friday fives >>> unrise… unset®

*update – I had to pull this after briefly publishing it.  It was a mess, and written under the duress of no sleep. It’s mostly the same, but I punched it up a bit.

puppy and i - Dec 2014

1. Other than normal salt and pepper, what is your go to spice to make food better?

onions.  on everything.  if it is being heated in a pan for any reason, it’s getting onions.  If not fresh, I’ll do dehydrated onions.  Either chunk or powder.  If I had a child his name would be onions.

salt and pepper really go a long way, though.  That is assuming you are using good quality stuff.  For pepper, you MUST be cracking fresh pepper with a pepper mill.  It tastes SO much better.  Plus, it looks cool and adds some theater.  It’s not expensive, and truly makes all the difference.  Same with salt.  Yes, fresh cracked salt.  Btw, if this is what you pull out to put on a steak, just stop reading now.  We have broken up.  Don’t even bother going to the store.  Sell your pots and pans and just cook with a microwave.  You sicken me. **** (see below)

If you don’t have a pepper mill, set down your Henckels and your Calphalon pots and go buy one.  See, that is a joke.  If you don’t have a pepper mill, you don’t even know what a Henckel or a Calphalon is.

2. What is your favorite sandwich

The gyro.  A great gyro is ‘proof god loves us and wants us to be happy‘.  Problem with that is, it appears I am super particular about gyros.  I am very rarely pleased with the results. other than that, you can’t much go wrong with a roast beef sammich.

3. What is a food thing you buy in bulk?

spices.  Not because we go through so much, but you pay about 1/20th the cost if you just buy the spices in powder form in a little ziplock.  They are probably fresher, too.  That being said, ‘bulk’ spices might mean a quarter cup, at most.  The savings, though, will sicken you.

How much to buy?  How long to keep?  Well, a few months ago on the Alton Brown podcast.  He had the wonderful and interesting proprietors of the ‘Spice House‘ on.  They said one year.  Does that mean you should take everything in your cabinet that is over a year old and throw it out?  Well, yeah.  Or, more practically, find what you do use,
and keep a fresh stash of that.  Look at this;  fenugreek?  What the fuck is that?  I cook nightly, and I have no idea.  This little container could literally be from a college spice set I bought.  Yeah, that was 20 years ago.

I mean, it could be a great and useful spice.  I have no idea, that is my concern.

4. What food is supposed to be easy to cook but you can never get it right?

ok, listen; this is a great talk we are having and all.  However, I have to shut us down.  I have a couple problems.  One is, I need to be in bed right now.  I recently got a job, which is awesome.

However, I have been unemployed since I was laid off this summer.  Before that, I was the night shift guy for years.  Point being, I have NO idea how to go to bed at a reasonable time.  Also, getting up at 6 am is just ugly.  I haven’t used my alarm in years.
PLUS… we have a puppy only a few months old.  Pic above is him and I.  So, wifey and I have to wake up every few hours to let him go pee.

Apologies, but I can’t finish.  It’s not even late, at least to me.  It’s 10:25 pm Thursday evening as I write this.  At this point, I feel (and look) like Courtney Love after a two week vacation with Charlie Sheen.

5. What is your best Thrift Store/Flea Market/Yard Sale kitchen device you have found?

sorry, man.  Gotta get to bed pronto.  Am too tired to think.  Plus, we just got a new laptop, which I type this on as we speak.  I don’t know its quirks yet.  It’s got a DVD thingy, though, which is nice.  So, my screen is split between you and this concert.  not only is this a great show, I was there!  Seriously, I was.  It was 1989-ish… it was my very first Dead show.

I am so tired I have began to hallucinate in the mornings.  Early, early in the mornings there is this phenomenon.  It’s like the sunset, but in reverse.  It’s spectacular.  I am calling it an ‘Unset®‘.  Isn’t that clever?  I mean, it’s not exactly worth getting up at the crack of 10:00 am, but if you find your self up at that time, check it out!

*** this is NOT meant to be an indictment against Schilling pepper.  half of my spices are Schilling.  That isn’t the point.  The concern is if you are buying this stuff you aren’t getting all the yummy and fighty oils a fresh cracked pepper corn delivers.  You know how you are all careful to keep your coffee super fresh, and not let it touch air, and you grind it only right before you are brewing?  I mean… you DO do these things, right?  Well, I am the same with my pepper.

As for Salt… I LOVE this stuff.  Don’t think any salt will do.  Half your diet is salt, treat yourself, man.  have some pride.  This is the only salt I use.  You can find it at weird places, like our ranch supply store in Parker.

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