Something I've cooked recently: The digestive biscuits
I baked last Sunday turned out well, despite my having to substitute rolled oats (porridge oats) for the medium oats called for, because medium oats are not to be found in the US or at least not by me. I think the biscuits are a bit too sweet to eat with cheese as F-W suggests, but they're tasty with Nutella on top (what wouldn't be?) and best, in my opinion, eaten plain with a cup of milky spiced chai.
I decided to start a second batch of pickled cherries, because I made the first batch using the last of a bottle of unfiltered cider vinegar, and while the pickling liquid tastes fine it looks rather murky. So I bought more cherries, and since the supermarket only sells them in big bags I had the perfect amount left over to make a clafoutis this morning. I make clafoutis fairly regularly (meaning, once or twice a year) but I think this is the first time I've actually made the traditional version, with cherries. The cherries in a classic clafoutis are not pitted, which suited me fine as I don't have a pitter and am much too lazy to do it by hand. It does make me wonder how the French handle the etiquette of spitting out the cherry pits.
A few days ago I got a sudden, tremendous craving for red meat, and the universe obliged me by letting me find an enormous two-inch-thick rib steak at the supermarket, heavily discounted as it was near its sell-by date. I've often had trouble cooking steak correctly, for some reason, but I seared it in a very hot pan for two minutes per side, then finished it in a moderate oven, and it was perfect
. I used some of the leftovers in a steak sandwich the next day, will add the rest of the meat to a salad today with romaine lettuce and blue cheese, and the bone is in my freezer awaiting the next time I make stock. It's probably ridiculous to even mention cooking something as simple as a steak, but I'm really pleased that I managed to get it a lovely pink all the way through, right on the cusp between rare and medium rare, neither raw in the middle nor (to my taste) overdone. It's clearly the thickness of the steak that makes the difference; it's hard to find thick steaks without paying top dollar, but I'll keep an eye out for them from now on.
Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future: I don't have any concrete plans. I've got a bag of those nice miniature bell peppers and I kind of want to stuff them, but I'm still mulling over the stuffing. I want to use the last of a hunk of Spanish-style chorizo I bought a while back, but I'm undecided between rice and bread crumbs for the starchy bit. I should also--separately--make the potato salad with anchovies and olives that I didn't make last weekend, to use the potatoes before they go bad. (Though actually, uncooked mini peppers stuffed with that potato salad sound like they might be rather good . . . I do intend to make normal, cooked stuffed peppers this time, but it's an idea for the future.)
Something I'm vaguely thinking about cooking someday: Everything, as usual. It occurred to me today that the pickled cherries might be fantastic with duck, but that's probably an autumn dish. I am actually really longing for seasonal things; next week I should try to get myself to the farmers' market and see what's available and whether I can afford any of it.
One final and somewhat food-related note: st_aurafina
told me that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he of the digestive biscuits, has cooking shows, and now I've been binge-watching Escape to River Cottage and fantasizing about an idyllic little place in the country with a stream and a garden and some pigs. Of course it's the kind of simple life that actually requires a good deal of money, at least at the start, and then a lot of hard labor to maintain. But a boy can dream. The thought of being really alone
, of being able to go for a walk and not see anyone, appeals increasingly, especially now that with the internet you can still have access to entertainment, shopping, and human contact when you want it with people you actually like. I've lived all my adult life in one city or another, and there's a lot I love about cities, but I grew up deep in the country and I've been realizing, over the last few years, that it formed me more than I knew at the time.