Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reality Stew

It may not seem like much to people who are used to bitterly cold weather, but to me, the 24 degree temperature in Dallas right now is a horrible thing. I'm afraid my plans to trim some already freeze-damaged plants will be delayed yet again, thanks to these frigid temperatures.

When I woke up early this morning, I could tell the arctic front had swept through with its full force. My teeth were chattering and I got a charlie horse in my legs with every movement, something that happens to me when I'm very cold. Lest you think I've been forced to sleep outdoors, let me disabuse you of that notion; I slept in a warm bed. But I like the temperature to be cool when I sleep, so I had set the thermostat down last night to accommodate my desire. Despite the fact that the thermometer reads a balmy 65 degrees in the house, I know otherwise.

A hot shower, a shave, and a pot of strong black coffee have given me an entirely different perspective on the day. That's good, because in spite of my expectation that I would stay indoors to weather this cold snap, I realized yesterday that I still have not bought any Christmas tamales. I must have pork and jalapeño tamales on Christmas eve or the world will spin off its axis. So, with good fortune, the Dallas Tortilla Factory (which sells good pork and jalapeño tamales) will be open today and, just as importantly, will have at least a dozen tamales to sell. I'm all set on the other Christmas eve staple, chile con queso.

Speaking of food, yesterday was a good day for good food. I made a spicy Indian dish that combines and modifies several recipes I've read and watched play out online lately. I started out planning to make gobi Manchurian (a cauliflower dish that pairs Indian and Chinese food). But, I didn't have enough flour of the right types, so I adjusted my plans. Instead, I made a cauliflower, eggplant, and tomato dish into which I loaded a massive amount of mixed spices that approximated the spice mixture I use in my Chana Dal/Tomato, Garbanzo Soup. Served over basmati rice, it was wonderfully good. I'll ,call my new dish Ghobi, Baigan, & Tamatar Stew with Chavul. Now, I wonder if that's actually a reasonable use of those words?

And more on food. This evening, I'll make venison stew. This afternoon I'll spend time preparing the meat (removing tendons and fat, etc. and soaking in vinegar and water), then braise the meat, add veggies, and wait for the stew to become reality.

1 comment:

YourFireAnt said...

MMMmmmm. I'd like to try that venison stew and the tamales. What a good idea for Ch'mas eating.

We had just enough time between storms here to get all the streets plowed, and for family members/friends to get in/out of town before last night's onslaught.

Today....start all over again with the shoveling/plowing.

I can take any amount of cold if only I don't get snowed in.

When's dinner?