Holy crap, the weather has gone nuts. I tried to capture it in photos, but if you are reading this from a safe, dry place in Central Florida, you already know. It's hurricane weather out there, meaning there's a hurricane forming somewhere out there, and these high winds and buckets of rain are part of the fringe effect. Okay, we are not strangers to hurricanes here but this is January, folks ... hurricane season ended back in November.
This is all because of El Niño, who has, in my mind's eye, now taken on the persona of that extraordinarily annoying Peter Pan from the GEICO commercial.
I have to admit I am eternally grateful, at this moment anyway, that I do not have to go to work. A walk to the courthouse, all of a block and a half, would surely leave me soaking wet, chilled, and miserable. If you are one of the many who have had to trudge through the messy weather for any reason, I feel your pain. Or rain. Try to stay dry. What ever happened to galoshes, by the way? I always had a pair of galoshes and a pair of ugly but absolutely waterproof snow boots when I lived at home with my parents. Did the fashion police ban galoshes when I wasn't watching?
These are the ones I grew up wearing:
So that's what these are! I thought they were swimming pool shoes!
Want. These. Now!
So I mentioned the other day that I'd purchased a spiral slicer at BJs, and was planning on trying it out real soon. Yesterday, I practiced spiralizing a carrot and an apple. The carrot was rather thin, and did not play well with the spiralizer, but the apple formed lovely edible curls. Clearly the key is the width of the vegetable or fruit.
What I really want to prepare is a variation on a dish I call Spaghetti Marco Polo, broccoli florets and crosscut stem pieces cooked with butter and olive oil, along with a substantial amount of garlic, served over spaghetti and finished with toasty pine nuts and grated Romano cheese. The variation will be substituting broccoli noodles - broodles? - for the cooked pasta.
I did some online research and immediately came across a food blogger who has devoted all of her creative energy to food prepared with a spiralizer. Her name is Ali Maffucci, and you can find her website, Inspiralized, by clicking on <==== this link. She works primary with zoodles - zucchini noodles - but has branched off into other vegetables, including broccoli.
Since she has already done the hard part of developing and testing the recipe, I decided to try it first. No need to reinvent the wheel. Except for one thing (you knew this was coming): I am going to blanch the broccoli first for a few minutes, then shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. We prefer a softer broccoli, and I can't eat anything that calls itself "al dente" because, well ... as you know, I'm lacking in the dente.
But first, I am going to blanch my delightfully misshapen okra, to start preparation of the Ultimate Okra Fritter, one of my crowning achievements combining three of my favorite activities - blogging, gardening, and of course, cooking. I was happy to harvest what I did, because this season's garden has been sort of disappointing. Turns out that this soil and climate, along with the actual location of my garden, are best suited to grow okra, cherry tomatoes, and ichiban eggplant. No zucchini or yellow squash or cucumbers. No bell peppers, although I managed to squeak out a few jalapenos. Parsley and rosemary. I am getting some kumquats (the lemon tree appears to be hibernating) and the blueberry bushes look hopeful. Since this is essentially a winter garden, I have been able to grow collards and turnip greens, but I haven't felt well enough to go out there and properly tend to the plants so that I can harvest enough for a meal. After I get these okra fritters done, I am going to gather the cherry tomatoes and make a fresh tomato sauce. But slowly, slowly ... sort of tai chi cooking.
Last night's tai chi class was wonderful. New forms, done ever so gently. I may not be the most graceful person in the class, but who cares? I am deriving physical and emotional benefits without having to take addictive medications. Tai chi is cool, like a fez. Or a bow tie.
"Dickhead of the Week Award" goes to Ted Cruz, that reactionary idiot, who lashed out at The Donald with this inflammatory statement: "Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values."
Whoa. Ted, you asshole, you just insulted my birthplace, my hometown, my roots, my whole infrastructure. Insult Donald if you think you're up to the task - you're not, by the way - but leave New York alone. As it happens, the best part of who Donald Trump is comes from the greatest city in the world (and it's NOT Bumfuck, Iowa) - New York!! Ted, f* ck you and the Canadian moose you rode in on.
This recipe from the Inspiralized site is frankly delicious, and I recommend that you check it out and try it on your own.