Saturday, March 13, 2010

What's Cooking?

You guys don't know it but sometimes I sit down to write a piece four or five times and turn away without doing it. Wouldn't matter, wouldn't enhance your life or mine, would just be a waste of my time and an extraordinary waste of yours.
I've been wanting to write for a week but haven't. I was caught up in that cover story I told you about, and got that done Tuesday night about 8 PM, and we went to press and came out Wednesday and since then I've been going through my post-partum couple of days. If you want to see the story that was such a bear, look at and go to the cover story, Private Prisons, Public Pain. I think it may win an award or two next year, and I've noticed it's already been stolen by half dozen or more websites. It's a good story, worth reading to understand a little more about the America we live in today, as opposed to the America we studied in grammer school 30-40-50 years ago. Eisenhower had something to say about times like this in the late 1950s, when I was still a kid with sort of sandy blond hair and dimples.
I have forced myself to start a new story on the heels of that one: I've got a certain amount of cover stories and then inside features and then shorter pieces to deliver annually for my pay and as I'm going to be gone June and most of July to Peru, I need to accumulate enough that I don't lose my staff job. And the story I started on yesterday, a homeless story, is so freaking fantastic, so fraught with politics and NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) feelings that it drips with cynicism. I am just the man for that sort of cow dung digging. I'll have that done in a week--of 14 hour days.
But money, money is an issue. I'm working as well as I ever have but I've lost a couple of publishers this year and that's left me with half a keel, meaning my financial boat be sinking. Doesn't matter what awards you win. Doesn't matter how many people are coming on trips to Peru in June and July, you can't touch that money. But my stinking bills--and they're probably less than yours--come to $2200 a month and it's a bitch to make that, without gas, cigarettes, whiskey, food, animal food, house repair or any treats for the kids or I, on a base salary of $880 monthly. Which is what I've got. It's like I'm the world's greatest juggler of nearly overdue bills.
Okay, forget that. Enough moaning.
But here's what I'm feeding the animals: Boots, the blind wonderdog, gets three huge, freshly roasted--I roast twice a week--chicken legs and half-a-pound of ribs daily. The goat gets goat food and 3 pounds of fresh herbs--picked up at the feed store--weekly. The chickens and ducks get a loaf of bread, half-dozen fresh tomatoes, three rotten bananas, chicken scratch (dried corn) and all left over veggies and veggie ends daily. The birds just get bird food and bird treats. The cats get chicken livers and cat food twice a day. I sautee about 5 pounds of chicken livers weekly.
Now, you have never tasted eggs like my few chickens produce. I don't care where you get them. If you are not feeding them garlic and onions and tomatoes and zuccini and corn and cauliflower and broccoli and all the don't even need to salt those babies when you boil them. WOW~
On the other hand, the other animals don't produce anything. Sometimes I just want to stick a fork into Boots to see what he tastes like after all that good meat. Or eat a cat to see what those livers have done to marbling their insides.
I won't. Promise. But I will admit to curiousity.
Given that, what am I eating tonight? I have always believed that dignified humans should have a good meal daily. One that takes time and care to prepare. I don't care if it's breakfast or a midnight snack, alone or with the family, but once a day, pay homage to the food that keeps you alive.
Tonight, my kids and Chepa, the wife/ex-wife, are all at a party for Danica, a 3 year old neice. Not my style of party, so I skipped. So I'm eating alone.
So I cooked some penne pasta, made a sauce of fresh garlic--lots--, olive oil, diced red onions--lots, diced tomatoes--lots, and salt and pepper. When it's near done I'll add fresh grated parmesan cheese--lots, and good butcher ground pepper, and when I mix it with the pasta I'll add diced mozzarella cheese.
To the sauce I'm going to add--already cooked and ready to go--fresh cauliflower, broccoli florets, zuccini, yellow squash and spinach. So it's gonna be a vegetarian pasta with tons of veggies.
And then I've got a 5 ounce piece of salmon. I'm gonna saute that with olive oil and garlic--not much garlic as the salmon, though skinless, still has a lot of fat.
And when it's about 3/4 done, I'm gonna take it out of the pan, dredge it in a chicken egg and bread it with roasted sesame seeds. Then I'm gonna put that fish in the oven for 5 minutes to let those seeds marry that fish flavor. And when I take it from the pan I'm gonna add a touch of sesame oil and teriyaki sauce, some fresh ginger and minced scallions I've got sitting in white vinegar, and I'm gonna pour that sauce over that fish and it's gonna be great.
A little Italian with a little Chinese/Japanese. Hope I don't get heartburn.
Now that's what I'm gonna have.
What would I really love to have? A fifth of good whiskey and a quart of high quality vanilla fudge ice cream. With freaking good nuts and real whipped cream.
Ah, well. The pasta and salmon will have to do.
I did not intend to write this post at all. I meant to write about Chepa plucking a chicken one of the hawks got but didn't kill and doing it in the kitchen sink and how fantastic she looked doing it--just like when I met her 18 years ago--but that post didn't come out, this one did. Hope you forgive me.
Have a good night, everybody.
Thanks for taking a look.


Unknown said...

Even with all your amazing bullshit , you inspire me to do something....anything. So I shall. I just don't know what yet. But something.

Still don't know about June yet.

Lova ya man

Gritter said...

Hell man....that was me! NOT Heather. I didn't know she was signed on before I hit the publish button.