The Best of Days. The Worst of Days.

If my e-mail inbox is to be believed, I have a number of deceased relatives. The good news is that they've left me bazillions of dollars. Oh, and I've won about six different lotteries. Although I receive a good bit of mail about my apparently undersized penis on a regular basis, I realized today that I never receive any mail about my boobs. Clearly they must be perfect.

Lunch Kidlets
I went out to lunch at my favorite sandwich shop. It was apparently a popular destination for the 5-7 year old crowd. The kids had the grown-ups outnumbered about 3 to 1. While I was waiting in line to pay for my sammich, I noticed a toddler sitting in a high-chair feeding herself while Dad went to get some condiments for his sammich. The little girl was methodically grabbing a potato chip, dipping it in ketchup and popping it in her mouth. The movement was as steady as a metronome and she didn't miss a beat. Her attention was so completely focused on the potato chip process that she didn't even bother to look up when Dad returned. He asked her if she was having a good hotdog and she just kept going at the chips. Clearly hotdogs are further down the yummy list than chips and ketchup.

I'd never even thought of eating potato chips with ketchup until I saw her. It seems like it ought to taste pretty good, given how yummy fries and ketchup can be. I did not, however, try it with my chips today.

Super Natural Cooking
This is a recent cookbook by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. I'm a big fan of her website and love her conversational writing style. I thought I'd be as big a fan of her cookbook, but I don't think it's the book for me. Unfortunately, many of the recipes call for ingredients that aren't available within a 90 minute drive of where I live, which isn't her fault, but does rather limit the use of the cookbook. I also thought some of the text was a bit preachy about using only natural ingredients and that anything/everything process or mass-produced is automatically bad, but anything/everything purchased at the coop or bulk foods store is good. The problem with that is that many of the products are actually the same, except for the packaging (or lack thereof). Obviously this isn't true for everything, but then again, neither is the "bulk foods store/coop=non-mass produced" assertion. I did really like that she clearly stated that the term "natural" has no official definition and did spell out how she defines it.

With that said, I did find quite a few recipes that I'm eager to try. I already made a batch of her thin mints from the recipe she'd posted to her website. I was particularly intrigued by the millet fried "rice". I really like the crunchiness of millet, but most recipes using it just put it in bread or other baked goods. I think this recipe would be a great way to showcase the crunch and flavor of this grain. I will probably audition this book from the library a couple of times and make a final decision about whether or not to buy it at a later time.

What to Cook Next
I periodically like to try baking or cooking something that I have never baked or cooked before. As a kid I tried baking popovers with some success, though I quickly learned that they're only truly tasty when they're still hot out of the oven. Reheating does absolutely nothing for their flavor or texture. I still haven't tried making an angelfood cake from scratch or a souffle.

This past week Twitchh was in Austin, TX for the supercomputing conference. Whenever he goes out to eat for dinner, I invariably ask him to pick out a yummy dessert to "share" with me. Some of the choices this week were creme brulee, creme brulee cheesecake, flan and a custard tart with fresh raspberries and blueberries. I think I'd like to try making custard-based desserts some time soon. I'll have to find a creme brulee recipe that only makes a few servings. The last thing I need to do is make enough for six people. If it turned out well, I could probably demolish most of it in one sitting.


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