Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week 16: What's cookin'?

Well, turns out weeding and swearing, while the makings of an excellent party, are not much for blog fodder. Or maybe I just needed a bit of a break from the keyboard. Either way, I need to get back in the swing of things.

There's really not much to tell about weeding. I weeded. There are still a lot left. And more keep coming. The dandelions are all over the lawn, which I don't really mind, but in a couple of weeks when they set seed, I'ma be hosed. I keep putting off putting newspaper over the veg beds but since they're full of loamy fertile soil, I better get on it or it's going to be all dandelion seedlings come May. I know dandelion leaves are edible and all, but I'm just not that far down the patchouli path of hippiness yet. I did take a bunch of garden photos on my phone, but my phone is dead tonight so they'll have to wait.

I decided today while watching the Cubs snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at Wrigley that this week is going to have to be something fun. Weeding, as rewarding and productive as it is, is not fun. Especially when it's only 50 degrees out. But eating is. And I really like to cook.

My mom used to complain that she made the same dozen things for dinner over and over, and I used to think, so? As long as one of those dozen wasn't that heinous hamburger "stew" she inflicted on us every so often, it was cool. My mom was, and is, a really good cook. In fact, it was when she'd try something new that things would go poorly. But I still can't make a roast beef and gravy that's anywhere near as good as hers is.

Still, I understand where she was coming from now that I'm doing the cooking. I'm a fair cook with a mildly adventurous palate, but I have a standard repertoire of thirty or so dishes that I go back to frequently. Most of these things I cook without referring to a recipe because I've made them so many times. And while all those things are good to eat, you do begin to get a little bored. Most times when I consider branching out a bit and trying something new, though, I talk myself out of it because if it turns out poorly it's a big ol' waste of food. It doesn't happen often, but the lemon-artichoke chicken debacle of '06 is still a subject of discussion in this household. SHOULD have been good. I'm still bitter about that.

Anyway. Rather than continue to wallow in a sea of bi-weekly steak taco nights (not that I'm complaining...I never get tired of Mexican food) I'm going to venture boldly into the culinary world and try some new shit. And when it crashes and burns, I'll make another batch of macaroni and cheese with ham and the kids will love me again. And we always have bologna if things go really wrong.

Tonight's new recipe: Korean Barbecue Burgers. My version is pictured here. Y'all, I love me some Korean barbecue, and I also love me some burgers, so this was like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of recipes. Plus, I didn't actually drag my carcass out to the grocery store until like an hour before dinner time so I needed something quick to throw together, and this fit the bill. Simple, fast, and really tasty, and most of the stuff I had on hand. On the side is soy carrots with almonds, which made a nice side dish (not one that I made as much as heated; it's a Trader Joe's purchase.) I wish I had radishes on hand though; the crunch and mild spice would have been a nice addition. It's not the big schmancy Sunday dinner I like to make, but on a night when nothing was getting done fast enough, it was great. Yay! Food! It's my favorite.

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