Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lucky Noodles in the News: Message from the Universe

Today's Charleston Gazette food section features "Lucky Food for the Year of the Tiger". With a back drop of a photo of cold sesame noodles with bean sprouts, the article explains how one should be eating long noodles and long beans this week for luck. Not just a noodle recipe-- lucky noodles surrounded by lucky legumes for the Chinese New Year. Clearly the universe is sending me a message. If only the article had added which pink sparkling wine to drink with the lucky legumes and noodles if one is born in the year of the rat, well, then I'd be able to interpret the message.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Noodle Resolve

While I still have things to say about legumes* (resolution 2009) and rodents (resolution 2007), and sparkling wine (resolution 2003)**, and a backlog of books to discuss, the solar year is well underway, the lunar new year begins Monday and it's time to move on.
To Noodles
In 2010 or the Year of the Tiger, I resolve to:
  • cook an interesting pasta recipe (actually following a recipe) at least once a month
  • learn how to make good chicken noodle soup
  • eat noodle dishes from at least seven different cuisines (Thai, Italian, Chinese and Japanese noodle traditions jump immediately to mind. I know there are many others in southeast Asia and Eastern Europe and I have very little idea about noodles in the Americas or Africa. I hope to find out).
  • eat noodles made from at least 4 different grains
  • make noodles from scratch at least four times
  • make stuffed pasta from scratch at least once (not actually a noodle, but something I want to do)
  • explore noodle related media***
Soba, udon, spaetzle, kugels, pad thai, lasagna, stroganoff, "freaky space age noodles" and vermicelli may receive special attention. I did not knowingly choose this because noodles are in this year (according to my mother, who usually has a very good sense of food trends), but if I am cutting edge (or just a trendy wanna-be), so be it.
In order to help with this resolution, you can
  • suggest noodle recipes
  • visit and cook noodles with me
  • suggest noodle-related media
  • prod if I haven't posted noodle news in a while
  • think of a catchy phrase or label for these posts

Noodle on!

* e.g. "check out Debbie's image of a pigeon pea in Haiti"
** Perhaps not shocking, I have nothing more to report on my 2004 resolution "losing my fear of pink".
***Off-hand I can think of two songs, "Oh top of spaghetti" and Leftover Salmon's "Pasta on the Mountain"; one movie, Tampopo; and one made up religion, pastafarians that follow the flying spaghetti monster that would count as noodle related. I obviously need suggestions.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

If you can't cook, shop

If you can't cook, shop.
It make be tough in a small town, but ground hog (aka pork) dumplings can be found at the Chinese take-out. Even mediocre bread tastes good with roasted red pepper spread*. Blueberry salsa* spices up ordinary triskets. Brownies from a mix are great fresh from the oven.

If you can't put an umbrella in it, flame it.

If scary ice-falling-from-the-sky-weather diminishes the guest list from 24 to 9, count the baby and the groundhog**.

*These were not purchased in my town, but rather used to enliven foods that were.
**Which makes it twelve, with the cat. Not bad for a party during the "storm of the century".

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wacky Groundhog Outtakes

Somehow the Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) didn't hold Dianthus's attention quite long enough to produce great images for Groundhog (Marmota monax) cards.

Don't worry if you haven't recieved a card yet, they haven't been mailed (or written, for that matter). None the less, I hope that, however the shadows fall, you have a great Groundhog Day and the spirit of spring infects you, whatever the weather.