Reader’s Choice

What fascinating aspect of my life shall I talk about today? Something  I saw on TV? What I ate/am eating/plan to eat later? A peek into the the 10 hour day of a big business drone? Sitting on the deck?

Really, I should get out of here once in a while and Do. Something.

Here’s an interesting fact about me: I don’t trust anyone else to cook pasta for me. I like it exactly as I like it which is slightly underdone and it doesn’t take much to cross that line and wreck an entire dish as far as I’m concerned. that’s probably why I prefer short squat pasta shapes like rigatoni or rotelle, even a bowtie. People get tired of waiting for them to be done so these types are less likely to be overcooked.

Oh wait. That was about eating. Gawd, I’m in a rut.

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UPDATE: Okay. I can’t restrain myself. Look! I made pickled red onions.

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Pickled Red Onions Day 1

I followed the instructions from Simply Recipes. Although I am not a big fan of sugar in my pickles let alone random spices that seem better suited to baked goods, I decided to go with this recipe anyway because every day is a new day, right? I followed the recipe exactly against my strong desire to start messing around with it. Let’s how how this turns out and then I’ll make adjustments on the next load.

Okay you got me. I threw in some back peppercorns.

These things are supposed to turn bright pink by tomorrow so we’ll see. The internet is crazy about using these on sandwiches and as a topping for just about anything and even as a side dish.  People are in love with the crunchiness that develops while the onions cool down in the jar, but I hope that doesn’t turn me off. Even though I know that these are not hot dog cart onions, and I don’t expect them to be hot dog cart onions, I’m afraid I will be disappointed that are actually not hot dog cart onions. Just love me – don’t try to understand me.

Sad to report that my husband woke up during the part where I was boiling the vinegar, expressed his opinion, had a cup of coffee and then went back to sleep. I think I knocked him out.

Pickled Red Onions 

  • 1 lb red onions (about 2 med or 1 large), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • Dash red pepper flakes

1 Blanch red onions in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in colander.

2 While the water is heating in step 1, in a separate saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Add blanched, drained onions to the vinegar mixture. Simmer for 1 minute.

4 Transfer to a glass jar. Allow to stand until cooled. Will keep several weeks refrigerated.

2 Things Of Very Little Interest To Anyone Else

1. We have a few cable channels that show TV shows from the 70s and 80s plus some B movies from the same era that have been gutted beyond reason to fit in more ad time. The ads are predominantly for male catheters, step-in bath tubs and reverse mortgages. I notice that the ads that run during Maude are almost exclusively for lawyers. Is it because the lawyers are trolling for customers who might identify with a loud-mouthed nag who never hesitates to confront people and is not beyond stirring the pot herself if things are quiet? The lawyers know their audience.

2. I was out on the deck early today living it up in the Zero-G , trying to drink my coffee while fully reclined and looking for vegan recipe ideas on my phone. [ gratitude for the life I have] It started to get humid so I was thinking about something cool to eat and I remembered a delicious gazpacho-like cold soup I had while I was in Tennessee last week. It was a puree of tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic. Then they wrecked it by adding small pieces of cooked shrimp. There was bite-sized bit of avocado in the center of the cup. It was really great despite the shrimp and remembering it made me think I could probably whip up a nice gazpacho for later.

The thing about gazpacho is that it’s like Thanksgiving stuffing – everybody has their own recipe and it’s all good so you can’t really make it wrong.

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note to self: get it together, Suzette

Things were going so well right up until I went to dump the soup out of the stockpot I was working in to a plastic container for refrigeration. It is a mercy that I placed the container in the sink before I did the dump. So much precious soup gone down the drain but I guess it wouldn’t have fit in the container anyway. I tell you this because when I look back at my blogging history, it’s all comedy, aspiration and humblebrag. The truth of me almost never shows up here. The truth is I’m a messy mess.

As soon as there’s room for it when I take out my first cup of this, I’m going to dump in some McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix. I’m pretty sure that’s a vegan product.

Early In The Morning

Fullscreen capture 6262013 70726 AMEarly in the morning when I’m out on the deck with my coffee, reading blogs and listening to the birds, it’s hard to believe that the weather is going to turn against me later in the day. The skies have turned black and opened up for the past two days around 4:30 pm, effectively drowning the deck chairs and ruining any chance for post-workday decompressing outdoors. I’m looking at the radar map right now and trying to reconcile that with the icon for thunderstorms today. I know its coming.

Early in the morning, I have the sincere belief that I can get everything that I have to do at work done by the end of the day. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think I should probably send out a few emails.  Early in the morning, I acknowledge how deranged that notion is. Last evening at about 6pm ET*, I sent a message to a co-worker in Arizona offering to review something complicated that we talked about earlier in the day. It was 4pm where he was.  He wrote back to me in all his 27 year old glory and this is what his email said:

“Who needs some work/life balance here?  I have about 20 minutes is that enough time to discuss?”

Dude, this is the reason why your generation is not going to do as well economically as mine has done. Do your work. Regarding work/life balance, allow me to paraphrase the great Don Draper: “That’s what the money is for.”

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This is my actual home office but the photo is not recent. Now the surfaces are littered with papers, post it notes, bottles from water and nail polish and random hair accessories.

Early in the morning, it’s a clean slate. All resolve and good intentions. Day 3 of VB6 and already I can’t think of what to eat for breakfast. Maybe some Sweet & Savory Breakfast Pilaf but without the maple syrup and oil. I just don’t have the same sweet tooth as most people and I’m not a big fan of oiled-up rice.

*I worked until about 8:30pm last night but I did take a 2 1/2 hour nap  break during the day, so total work hours were about the same as usual.

VB6

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photo: lunchbox.com

Messing around the edges of VB6. Day 2*. So far , so good.

Just had avocado toast for breakfast. Who knew this dish had such a large and devoted a cult following? And they’re all on the internet, too. I would have displayed more reverence if I had known.

I did invest in Mark Bittman’s book, but until it gets here I have a few questions that need to be answered:

  • Where does caviar fall in this plan?
  • Where does booze come in? Is that an acceptable “anything you want for dinner” choice?

I’m not really that interested in caviar or booze right now. I’m more focused on spring mix and my Sweet 100s cherry tomatoes that are about to turn red. I just like to know where things stand.

*#1 Lesson Learned:  probably not a good idea to eat steel cut oats, hummus and black beans all on the same day.

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ADDENDUM In Which I Analyze Myself: Here’s a tip for readers of Cripes Suzette – if you ever notice that my posts are focused on food, meals, cooking or cookbooks for more than 5 days in a row, it means I’m trying to lose weight.