Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There is a seasoning

Guys I know it's not March 30 but I realized I forgot to hit "post" on this entry. Just pretend that it's last Wednesday. Also I wish it was March 30 because SERIOUSLY HOW IS IT APRIL ALREADY?

I have a new roommate moving in on Friday, unless she is like "APRIL FOOLS!" and bails out at the last minute. But in her current living situation she is commuting daily from Benicia to Oakland, so I don't think she's going to keep doing that just so she can punk me. Anyway, in preparation for her arrival I've been going through my house and dusting things off, vacuuming, scrubbing floors--the whole deal.

I've also been cleaning out my fridge and my pantry because, yo, this is the only chance I get during which I don't have to worry if some pasta sauce or jam or something belongs to my roommate. I've discovered a lot of very important things:

1) I have three boxes of confectioner's sugar.
2) I hoard pickles like a crazy person--but it's cool, they don't go bad; they just get picklier.
3) I drop a lot of nuts on the floor of my pantry, like, a lot.
4) I never check if I have dried beans before buying more.


5) People have left me a lot of excellent presents over the years.

Here we have Bumbu Inti Indonesian Essential Seasoning, Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce, Sweet Jalapeno Jelly... okay, look, you can enlarge the photo if you want to read the names of all the stuff that people have left me over the years. The one that is really fascinating to me is Bumbu Inti Indonesian Essential Seasoning, which seems to consist of roasted candlenuts, salt, and umami. It is a disconcerting oily brown color and the packaging shows six dishes you can make with it, some of which are not brown at all. This is also disconcerting. I have no idea what it tastes like and I can't find any recipes, so I also have no idea about how much to use in a single recipe. This should be exciting.

Maybe I should have used it to spice up the fiddleheads I ate tonight. Fiddleheads are some stupid trendy vegetable that are noteworthy only because they're the first bright green vegetable that comes into markets in the spring after months of potatoes and kale, and because they're only in season for like ten minutes a year. Also fiddleheads are foraged so they get a million coolness points from that too. I have to say that they do look really cool, and I felt like I should do my due diligence by at least trying them. So I bought a couple the last time I was at Berkeley Bowl and tonight I decided to toss them with some pasta. I debated whether or not to put in some red cabbage too, kind of leaning on the side of "no" because I had heard fiddleheads had a delicate flavor and I wanted the highlight of the dish to be these ridiculous curly things that cost $8.99 a pound.

I am pretty glad I put the cabbage in because I discovered that basically a fiddlehead tastes like a slightly bitter blade of grass and needs to be blanched three times or you will get food poisoning (I blanched it only once and I was fine, so I guess I dodged that bullet). Wholly without merit. Googling a little bit it seems that everybody's favorite way to prepare them is tempura-frying them, because they have a funny shape and the tempura coating covers up the fact that they have taste like nothing while highlighting this funny shape. Well, you know, for $8.99 a pound I think I'll stick to bacon-filled beignets.

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