Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thirty-five hours, but who’s counting?

Yes, it’s true. I have been absent from these parts since I disclosed my participation in the great Kalua Pig Extravaganza. Although I was not pleased with the final dish, all 47 guests of the party ate it with relish and heaped culinary accolades on my Hawaiian clad persona.

The following day I made the Unmotivated Salad … and since then I have remained burrowed in a cocoon of lethargy. (okay that’s a lie) A cocoon of writing lethargy is more like it. Socially I have been way too committed. The first week back I was out doing something every single lunch and/or night.

One highlight from last week was the arrival of my friend Bob, from Syracuse NY. He flew into town Wednesday night for a Thursday business meeting. My co-worker, Hot Sauce is a New Yorker too. And Hot Sauce, Hot Sauce’s wife, and Bob all attended college in Oswego. It seemed imperative they all meet.

I mentioned Bob’s arrival – and the next thing I knew, Hot Sauce suggested we have dinner at his house, after I picked Bob up from the airport. Of course, the next question was, “What will we eat?”

Hot Sauce proclaimed that since Bob LIVED in Syracuse – home of the famous Hoffman’s Hot Dogs and Coney’s … he should supply the dinner. It seemed like a grand idea … until Bob told me his departure had been delayed by two hours and he didn’t know if he was going to make the connecting flight from Dulles to RDU. Or if he made it, if he wasn’t sure his luggage containing our dinner, would make it too.

But luck was with us because it wasn’t Hot Sauce who was flying in with dinner. Had it been Hot Sauce, not only would he have missed the connecting flight, but his luggage would have been delivered to …. I don’t know SINGAPORE or something, (because that’s the kind of traveling karma he has). Bob and the hot dogs showed up as scheduled.

It was a great night of reminiscing, not to mention great hot dog and Coney eating. (Buns, brown mustard AND NOTHING ELSE ALLOWED!!) The storytelling lasted far past my normal bed time and Thursday morning I was glad it was Bob who was conducting a client meeting and not me.

Then I really did become the epitome of a “bump on a log”. I bailed on boating plans for Saturday. Sunday I only did the graphics for church – and then continued my reading, not cleaning/housework spree until it was time to make Carrot Fritters for the dinner group (thankfully hosted at someone else’s house – see: reading – not cleaning/housework spree mentioned above)

The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, “California Home Cooking: American Cooking in the California Style” by Michele Anna Jordan. They were a hit. I won’t publish the recipe here – but I’ll tell you the general idea.

In a big bowl grate some carrots, add some chopped cilantro, and fresh grated ginger.

In a small bowl mix together a little bit of flour, baking powder, some ground cumin (it’s best if you take whole cumin seeds, roast them, then grind them), whole mustard seeds, salt and pepper. Pour this over the carrot mixture and incorporate.

In another bowl (I used the one formerly containing the flour/spice mixture) slightly beat eggs. The ratio here is 1 egg, one tablespoon of flour, and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro for every cup of carrots.

After you’ve beaten the eggs, pour them over the carrots and mix again. Drop by one ounce portions into 350 degree oil that’s about two inches deep in a heavy pan. I used a heavy/heavy sauce pan. You could also use a Dutch Oven, if you don’t own a Fry (everything and weight 1,000 lbs) Daddy.

Cook for one minute, roll to other side, and cook one minute more. Remove, drain, eat like a pig.

There was a really great sounding Honey-Ginger Mustard Sauce to go along with the fritters, but in keeping with the whole “Meh” feeling, I did not make it. Apparently it wasn’t THAT important as every last fritter disappeared at the supper group.

This weeks highlight is my impeding departure for Philadelphia! There, the Knights of the Cotton Bale will be reunited. It will be a smaller gathering than last year. Our host will be Blue, and joining in for the fun will be Bob and John. The other members of the group can’t make it – but somehow I’ll try to endure the attention of these three men. (wheee!)

Saturday we’ll do a walking tour of Philly. (Well, as much as you can walk in any major US metropolitan city.) Anticipated points of interest include:

The Philly Italian Market


Termini Bros

Cheese steaks from Gino’s or Pat’s

Also up for visits …

Fabric Row

Old City

Avenue of the Arts


South Street

Chestnut Hill


University City

In the late afternoon we’ll return home and begin cooking all our treasures. The real reason for this get together (besides seeing each other/meeting new people) was to taste the many different tomatos Blue has been growing all summer.

That idea morphed into a weekend of cooking tomato dishes WITHOUT RECIPES (which means a weekend of heavy drinking to calm my nerves). And now – the general theme is Curry – Indian/Asian/American.

Sunday morning will be lazy time. I anticipate great jazz, coffee, and conversation. Sometime in the early afternoon we’ll head to the Philly Art Museum for the Gee’s Bend Quit Exhibit.

I am really excited to see this for several reasons. None of them related to me and sewing. *shudder* I recall seeing an interview with some of the creators of these magnificent art works – and always hoped that sometime when I was in Alabama I would get to go visit, but so far it hasn’t happened. I also read Joshilyn Jackson’s most recent novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. It’s the story of a non-traditional quilter … and something that happens in the middle of making one of her creations. Part of the genesis for this story came to Joshilyn when she purchased this quilt.

There ya go. The Mitter Itinerary of things past and present.


mamie said...

Girl - you are way busy! Have fun this weekend.

word verification KTBYP: Killing the Buddha you pagan.

I H8 24 said...

Hope you have a wonderful time and let us all hear about it when you get home!! Another word verification: dlgugmg: "Don't leave ground until grabbing my gear"--little note to self!! Be careful! Love ya!

Bob said...

Enjoy Philly. I've always wanted to visit (the airport doesn't count).

Anonymous said...

When you finally hit ground, give us a call, possible ? Have a fun trip and be safe. tp

Anonymous said...

I hope you have oodles of fun Mit! Snarf a Philly cheesesteak sandwich for me!!


saturday's child said...

Philly is *very* walkable! You're probably loving it right now!!

The Purple Panda said...

Why is it that my food cravings always kick in when I read your blog?