Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sour Beer, Cream and Disposition

Great effing Pumpkin in a monsoon rain, what the HELL is going on with my cuisine these days!? First, the bad bar food, which, you know, I can expect. One does not order the happy meal when expecting untainted, ethical food. But, seriously, these low expectations are starting to toy with me. I got through the weekend and had to spend a whopping $40 at Rainbow. But then, I had to go to Kowalski's to get the lunch meat, because theirs is actually not a mix of cardboard and molding clay. Also, I wanted to stop at Breadsmith because their bread is tasty, cheapish and completely devoid of High Fructose corn syrup. Yum! My favorite!
But then as I'm exiting the parking lot at Rainbow I see this guy who's oddly hunching over onto the sidewalk. Why did I look? Why! It's University Avenue! Ignore that it's 10:30 a.m. Who cares if it's a respectable hour for families to be out and about, frolicking in the springtime rain? Not this guy, who's systematically spewing some white vomit all over the sidewalk. Why wouldn't you at least aim for a shrub or a garbage can? Totally disgusting. So, while I was momentarily happy about my grocery bill, "Wow! $40! Why don't I shop here more often?" My rhetorical question was unceremoniously answered at least twice as I was driving by. Oddly, I was happy to think that he looked like he hadn't eaten a solid meal in days. Groan all you want, it could have been worse.

So, I reluctantly finished my errands and headed home. Just before pulling up to our place, I decided to head on over to Stransky's liquors, owned by an amiable fellow named Chin. Chin apparently tips Matt well when he occasionally stops by Skinner's, so I like to throw him a couple bones now and again. I was really hoping that they'd have Schell's Dark, my new favorite beer, one of the few that I will occasionally order. But they didn't have that. They really didn't have anything other than the usual cheapies. Mick light, Bud Light, eff that! The closest that I could find was Newcastle. I've had a couple o' tasty Newcastles in my time. Also, I needed a darker beer for the pot roast that I was planning to make for dinner. Part of my uber cheapie plan was to make this bad boy and make a million other dinners out of my one hunk of meat.

So, later that night, the alchemy begins. I've peeled and diced rutabaga, leeks, carrots and dehydrated shitakes. I seasoned up the meat and browned it in my casserole pot, tossed in my veggies and cracked a beer. I took a nice, long pull and blech!!! I had to spit it out in the sink. It was expired! Stale! Disgusting! I poured the rest into the pan, wouldn't hurt the meat and waited with glee until Matt tried to take a swig himself. What?! It's April Fool's! Well, almost. Anyway, that turned out fine. I put it into the Oven of Great Destruction wavering in between 325 and 350, while set at 300. And it was tasty. It would have been better if I'd had a beer to go with it, but whatever.

I cracked a bottle of Chateaux St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvingon and.... watched the chunks and detritus float to the bottom of my supple wine glass. Bad cork. Not great wine in the first place, but since when do you get the chunks on the first pour! I decanted the bottle with use of my fine mesh sieve and was disappointed to see that it didn't look so much like cork in the bottom as whole grape stems and branched at a time. And it tasted like shit, but I'd already half expected that! My liver was probably thankful for the break, but when the hell has he ever gotten a vote?

Rawr. Chin is dead to me.

At least the meat was pretty good. I should have let it braise a little longer, but I wanted to keep it in good shape for all my leftover plans.

The next day Matt & I went on a lovely nature walk through the drizzling rain. Our neighborhood.. sigh. Want to know where Highway Harry sleeps? Right under the 35E overpass by the empty bottles of Liberty vodka! Once you're up the hill on Randolph, things do get much better and there really are some cute houses up there.

For lunch, we decided to make some crazy nachos. I sent Matt to the Holiday across the street to grab some sour cream. I grabbed half a baggy of shredded chicken that I'd squirreled away and tossed it into a pot with some chicken broth and chipotle salsa. I seasoned it further with the hot Spanish paprika my mom brought back for me from Spain and the pickled Turkish paprika that Eric brought back for me from Turkey. There were to be The International Nachos. I let the sauce cook down until it was almost gone. Meanwhile, I toasted some tortilla chips seasoned with pepper in Del Oven and shredded some cheddar and pepper jack cheese. I put all my fixins on the chips and tossed them back into the oven, just until the cheese was melted. Matt was waiting on the couch, finger ready on the remote control for Season 2 of Arrest Development. I put the tray on a trivet on the coffee table and went to grab the condiments. So, of course I expected the salsa to be a little light, I'd used plenty for the sauce. But the sour cream? It was new....? So, I took off the lid and saw that the "safety plastic" had already been pealed away. In fact, half the sour cream was missing!! How does that happen? All I can think is some pissed off (stoned?) clerk decided to dig in to some chips and sour cream and then... put it back to avoid having to pay for it? Still, that's weak. Who uses sour cream solo with chips? More importantly: GROSS!!

I've had enough of this! What has gone wrong in this world that I can't manage to get through any meal without something being, rotten, off, stale, used or defiled? Really.

And what is all this focus on my cheapie foods at home you might ask? Well, that's very simple. It's because I had to spend $260 on my hair earlier this week and have been left with virtually NO petty cash. What kind of an idiot does that? Well the same kind of an idiot that does this:

You might not be able to count it, but I can tell you that I have at least five distinctly different hair colors going on up there. I was like the human Popsicle. Were I still working at a mall, this would be fine, but I like to think that I'm a little more mature than that. Besides, I tried to rock it for a solid week and felt more and more like Tracy Turnblad every day. So, in addition to fixing the hair, I've also not been eating much. Thankfully, after this, I will never be referred to as the "zaftig charicature made famous by Riki Lake."
Thank God for small favors.


At 2:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I <3 your culinary misadventures! If it can happen to a kitchen whiz of your stature, we mortals have a chance after all.

And those nachos would've been so kick ass!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home