The food of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan, showcased right here in a South Dakota strip mall.
It was pretty good, although I didn’t know what anything was. There was a big bowl of tossed salad and a big bowl of rice, but after that I was pretty much clueless.
“Which stuff doesn’t have any meat?”
Turns out, most of it didn’t have meat. $10 all you can eat. I totally chowed down, thinking “This is what the Buddha ate.”
— Green Deane
The brownies were pretty fab. I cooked them a hair too long I feel. The only thing I’d change would be to knock off ten minutes in the oven.
The Vagabond King Pizza Rolls turned out too doughy. I rolled those bitches thin as hell, but they rose in the oven and overwhelmed the sauce and cheese. Unimpressed. Should’ve went with my gut, which was wontons.
The Spanish potato omelet did not materialize due to chef intoxication and a sudden Merle Haggard listening spree. Tonight!
Tonight I’m going to make bruschetta on rustic bread I bake myself topped with white bean puree/olive tapenade/roasted tomatoes. Bruschetta three ways!
Be jealous, for I am an excellent cook. Remember Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, how he was an excellent driver?
I’m like that only with cooking.
They’re always “neighborhood grills”, even though there’s one in every town exactly like the one in every other town. And they’re never in an actual neighborhood, but out by the interstate or the mall.
Applebee’s, Chili’s, whatever…
I always avoid them because they’re so tired and there’s nothing on the menu I really want to eat. It’s just meat, meat, and more meat, usually with their “special” barbecue sauce straight from a plastic vat.
So a new restaurant opened here in town and I went to it last night to try it out. It’s not a chain, but owned locally. It’s located downtown, away from interstates and malls. The building was unique, not straight from an Ikea box. I thought it had potential.
But, alas, it was the same old shit. TGIFriday’s with a different name, a knock-off of a knock-off of a knock-off. How sad. I had the onion rings because everything else had meat in it—well, everything but the business model, har, har…
I can’t do two things at once anymore apparently. Well, I can, but I gradually combine them into one thing.
In my new big kitchen I was in the process of baking bread. Namely, I was waiting for my yeast starter to bubble up. I had my flour and salt in the mixer. Everything was ready.
I was also making a pot of tea. Guricha, to be exact, a full quart to chill and drink over ice because, you know, it’s 4 degrees out and it’s important to stay hydrated. Loose leaf, this tea was. I had it right in the pot, steeping. Normally, I strain it with a handheld strainer into a glass pitcher which I then chill in the fridge.
These are all activities I have done hundreds of times, unlike, say, sex (bajillions).
So my little timer went off telling me my tea was done steeping and I began pouring into into my mixer, over the flour and salt.
I caught myself after about a cup, but it was vibrant green tea, plus tea leaves, that went into it.
I chuckled and made the bread anyway, suppressing with dubious success thoughts of Alzheimer’s, senility, and dementia.
The bread is now baked and cooling on the rack. I hope it’s good. Perhaps I discovered something, something amazing. A lot of great things have happened by accident. Alcohol, for one: “This honey water smells funny.”
Perhaps green tea bread will change the whole world.
It could happen.
It was a trip to the store like any other. I had my list, my money, my bag. Mainly I was after big portobello mushroom caps. In my world, these are “burgers”. I tear off the thick stem and fry the cap up. I dice the stem and some onion up and sautee. I put this on top of the “burger” and melt cheese over the whole mess. Ker-pow! vegetarian burgers. Try adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the stem and onion concoction while you’re sauteeing.
So I needed whole wheat buns and cheese and an onion and of course the caps. I get the buns first and then hold up the caps next to them so I have a perfect fit. I needed a few other things: black beans, lentils, jasmine rice. And oregano.
This was, like, a week ago.
I had my own little jar for the oregano. At the co-op where I shop, I buy in bulk, thus most of my containers are constantly being reused. I haven’t bought an actual “bottle” of olive oil since 2010.
“I can’t believe how much of a hippie you’ve become,” my son said over Christmas when I scolded him and told him to take his beer bottle out of the garbage and put it in the recycling bin. I thought about going to my closet and bringing out my shotgun to show him that I still have a little cowboy in me yet, but decided against it. By the way, I am a member of the H.W.G, Hippies With Guns. We’re a small, very stoned, special interest group. We never go marching because we’re always on the couch watching Cartoon Network.
So I got home and unpacked everything and no oregano. “Didn’t I buy some oregano?” I asked my cat, scratching my head. She was standing in the kitchen with me, hoping it was time to eat. She is always hoping it’s time to eat. After she eats, she’s like “Man, I can’t wait to eat again!” That’s her whole life. Well, that and naps.
I called the co-op and it wasn’t left there. I searched the car but didn’t find it. I scrutinized my receipt and, yes, sure enough, I bought some oregano.
I didn’t think much of it after that. God does have a sense of humor after all. I mean, look at the giraffe, for fuck’s sake.
Tonight, though—right now, in fact—I am in the middle of making a tomato sauce and WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY OREGANO?