Do you know about frozen grapes? Such an excellent summer snack. I thought I had more to say about it, but that’s really it.
Here’s what we had this week. And now that I upload all the pictures, I see that we ate a lot of fruit this week. Well, good.
There were three extra people over for dinner, and I succumbed to Guest Hysteria. Instead of our usual thirteen burgers, I made thirty-four. And twenty-four hot dogs. And fifteen ears of corn on the cob, and six bags of chips, and salad, and cake, and ice cream, and one of those pinata-sized bags of candy. And dip. And a watermelon.
Birthday boy is a Go fan, so this was his cake, before I prettied up the edges:
The game pieces are Mentos and Junior Mints. The burnt sugar frosting was the perfect color for the wooden board, and I loved the caramel flavor, but the recipe I used was dreadful, so confusing. It was hot. I get confused easily. Waiting for the soft ball stage always makes me question my priorities, so I always reassure myself by eating gobs and gobs of hot sugar slurry, and then I have a brain-squeezing headache for 48 hours. I told my doctor about this, and he laughed and said that he wished all his patients got terrible headaches whenever they ate sugar. Then I paid him a bunch of money.
Unbirthday cookout; tutsi fruitsi ice-a cream
Strangely enough, we had a lot of food left over, so we had the same meal again.
For dessert, I had tons of fresh fruit in the house. My first thought was to make a cherry clafoutis, which is stupidly easy and tastes sublime; but my family are barbarians
and don’t appreciate things with a silent “s” at the end, unless it’s “corps,” because they like to say “corpse.” Hurr hurr.
So no clafoutis. Here is what the barbarians did enjoy: mixed fruit sauce over French vanilla ice cream. I sliced up the fruit, put it in a pot with a little sugar and homemade vanilla extract, and let it cook for about ten minutes.
In my head, I made a little joke about how scandalous it was that those berries were all openly macerating, with little children around. Someone needs a little theology of the body! Theology of the berry. It was hot, I was confused.
Oh, do you know how to pit cherries quickly? Pull off the stem, put the cherry right-side-up on top of an empty beer bottle, and poke straight down with a chopstick. The pit falls into the bottle and you have a neatly-pitted cherry.
These were pretty lackluster. Just strips of chicken, peppers, and onions rolled up in tortillas with not enough spices and some chopped tomatoes. I forgot to buy cheese and I forgot to put out the sour cream and I forgot to add the cilantro. Not terrible, just not . . . luster. There was a lot of it, though.
Chicken nuggets, peppers and carrots with hummus, pasta salad
The pasta salad was unexpectedly tasty. Farfalle with bottled Italian dressing from Aldi, the cilantro I suddenly remembered, a ton of black olives, and chopped red onions.
Gochujang bulgoki with seaweed and rice; sesame string beans
Still the greatest recipe I’ve found in many a year. I bought Sempio brand gochujang online. I prepped the meat and veggies and started marinating them the night before, so all I had to do was cook it up.
1.5 pounds sliced pork
1 bag matchstick carrots
1 white onions sliced thin
5 generous Tbs gochujang
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
5 cloves minced garlic
Mix everything together and let it marinate at least five hours. Cook it up in a pan without oil. Devour. You can wrap up the pork in little bundles of lettuce leaves with a little rice. I used seaweed wraps instead of lettuce.
The string beans, I mixed up with some sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, and just sauteed them quickly. Veddy good.
Meatball subs; fruit salad
Kind of a weird meal, but well-received. What makes it weirder is that I deliberately planned this particular meal six weeks ago, when I signed up for a Meal Train. My husband made 100+ meatballs the day before. The lucky other family also got store-bought cookies.
Eggs and harsh browns
#1 son is working on a farm this summer, and just walked in the door with a few dozen fresh eggs. Fresh, local, organic food is usually a lot like regular food, except way more expensive and way dirtier. BUT FRESH EGGS ARE DIFFERENT. The yolks are a fervent golden, the flavor is so much richer, and they even cook up more fluffily. If you have a source of fresh eggs, treat yourself. It’s totally worth it.
For almost twenty years, we’ve been battling the idea of keeping chickens and ducks. I even insisted that we save the old trampoline frame so we can turn it into a coop-in-the-round. This year, we came to a decision: we will have chickens when we are grandparents. That way, we can raise chickens when we don’t also have to raise kids, and our grandchildren can enjoy chickens without our kids having to raise chickens when they’re also raising kids.
Oh! We finally found our copy of An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery and my daughter has been working her way through the recipes. This week, she made blueberry scones and mini apple pies. I’m trying to make myself push her to find a summer job, but if she ends up staying home and making Hobbit food, well . . .
And another thing! Summer vacation means more hot lunches. One day, we made a couple of batches of what I prosaically call “egg in toast.”
Pretty self-explanatory, but since this is a recipe post: rip a hole out of a slice of bread, and fry it up in plenty of butter. Carefully crack an egg into the hole. After a few minutes, flip it over and let it fry a little more.
It turns out everyone has a different name for this pleasant little dish: toady holeys, toad in a hole, egg in a hole, egg in a nest, frog in a puddle, one-eyed jacks, eggs in a basket, popeyed eggs, pirate eyes, nest eggs, egg in a frame, man on a raft, and dipsy doodle eggs. Do you call it something else? Will you come over and make me some?
Hey, ten dollars on Sun Up!