17 November 2010

Three Myths of Love

Have all your equipment and ingredients needed to flambé your dish ready before starting the process. Use an 80-proof (40% alcohol by volume) liquor for flambing. Liquors above 120-proof are highly flammable and considered dangerous when lit. Liquors that are of a lower proof run the risk of not igniting when held to the flame. Choose liquors that are complimentary to the food being cooked, such as fruit flavored brandies for fruits and desserts, and whiskey or cognac for meats. The food you are going to flambé must be warmed first, as cold food will cool down the hot liquor and it will not ignite. Heat the brandy or liquor in a saucepan, with high sides, just until bubbles begin to form around the edges (around 130º F or 54º C) before adding to the flambé pan (you will be able to see vapors rise from the liquid). Do not bring the liquor to a boil, as the liquor will burn off the alcohol, and it will not ignite. The boiling point of alcohol is 175º F (much lower than water). The liquor can also be heated in a microwave oven by heating 30 to 45 seconds in a microwave-proof dish at 100% power. Use a flambé pan, large skillet, or large chafing dish with rounded, deep sides and a long handle. If you are planning to flambé in front of your guests, light the dish at the table, but far away from guests and flammable objects. If you have a serving cart, now is the time to use it. Never pour liquor from a bottle into a pan that is near an open flame. The flame can follow the stream of alcohol into the bottle and cause it to explode. Always remove the pan with the hot liquor from the heat source before adding the liquor to avoid burning yourself. If the dish doesn't light, it's probably not hot enough. Once you add the liquor to the pan, do not delay lighting. You don't want the food to absorb the raw alcohol and retain a harsh flavor. Ignite with a long match (such as fireplace matches or a long barbecue lighter). Always ignite the fumes at the edge of the pan and not the liquid itself. Never lean over the dish or pan as you light the fumes. Let cook until flame disappears (at this point all alcohol has burned off). If you want to retain some of the alcohol flavor, cover flaming dish to extinguish flames or add additional wine or stock. Serve the dish as soon as the flames disappear. If you want the flames, but do not want the liquor in a dessert, soak sugar cubes in a flavored extract. Place the cubes around the perimeter of the dish and light. Also be sure to practice flambing before your guests come as you want to make sure that these steps are performed flawlessly, if you want to impress your guests.

Cut about four bacon slices into small pieces. Put it into the pot and put the pot onto medium heat. While the bacon is cooking, chop up one-half onion. After the bacon has cooked thoroughly remove it and save it for later. Place the onion into the same pot the bacon cooked in, allowing the bacon and onion flavors to mix. While the onion is cooking, cut into eights about eight medium-sized potatoes. When the onion has cooked to the point that it is clear, add the potatoes to the pot and add enough water to submerge all of the potatoes, as well as a good amount of salt for flavor. Cook until the potatoes are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, then mash with a mixer. While mashing, add one pint cream and the bacon. Serve warm with bread for dipping. When eating leftovers, be sure to heat up!

In a bowl, combine peanuts, cashews, almonds, raisins and chocolate chips. Pour contents into a plastic bag. Shake and enjoy.

01 November 2010

Three times a day, I turned the shower up to an almost unbearable scald and stood there until every pipe in the building seemed to have run cold.

In the street, the persecution began. Not with words or gestures or staring eyes, but without them. I walked to class each day alone. The problem with maturity is that it only ever silences people until the elephant has left the room. I sit at a desk not large enough for me and know that the people behind me whispering and laughing aren't doing so for the teacher's sake. I try to focus instead on the book in front of me, but anytime I see "large" or "massive" I stir a bit in my seat. Now that class has begun, the whispers behind me are audible and I realize that my shirt had caught on the chair as I sat down, exposing my back like a target. They launch comment after comment, knowing each one will be a hit. I am the backside of the barn. I can't even read words that rhyme with fat. I want to reach over and pull my shirt down, or to ask the people behind me to be quiet, but I know I can't reach. I want more than anything to get up and leave--I can't pay attention, anyway--but I know I can't get up quietly, or leave unnoticed. I can't sneak out a side door, or even out of my seat. I can't stop hearing the whispers behind me. I can't understand what the professor is saying. I can't see any of the words on the page. The whispers, the professor, the page, they're all saying "fat, fat, fat!" And now I'm breathing hard and I know my face is turning red and I want to leave but the desk gets tighter the harder I breathe. I scratch at my neck and my chest and breathe harder. I look up to the ceiling and focus on the stipple. Each one of those bumps and protrusions is a sac of fat and I imagine myself stepping on them. I walk across this landscape with nothing but mounds of cellulite and fatty tissue, and I stomp on them until they burst. The fluid rolls out like a thick, white syrup and the more I stomp, the higher the fluid gets. It reaches my waist, but I wade through the shit and continue stomping the adipose pockets. Eventually it reaches my chin but I continue to stamp the floor, more violently now than when I'd begun. I take a huge breath as the viscous solution envelops the rest of my body and I stomp and stomp and stomp.