So I dinked around in the kitchen on my days off. Baked peaches, mascarpone (Mascarpone was easy, I need to do that more. It never fails to impress: and I was cooking for myself), pesto, maraschino cherries, Caesar dressing, beef stock, grilled 5# of hosin chicken for bun mi of the future and speaking of bun mi, I pickled 2 liters of diakon and carrot for these future sandwiches - all this activity is a giant effort to have food for the upcoming week ready, a week that is paradoxically nowhere as busy.
Actually, the beef stock was for the upcoming week but not for me. The dogs are getting a little older and I have to wet their food a little to help them get down. Chicken stock is easy and cheap, but too many days in a row with chicken and they get itchy. So I made beef stock for them, they gave it good reviews. Which surprised me since I kept wanting to apply the cookly arts to simmering beef bones - Should I roast the bones, salt, herbs/boquet garni, caramelized onion and carrot? No, this is to wet their kibble not to make pho or french onion soup. Intellectually, I knew this but instinctually, I really wanted to apply my craft for them.
I also made my own maraschino cherries. I don't always enjoy the chemical aftertaste of traditional maraschinos and for a product based on cherries, they c/should taste like the fruit they are named after. But I like that initial taste of sweet and almond. When I seek out a less processed product, the flavor is always lacking, sometimes the texture too. So, I wanted to try my hand at the official fruit of Oregon State (Go Beavers!).
Not having access nor the inclination to the processes and additives of canned foods, I knew less chemicals meant more booze was needed to preserve the fruit. A combination of almondy Amaretto (Whose flavor actually comes from bitter apricot pits. The prunus family; cherry-almond-peach-plum-apricot is might incestuous, flavorwise), Kirsch/Cherry Brandy and simple syrup.
I'm hoping my Old Fashioneds in February are that much better, but in the short term, I have been working on a variation of a cocktail, it's a Shirley Temple but with booze. First round turned out well.
Next week, Charlie Seluzicki has some words for us, tune in.