Kimchee

Love me some kimchee. I eat it with everything. This weekend, I bought a jar of it and started dishing it out on my avocados and bam! A raw oyster came tumbling out of the jar. Then another and another. Holy cow. I did not sign up for oyster flavored kimchee. I like oysters on the half shell and I suspect these are “cooked” much like ceviche but essentially they’re raw. I was majorly bummed. I mean I’ll still eat the kimchee but they’ll be in dishes like cooked in soup and maybe stir fried with eggs or something.

Fermenting
So not to be deterred from getting some kimchee, I decided to make my own following this recipe. Only change I made was I added shredded carrots and daikon. It’s currently sitting on the counter fermenting away! The entire process was pretty easy. After a day it’s already forming tiny bubbles and tastes just the slightest bit sour. I may never buy oyster kimchee again!

Summer Weather in Spring

This weekend has given us a taste of summer with temperatures in the 80s. It seems too soon to be turning on the A/C so we’ve just been keeping our windows open. Breezy but still warm. If it feels like summer, I’m going to eat like summer – bean salads and pickled vegetables. I was tempted to get a watermelon at the grocery store too but it doesn’t seem like the right season just yet. Where are these watermelons coming from?

Tejas

I’ve never been to Texas. It’s such a Confederate state. Kinda’ scares me. Do I need to shop for Kevlar? Yipes! This coming from a Confederate state resident so yeah, I’m totally pot calling the kettle black. But I’m scared of the unknown. Ignorance does that. Gonna fix that next week though. Going to go and educate myself first hand about the second biggest state in the U.S. who somehow got a new drug supply for their death penalty even though the drug companies refused to sell it to them, so they won’t say where they got it from. One can only guess their shady ways. Guess the 6th commandment was lost to them somewhere in there. Political differences aside, I’m looking forward to taking in the local culture.

Ever since we booked the tickets, I’ve been reading up about places to eat. And shop (Lent is over soon!) and eat. And eat. Bbq! (So much for cutting back on meat.) Mexican food! And definitely a big helping of live music at the live music capital of the world.

Austin here we come! I promise not to come back with cowboy boots, a ten-gallon cowboy hat, and an obscene belt buckle.

The bi-annual clothing swap

Time to put away the winter sweaters and bring out the summer T’s. I know it might be still early yet but I’ll take my chances. In the process I’ve also packed away a bag of clothes that are ready to go to another lucky soul. It felt really good to purge. I could probably get rid of more stuff. I’ll see after this summer season what I end up wearing and what keeps ending up at the bottom of my dressers.

Garden

The weather is ready for the garden. I was going to abandon my garden this year and just go with house plants, but sometimes, the plants tell you what’s what. That’s exactly what the mint, chives, and oregano did. They sprouted. So I trimmed off least years dead growth and decided to keep em around another year. I tossed away the old oregano which didn’t make it.

Going Paleo

Part of the reason why I decided not to go vegetarian again for this year’s Lent is because I’m considering trying a Paleo diet. The quick and inaccurate description of it is eating meat and veggies and not much else. No beans, no grains, little fruit. Think of it as the Atkins diet, rebranded. Technically, I would hunt my meat or at least get free range grass fed but I think for purposes of simplicity I’m just going to be lax about the meat types. Because if I have to hunt my meat, Gina will be the first to go. For these past few weeks I’ve been minimizing bread and pasta to practice this new Paleo. The toughest part will probably be having to give up beans and beer and start cooking a lot more meat. I hope this doesn’t make me constipated.

Wait, what?!

It’s snowing outside right now. I’m not so much surprised that it’s snowing in the Spring. It snows into April. But all the forecast and weather websites were calling for rain. Actually this is coming down like a mix. Brr… no wonder I feel chilly. I’m wanting more of that hot chocolate from Woodberry Kitchen.

Plantain Chips

I burned these things last week I tried making them. I started them at 300 degrees, got impatient and cranked them to 350. Burned.
This time, I kept them at 300. Slow and steady gives you crispy and not burned. Just watch them closely.
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Slice them thin on a mandolin. Coat them with coconut oil.

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Flip them after 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

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Give them another 30 on the other side.

Woodberry Kitchen

Three words. Yum yum yum!

I felt sort of silly driving an hour for brunch. Trek out to Baltimore for eggs and toast? Let me tell you, this was the best brunch I have had anywhere. I love breakfast foods and I have had some good stuff but this was so memorably good. The morning was a bit chilly so we started with hot chocolate.
Hot Chocolate

For starters we had a chard salad and oysters on the half shell. Usually, when I have oysters anywhere, it doesn’t matter how good the other dishes are, the oysters always stand out as the best part of the meal. Fresh, sweet, briny. This time, as great as the oysters were, they didn’t outshine the food. We ordered Gold Potato Hash Browns (with cabbage slaw and perfectly cooked runny eggs) and Cast Iron Blood Sausage (made in a cast iron pan with a popover base and an egg). That popover was so light and puffy. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The plate and pan were licked clean. Both dishes were so good we almost ordered a third out of greed. We opted for an apple pie ala mode instead.
Apple Pie

They have great service at the bar. We made a reservation and got there an hour early so we opted for the bar. I kind of enjoy sitting at the bar sometimes. We get prompt service and it’s good people watching. They also have convenient free valet parking.

Three more words. I’ll be back.