I made this easy and decadent thing. I thought I was making something healthy (and I present it as such to the various recipients of a bowl of it) but it’s a ton of butter, sugar and brown sugar. I suppose the apples healthy it up a bit but no matter what it’s delicious and I serve it with cream if it’s lunch or ice cream at dinnertime which adds a really healthful dimension.
I have been having a weird desire for lemonade. I just want to taste it. And what I want is the vaguely waxy, overly-sweet frozen-concentrate-pure-sugar crap that I loved as a child. I’d buy some just to taste it but then I’d have it and feel forced to drink it. And I totally would but really I just need about a quarter of a cup of it to satisfy the craving.
In the meantime, I saw these “Lemonade” apples in the store (While I certainly buy apples in the store, they are one of the fruits I think more properly purchased from an orchard, and apple season being upon us I’m looking forward to forays into a local orchard or two). Anyway, I bought the Lemonade apple. It was really delicious and tasted like lemons sorta but it was def not enough to scratch that particular itch.
It’s tomato season and that means, among other delicious seasonal treats, tomato pie. I whipped one up at home for a cottage meal. I brought it out to the cottage in a cake/pie carrier I have and just as I got it into the cottage the fucking thing fell out and landed face down on the cottage kitchen floor. There are no words that could accurately describe my complete infuriation. I tried to salvage it. I flipped it back right side up but it was a mess and I really cannot vouch for what might have been on the floor. There had been an active mouse population there not that long ago. Although I can say that shortly afterwards it was clean enough to eat off.
For a few minutes I seriously considered serving it anyway but, no, the thought of eating it made me slightly nauseous, it was no longer all that pretty, and so it found its way into the garbage. Sometimes you just gotta do.
I love the potato and macaroni salad they sell in delis. I suppose that is not really a surprise considering my affinity for Dots, Miracle Whip, bottled Thousand Island dressing and, yes, McCormick’s turkey gravy. I don’t eat these things often but I like them when I do.
There is just some ingredient(s) in deli salads that makes them taste (and feel) different from the stuff that I generally make which is really what my mother made since, well, those are the salads I mostly make and love, my mother’s.
While waltzing through the YouTube, I found a video by some guy who claims to make “deli style” macaroni and potato salad (watch here) and things being what they are I decided to I really needed to make it. I am not sure what that means, “things being what they are,” but, hey, I made it anyway.
It was not easy. Peeling hot potatoes was a not fun. It is messy and burnt fingers are involved. Grating a half cup of onion was no trip to the park either. The grated onions are the secret, the potatoes and/or macaroni marinate in oil, sugar, vinegar and, weirdly, grated onion for up to 48 hours. Somehow the onion is not really obvious after 48 hours.
My sister who does not like potatoes loved it. When I asked if she’d want to take the leftovers home she jumped at the chance. Score.
Still, I am not sure I want to go through that again. Ever. I can get it in delis.
Husoor got in late but had asked for Italian sausage. I had Scortinos rolls and Kettle Range Italian sausage which I late-night grilled. I poured muffuletta oil on the rolls and grilled them as well. Put pepperoncini and muffuletta on the sandwich with sliced raw onions and mustard. OMG. So so so good.
But then . . . heartburn. I’m weighing the consequences. I still have a sausage frozen. It is calling to me in an alluring manner.
I cannot shake the idea that there is some produce that is only eaten, and hence, purchased in season, and from a farmer (or farmer’s market). Corn, tomatoes and melons for sure. I don’t really know why I continue to feel like it ought to be like this. I grow my own tomatoes, in case you weren’t aware of that but melons, given the produce robbing vermin I deal with are out of the question and corn needs a ton of area I just don’t have.
I am loathe to buy corn in a store. It just isn’t gonna taste the way it should. To be honest, I am sure it would be fine but the way we were raised you just didn’t. And you didn’t need to either. There was corn, all kinds of produce, and fruit that was available from stands in the farm country where I grew up (including our own) in the summer. I was even shocked as a child to find out that people bought milk in a store. Ours got delivered magically sometime before we got up in the morning.
But a melon that you buy when it’s still warm from the field, cut up, chill and eat icy cold is just sublime. One problem is all the waste. The peels, the seeds, the mess. I feed all of that to my worms and they love it. The larger issue is the enormous amount of the stuff I have to eat. Not that I’m complaining exactly. But I wish I could parse it out a little instead of stuffing my face with it every time I get near to the refrigerator.
I had the damn loaf of bread and next up on the list of “grilled,” OK, fried sandwiches with which I’d planned to “experiment” was the tuna melt. I had to get to that before I just ate the entire loaf of bread and believe me there were plenty of other things, like buttered toast—ooh mama—and plain ol’ open faced peanut butter toast, as we called it, I’d wolfed down.
I caught an episode of the NYT video blogger Vaughn Vreeland making grilled cheese and was inspired to try the grilled cheese again but I had to do the tuna melt first as I’d made a commitment to Wendi. I have to admit that he, Vaughn Vreeland, makes me so jealous. He’s young and pretty and glib (and gay) and gets to spend days making food on camera and being funny about it (you can watch him here). I hate him. Anyway, he literally showed the Julia Moskin recipe for grilled cheese and you can see that she writes (and he concurs) that you must use mayonnaise instead of butter on the exterior of the bread but she also writes in capital letters DO NOT USE HOME MADE MAYONNAISE without explanation. So I guess i screwed that pooch. Anyhoo, this time I had store-bought mayo and used it to coat the bread before frying.
I was supposed to use shredded cheese but I used slices and I can see why that makes a difference. This was ok—the cheese was a little sloggy, whatever that means—I certainly won’t make it for Wendi. And, anyway, tuna salad is actually better on Triscuits.
So I have the damn loaf of bread and now I am compelled to eat it in ways that I would normally NEVER consider. Sandwiches are rarely, if ever, a part of my dietary lexicon, to use a phrase. Fresh tomatoes and grilled cheese, though. Oh my god. I could hardly wait.
Made it the way someone, I dunno, maybe America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Complicated, er, Illustrated told me was the best way to make grilled cheese, spread mayonnaise on the outside instead of using butter. This is how the “big boys” make it they inferred.
As you can see here I did that. I used my ho-made mayo and added some basil. You want big boy, I added dijon mustard, and cocked up a panini press of sorts.
The mayonnaise browned nicely but for flavor I’m going to go with butter which to say I’m going to have to make this again . . . hey, it’s research! I’ll skip the basil too. That was just a distraction.
Last year my sister gave me a green zebra tomato plant for my birthday. I’d never heard of them but I’d have planted it no matter what, I mean, they are tomatoes. What’s not to like? But they were really exquisite. I mean, packed with flavor! So this year I bought my own and planted it.
It gave me exactly 2 tomatoes. I am sure that the plant’s production failure was my own fault and while confused as to the reason it didn’t produce as it should have, I did manage to enjoy the two of them, one by itself with salt and pepper as God intended, the other on bread slathered with homemade mayonnaise. It was sublime.