Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lemons Into...

We’ve had a Friday potluck and two Sunday afternoon birthday cookouts in the last two weeks.  
The first birthday was undefined on the rules of bring-age so I followed what the voice of Emily Post told me:  Take Psycho Donuts.  You should account for this as being the voice of Emily Post in my head.  The recipe is really quite simple, appropriate for all ages and occasions.  
Step 1:  Find a Psycho Donuts near you.  None near you?  How rude of them. Write to their head office immediately.  
Step 2:  Roll up to the shop, they’re open till 9pm even on Sundays.  You should try to forget that fact for most of the rest of the week or you will become a character in the next Ghostbusters movie.  
Step 3:  Step into the shop and recognise friends you haven’t seen in a year who live in Fremont but are down in San Jose for brunch with other mutual friends they haven’t seen in a year.  Talk for a while, as you notice with a hawk-eye the wife coming dangerously close to ordering the last Elvis (raised donut filled with banana custard, topped with peanut butter and jelly, with bacon), at which point I will toss aside the fact she, her husband and young son were all attendants in our wedding and I will take her down.  
Step 4:  Notice there are actually three Elvis doughnuts, snap those up plus a variety dozen and some holes.  
The next Friday’s Potluck required a ‘D’, and so Deviled Eggs it would be!  I grabbed the 1979 Fannie Farmer cookbook I had just acquired and quickly learned that for whatever James Bloody Beard and Marion “Not Richie’s Mum” Cunningham preserved or innovated, THEY LEFT OUT DEVILED EGGS.  Plunging into Joy, after Creamed Eggs Au Gratin and Curried Eggs (which my mother tried one Easter, served over spinach--no points will be deducted for this as that year she also served broiled burgers filled with blue cheese covered in burgundy-shallot sauce), Deviled lay waiting on Page 195.  Because it’s JoC, I’ve already been prepped with all the background and techniques for egg boiling in all stages at the start of the chapter.  
Deviled or Stuffed Eggs are a fairly standard operation, the creaminess of mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.  I add Smoked Paprika to nearly everything in the edible universe, and this is an obvious inclusion.  Then, what’s this atop the next column? “Exotic Additions to the Yolks”; including anchovy paste, caviar or chutney among the 15 suggestions.  Oh, and curry.   HOOooooohohhhhooooooo!!!!!!!!!!  So I grabbed a bottle of Penzey’s Sweet Curry Blend on Thursday and giddily awaited the Eggy Armageddon.  
Friday Jedi Jasmin produced, with a flourish, a fine sewing pin and showed me how to prick the top of the shells to relieve pressure and prevent cracking.  Then everyone goes in the cold bath, onto the fire, etc etc... Fill BlubberMade boxes, Transport to party, Lay one box out, Keep one in the car, or you will NEVER get to eat any--these things turn people into animals.  Joy hints at this in the next entry:  “Pop’s Deviled Egg’s”, featuring chili sauce, curry powder, celery salt and dry mustard.  This recipe makes only 8 eggs.  Keep it close, keep it in the family, keep it best in your own belly.
The second birthday was this last Sunday, for which I expended a modicum of effort, as it was Amazing, Amusing Andrew’s Birthday. The Andrew that belongs to Jedi Jasmin, so food was important. I made my Mac N Cheese (which someday soon I will, I promise, introduce you to, for which endeavor I am still auditioning novice chefs--there will be a video!!), and a Strawberry and Thyme Vinaigrette Salad.  


There was a fire pit and therefore S’mores later on, with home-made marshmallows that melted beautifully, impossibly, perfectly between ooo-ey and goo-ey.
But in between, a mountain of lemons lurked. They came with me that morning, fresh from my tree. The Nieces came round early and Jasmin suddenly pops up with a flat of quart jars to make Preserved Lemons.  I said nothing, and rolled with it, but will fly the Freak Flag of Surrender right here, right now:   All the canner’s lore, all the books, all the shows, have PROTOCOL For Canning.  There is Sterlizing.  There is Paraphernalia, there is Standard Operating Procedure.  There is NO TOUCHING.  It is Hot.  It is Involved.  
It does NOT allow for suddenly deciding to throw some lemons and salt and spices in jars even if people have done it for centuries and packing stuff in salt pretty much kills everything anyhow.  IT’S NOT PROCEDURE! I have a DSM-V Standard Diagnosis that says I felt like crying when some people touched the mouth of the jar after it came out of the steamer bath. We followed a recipe from the internet very closely, adding a spice blend I personally mixed from supplies acquired at work.  A Protocol was followed, just not the Clean Room Lock Down variety.
I’m always saying “Keep it loose!  It’s cooking, There is No Perfect!” And inside I was doing mental flippie-doodles.  But it’s just lemons and salt.  In a month, according to the recipe, they will be salty-sour edible sensations.  Or not. We can always just go for more donuts--they’re open late!
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  1. You SLAY me!

    For the record, we did follow the directions, but they were from the internet. :)

  2. Ooooh! Psycho Donuts will be one of the first places I seek out when I move to the area in a couple months. Glad you didn't have to slay your former attendant though who could blame you if you did??!!?

  3. It's super funny, because I am the exact same way when it comes to cooking/baking: let go, and have a good time, and experiment. But when it comes to CANNING! OMG! You're right, there are PROCEDURES! I totally understand. You did good, not murdering anyone involved. Good job. Keep up the good work. :P


  4. Hey FabNerd! Noo! It's all me-- the method is entirely sound, it is I that is not (??? Grammar!). No killin necessary!

    Hi Thea! Thanks for joining, you will LOVE Psycho. Remember there is a " 'ho" in every "psycho", so try 'em all!