Saturday, December 29, 2007

Celebrating The Post Holiday

According to my blog, The Gourmet Peasant hasn't done much in the way of celebrating the holiday. And though it is true I worked both Christmas Eve and day, I did manage to cling to the tail end of Christmas - known across the pond as Boxing Day. To celebrate the day after Christmas, I invited fellow employees and friends to a Boxing Day brunch complete with Mimosas, Quiche, Crepes, and Gingerbread. To make the event as casual as possible I imposed a Pajamas only dress code. Did everyone follow the dress code? No, a few very lame people showed up in regular garb using the, in some cases valid, excuse that they sleep in the nude. As it turns out there is no better way to enjoy a Mimosa than in the very clothes you woke up in, and no I don't sleep in the nude. To document the event, I planned on shooting a video much in the same vein as my Thanksgiving Jive Turkey video, requiring all my guest to preform embarrassing acts in front of the camera. In the end, having way too much fun and drinking way too many Mimosas to bother with such a challenging task, I dropped the ball. No pictures were taken nor video shot of the occasion. All I can say is, thank goodness there was someone who managed to complete their holiday documentation. Check out A Likely Story's Christmas With the Welles for a jolly post Christmas laugh.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stand Clear of The Closing Doors Please

I am very sorry to inform you that, at approximately 1:30am Wednesday morning , the rat of whom I wrote the entry entitled, Sidewalk Food Chain (for the sake of this story let us call the rat Harvey), was sadly crushed between the car doors of a Manhattan bound L train. Authorities are still trying to asses whether Harvey's mysterious death is the result of foul play, a successful attempt at suicide, or simply a tragic accident. Regardless, let us all take this as a lesson that those train conductors really do mean business when they shout out over the crappy loud speaker, "Stand clear of the closing doors please!"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Think About it, Angelina

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I would like to spend my last supper alive only to, two days later, receive this disgruntled e-mail from an old friend.

After getting to know some very nice cows in Switzerland and eating every dairy product ever conceived by man for a month, I have returned home to check your website.... Only to find that I wasn't mentioned as a crucial attendee at your last supper! What the hell, Maddy? Is it because I would only eat yogurt with cottage cheese? But I would eat a lot of it, for you, if you were passing away! Maybe I'd even bring a goat. Is AARON gonna bring a goat? Think about it, Madeline.
I can't believe this,
After rereading my entry, I was surprised to find that I had neglected to mention my beloved friend Angelina. No ‘last supper’ dinner party would be complete without her and so I am writing this entry as a kind of public apology for my appalling oversight. Angelina, you have to know that if I were to have one last meal here on earth, I would oblige you to sit morbidly by my side and stuff your face until you were ready to burst like a big balloon. But, since I failed to mention this detail in my entry, it is I who is obliged to prove just how crucial you are. How am I going to do that? Lets just say that I have never eaten cottage cheese before because the sight of it turns my stomach, but, just to prove to you how sorry I am, I am going to eat this entire container for dinner, even if it makes me vomit. Now, is Aaron going to do that for you? Think about it, Angelina.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rustic Charm

I grew up in the city and many aspects of life in the mountains remain a novelty to me. Why just last night, as my mother and I soaked in her hot tub and studied the night sky, I could not help but become a tad bit anxious every time I heard the rustling of leaves or the snapping of branches. Is it a bear? I wondered looking over my shoulder then at my mother for a sign of anxiety or alarm. She seemed cool as a cucumber though, so I did all that I could to extinguish my worries and enjoy the evening. “ I used to be worried about having a run in with a bear out here, but this time of year there’s no reason to worry” she said having read my mind. “ Why don’t you have to worry anymore?” I asked, my previous concerns reawakened. “Well by this time of the year all the bears are in hibernation.” I leaned back in the hot tub and giggled a bit at my own urban foolishness. The frosty December wind grazed the top of the scalding water and created a steamy fog through which we observed the sky so full of stars.

I have been visiting my mother upstate for about ten years now, and still my visits up here always turn into mini adventures. Going for a jog in Prospect Park I may have a run in with a pesky squirrel, but up here its wild turkeys and deer - yes, I am afraid of deer. They may seem like docile creatures, but when faced with the threat of a NYC jogger I wonder if any of them would have any qualms with skewering me with their antlers.
To me, stacking firewood is a pleasurable task that holds an almost rustic charm. To my mother it is just one more dreadful chore and so every fall I try and make it a habit to help her complete the job. This year we stacked together, vigorously attacking the messy pile of gnarly wood all the while Alma, my mother’s husky, howled for attention. We were not to play with her until the job was complete and so, feeling wrongfully neglected, Alma hopped up on her chair and put her back to the both of us.
As we worked I listened to the mellow symphony of winter, naked trees clanked up against one another, the barn let out a sad moan with every gust of frosty wind. It was then that I heard the noise. It was some sort of a guttural cry off in the distance that grew increasingly louder. There was a pack of animals headed in our direction, what kind, I had no idea. “Mom do you hear that?” I asked. “What? Hear what? I don’t hear anything.” She said slightly annoyed that I woke her from her task driven meditation. It was a freakish sound and hard for me to identify, not being accustomed to such noises. “You don’t have wolves up here, do you?” I asked growing more nervous as the cries seemed closer than ever. I looked around in all directions half expecting to see some kind of awkward beast – I was now certain that we were goners - but all I found were forest trees brittle with frost. I looked up to the heavens hoping for an answer and an answer I received. Geese. The crying noises were a flock of geese headed south for the winter and as I listened closer their cries took on new meaning, “fxxking cold” it sounded like ‘fxxking cold, fxxking cold” they squawked as they passed over head. I could not help but agree with them, it was awfully cold. Again, I laughed at my cluelessness and thought, if I had to choose one way to go, it would be being eaten by a bear in a hot tub as opposed to being attacked by a flock of geese while stacking wood, or charged by a killer deer while jogging.

Having finished the firewood, my mother and I took a rest before getting to work on yet another scrumptious vegetarian dinner, Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta, with roasted carrots, parsnip, tomatoes, kale, yellow peppers , walnuts, and Parmesan cheese.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Super Duper Yummy Vegeterianism

As you all know I am no vegetarian however, my mother and her boyfriend are. So whenever I plan on visiting, I bulk up on my meat intake in preparation for a weekend of splendid vegetarian cuisine. The general protocol goes as follows, I eat chicken, beef, or pork at least once, maybe twice a day for three or four days, then I board a bus headed for the Catskill Mountains ready for some serious veggie, legume, cheese and grain consumption. Oh, and lets not forget the chocolate. Upon arrival, my mother swoops up with her jeep and whisks me off to Adam's were we shop for our ingredients and come up with a dining game plan for the rest of my stay. This Saturday in particular was a special day because it happened to be her sixty second birthday and so we decided to make her Supper Duper Yummy Veggie Burgers. It doesn't need to be your birthday for you to make these simple and satisfying patties, neither do you need be a vegetarian to enjoy them for even the most devout meat eaters come back begging for seconds.

Super Duper Yummy Veggie Burgers
2 cups sweet onion, diced
2 cups, red pepper, diced
2 cups mushrooms, diced
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 can of beans (whatever kind, I like white)
1/2 cup of chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 egg
1 Tbsp Mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1.) Preheat oven to 425 F.
2.) Over a medium-high flame saute onions, mushrooms, and peppers until soft but not too browned. Let mixture cool.
3.) Once mixture is cooled add all the other ingredients and mix well. Do not add before the sauteed mixture is cooled!
4.) Take half the mixture and run it through the food processor then mix it back with chopped veggies.
5.) The mixture is not the easiest to work with because it tends to fall apart. What seems to work best is to construct the patties directly on a heavily oiled baking tray, brushing the tops with oil as well. Then place the tray in the freezer for an hour or so before placing them in the oven. If you don't have time for this it is okay, just place them directly into the oven.
6.) Bake in the oven for twenty minutes, then turn the veggies burgers over and bake for another ten minutes.

Now if you are as lucky as my mother then you don't have to worry about accidentaly dropping crumbs on the floor because, like her, you would have your very own canine vacuum/garbage disposal. Look at Alma hard at work waiting diligently to clean the floor of any food we happen to drop.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Regine Ain't No Jive Turkey!

You may see for yourself that this years Thanksgiving Turkey Jive was a great success. There were of course a few guests that managed to sneak out of there whirling, twirling, gyrating and beboppin' obligations. And then their were those who did participate, but in such a negligible fashion that we mustn't speak further about them (you all know who you are). What made the Thanksgiving Jive such a triumph were the participants that threw caution to the wind, got into the ring, and with great vigor, cut a rug Turkey style. There was one woman however, that did not have a chance to participate because she happened to be working that day, and when she found out about the Turkey Jive she simply had to indulge. Many of you are already familiar with chocolate enthusiast, Regine but for those of you who don't, her talents range from magical mixologist, expert chocolate eater, talented photographer to yes that right, Turkey Dancer extraordinaire.