Would You Wear Berries In Your Hair, For This Battalion of Lovers?

winter salad


because the onset of winter (however fitful) tends to get me excited about everything again, i’m going to get back to now and again just posting food i make for myself that i’m happy with, or think i learned something from. you know, like some kind of a”food blog” or something.

today: chicory salad with smoked turkey, fennel, cranberries, avocado, and madagascar green peppercorns,

i had never tried smoked turkey (we’re talking a whole smoked bird, not some deli meat shit), but a friend came over the other night with FOUR smoked turkey carcasses that still had a load of scrap meat on them, so we scavenged what we could* then hucked some potatoes and celery and onions in there, and had ourselves a stew.

this morning, i sautéed some turkey scraps and skin bits in bacon fat, because i figured smoked turkey + smokey bacon = duh, along with some halved cranberries and some of those  fresh green madagascar peppercorns, which are not too expensive and really just liven the shit out of things (i’m thinking there’s got to be a good use for the cloudy brine they come in, too. pepper martinis? hit me back on this). they have an almost ginny quality, i find, which is probably much more of a gin-having-a-green-peppercorn quality sort of thing, but they go tremendously well with bacon and like cured meat fats.** the cranberries were good, although i might have quartered, rather than halved them, because when you hit a whole half it was a little aggressively on the tart side. dried cranberries might actually be preferable, but that could also turn out too sweet. i originally did this with just olive oil and lemon juice, but decided to add some white wine vinegar for depth.

the avocado was just there because it was on sale, and i have a soft spot for combining fats. a soft spot called my gut.

* in the process i was struck by how useful it would be to have a cool “meat scraping glove” with metal claws that one could use for just such carcass work.

** i knew i had talked about these somewhere before; it turns out it was FOUR YEARS AGO, in a post almost almost identical to this one. plus ça change, plus de chicory and green peppercorns, apparently.

listening: At the Gates – “Terminal Spirit Disease”, Rome – “The Accidents of Gesture”

miscellany/etymology, product review

If You And I Could Be As Two.

as i was sitting down to start writing this, it occurred to me that I may be starting to toe the line of decadence that generally turns me off a lot of the more popular food blogs I’ve happened to peruse. while I’ve in the past year become much more willing to invest a little more money in the food I buy, particularly where frivolous purchases of passion (uhh, $16.99 for a 50 ml bottle of truffle oil, anyone?), and exploratory forays into the world of fancy condiments are concerned, i still believe that i am by and large remaining true to my (punk?) roots, and that the veneer of affluence is so much artifice, much the way your average not-nearly-so-fancy-as-it-pretends-to-be restaurant is probably more about garnish, presentation, and the obscurantist fog of pretentious gastro-jargon as it is about well-prepared food and quality ingredients.

where am I going with this? arrogant as i am, i still want this space to be at all times more helpful and inspiring than haughty and intimidating (speaking as I am as if anybody actually reads it), and i don’t want people to feel the way i do when i read other food blogs and am like “wow, it sure is easy to eat awesomely when you’re fucking rich, asshole,” although, come to think of it, that the bulk of my content so far has consisted in drunken polemicizing (sp?) about chips, perhaps such a risk is pretty low. that said, i’ve just been thinking lately about how rad food, or rather, food that i eat about which i feel radly, has depended soo much on just the little things like making sure when i’m dumpstering that if i don’t know what something is, i take a lot of it, look it up, and figure out what to do with it, or when i’m in a grocery store, buy chicory or some red cabbage sprouts instead of lettuce or spinach, or buy two less 40s in my life and get an olive oil that’s twice as good as i might otherwise. this shit is paying off.

anyway, Dinner The Other Night: the salad (an afterthought) outflanked and fully ass-thrashed the soup (which was still pretty good), and the wine was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading