Jon (j_b) wrote,

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Adventures in food preparation ...

Dear Intarwebs,

I learned a few things today.
  • You know those wine openers that you stab between the sides of the cork and the bottle with? The ones that look like this
    ? Yeah, well.
    Don't get one. See, they work great when you first buy them, then the Teflon® (or whatever) wears off, and you get what I had. See, you start with a nice bottle of Shiraz. The perfect accompaniment to the kielbasa from the local butcher shop you're preparing. (This isn't exactly a single type of meat, necessarily. It can be a medley of cow, pig, and other ingreedients slow enough to let Polish farmers catch them.) You might start by boiling it (the kielbasa, not the wine) for 10 minutes. ""No proooooooblem!". So you try and use your way cool wine opener.
    1. You wiggle the two little blades down on either side of the cork,
    2. then you rotate the opener around 180º to loosen the cork,
    3. then you gently pull up. The cork comes out about 50%, then the opener pops out.
    4. "No worries!", you just work the blades in once again. Except this time...
    5. the blades slide the cork down into the bottle. And fountain a splortch of red wine into your kitchen.
      1. You discover how a red wine explosion can magically cover every single surface nearby. Corners, underside of cabinets, you name it.
      2. You discover that water is -not- the universal solvent when it comes to red wine.
      3. Undaunted, you decide, after mopping up the kill zone of wine, to attempt to use the opener to push the cork down into the wine so you can pour it.
      4. You fail to realize this is not a great idea, because basic science indicates that the cork is placing the contents of the bottle under pressure. So when you succeed...
      5. Another (larger) splortch of red wine erupts from the bottle.
      6. You wipe up the spilled wine and decide to pour a glass.
      7. You discover that the wine bottle is in an interesting state, full, with a floaty cork. This means that as it's pouring, the cork blocks the neck of the bottle. The wine only trickles out. Then the level of wine drops to the point where the cork floats out of the neck of the bottle.
        1. Another splortch of wine blurps out into your glass at high velocity.
        2. You wipe that up.
  • So, while the kielbasa is still going, you heat up the oil to fry it after the boiling part is done.
  • ProTip:

    The "smoke point" of canola oil on a Kenmore range in Colorado's altitude is anything above "5". Not 6, not 5-and-a-half, 5.
    1. You turn on the "fan" at the top of the range to get rid of the smoke.
    2. You discover that it really is kind of a placebo fan to make you feel better, that doesn't actually do anything.
  • After ten minutes of boiling, you transfer the kielbasa carefully (shielding it with a lid) into the hot oil, and let it sit there frying for a while.
  • Realize that "oil" is a term we use for the stuff we burn for lamps, or refine into gasoline, and that therefore cooking with it is rather akin to simmering your food in thermite.
  • Determine that since half a bottle a day of wine is good for you, you might as well make the best of it. The primal quest for food becomes a much more mellow experience.
  • Nicely brown kielbasa on both sides, rotating regularly, ideally with a better tool than the fork I used to haphazardly scoop up and roatate the thing.
  • Open a window to let the food smell out of your apartment. Seriously, why do stoners burn incense? All they need to do is fry up some sausage and they're covered!
  • Remove from pan, place upon plate. Slice, and consume.
  • Confirm that your cat, who has been sitting at the edge of the kitchen meowing the whole time, is, in fact, bluffing, as when presented with a small piece of meat, she investigates it intensely for a full minute, then walks away.
  • Place frozen gnocchi that the butcher shop had, into a pot of boiling water.
  • As foaming water begins to boil over, spill out a bit of water.
  • Repeat.
  • Remember the time when you put Palmolive in the dishwasher and caused a Brady Bunch episode in your kitchen, the Internet advised you to put a tablespoonful of oil into the dishwasher to break up the bubbles.
  • Add a splash of oil to the boiling pasta -- problem solved.
  • Enjoy. (with rosemary. The spice, not some girl named Rosemary. See... lower case.)
    1. Footnote: Said half a bottle of red wine may make it difficult to properly type closing tags in HTML.
      Edit: Found the link.
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