Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some things I have learned from food blogging, plus an odd sort of dinner

Some things I have learned from my highly amateur attempt at food blogging:
1. Most food bloggers are married or very attached women who refer to their significant others by obnoxious and often cloying nicknames. My Man's Belly, aside from being generally terrifying, is one of the worst in terms of blogette/beau de blogette relationship portrayal. Occasional good recipes, though.
2. Most food bloggers have very good cameras, are very good at photography, or both.
3. Planning out a week's meals and buying all ingredients at once is a great way to keep food costs down. The one week (this past week, incidentally) I sort of threw things together, my food was both uninspired and the product of a few dollars here and a few dollars there, all of which added up to much more than the usual amount we spend on food in a week.
4. Nobody cares nearly as much about your food blog as you do. Suck it up and stop trying to convince people otherwise. Posting each blog entry on Facebook is acceptable, however.
5. It is sometimes shamefully difficult to pause before horking down your dinner and photograph the plate.
6. Adverbs are seductive. Give in to the overuse.

Anyway, dinner. I made udon tonight! It's the easiest of all the pastas, chiefly because it doesn't have to be rolled so damn thin*. My increasingly dull knife--I'm getting them sharpened either tomorrow or Tuesday, I swear it--was probably the worst possible tool for cutting pasta, so as you can see, the slices weren't as thin as I'd have liked.

To make things worse, these puff up a whole lot while boiling, so I ended up with some very thick, slightly undercooked udon. But they tasted really, really good.

I tossed the udon in miso, spooning a bit of the broth at the bottom of the plate, and topped it with raw grapefruit and blanched, room-temperature bok choy, and then some steamed edamame for protein. I then drizzled on top an Asian serrano chili sauce I'd made earlier in the day. The recipe I based it on exhorted me to use only red chilies, but the green looked so much better; I discovered that the reason why red were deemed necessary is that green chilies yield a mucus-colored sauce, like chartreuse with a case of food poisoning, while the red ones are a nice, bright light red (no, not pink, and yes, there is a difference). The sauce is extremely good. I used two serranos, seeds in, and would have liked it to be spicier, so next time, I'll either use a spicier pepper or just use more peppers.

Dessert was "baked donuts." Now, this recipe looked great, and the pictures were very pretty; the doughnuts were jam-filled and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, and we all know how tasty that looks. Unfortunately, the taste didn't measure up. It's not that they weren't good. They were, and the texture was wonderfully fluffy. But it wasn't significantly better than, say, a scone with jam in it or on it (or custard... custard would have been good on these...), and much less work, too. So I'm not going to call this a failed experiment, because they were delicious, but I'm going to call it one that I will not repeat.

Oh, and I finished Petersburg. Go read it. Now. Seriously. It's that good.

*For those of you who've never made pasta, consider that pasta dough is not like cookie dough. It's highly elastic and thus springs back at least a third or so of the distance it's just been rolled out if not summarily attended to.


  1. if you want a pasta roller, go knock at my apartment - none of the folks living there for the summer could possibly be using it... (seriously! it's over Petsi's Pies, and when you get into the kitchen, it's stored in the cabinet over the sink in a UNICEF bag).

  2. If I make pasta again, I am so going to take you up on this! Thanks!