Solitary Confinement Never Tasted so Good.

3 Jun

I have never had less to do in my life.  I am bored after leaving school, I am bored after returning from my trip to Chicago, and I am bored waiting to go on my trip to Spain in a couple weeks.  What have I done during my epic-ly long hours at home?  I’ve cooked, cooked, and cooked more.

Before returning home from school, I thought about what going home would mean, pros and cons style.  Yeah, I know people only really analyze pros and cons when they actually have a decision to make.  And no, I did not have to decide whether or not I was going home from school.  I was going.  According to my dorm’s resident advisor, anyone who stayed past May 22 would be charged $35/hour for every extra hour spent in the dorm.  Not an attractive idea.

Well, as I said, there were pros to going home, so I was somewhat excited anyway.  What were those pros?  And what were the cons?

Pros: Obviously, I missed my kitchen.  I mean family, Mom.  Yes.  Family.  I missed my family and kitchen, so I was glad to go home to both.  It would be great to see my parents and younger siblings, and I would have so many ingredients and pots and pans at my disposal!

Cons: My parents both work, and my younger siblings are both still in school all day.  Friends, you ask?  None of my friends are out of school yet.  Now, being all alone would be less apalling if I lived somewhere interesting.  But if you ask me, my small town in Bergen County, NJ, offers few activities more exhilirating than doing lunch and maybe getting my nails done (which, incidentally, I never do, since I can’t wear nail polish to work.)  So. in clonclusion, I am bored out of my mind.

I have done some fun things since coming home from school.  As described in my last post, I had a great meal at Alinea in Chicago with my sister.  I also had a nice time celebrating my birthday at home with my family and grandma. I got a meat cleaver, a chicken door stop, and a pair of shorts.  Random?  If you know me, these gifts are normal.  But I digress.

chicken door stop

Anyway, the rest of the time I’ve been home, I’ve been making so much food that my mom has asked me to stop.  She thinks we can’t eat this much food.  I think we just need to pump out some more babies.  More mouths to feed+me=success?

A few minutes ago, I made a liquer flavored with Cap’n Crunch and toasted marshmallows.  Before that, I made sake-ginger pickles.  Dinner was  King crab sushi with ginger, basil, lime, and sriracha.  I also made pork enchiladas with the leftover pulled pork from Memorial Day.  This morning, I made peanut-lime cupcakes with chocolate frosting, smoked paprika, and chocolate covered honeycomb candy.  Epic day?  Not in the least, considering the past two weeks.

cupcakes, after many were eaten

Yesterday, I made chocolate-covered honeycomb candy after learning how to make the candy on Nigella Express.  It was just 1/2 c sugar abd 1/4 c golden syrup boiled into a molten syrup combined with 1.5 t baking soda and stirred into a puffy, crisp mass.  Yum…As for the extra chocolate I melted, I mixed crushed tortilla chips, lime zest, and toasted coconut into it to create exotic chocolate clusters.

For dinner last night, I made homemade ravioli with shiitake-tofu filling.  If that sounds weird, it was only weird in how natural and delicious it tasted!  My brother ate it all, since I told him it was a cheese filling.  In reality, I had sauteed a bunch of sliced shiitakes until crisp and dark, pureed them in a food processor with about a pound of tofu, a little cream cheese, a pat of butter, salt, lavender leaves and some garlic chives, and some champagne vinegar.  It was a mousse made in heaven.  Inside ravioli, the filling was great.  I tossed the warm ravioli with butter and fresh, chopped herbs along with some spring mix.

On Memorial Day, I came home from Chicago midday.  I was sitting with my parents and grandma for a while, but when stories began to repeat themselves in our conversation, I briefly excused myself to whip out a pie.  I made an all butter crust before realizing we were limited on fruit.  Hmm.  3 nectarines, a peach, and an apple?  We had some dates and prunes, too.  None of the fruits would be enough for a pie on their own, so I decided to throw ’em all in. So I did.  All that fruit with a few tablespoons of sugar and a little flour went into the pie, and I topped it with a lattice crust.

mixed fruit pie

Surprisingly, the fruit mix was delicious, and the pie was well-received by my family.  Score!

Among my other creations this summer were rhubarb coffee cake, honey-vanilla tofutti, pumpkin pudding, curried softshell crabs, brownies, blondies, green tea ice cream, chocolate ice cream, butterflied chicken on the grill, skirt steak burgers, and more.  What will come next?

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