With that headline, apparently British Greg has taken over the site, but that’s okay. One of my goals for the year was to cook more new things, and I’ve got a couple of recipifications (is that an okay noun for “single acts of cooking”?) to report on.
First is beef and sweet potato stir-fry from Karen’s Kitchen Stories. My report on this one is kind of short and sweet, because it worked really well and tasted good, which is great but it doesn’t make a super-exciting write-up. Although it’s sort of indirectly responsible for the interestingness of the next recipe. This one calls for apple butter as part of a marinade, which is both more and less difficult to come by than you would think. Trader Joe’s didn’t seem to have it, which I found weird—I’d have expected about 12 different varieties of fruit butters that I’d never heard of, but they only had fig. So I tried Whole Foods, which also didn’t seem to have it. But then Jewel, the local big-box supermarket, had it in giant 47-serving jars. Seriously, how am I going to eat 46 more servings of apple butter? Can you spread it on a baked potato?
The second new recipe—also successful was chili from dry beans from Dessert Before Dinner. It tasted good, but making it… well.
During the Great Apple Butter Diversion to Whole Foods of 2016, I also had my eye out for dry beans, as Trader Joe’s didn’t seem to have all the varieties the recipe called for. In this endeavor, Whole Foods was successful, as they not only had the beans, they had them in bulk dispensers. So, in theory, I could take just the amounts required (ranging from half a cup to 2 cups) and not have any left over. Brilliant! Leftover ingredients can be tricky to use up when you live alone, and even though I’m pretty sure beans last a long time, I only know that in my head and not my heart. Plus, the sweet siren song of those mechanisms where you push a lever and beans just fall into a bag was calling me. Plus, writing a number on a twist tie? Oh, yeah…
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any way to measure the volume of beans I was dumping into the bags better than my eyeballs, and my eyeballs, as it turns out, aren’t terribly accurate. So, when I got home and started filling the crock pot, I really filled the crock pot. Like, up to the rim, ran out of space for the cumin filled the crock pot. (Okay, I actually ran out of space for the corn, but “ran out of space for the cumin” is a much better-turned phrase, so I’ll go with it.)
Someone with wisdom may have stopped what they were doing at this point, but I decided to go ahead and turn the crock pot on. But as beans get wet, they get bigger. So in a few hours, the chili resembled the birth of the curry monster from the “DNA” episode of Red Dwarf (at 22:25 of the following video).
(Was there a similar scene in Ghostbusters? I feel like there should have been, but I don’t recall one.)
Anyhow, that’s a bit of an exaggeration—the chili had grown enough to push the lid up a bit, but nothing exploded, and there were certainly no curry monsters coming out. And it cooked just fine, although at the end I wound up transferring it to a giant pot so I could add and heat the corn through. The only real problem is that it made a huge amount—probably 10 bowls’ worth. I hope it freezes okay, because I did done that.
Hmm. 10 bowls’ worth. Of course, that’s coming from me, and we’ve already established that I can’t estimate volume well. I smell more sitcom-style hijinx!
(Why, yes, you are now humming the Full House theme to yourself. Thank goodness that got remade. Without it, how would we know Dave Coulier is still alive until Alanis Morissette writes another song about him?)