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Marissa Lingen

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Just some things people do. [Feb. 11th, 2013|07:14 pm]
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One of my biggest complaints about recipes in the paper is that they are things that are dead easy and have, like, two ingredients. "That's not a recipe!" I will rant. "That's just a thing people do!" On the other hand, I realize that not everybody comes up with things to do with food very readily, so there is probably value in telling people about things people do.

1. Melt some butter. Chop some radishes. Saute the radishes in butter. After awhile, add some peapods and dill. Awhile after that, add some orange juice. Cook some more. Yum.

2. Make your favorite brownie recipe. Does not have to be fancy. Eat some brownies. Save something like 1/3 of the pan if it's a 9"x13" pan, a greater fraction if it's a square. Chop the saved brownies. Mix them into this recipe in place of half of the chocolate chips. (Or leave all the chocolate chips in and stir in the chopped brownie pieces anyway.) Bake as directed. What is this? This is bottle blondies. They're blondies! With brunette roots! Honestly I was thinking this is mostly stunt-baking for the joke--tasty enough but not amazing, twice as much work as an ordinary pan of blonde bombers without being better--but my favorite great-uncle loved them. So I figured I'd share.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2013-02-12 01:48 am (UTC)

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Adding OJ to my veggies is not a thing I would have thought of doing, so yay! A new thing to do! Except I will probably do this thing with Ruby Red juice because I don't really like OJ much.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 01:49 am (UTC)

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Ours has mango. You could probably do something with lemon. If you don't like dill, you could think of maybe tarragon. Or maybe toasted sesame seeds.

This is why I say it's not a recipe, it's just a thing people do.
[User Picture]From: txanne
2013-02-12 01:52 am (UTC)

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Dill is lovely! Sage might also be good. Or thyme, which is a thing I can't live without. Not rosemary, for me, though; I think it would fight with the radishes, and no one wants that.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 02:49 am (UTC)

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I made a roasted yellow pepper manchego soup last week. It had thyme in it, and then it was garnished with mushrooms sauteed in thyme butter.

But I agree with you, rosemary is lovely and radishes can be very fine, but they are not two great tastes that taste great together.
[User Picture]From: txanne
2013-02-12 02:51 am (UTC)

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ooooooh, that soup has my name all over it! What did you use for liquid?
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 02:52 am (UTC)

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Veg broth and a little cream. There was also a little tiny bit of garlic, and we topped it with good croutons.
[User Picture]From: txanne
2013-02-12 03:07 am (UTC)

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MMMMMM.
[User Picture]From: desperance
2013-02-12 02:47 am (UTC)

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What gets me constantly about recipes both in the paper and on the net is when they're composed almost entirely of tins of this and tins of that, mungled up and heated. That's not a recipe, I growl; that's opening things. A tin of soup is not an ingredient. (Apparently I'm very purist. Who knew?)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 02:48 am (UTC)

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Box mix: also not an ingredient.
[User Picture]From: desperance
2013-02-12 02:56 am (UTC)

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Aye that. (I'm sure this is not an exclusively American practice; I suspect the truth is rather that back home when I wanted recipes I turned to my books, where over here I've had ten months without them, so I've been scanning all available sources, and - yeah. There they are.)
[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2013-02-12 06:11 am (UTC)

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One of my favorite cakes when I was a small child was this thing my step-grandfather did with making a cake with Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (with extra egg), and frosting it with a mix of canned crushed pineapple and sour cream and letting that sit for a couple of days to soak in properly.

I suspect at some point I should stop feeling like a purist and make one. And then maybe try figuring out how to do it with real ingredients, after.
[User Picture]From: timprov
2013-02-12 03:07 am (UTC)

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Premade soup is an ingredient in all sorts of good things. Just not soup.
[User Picture]From: laurel
2013-02-12 03:31 am (UTC)

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I've been spending too much time on Facebook, I want to "like" this, but there is no button. Woe.
[User Picture]From: timprov
2013-02-12 03:39 am (UTC)

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That's why I have this icon.
[User Picture]From: laurel
2013-02-12 04:26 am (UTC)

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Excellent.

Wait, I have an icon that is appropriate too.

Though now I'm imagining an endless thread of fictional characters approving of things.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 04:28 am (UTC)

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I am nonfictional, and I approve both these icons.
[User Picture]From: rysmiel
2013-02-12 04:55 pm (UTC)

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I could get with that.
[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2013-02-12 06:13 am (UTC)

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There is what I suspect is a fascinating bit of history of the intentional creation of such recipes in the 1950s (or thereabouts) as marketing for the then-burgeoning tinned-food industry. I know only enough about it to know that I would love to read a good book on the subject.
[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2013-02-16 01:21 am (UTC)

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Concur!
From: diatryma
2013-02-12 04:05 am (UTC)

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I spent some time scouring the internet for 'rice and beans'. I never found what I was looking for, and it stalled me from trying to make it. I might Do It Wrong, after all, and waste food and money and such. The first time I made it, I did in fact screw it up. I have since decided that people who like food already scorn what I make so I may as well eat it.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 04:26 am (UTC)

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What kind of beans do you want with your rice? Because we have an awesome thing we do with black beans and rice.
From: diatryma
2013-02-12 04:41 am (UTC)

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I wanted a single mixed-up thing that was beans and rice (I fear new things and stick to pinto beans) with no added fuss, the way everyone talks about beans and rice being this easy cheap magical food. I ended up making the rice with chicken bouillon crystals and soy sauce and that adds enough flavor to work.

But I realize I am projecting my own food issues and defensiveness against you, so. It's just hard to find really simple directions for things that one can feel stupid for screwing up.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 12:46 pm (UTC)

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So ours is harder than that, because you have to roast and shred chicken thighs. On the other hand, you wind up with this really good stuff that's still pretty cheap and has lots of protein from the beans and chicken. But I don't remember if you eat meat. (It also has lime juice and poblano peppers, I believe. It's a joint effort.) And it freezes well in the little individual-serving containers you can buy at the store in "disposables" (we wash and reuse them OVER AND OVER), so it can be a staple "I need nutrients and have no energy/decisiveness" thing.
[User Picture]From: redbird
2013-02-12 04:12 pm (UTC)

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For what it's worth, I make plain white rice, cook the beans (usually black beans using the recipe on the Goya can, or slight variations on that), and put the cooked beans on top of the cooked rice, mix, and eat.
[User Picture]From: davidgoldfarb
2013-02-12 04:12 am (UTC)

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I had not previously seen the recipe section of your website. Some of those recipes look very good, I shall try them.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 04:26 am (UTC)

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They have not been updated in awhile, so there are a few things I do differently now. But generally, yes, I can still recommend them.
[User Picture]From: hobbitbabe
2013-02-12 06:36 am (UTC)

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So I'm a person who was easily intimidated by living for many years with a good cook who was kind of a jerk. And I'm old enough that several of the comforting dishes I ate as a child and learned to cook involve canned soup etc.

For that reason, I have two reactions to some comments here. One is that I still like some of those canned-soup things, and I occasionally serve them to other people, and I don't like being made to feel ashamed of them when what I'm doing is recreating childhood joy.

The other, and more relevant one, is that when people write down their "just things people do", in an encouraging way that makes it possible for me to attempt something similar, it really broadens my cooking options a lot. papersky is great at this. After I'd eaten her sauteed cabbage several times, I got her to write it down for me, and one of her comments on variations sort of inspired me to develop it into one of my favourite simple winter meals (which has brown mushrooms and bacon and shell pasta as well as the basic ingredients).
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-02-12 01:17 pm (UTC)

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I never have any confidence that I have managed to hit encouraging tones when I talk about mine. Mostly I don't know quantities at all, and quantities for this sort of thing are largely taste anyway--but I know that some people feel stymied when faced with such a thing and having to make decisions about how much will make it turn out "right." Also I know that "you can do it, it's easy!" sometimes frustrates people who don't find these things easy. So I am not at all sure when I'm hitting "encouraging" and when I'm hitting "you people who cook are incomprehensible aliens."
[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2013-02-16 01:22 am (UTC)

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But given what you tend to write, the latter might be appropriate anyway....