Tag Archive: food


or, How to Deal With Pests That Are Too Big for Their Own Good.

So, Grannie’s had this venison sitting in her freezer for forever and a day, and hadn’t done anything with it. When Hurricane Irene came knocking in August, Grannie packed up a couple of days in advance and brought herself up here for a couple of weeks while she waited for power to be restored at Ayrfield. Part of what she brought was the complete contents of her fridge and freezer, including a number of packages of the most organic venison you can find.

Naturally, when she left, she left the venison here. We’d made arrangements to hand some off to friends, but there were still a couple of packages of ground venison left (nominally ‘hot venison sausage’) that had been pretty badly freezer-burnt. I hate to let a good, dead white-tail go to waste, so I plotted.

After a bit of plotting, I stumbled across Mommy’s recipe for sausage soup, and said to myself, “Self, that’s probably the best way to deal with freezer-burnt meat. So, get cooking!” Of course, I then promptly ended up losing my life to the office for a while, but today, I finally got around to using the meat.

I’d previously defrosted it, and then browned it over the weekend so it would be ready for today. I also acquired a hefty load of things-what-food-eats at the nearby Purveyor of Such Things, and thus was prepared to render the remains of this dead, over-sized pest into edible food.

First, I dumped some extra-virgin olive oil into a six-quart pot, and promptly followed it with a finely-diced large yellow onion and about a teaspoon of minced garlic (because I misplaced my fresh garlic again). I let that sit to sauté for a bit while I washed and finely diced the potatoes. After I’d diced three of the six potatoes I had out, I up-cocked the bag of browned venison into the pot with the onions, mixed it all up, and resumed dicing potatoes.

By the time I got three potatoes into the pot, along with one large (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes and two quarts of chicken stock, I realized, “Well, crap. Looks like I should have used the bigger pot,” whereupon I retrieved the twelve-quart stock pot from the cabinet and swapped it in for the six-quart. I shan’t make that mistake again…

I added another quart and a half of chicken stock, the other three potatoes, and two handfuls of baby carrots to the pot, gave everything a nice healthy stir, and left it on medium heat with the lid on. Then I went outside to observe asteroid YU55; I’m not entirely sure, but I think I saw it. Either way, after about 20 minutes outside or so, we came back in and I gave the pot another stir. By this time, the soup was bubbling merrily away, looking and smelling good enough to eat right then, but it wasn’t quite done.

I pulled out a large bundle of green chard and separated it roughly in half; the other half went back in the fridge. I chopped the leaves off the stems, and rendered them width-wise into strips about an inch and a half wide; this seemed to be a good size to work with. In my opinion, the chard is what makes this edible. Without it, the soup very much resembles pot roast that fragmented. With the chard, it has a bit extra zing, and definite green flavors which are good for you.

After the soup had been boiling for about 45 minutes, I turned the heat down and dumped in the chard. I let it cook over low flame for about five minutes, then added a healthy grinding of fresh salt and pepper, and let it cook another five minutes or so before proclaiming it done.

It turned out reasonably well; it’s not spectacular, but what do you expect for severely freezer-burnt meat?

As always, pix or it didn’t happen:

Soup in a bowl!

Soup in a pot!

 

For those of you who want a recipe, here’s something I cobbled together from the above:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb ground venison
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1-ish tsp minced garlic
  • 6 medium potatoes, finely diced
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 3.5 qt chicken stock
  • 3-ish c red or green chard, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour some olive oil in a rather large pot.
  2. Add the onion (finely diced) and the minced garlic, then sauté over a medium-high flame.
  3. Add the ground venison, and sauté the meat with the onion and garlic until the meat is slightly browned.
  4. When the meat is browned, add the potatoes (finely diced), tomatoes, carrots and chicken stock to the pot, then cover. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped chard the pot. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, then simmer for another 5 minutes.

Makes ~8 quarts of soup.

or, Two Good Reasons for Owning Your Own Dairy Cow

My mommy is visiting today, so part of today’s adventure included making things that Mommy knows how to make, and I only knew in a vague sort of ‘yeah, yeah’ fashion: yogurt, and paneer. I should have taken pictures of the process, but I was more interested in not screwing up, so I didn’t.

Start with milk. It doesn’t really matter how much, or what kind of milk, really, but ultra-high temperature pasteurized milk will require more effort. Fat content matters not a whit, unless you have a preference to avoid something that resembles blue sidewalk chalk more than real food. Remember, though, that I subscribe to the Paula Deen School of Cooking (“Everything’s bettah with buttah!”), and thus I used six quarts of whole milk.

In the beginning, there was milk, and a surface, and heat, and God said: This better not stick! Gimme a spoon. -The Gospel of Cheese, according to Mrs. Tony’s Mommy

We’ll start with the cheese. You’ll need milk, a heavy-bottomed pot, a cheesecloth, a colander, some lemon juice, a couple of dinner plates, and a heavy bag of beans.

Pour a gallon of milk into your heavy-bottomed pot. Don’t use a flimsy pot, unless you like your cheese to be close, personal friends with atomic element number six. Bring the milk to something close to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, stirring at least periodically. I’m pretty anal retentive when I’m learning how to make something for the first time, so I stood over it and stirred pretty constantly. Make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom for very long; if you do, don’t scrape it up, ’cause it’s nasty and crunchy and black. The objective is to get the milk to about 185° Fahrenheit, to kill off the nasties that conspire to make you sick, but it’s easier to bring the milk to a boil. Once the milk has foamed, and is beginning to be active in the middle, you’re at the right place.

Line your colander with your cheesecloth, and rest it in your sink; you’ll be happier for this than to try and strain into a bowl, which only creates more mess. Mix about half a cup of lemon juice with a bit more than a cup of hot water, and gradually pour it into your now-close-to-boiling milk. Stir constantly, and watch the magic as the milk curdles. Once you’ve given it two or three minutes to itself, it’ll be pretty well separated, so empty it into your lined colander. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, both to remove the lemon juice, and because it’s convenient to retain the skin on your hands.

Bundle up the cheesecloth and twist it up in a ball around the cheese, and squeeze out the remainder of the water and whey. Once it’s as wrung out as you can manage with you hands, plop it on a plate and open the cloth up. Then, fold the cloth loosely around the ball, and plop the other plate on top, followed by the beans. I’ve currently got about ten pounds of daal and chana sitting on top of my improvised cheese press. I tried using one of my cast iron pans, but it didn’t really want to stay put, hence the beans.

Once the cheese is imitating Queen feat. David Bowie, it’s time to get started on the yogurt. For the yogurt, you’ll need milk, a smaller heavy-bottomed pot, some containers and a culture. In this case, the culture is probably going to be a few tablespoons from your previous batch of yogurt. Dannon ‘All Natural’ or something of similar ilk will be perfectly fine as a culture as well, but anything pasteurized is going to make you wait around for a Zap Gun for Hire.

Pour two quarts of whole milk into a smaller, but no less heavy-bottomed than the one you used for cheese. You’ll need enough headroom left for your spoon, and a healthy dollop of the culture. Heat this milk to about 185° Fahrenheit, stirring frequently to as to prevent sticking and burning (see the same bit about cheese), and then turn the heat off and let it cool down to between 90° and 110°. This will take a while, so go do your laundry. Then walk your dog. Then wash your cat. Then read War & Peace. Come back to it, and it might be ready to work with. I started writing this post after I had set a timer to let the milk cool, and it only just cooled off enough to contemplate adding the culture to it about the time I finished the first draft.

You’ll need a convenient place that’s warm enough to allow your culture to propagate, so if you don’t have a place in your house that consistently above 75 degrees, you can probably use your oven. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light, that’s just fine as-is; otherwise, preheat it to the lowest setting it has, and then turn it off. Mix the culture into your pot full of warm milk, and then distribute into whatever containers you have to contain your yogurt; I used five regular-mouth 1-cup mason jars and 1 wide-mouth 1-quart mason jar, which didn’t get quite filled. Put a lid on your containers (the plastic screwtops for mason jars are wonderful things), and then stash them in your oven which should be hanging out around 110 once you open it to put your yogurt in. Leave the yogurt to incubate until it is sufficiently set, and as strongly flavored as you like, then tuck it in your refrigerator. Remember as you’re eating your delicious new yogurt to keep some aside as a culture for your next batch; you can use as little as a teaspoon for a gallon of milk, but it will take a long time to set, so about a tablespoon of yogurt per quart is about right.

So, personally, I enjoy cooking, but I don’t much care for (read: “I loathe”) standing over a hot stove for many, many hours waiting for chicken stock to finish doing its thing in a pot. So, I took advantage of one of man’s many great inventions and fished out my crock pot.

You may recall my post from Wednesday last week, wherein I described the rendering of a chicken into an edible dinner of epic adventure (or perhaps the epic adventure of rendering a chicken into an edible dinner). But what to do with the carcass when we were finished? Why, waste not, want not! I promptly stuck the carcass, pan-drippings and all, in a box in the fridge and left it there while we traipsed off to Darkover.

Yesterday, we went shopping, and I acquired a fair bucket-full of vegetables from our local Wegman’s. Some of these I have since whacked into little bits and stuck in my Crock Pot alongside the aforementioned chicken carcass, jellied pan-drippings and all, and the leftover chicken leg that I didn’t get around to eating. I chopped up two stalks of celery, two medium-sized carrots and one rather large sweet onion. Additionally, I added some more salt, a fair sprinkling of rosemary, and two bay leaves. Poured over this mess was 6 cups of cold, filtered water, which is about all I could get into my little 3-1/2 quart crock pot without causing it to overflow.

I set the crock pot on low at around 8:30 last night; if I so chose, I could probably strain it now, but I think I’ll wait a little longer – it’s making my kitchen smell rather lovely right now!

So, tonight I decided we’re having chicken. Chicky tits are generally pretty flavorless (thank you, Catherynne Valente), but if you subject them to curry, or batter and a deep-fryer, they’re pretty palatable. Tonight, however, I didn’t want to go to all that effort to render what usually amounts to a “kindergarden eraser” edible, so I bought and roasted a whole chicken.

First, I spatchcocked the bird. Well, actually, first I set the oven to preheat to 375. Then I spatchcocked the bird. This involved a few minutes of wrestling with the bird’s spine and a pair of scissors, before I finally just grabbed the backbone and (rather messily) ripped it out. After that, I promptly flipped it on its back, splayed, and pressed my (not inconsiderable) weight down on the sternum until that snapped in twain and the bird lay flat on the cutting board. I splashed some olive oil in my larger cast iron pan (since I don’t have a mister), and spread it around a bit. Once the pan was coated, I plopped the chicken, breast up, in the pan, then tucked the backbone under the legs.

I ground up some rosemary and a ‘Garlic & Herb’ mix that Angel has in my little stone mortar. After dribbling and spreading olive oil all over the bird, I spread the herb mixture on the bird and rubbed it in. Apparently, I didn’t rub it in well enough, ’cause when I splashed a healthy couple of glugs of white wine over the bird, it carried off a fair bit of the herbs.

After covering the pan with aluminum foil, I popped it in the oven. Since I was referencing this recipe, I figured 9 minutes per pound would work out okay, and promptly set the oven for just shy of an hour for the ~6.5-pound chicken. When the timer when off, I removed the foil, took a good, healthy whiff of a wonderful scent, and then set the timer for another 15 minutes. I let the bird rest on the cutting board for about ten minutes before I had at it with my cutlery. (I really, really need to get a proper carving knife; perhaps that will be my Bir-Hanu-Mas present to myself.)

It was most yum – needed a pinch of salt and some more pepper ground on it, but it came out rather well. I needed to cook the legs and thighs a little longer; I think 20 minutes after uncovering will work well enough, or perhaps 10 minutes per pound  instead of 9, but a brief stint in the nuke fixed up the legs enough that I could enjoy them. Tomorrow morning, I’m dumping the pan drippings, the backbone, the wingtips and the remainder of the carcass into the stockpot with a bunch of water and some veg – perhaps I’ll be able to turn out a decent stock from this, too!

And, pix or it didn’t happen:

Not bland and tasteless!

or, How to Host a Rally On the National Mall With 215,000 of Your Closest Friends.

I’m a bit late getting this posted, but here we go. (Much of this is lifted wholesale from Angel, FYI…)

We attended the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (alternately: the Wikipedia article). It was an adventure, and I’m so glad we weren’t trying to visit any of the museums. As Jon Stewart put it, “Clearly, some of you just wanted to see the Air & Space Museum and got royally screwed.” The Mall was completely, utterly jammed.

We were hosting some of Angel’s friends from out of town, as crashing with us is infinitely more affordable and even more infinitely entertaining, so we got everything squared away so they all had places to sleep.

Friday night around 19:30, LadySephiroth arrived from the Cold Fusion Reactor. We decided we were too damned tired to cook, so we took Blaise and Nostas’ia’s recommendations and hopped up to Angeethi, which is right around the corner from us. They’re a pretty nice Indian restaurant, on a par in quality, service and price to that Happy Good Indian Place in Timonium, near where Darkover happens. Angel liked that our dinner came with dinky oil tea lights and warming stands, and I agree that it was a rather nice touch. LadyS, being a bit of a spice wimp, liked Angel’s dinner (Mattar Paneer) a bit better than her own (Bengan Bharta); apparently, Angeethi makes their eggplant rather spicy. I was rather impressed that, when the time came to pack up our leftovers, they sent us home with more rice in the box, without prompting; it wasn’t even whatever rice we had left, it was a whole new plateful of rice. Also, they make a mean mango lassi, which I can always get behind.

Snicks and Spazz, who were leaving Raleigh from a Halloween party, got in rather late. By ‘late’, I mean, ‘I was ready to go to bed about an hour before they arrived, and we all know how much of a night owl I am.’ So, when they go in, we shuffled them off to bed, and we all decided to finish planning in the morning.

Getting up at 08:15 on a Saturday kind of sucks (in that Major Sucking kind of way), but it was for a good cause, so I sucked it up and coped. We made sandwiches, packed a bag with carrots, grape tomatoes and cookies, and made our way to the bus depot. The bus from Herndon Monroe Park & Ride was jammed almost as badly as the National Mall; it was standing room only, and I’m pretty sure the bus driver was letting us get away with some pretty illegal butt placement. Of course, then we got to West Falls Church, and things went pretty majorly downhill from there.

When we got to the Metro station, the lines for the fare-card machines were out the front gates. We decided that it was $5 well spent to buy new SmarTrip cards, which had a much, much shorter line. Of course, then we tried to get on the train. That didn’t work so well… One of the passengers on an East-bound train heading into the city typed up a message on her iPhone and flashed it at us: ‘Get on a train to Vienna.’ We did. That train was packed, too, but it wasn’t too bad (as in, we could actually get on it), and when that train got to Vienna, we stayed on it for the return trip. To put things in a bit of context, WMATA generally sees about 350,000 trips on your average Saturday; the day of the Rally, they hit that number shortly after 14:00, and when all was said and done, there were about 825,000 rides in the system. Spazz commented on this later, when he saw the news reports: “AND WE SURVIVED IT!!” Crazy, crazy adventure on the Metro.

While the mood of the people around us was a little strained, simply because of the ‘sheer wall of humanity,’ as Angel puts it, people were actually pretty hyped. For the most part, we were all going the same place, for much the same reason, and everyone figured it was simply easier to be friendly than to try and be hostile; Angel was a bit nervous about hostile rally-goers, but her worries were assuaged by the ride out to the Mall.

Our objective was to meet up with a bunch of people from Bomb Shelter Radio, but we never managed that; the crowds were just way, way, way too hectic to find our way to the broadcast station. Not that Fuzz/Illya was able to broadcast any; the cellular networks were loaded to the absolute limit; I could push the occasional SMS message through, but no voice, and definitely no data. We ended up camping just off the corner of 7th and  the foot path that parallels Jefferson, where we could make out the last-row JumboTron on our side, and (occasionally) hear what was happening on-stage. We had pretty much decided that we were there to celebrate and party with 60,000 of our closest friends, and we could watch the actual show on the Web when we got home; it ended up being a much larger party, but we still weren’t planning on doing anything but hanging out and watching the video later. Angel and Spazz ended up singing along to “Crazy Train,” much to Snicks’ disturbance, but for the most part, all we could hear was the music.

We saw a lot of signs, most of which were utterly hilarious. One guy was running around with “I only go insane for [picture of a chocolate chip cookie]”; Angel chased him down and gave him one of our cookies just to see the look on his face, which ended up being rather priceless. A guy closer to us had a sign which, on both sides, read “I politely request satisfaction”; one girl made her way up to him and promptly held her sign up under his, so it completed with “…in bed” and we all got a giggle out of that one. I was particularly fond of “Yelling doesn’t make you right,” “Duct tape fixes everything,” “Big Brother is watching – give ’em a SHOW!” and “Ooooh! Shiny!” LadyS got a picture of Death holding his own sign about health-care; when I successfully bribe her for a copy of the photo she took, I’ll post it as an attachment to this article.

After the rally officially ended, we decided we’d hang out a while; we made our way up to 4th and Jefferson, where we had thought the broadcast station for BSR would be (more fools we), whereupon we discovered a lack of BSR folk, but did run across our friends Pedro and Devora, and eventually Devora’s little brother as well. Additionally, we spotted a couple of Waldos, and a rather attractive Carmen Sandiego; Carmen became important later on. Around 16:30, we made our way down to L’Enfant Plaza, to hit up Au Bon Pain, but they were closed; this is what we get for not remembering that they’re really only open in the morning. We ended up at the Starbucks around the corner instead, where we hung out a little while longer and got psyched up for the ride home. 17:30 hit, and we had decided it was time to boogie.

We consented that dinner that we didn’t have to make was a Good Thing, so I called up O’Sullivan’s in Herndon to check about their live entertainment for the night. Reassured that the live show didn’t start until 9:00, we got back on the train (still crowded, but somewhat less crowded than before), had a bit of a kerfuffle with the bus fare, made our way back to Herndon Monroe P&R, and then back home. O’Sullivan’s is easily walking distance from our place, so we hopped up the street and around the corner, plopped down at a table, and proceeded to collapse. When the man came to take our drink orders, I ordered a pint of Harp, whereupon he looked at me and said, “You look like a man who could use one.” Why, yes – we’d just come from this rally, you see… When I got my beer, I promptly downed half of it, then began the process of determining what I’d eat.

Dinner arrived, and LadyS determined that she was far hungrier than she though; her dinner disappeared with Alacrity. Snicks, Spazz and Angel all ate somewhat more sedately, but my own dinner (I think it was Shepherd’s Pie, but whatever it was, it tasted delicious) disappeared rather faster than I could think. Of course, at that point, my thoughts were moving barely fast enough to place my order, and I was so very, very ready to fall over when we got home. We finished our dinner, divvied up the check and scooted out just before the live entertainment started, and walked up the W&OD Trail to get back to Casa del Drago.

Snicks and Spazz had to skedaddle pretty much as soon as we got home, as they had a party to be at the next day, but I made sure to let them know that they’re welcome to come on back at any time; as friends of Angel’s, they already were, but now that I know them, I think they’re rather neat folk too. LadyS crawled into bed, whereupon she was scaled and claimed in the name of the cats. Angel and I also made our respective ways to bed, and promptly slept in on Sunday morning. LadyS had to depart somewhat early-ish on Sunday, but ended up hanging out with us until 11:00 or so anyway, because we’re just that much cooler. We had to fight to convince her not to smuggle Nox home in her bag, though.

All in all, it was a fabulous time, and I’m glad we braved the Mall to attend; I’m not sure I would put up with the same kind of thing for anyone but Jon Stewart, but then, I’m a big fan of sanity, and not really a big fan of politics. In the end, I was mostly just glad to be hanging out with the cool people we call friends.

Once upon a time, KN bought me some dill Havarti cheese, and upon taking my first bite, I thought two things.

One, “…where have you been all my life? This is even more delicious than the dill Havarti Grandpa buys, which is sliced so thinly one can’t taste anything. Must not melt on chair…”

Two, “…this needs to be put in mashed potatoes. Like, now.”

Some weeks, a new bag of potatoes, and a fresh block of cheese later, this is what happened:

Mashing potatoes is a great stress reliever. Beware the woman with the masher.

While I worked on the cheesy goodness, KN made us some roasted red pepper sauce:

The florescent light in our smallish kitchen does the sauce no justice — it looks washed-out, but it’s really a pale orange. And très yum.

Now we just have to decide what kind of pasta we’re having for dinner.

When I was little, my parents and I used to eat at a lot of local ethnic restaurants, and the end result of this was my exposure to a lot of international cuisine at a young age.

One of the places we used to go was a joint called Oasis, a nearby Indian restaurant, where they weren’t liberal with the spices, but it was more than my undeveloped palate could handle comfortably. The counter to this, of course, was the Indian concoction called a ‘lassi’, which puts out the fires quite nicely.

Lassis come in as many flavors are there are flavorings, but there are a few things that remain constant: there is always a thick dairy product, usually yogurt or sour cream, and sugar. Sometimes, milk is added to keep it runny and potable, since many of the flavoring agents either don’t get runny when you blend them, or aren’t added in sufficient volume to make that difference. The end result of the blending, however, is the thick, but easily drinkable, goop provided by the heavens.

Needless to say, I love lassis, but of all the flavors I’ve tried, I retain my greatest love for lassis blended with mango.

Tonight, I made a couple of mango lassis in my Magic Bullet (which, by the way, makes single-serve lassis a snap). When I handed the first one off for a taste, it was promptly confiscated from my hands to the phrase, “It’s mine; you can’t have it back!” I guess it was a hit, yeah? After tasting the next one, I couldn’t agree more.

These are really, really easy to make. They need:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup mango juice, pulp, or chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

I’ve had lassis with cardamom, but I prefer mine without, which is good, since I don’t have any cardamom right now.

or, How To Achieve Escape Velocity from a Nuclear Reaction.

So, we had some folks down to visit us from the Cold Fusion Reactor Pittsburgh this weekend. Apparently, they needed an escape from the insanity and the drama surrounding the Tekkoshocon staff, so they escaped to our insanity, but we maintain strict rules about our home being a Drama Free Zone. If it involves Drama, it also involves my toes booting it out the door. Or something like that.

Anyway, they showed up around 1800 on Friday, and we thence proceeded to feed like ravening beasts normal human beings at our favorite local sushi-ya, Mikaku Sushi-Taro. They’re owned and operated by Sushi-Taro, in downtown DC, and it shows – it’s fabulous :) Afterward, we returned and slept the sleep of the dead (or at least the mostly-dead) until sometime the next morning.

I’m not sure when the cats woke me up, but shortly thereafter we scooted out to the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Chantilly, where we had a grand time and aching feet. Following that, we retreated to the abode for an hour or so, ate something resembling food, then wandered back into Chantilly. We hit up our local brick-and-mortar, Game Parlor, then one of the used book stores we frequent, C&W Used Books, and finished up with a trip to Lotte, one of the nearby international supermarkets. After we got home, we played Bohnanza (see the play report for more details), consumed blood orange soda floats (with fresh blood orange juice), some really nice sake (G Joy), and some odd new Mike’s Hard concoction called Hard Mango Punch (which is rather stiff at first, but you get used to it quickly).

Dinner on Saturday, eaten in that gap between the museum and the other stuff, was something resembling udon (which I’ve made before), and inarizushi (which I haven’t). I’ve never made the udon the same way twice; this time, it involved copious quantities of dashi, a few healthy glugs of mirin, a fair pour of shōyu, a bit of salt, about as much sugar and half a bundle of scallions sliced into dinky rings. I kept taking samples to taste, ’cause it kept tasting kind of hollow; eventually, it evened out and tasted pretty good. I added some inariage to mine, ’cause I like kitsune udon, but I left the other bowls alone.

Sunday, again being woken up by the damned furry marauders cats, I crawled out of bed to make breakfast. While I was making breakfast, the rest of the gang decided they were going to make me decide what to do (hah – the fools!), so we ended up staying home and playing games all day (see the play report for more details on that). Breakfast ended up being something resembling miso soup, but I don’t currently have any shiromiso, so I ended up using some doenjang instead. It came out pretty well, but I think I’m going to get some shiromiso for next time.

For the record, the soup ended up being a pot of dashi, three-ish tablespoons doenjang, a bundle of scallions sliced into dinky rings, a handful of dried wakame (a mistake – next time, use less wakame…), an about 12 ounces of silken tofu, whacked into small cube-like pieces.

The Damned Yankees folks from up north left around 5:30, and we proceeded to dinner pretty immediately. A fun weekend, all told, but now I’m kind of exhausted…