Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deep Freezer Spelunking

One of Jen's favorite things to do is to interview people. I guess that's why she ended up in the profession that she did. However, it's not just at work that she likes to do this. She also does it at home. She will often go into "interview mode" and just fire off a bunch of questions at me rapid-fire. These questions are usually about my past and most often about my culinary past.

What is the hardest thing you've ever had to cook? What was the most expensive meal you ever made? What did you hate to do the most?

Well, recently I regaled Jen with tales of a recipe that required me to segment 33 lemons. Segmenting lemons is a hateful task. You need to peel the lemon, cut each segment out, and carefully remove the seeds. After 33 lemons you generally have enough segments to barely fill a cereal bowl and the task takes about seven hours to complete. Not to mention the fact that your hands are stinging from tiny invisible cuts you never knew you had. I also developed eczema on my left ring finger which was aggravated each time I touched a lemon or shrimp for a decade after working in that particular job.

However, the effect of segmented lemon is very nice. And all that talk about this loathsome task got me to thinking that I'd like to do it again on my own terms. Segmenting one lemon is not all that bad. So it was that I made this salad with kale, segmented lemon, shaved fennel, and Marcona almonds.

I had to continue my freezer cleaning so tonight I made shrimp cocktail. We also have some cocktail sauce that we've had for over a year and I wouldn't mind seeing that go away.

To keep with the themeless theme I made some turkey soup out of Canadian Thanksgiving frozen turkey, turkey stock, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, and egg noodles. I was going to put a twist on it but then I decided that would be lame.

For beer I enjoyed another beer from Cavalry Brewing, this time the Big Wally Porter. I always find it odd mixing beer with soup but this seemed to work pretty well. On the negative side this bottle's text was not as incomprehensible as the Hatch Plug Ale which declared: "A happy tanker is a fat tanker and a real fat tanker is a Hatch Plug."

One odd thing I noticed is that if you inhaled while sipping this beer it had the distinct smell of porcini mushrooms. I don't want to be that guy who "detects caramel undertones" or whatever but I thought it was pretty pronounced. And while I enjoyed the beer that was certainly not my favorite part of the experience.

Maybe Big Wally was a big fan of fungi.

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