T.G.I.P.B.P.F.

Sugar depressed? Down in the right-eating caloric dumps?
Suffering from post-holidaysal dietary balance? Worry not! Today is Peanut
Butter Pie Friday.

Peanut Butter Pie

Okay, so you get the picture. I cooked up a pair of delightfully
peanut-buttery PB pies a few minutes ago, working from a recipe given to me by a
co-worker in the gig I was working nine years ago. The conversation went
approximately as follows: D: That PB pie is really good. Co-worker: Want
the recipe? D: Okay, why not.

I have not had the peanut butter pie since. Not this peanut butter pie
nor any other. Not one time.

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Eat Your Rhizomes

I’m fairly competent with the pureed soups, and so I try to mix one up every
now and again, especially when D. or Ph. mention it (and it’s also my week for
meals). Today it was a finely blended
Tuber
Taproot
Rhizome (aka, Sweet Potato
Carrot Ginger) Soup garnished with chopped honey roasted peanuts and set
alongside thin-sliced sourdough from Panera. It’s really a fortunate accident of
fate that I can cook much of anything (i.e., lots of kitchen time as a kid), but
this one turned out okay. Edible-plus.

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Meal Ideas

Figures that the last week of July would be my week for groceries. I’m
heading to the store in a few minutes, until then, preparing mentally for the
mealy week ahead. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Day One (Monday): Ph. has a soccer match at 7:15. In the mosquito
hatchery that doubles as Wetlands Soccer Park. IOW, we’ll be the dinner.
Home by 9. Actual dinner: microwave popcorn with popsicles for dessert (only if it’s a win).
Day Two: Our third wedding anniversary. Celebrating a superfine three years. D.
and I eat at a respectable restaurant, while Ph. sits at home, playing PS2 and
eating graham crackers (relax, they’re honey graham crackers).
Day Three and Four: Where have the appetites gone? Y. (who reminds me more and
more of a junkyard Snoopy) is still sick. Poor lil’ guy. But damn! Nobody’s
hungry.
Day Five: Creamed corn casserole. Too hot to bake, so I put the microwave
to work. And work. it. does. Which is more than we can say for the washing
machine or dishwasher. Hey Maytag, are we unlucky or should these rusty
&^% appliance go to the scrap-heap?
Day Six: Nearing expirations on the many milks in the refrigerator. Dinner
idea: dairy consumption contest. Vanilla soy milk, 2%, skim. Oh, and why
not: yogurt, sour cream, half-n-half and cottage cheese.
Day Seven: It’s the end of my week, which saddens me just a little bit.
For a mood-lift, we splurge on double-toasted everything bagels and cokes (Coke
floats if I pick up some ice cream).

For breakfasts: Cinnamon Life, wheat germ and PB toast.

I’m gone to the store.

Margarinalia

Because I fail to shop with a grocery list and I also fail to perform an
exhaustive inventory before heading off to P&C every other week to collect
things for eating, I often make the mistake I made today: picking up stuff we
already have. Such as margarine. We hardly even eat margarine. So
why I bought two squares of it this afternoon is unexplainable. Even
worse, I returned home (thinking I’d done well to accumulate substantial
meal-makings and cakehole pleasers while also staying within the food budget) to
find three unopened squares and a more-than-half-filled tub of margarine in the
fridge, enough to bring on in me a margaraine headache.

Detroit Eats Analogy

A reader writes:

If one was going to cook Detroit’s favorite dish, what would it be? Here,
SAT style: Barbecue is to Kansas City as _____ is to Detroit.

Good question. I’m overjoyed that the Superbowl is hosted in Detroit
this year. Way I see it, an NFC team has a shot at winning a game played
in the Motor City during the playoffs. That hasn’t happened
in a
while
(plus, the games against Dallas and Green Bay in ’91 and ’93
were in Pontiac, anyway). So, as we approach the Detroit Superbowl, I need your
help. 
What’s more fearsome than a Seahawk? What’s Detroit’s
marquee food?

My first (bad)
guesses revert to up-state gourmet such as venison stew and Mackinaw Island
fudge. Or nuts-n-bolts, middle-Michigan (elsewhere?) parlance for Chex
mix. For our Super get-together, I’m thinking about trying (from memory) a
variant of Tirechange Chili (some call it hunter’s stew). Ideally, I’d
sugar up on paczkis afterward, if only I knew how to make them.

The ultimate Detroit food, however, is the
coney dog.
Coneys and chili cheese fries (using
Koegel Franks?). Of
course, you could mod out the dogs with any mix of Soul food (collard-topped
coneys), Meditteranean (couscous-topped coneys) and Italian (deep dish coneys)
influences. That’s probably the best I can come up with. Anyone else
with a suggestion? What food makes Detroit proud and is suited to
cooking for a Superbowl party?

There Will Be No-Baking

I was standing in Home Depot this afternoon, browsing from item to item in
the faucet aerators section of aisle ten. Yeah, we rent, but the kitchen
faucet doesn’t have an aerator, and so it gushes out far more water than we need
or than is conservationally astute. I needed a fitting–a 15/16" double
threaded, male-male to cobble together the faucet and the swivel head aerator we
picked up the other day. But there were none. So I asked for help,
but instead of talking to someone prepared to answer customer questions, I got
an orange-frocked body in a trance: "We got nothing." No more discouraged,
I asked another clerk. He scanned the same aerator section–just like I’d
done twenty minutes before–and said, "We don’t have anything like that."
Damn. So I snapped open the flip-phone; dialed my big brother. He’d
have to know an alternative.

Only he didn’t answer. So I exchanged the swivel-head aerator for a
conventional one and stepped back into the cold.

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The More You Eat, Less Nights

Chorus to the Leftover Sup March when we have a huge vat of boiled dinner in
this house, like we do now.  It’s a rare feast (loaded with cabbage, of
course).  Unpopular as it is, I figure I might as well stir up enough to
hold over for a few days, what with it being the greyed-together days of early
January and all.

Sopa de Mezclada

Picked up this one during my days in Xalapa, Veracruzana in ’00. 

Sopa de Mezclada

Cut two onions, three potatoes (onions and potatoes: fist-sized) and 10-14 large carrots into big chunks. 
Drop them in a pot with water just below the top of the vegetables.  The
onions will reduce into liquid while boiling, so the space they take up is
temporary.  Salt the water; I don’t know, a teaspoon or two.  Cover
and boil for thirty or forty minutes until everything is soft.  The smaller
you cut everything, the faster this part will go, but I don’t have any patience
for working the vegetables when I know they’re going to end up blended.

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Breakfast Theory

A few remnants for 691:  Theory as method: Reid’s 1989
cartoon, "Breakfast Theory: A Morning Methodology."

A Morning Methodology

And for daily fiber:

PBS Kids’ Freaky Flakes
.  P’shoped a EWM-brand box.  Plus,

this
, from the Detroit News, an article on Kelloggs.  Elsewhere
Homi Bhaba
talks about breakfast cereal and globalization.

Breakfast Theory

You know, spring of my senior year in high school, I had a
basketball tryout at Kellogg CC in Battle Creek, MI. 

Earlier today on ESPN News (playing low in the b’ground), the
anchor, commenting on Jason Kidd’s off-the-backboard oop to Richard
Jefferson in the Nets-Jazz game last night, said (about connecting up on the fast break) "That’s just good writing
there."