread at the sub shop on the corner. I flash-thawed some pesto in the microwave, and used it in pesto, sundried tomato, & cheese; and salami & cheese; open face sandwiches, with salad, for three. Then we went to a movie, silly but fun romantic comedy, with good actors - Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore.

Saturday morning, I got up, and tried to go walk with Rachael, but it had gotten cold enough overnight so that all the snow melt & rain refroze, and it was just too slippery, especially with her 80 pound dog pulling on her ...

We cut our walk short and I headed to the co-op, did the co-op part of the grocery shopping, and then went to talk to Dorla about printing the tablecloths. When I got home, kids were just starting to stir, and we ate variations on eggs & toast & peanut butter bagels for breakfast.

Aside from breakfast, I did not have any real meals Saturday - I basically nibbled junk all day, recipe tested a blueberry-lemon-cornmeal cake for the REAP cookbook (it was a little weird, more like a pudding than a cake; 5 separated and whipped eggs, and no flour, just corn meal pre-cooked with water, with kind of a lot of butter and white chocolate melted in...). I went to the IHN ruby slippers benefit, an event organized by a good friend - a dinner that she and I will cook, for 6 - 10 with wine, in the hosts' home, to their specifications, got auctioned off for $700. I was underdressed and unprepared to speak, but I guess I said the right things, since the dinner fetched a good price - but I sure did not eat the right things - there were lots of hot apps to sample, and that on top of everything else gave me a bad stomach all night.

Sunday, a new day, and new good intentions - I had a friend who said, "sure, I just start a new diet everyday" - but no one else wanted pancakes, so I did not make new batter, and the pancakes I made for myself from the last of last week's yeasted buckwheat batter were pretty sour, even with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup.

The final cooking adventure was making the spicey beef & peppers, originally scheduled for Friday - it, too did not come out quite as expected - the meat, frozen beef tenderloin - fell apart (either because it had been frozen, or more likely I think, because I crowded the pan with 3-4 times the recipe; I had close to 2 pounds of meat, and the recipe only called for 1/2), so we had Chinese-seasoned meat sauce over rice - tasted good, but not particularly visually appealing.

After all that, I did not have the energy to make the red sauce with meatballs I'd also thought would be a good weekend activity - a set-up for easy week night meals - but this morning I had another walking-to-work recipe vision, of pasta al forno w/tiny meatballs (which, according to Marcella Hazan is the only way Italians eat meatballs, that and from street vendors - spaghetti & meatballs, like pizza, is American) so maybe I will get that together tonight, or Real Soon Now.

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