I love kefir. It can't be good for you. It's too delicious. The label says it's healthy, but in my experience, anything that makes you want to inhale 4+ serving sizes at once can't be the road to beach bod. Even now it's sitting there in my fridge, calling to me...come back, Scott, come back, we all float down here.
An hour ago I wanted to fire up the audio recorder and the mic and talk rather than write. I waited too long. My eyes are getting heavy. I'll write a bit and then call it a night.
I bought something last week that has me saying, simultaneously, 3 parts you idiot, 1 part you genius. The suspense is killing you, isn't it? I bought a La Creuset coated enamel skillet.
Why an idiot? Oh, let us count the way$. In January I started getting rid of things. Not nearly enough things, but I put the task in motion. The purge included a few kitchen items. Not many things. I haven't got a lot of kitchen items. But in my mind I was telling myself, ok Scott, put the cookbook project on hold, you're moving.
Several months later, I'm still planning on moving. But I'm still here. And I really couldn't get excited about another takeout meal. It's a pandemic in an economy in which most people were already pressed, so you can't write something like that without some qualification. Oh, poor me, I'm so sick of takeout. I'm grateful there's food on the table. So if you're reading this, please read it in this tone or font - I was spending too much money on food I wasn't all that excited about because I was too lazy and disorganized to cook simple meals at home. I suspect a lot of you know that feeling.
I'm a terrible cook. But I like the idea of simple meals cooked in one pot or skillet, and I love having the apartment smell like onions or garlic, regardless of my skills. I'm also a sucker for romanticism and have been eyeing cast iron for a couple of years. But to thy own self be true. I researched cast iron skillets, and I knew I'd ruin one of those in 6 months. Actually 2 months, and I'd finally admit it at 6 months.
Then I stumbled on La Creuset. More expensive, easier maintenance. I splashed out on one of their skillets. Heavy son of a gun. I know because I carried it home from Pike Place Market.
I was worried about the cost. It wasn't cheap. But I've cooked simple meals in it almost every night since getting it, and if I take care of it, I'll be handing this off to one of my niece's kids. I'll lose it or break it before then, but the theory holds water.
Tonight there was a round of Chow Hall Eats at Chez Scott. Quinoa into a pan, bubbling away. Oil into the skillet, fire up the stove. Chucked in a bunch of garlic. That moment when garlic hits a heated skillet is deeply satisfying. A bit later, in went the great northern beans. I think I've asked this here before - is that just another name for white beans? I let that go for a bit, and then came the treat, the treat that puts fraud in Chow Hall Eats - Patagonia Provisions' tinned savory sofrito mussels.
I was pretty stoked watching it all simmer and dance. Then I went over the top, because I could. I pushed the beans and garlic to one side and cracked an egg into the remaining space, fried that sucker up. All the while I was terrified that I was introducing empty space into the skillet, which would then lead to cracks, which would then prevent me from handing this off to one of my niece's kids when they get their first apartment. Ugh, you idiot, you've ruined it, why did you ever buy this. Doomed from the start. Foiled again!
Crisis averted, I think. The skillet held up. I overcooked the egg, but I can live with that. Do any of you fry eggs? What are your thoughts on recognizing when they're done? Do you flip?
The meal was good. Not opening a restaurant or inviting people over good, but Chow Hall Eats good. And I have leftovers. And I can now talk about the patina on a skillet. I'm going to be the life of the first post-pandemic party I attend. Well, I find that as the skillet develops that nice patina...haha, kidding, I don't go to parties. Saving that one for my YouTube channel.
Is there a word or phrase for when everything looks great on the surface, but trouble is brewing out of sight? That's Seattle right now. The weather is beautiful. I walked around this afternoon, and people everywhere were walking, laughing, and enjoying the sun. The restaurants were packed. And our vaccination numbers are ramping up nicely.
Our COVID cases are ramping up un-nicely. It's hard for me to get my head around. I always come back to a few things. Easing restrictions (tough policy call there!), fatigue, and the great transmitterfiers. I'm convinced they'll look back on this thing and say, you know what, you all underestimated the efficiency and ruthlessness with which this virus spreads indoors in favorable (to the virus) ventilation scenarios. With the flu, with every person vaxxed or immune, you're placing pressure on the virus. I don't think COVID feels too much pressure (yet). If it can find someone who breathes and is in an indoor setting, the virus is thinking, "So you're saying there's a chance." (I'm not a doctor or a scientist. I blog (ramble) late at night.)
I'm hoping the vaccines do their thing soon because I don't think people have much left in the tank for restrictions. I think a lot of governors have realized that, and that their policy prescriptions are limited.
Let's wrap it up there. I hope you're doing well. If you've got a favorite skillet recipe, send it my way. Preferably no meat, but if it's meat and so awesome that you feel obligated (in a good way) to share it, I might give it a try. Here are some photos.