I watched an episode of Yakitate that Allen gave me and...good lord. It's more intense than any cooking show you will ever watch, complete with mass hysteria over croissants and crying over the perfection of croissants and SOLAR HANDS. I saw a few episodes before that Lee Anne but it's been a while since then and I wasn't prepared for more Japanese anime insanity. Awesome show, just...um...a tad insane.
I also watched an episode of No Reservations that Allen gave me about "Why the French Don't Suck." It was a little excessive with the absinthe bit (Anthony goes INSAAANE, almost) but I loved it. And now I really want to go to France or eat French food. Sadly, I went to France when I was 7 and remember very little about French culture that didn't have to do with Disneyland Paris (where I picked up the word "sortie" verrry quickly). (Dear future parents: don't bring your kids to Europe when they're 7, because they probably won't appreciate it as much as you will.) What I DO remember is eating at a restaurant in Paris where I picked a random thing on the menu and ended up with some kind of cold meat jelly. Truly. It obviously touched a part of my soul that allowed me to remember...the meat jelly. I'm sorry that I can't remember much else.
Anyway. This isn't about meat jelly. (You know I just want to say "meat jelly" as much as I can.)
Last night I watched Eat Drink Man Woman with my mum since we had watched it together before, kinda, and we both like it. And there's good, oh yes. During the movie we had little conversations about food and whatnot.
Mom: Cooking isn't really good.
Me: Well, it's not the worst thing in the world.
Mom: But people can live on raw food. Cooked food isn't as healthy.
Me: If people could just live on raw food, they wouldn't have started cooking.
Mom: [blah blah something.]
Me: Food is an important part of culture...
Mom: Not everything that's a part of culture is good. Foot binding is a part of Chinese culture.
Me: Well...obviously, that sucks.
...[play Jeopardy theme song]...
Me: I wouldn't want to be a chef. [said after watching intense chef-ing in the movie]
Mom: I thought you said food was good.
Me: Just because I think food is good doesn't mean I want to make it. (Hey, I'm all for firefighting but I wouldn't want to be a firefighter.)
Mom: [blah blah I forget]
...[more of the Jeopardy theme song]...
Mom: I was listening to a radio show where a caller was complaining about how today's cooking shows are just food porn.
Me: Eh, so? What's wrong with food porn?
Mom: It symbolizes sex. (Or something like that.)
Me: I hope it's not just about that considering that I've loved cooking shows since I was little.
(Not sure where it went after that.)
Boy, that was random. And thus are the joys of watching a food related movie with my mum!
I ate dinner out with my mum yesterday since eating at home has become sucktastic (for an pesudo explanation as to why this is, read my brother's livejournal). I wanted to try Baumgart's since I hadn't been there many times (went twice as a raw foodist with friends, which meant I ate salad, which meant...not very exciting stuff) and gotten to eat the FOOD-food, or the dessert. So. Indulgence time?
I was sadly underwhelmed. This place is consistently crowded and for what is primarily a Chinese restaurant (seems to be run by Chinese people) it has a pleasant, non-Asian-gaudy interior. I forgot the exact description for my chicken dish but it sounded better than it actually tasted, which was...uh. I don't remember. The sourness threw me off, so it's just a matter of personal taste. If you LIKE sweet and sour stuff, you might like this dish. The chicken was extremely tender but didn't have much flavor. Despite that I didn't like this dish very much (not something i'd get again at least), I ate most of it. It wasn't bad, I just didn't...love it. Not for $15 at least.
My mum got this BIG PLATE O SEAFOOD (not the real name). She liked it but I knew this wasn't my kind of dish after trying a piece of mushroom.
Me: *chew chew* This sauce has alcohol.
Mom: Really? I couldn't tell.
Me: Mm...yes, definitely has alcohol.
Mom: It has XO sauce in it. They use it in dishes in Hong Kong." (I've never been to HK but she's been there twice.)
[some time passes]
Mom: Oh, I can taste it now. I think there's whiskey in this. (She may have said some other alcoholic beverage.)
Me: God...it tastes awful! Alcohol ruins the taste of food for me.
Mom: Some people love it.
Alcohol serious makes everything taste bad for me. (sigh) And forget drinking alcohol itself--I think I'd puke. I'll love to try any French food, but the wine drinking ritual so present throughout "No Reservations" isn't going to work for me (drinking at 7 AM, for instance).
But that's just me. I don't care if other people drink, figuring they don't turn into morons (but that happens a lot in college).
Oh, I'm not done. my mum and I ate dessert.
My mum got this lovely flan. I don't think I've ever seen a rectangular flan or one without much caramel goo, but this was delicious! My dessert was less enthralling.
All I really wanted was ice cream. The chicken was just a step towards ice cream. Somehow. Baumgart's makes its own ice cream and I had never tried it, but since I'm eating non-wheat stuff, I figured this was my chance. Again, I was underwhelmed. I liked the texture of the ice cream but I thought it could've been more chocolate-y (mabye the other flavors are better). And for a sundae, this was rather sad. I mean...THAT WHIPPED CREAM! Look! It's a teeny splodge! THE SPLODGE MADE ME SAD! Then again, it doesn't look like it came out a can, so perhaps they made it. The marshmallows didn't go with the ice cream, although it dounded like they would, and the butterscotch topping didn't go too well with the ice cream either. Nor the malt powder. Maybe my taste buds are off seeing as this is one of their sundaes (you can also choose toppings but I just went with a pre-made thing).
Oh, as for the non-wheat thing, my asthma has been getting better every day! Hell, I just realized that i haven't had a wheezing fit today at all. It's not totally gone but I haven't needed my inhaler in at least a week and the wheezing doesn't bother me nearly as much as it did before. I'm quite amazed; if wheat is really that bad for me, I wouldn't lament giving it up. My only problem is that there's wheat in dumplings and I really love dumplings...maybe I can loosen up if necessary, but you don't know how great it is to not be a wheezing monster. I did eat a bit of brown rice with my chicken (I like brown rice more than white, but I don't eat it much) yet...I wasn't really into it. Rice lost some appeal for me; it's a good thing! At most, I think I should eat rice once a week, but I don't see much necessity for it.
Er. Anyway. I'm going to Legal Seafood tonight, methinks. For seafood. All I want is dessert though so maybe I'll just eat something small.
Grace asked me for the potato chip recipe, so here it is, straight from my book. I found another baked potato chip recipe online but it's really different from the one I followed. ENJOY.
Potato Chips (of doom) [my comments in brackets]
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb medium Idaho potatoes
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
[I used whatever amount of potatoes I had with whatever butter I felt like using, and no salt. I probably shouldn't know it'd be doomful from there on.]
Preheat the oven to 425F. [My oven is cooler than it says, so I made it hotter. WHOA.]
To clarify the butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then heat until it stops foaming and becomes clear, with some solids floating on the top. Skim off the solids and discard. Set aside. [I just used ghee. It's nice to have around. Bwahaha.]
Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/16th-inch-thick rounds with a mandoline or vegetable slicer, placing them immediately in a bowl of cold water. [I don't think mine were 1/16th of an inch. Oops.] Rinse in several changes of cold water, drain well, and spin dry in a salad spinner. [I rinsed, but didn't SPIN the. OOOPS.] Do not leave the potatoes in the water for more than 5 minutes, or after you have dried them, or they will curl up and won't cook evenly. Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels and place in a medium bowl. [Mine curled but I did pat them. Such good potatoes yes..*pat pat*]
With a teaspoon, spoon the clear clarified butter onto the potatoes, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pot. Using a lightly dampened brush, toss the potatoes with the butter, making sure each slice is coated. [I did it with my hands. i think that's easier since the potato slices were sticking to each other.] Arrange the slices in a single layer on a large heavy baking sheet, making they sure don't touch one another. [Mine touched. ...er. Oh well.]
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 7 minutes, then check them. [Mine took more like 15 minutes, HAHA. Crap.] With a spatula, transfer the potatoes that have become golden brown and crisp to a platter lined with paper towels. Continue baking the remaining potato slices up to 3 minutes longer, checking them frequently and removing the finished ones as they are done. Do not allow the potatoes to get very brown, or they will be bitter. Sprinkle with the salt.
The chips are best eaten within a couple of days. Store in an airtight tin. [I ate all of mine almost immediately, although since I had to bake them one sheet at a time, it took almost an hour.]