Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Foot long Coney dogs:

Grocery shopping can be perilous for those susceptible to impulse buys. Yes, those interesting and unplanned purchases that are never on the grocery list but somehow make it into the cart. There you are, trying to keep it on the straight and narrow, checking off staples on your list, and then you see it. You may wander over to the strategically situated display or aisle end cap and pick up the item. Usually by that time, it's too late.

It is an impulse buy. Resistance is futile. You will make your purchase.

David's somewhat immune to impulse purchases, but I am woefully liable to them. He's tried to curb my impulses various ways. For a while he insisted that we only purchase items on our list, which I solved by sneaking "miscellaneous" on every grocery list. He’s also tried beguiling me with sophisms or even making me carry the item around the store for 15 minutes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Which is why he was keeping a close eye on me as we were in the process of selecting hot dogs for our cheese coney dinner that night. But not close enough. I'd spotted the foot long hot dog buns and that was that. I could not be dissuaded, and David could tell it was a losing battle. Exchanging the hot dogs we selected for foot long hot dogs to go with the buns, we continued shopping.

Giant coney, to scale

size matters, you know

We picked up some tater tots to make tater tachos (like nachos but with tater tots), and the dinner plan was complete.

I can haz coney?

Haha, no, kitty.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Insert Wok Pun Here:

I don't think the woman in front of me realized how close she was to bodily harm. She was tying up both registers, whining at all the Sur Le Table employees in earshot about how they had charged her for the free knife sharpening service (apparently it's only two per household, FYI). My frustration steadily built up toward a violent eruption and potential disaster. David and I had been in line for 15 minutes. We just wanted to buy our wok and get out. At that moment, I was contemplating bashing the bleating, obnoxious woman over the head with the wok and telling her to put on her big girl pants and sharpen her own damn knives.

Sharpening knives is not hard. Exhibit "A", David sharpening the Global.
[Note for commenters below: that is a ceramic sharpening stick for a Japanese Global,
not honing steel for a German knife. We know the difference. Look closely.]

Rewind a bit to earlier in the day. David and I were searching for dinner recipes. We'd been gifted with some very pretty bok choy, and were trying to find a nice recipe to use it in. We were already thinking Chinese because of the bok choy, but I will take any excuse to make a dish using crunchy water chestnuts. David decided he wanted to try moo goo gai pan, and we realized that we were lacking a wok. Among other things.

Kevin's pretty Bok Choy

So we (eventually) got the wok, heat diffuser, oyster sauce, multitude of other Chinese sauces, dry sherry, mushrooms, and miscellaneous other ingredients for our moo goo gai pan. Stir fry can be as simple or complicated as you would like to make it. In our case, it was more of the latter. Once we got the mise en place out of the way, things came together rather quickly, but the prep still took about an hour of both of us working together.

Beverage pairing: Fancy Tripel Hop Duvel

Were you aware that a new steel wok will most likely be coated with a toxic lacquer to keep the metal from oxidizing while sitting on the store shelf, and that almost unnoticeable, plasticky film needs to be removed before cooking in it to avoid poisoning your family? Good to know.

David and I followed this recipe to the letter (with the addition of the bok choy), and it came out wonderfully. I'd say it was worth the wok and the wait.

Wokka Wokka