Thursday, August 28, 2008

Slivered Salsa

I've been having troubles with my internet connection. We have mobile broadband and the signal is much worse here in Desertville than in Desolationville. Who knew that there was something good about Desolationville?

Anyway. In an attempt to do a little catch-up, I offer this photo of some "salsa" I made a couple weeks ago. I wanted crunch and I wanted slivers rather than chunks. I added some cabbage after this photo was taken, and we ate it with black bean soft tacos. Very tasty.

Tonight, if I can find the energy to grill, we'll be having a garlic ciabatta with grilled portabellos, zucchini, and onions, with a cream cheese-pesto spread. It is technically junk food night, however, so I can get away with much, much less work, and I might. Husband was away part of this week, so I'm a tired person. Little Girl runs a person ragged these days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chapter 2: A Belated "Update" On The Finished Product

So, I had thought to post as I proceeded yesterday, but having a toddler underfoot prevents such things from happening sometimes. I ended up not tweaking the recipe, except for the addition of a tablespoon of butter at the very end for extra creaminess. I had my doubts about the tomatoes, but I recognized my own biases; seafood and tomatoes are just not my thing. It might have to do with a lot of time spent on Cape Cod feeling around the sand for clams with my toes. Cape Cod clams do not spend time visiting with tomatoes.

And don't get me wrong...a good tomato is a treasure. I have sixteen of them sitting about five feet from me right now, thanks to the garden-raiding from yesterday. Homegrown tomatoes after two summers in frozen Isolationville -- it's a miracle. We ate five for breakfast.

Back to the risotto-making...I kept the tomatoes in the mix. I'm not sure my liquid adding-and-stirring technique was completely solid and I think I cooked it just a couple minutes longer than I should have, but it was declared a taste success by all who tasted it, especially the new parents. I forgot to take a picture of it, but quite frankly, it wasn't the most photogenic thing I've ever made anyway.

Perhaps the best part was the delivery: we had been there only a few minutes when another B- and S-I-L showed up with their two small ones, making it the first time that all four grandkids were in the same room together. We had a very happy and proud Grandmother and missed only Grandfather, who was still at work.

So there you have it: I followed a recipe for seafood risotto and ended up with...seafood risotto! A good day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chapter 1: In Which I Begin To Follow A Recipe

That's right. After blogging last month about my apparent inability to choose a recipe and follow it, more or less as written, I have just finely chopped one cup (!!) of shallots for a seafood risotto recipe. My brother- and sister-in-law just had a baby last week. Yesterday my M-I-L and I made a big pan of enchiladas and she took it to them last night. Their request, however, was for seafood risotto. Not being a huge rice fan (I used to be more of one, but having a non-rice-loving Husband has put a damper on what rice love I had), I've only made risotto once before and that was a long time ago. So, I needed a recipe.

I found one on Epicurious. It was from an RSVP column and of the 76 people who reviewed the recipe, 93% said they'd make it again. Now, of course, almost all of them tweaked it in one way or another, and I MIGHT give one or two very, very small tweaks based on the reviews, but mostly, I'm going to actually follow it as written.

My next step is to peel and devein my shrimp. I want the seafood to all be a similar size, so I might also cut the bay scallops in half to match my "rough chop" of the shrimp.

Oh. And I think I've decided on Desertville as my new location-name. We are really, truly in the middle of the desert now, with few other distinguishing characteristics. I considered Noneighborville, but it looks awkward and I didn't want to keep typing it for the next couple years. It would also be accurate, though. We can't see our nearest neighbor; not by a long shot. And, as far as I know, we only have one part-time person who anyone would really consider a neighbor at all. Some of Husband's work colleagues are probably the closest full-time residents to us and they're five or six miles up the road.

I'd love to make it Dessertville, but Husband is more of a savory-food person. It might make him feel left out. Much like the name "Bitches' Ditches" was ruled out as the name of my family's short-term farm many years ago; my mom felt that it ignored my father's contribution.