Saturday, January 9, 2010

What was I thinking?

It's not only "What was I thinking when I bought this?", but also "What were you thinking when you thought this would be a good idea?". And I am, of course, talking about kitchen gadgets.

I got a waffle iron this Xmas. It'll be fun to make some with Amelie, but I never really eat waffles. I like them as I am a human who has eaten them, but do I really need to add more starch to my diet? I got to find a place to store it.

I had a crepe maker. I don't really eat crepes, but I had one. I made a crepe once. I like Nutella crepes. I can like savory crepes. I don't make crepes.
It's definitely gone. I didn't need to store it any longer.

The bread machine is gone. I enjoyed its ability to make dough. It was a lousy bread oven. I did use it a while to mix dough, but you what? I have a Kitchen Aid mixer. The bread machine is so gone.

The Kitchen Aid mixer? Next to the knives, the stove, the refrigerator and the sink, it is the greatest of all devices. I don't know why it's in this list. Stop looking at this entry. Never associate the mixer with stupid idea. Perish those thoughts.

The deep fryer. If ever there was a love hate device, this would be it. It is not good for me to know where it is. What was I thinking even keeping it? It was a splendid gift, though an evil gift. A gift that makes me want to put 4 quarts of duck fat in it. How stupid is that? What was I thinking? I better have someone hide it now. Kim? Hide the deep fryer before I get a bad idea!

The Food Mill. This was the source of this blog. I was SOOOOO close to giving it to Good Will. It was being stored and it was being pushed further and further back in the crammed closet to the place where the bread machine was. I had used it years ago before I had my Kitchen Aid mixer. The mixer not only has a meat grinder, but I can use those dies to push through tomato sauce and the like just like you would in a food mill. Why do I need a food mill when I have the glorious, holy and faultless Kitchen Aid Mixer?

I found this answer this morning. I could theoretically use the mixer, but it actually would have taken longer. With tomato sauces, it goes pretty quickly and there isn't that much vegetable matter that stays back behind the die.

There are cuisines which I have grown tired of over the years, but some recipe brings me back to acknowledging some awesome greatness in the cuisine. Chinese food, for instance, can be really dull, insipid, and glutinous. There are so many horrible beyond horrible Chinese restaurants that will make you sick if you eat there, but we must also see the light (is that Yin or Yang?). Mrs. Chiang's Szechuan Cookbook has this Anise Chicken recipe that makes me see the light. I had some grilled lobster with ground pork at New Kam Fong the other week that shone brightly. Sooo goood.

Another devastated cuisine is Mexican. Good god! is there some insipid and disgusting Mexican food or what?!?!? Gordita? What is that? And some real, real bland Mexican food. I am no longer starving so that weird burrito thing that only has rice and beans and nothing else in it? That thing is gross and flavorless. That last word. Flavorless. That word should not be present in the lexicon of Mexican cuisine. It is very, very hard to find food in Mexico that is flavorless. Why do we have so-called flavorless Mexican food here?

I do have to thank Mr. Chileman for straightening me out on my impression of Mexican food over the years. I do explore the strange set of unknown spices and chiles in finding new and unaccustomed flavors and dishes and it is well worth the time.

And now we return to the food mill. Already this year, I've made three separate chile-based marinades and rubs. For some inane reason (WHAT WAS I THINKING), after I processed the 16 guajillos with the cumin, salt, garlic, onions, thyme, mexican oregano, allspice, I decided to press it through a strainer with a spatula to be used for a rub for goat.
Dumb, but I did it again for some rub with guajillos, chile arbol, hoja santa, cilantro, pepper, on the smoked turkey soup. Dumb x 2.
I think I justified my "dumb" by thinking that I couldn't put all of that vegetable matter into the Kitchen Aid mixer grinder without repeated cleanings in the process.

But wait. I have a food mill.

At the brink of departure sat the food mill.

No longer. The food mill is the savior of making chile-based Mexican marinades.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? It took only a couple minutes to force that sauce through and it got a hell-of-alot more sauce out than my dumb-method of spatual and mesh strainer.

So I write this as a formal apology to my food mill. Thank you for making me less dumb food mill. I will never doubt you again.