Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where We Make Tapioca

Okay, so the plan was to make tapioca. I remember tapioca from when I was a kid and it was a favorite. It's been years since I made any and the other day when I was in the Food Mill on MacArthur Blvd in Oakland, I bought some from the bulk bins. It was pretty white pearl tapioca, larger than I seem to remember, but the sign said tapioca. It was a whole 74¢ for the bag and I thought, "What a deal."

So, last night I figured we could do a channeled recipe. And, I began channeling. Except, right away I'm thinking, "This doesn't sound right". So, I went online and all the recipes said: Stir for 2 hours. Oh, crap. Like I'm going to stand over the stove stirring for 2 hours. I'm sort of bummed out by that, but upon further searching I found a recipe by Alton Brown who said to use a slow cooker.

So, that's what we did.

I've linked to his recipe above and written what we finally ended up doing below. It isn't exactly a channeled recipe, but the guides where right there with me as I cooked, so I figure I can include it here with no qualms at all.

Tapioca Pudding based on Alton Brown's Recipe

1 ¼ cup of pearl tapioca (not the quick cooking stuff in the box)
Soak in 4 or 5 cups of cold water overnight

In the morning drain the water away from the little tapiocas and put them into your slow cooker. Stir in a cup of heavy cream, 5 cups of whole milk and a pinch of salt. Cook on high for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
Whisk together 2 egg yolks and 2/3 cup of sugar. It's going to be all clumped up. Start stirring and spooning in the tapioca mixture a little bit at a time into the egg and sugar mixture until you've gotten a good cup in there. Once that's nicely stirred together mix it all back into the slow cooker with the rest of the tapioca. Add the zest of one lemon and a tsp of vanilla. Let it cook another 15 minutes.

Eat some and put the rest of it in a container in the refrigerator. This stuff is absolutely fabulous.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where I Buy Stuff

Yesterday I went shopping for vegetables across the street at House of Produce. It’s a small Asian market with vegetables that are not normally found at the larger Luckys grocery store also across from where I live. Anyway, I figured we could maybe start on some of the channeled recipes for this blog.

The first ding donged thing that happens as I walk in the door wanting to find some Marukan Rice Vinegar that I really like is somebody in Spirit directs me, quite forcefully I might add, to purchase some chili paste. I knew this stuff was going to be hot. The name is Sambal Oelek and is advertised on the label as ground fresh chili paste. If you are interested it is made in California by Huy Fong Foods. Last night I opened it up and stuck my finger in….for the first and last time. I walked out into the living room with my tongue hanging out into the air trying to cool it off and offered the jar to DeeDude. He stuck his finger in too to taste it. While his eyes were watering he said, “Yum”. Right, well he can have it. No way, no how am I going to be putting any of that into these recipes. If you will notice in the picture Miss Sheba is out of focus in the background sitting on DeeDude’s computer chair.

While I was in the store I also found some Kikkoman Mirin style sweet cooking seasoning. It’s right next to the rice vinegar in the picture. I’m not sure what I’ll be using it for. Probably I’ll use it instead of sugar in stir fry recipes. I do like my stir fry sauces with a bit of sweet to them.

I purchased the usual things…green and red peppers, a double handful of bean sprouts, some of those baby bananas that have a nutty flavor, an onion, some green onions, a shallot, some little white potatoes and some bok sum. I’d never actually had bok sum before. Baby bok choi I know about and have used often, but bok sum? No. It didn’t have the smooth curved surface that the baby bok choi has. It was sort of straight edged with tiny yellow flowers on it. Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture just now…so, I’ll try to find something on the internet or since I’m getting a chorus of no’s right now from Spirit might be making a trip back to the store to purchase some more of each kind later on today.

The lady in the store told me that she will sometimes make a salad out of bean sprouts, sliced tomato, green onions and white vinegar. I asked her if the rice vinegar I was purchasing would do and she said no, she used white vinegar. I asked if she cooks the bean sprouts and she said no, she uses them raw. So, I might try that.

The making of our dinner last night, though not technically a channeled recipe, was in fact well attended throughout the making of it by Folks in Spirit. They are quite helpful when I cook in the kitchen making all sorts of suggestions. Like last night I decided to use a box of Rice a Roni wild grain rice mix. As I was putting the stuff into the skillet they said I should add an additional cup of water and half a cup of my Uncle Ben’s rice. I’ve never done that before. I checked to make sure the cooking time would be okay and it all worked out fine.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where I Make a List of Vegetables

God, I don't know why I do this, but, I've just committed to another blog. Spirited Recipes - Out of this World. This one will, however, focus on food. Many of the dishes showcased on this blog will have been channeled by moi. My guide is Seth. There are others in Spirit I speak with. So, other than being so busy now with everything else I'm doing I'm now going to be more in the kitchen....ah, so is life. I will also get to take pictures....maybe I'll even get some Spirit photography going on.

Here's the plan. At least, this is what the guides are nudging me toward right now. Make a list they say. And, then we will make our contribution. But, we must have a list to work with. Otherwise you become sidetracked and meander every which way. Hey, are you talking? Why, yes. Were you listening? It would appear that you can also have this be a channeling blog. There are so few around. Okay, I suppose we probably need some rules. Like you're stuff is one color and my stuff is another. I don't know what color your stuff is but I am partial to lilac. This can't be Seth. No, it is not. You are correct. Who do you think it is? It is so much fun to jerk this one around. She can't see a thing. You know. If you make me look bad I'll delete this post. Dear, we don't do it intentionally. Okay, you can be lilac whoever you are. I think this is sort of running away from me. Do, start on your list Dear. about vegetables. Too broad. You must indicate a specific vegetable, preferably the ones that are in season now. Well, maybe here, but what if they aren't in season someplace else? Dear, focus.



That is a beginning. Try for some more.


Dear, you are boring.


You wouldn't know a parsnip if it bit you.


You don't like radishes. The rule must be extended to those foods that you like. After awhile we can branch out and you can be adventurous, but for the time being things you like.

I can live with that.

Okay...brocolli. And, I really like spinch. More?

Of course.

Peas. Green Beans. Bean Sprouts.

Is that enough?

Line them up Dear. Line them up and see if you've got 10.

Green Beans
Bean Sprouts

You forgot Parsnips.

I don't actually like Parsnips.

I'll think of 2 more.

Carrots, I'm done.