I made a giant pot of soup last week, so of course it turned hot again… though only for a few days.
Heat waves in September always remind me of one many years ago, when the temperature soared over 100°F. (While that sort of heat is by no means unknown in New York City, it is unusual – particularly that late in the season.) A good work friend got married that weekend. I’d married the previous October, so we’d chatted about weddings… and he knew that one reason we’d chosen October was the guaranteed cooler weather. I was at our Best Man’s wedding (which is another story) so could not attend his.
The day my friend returned to work from his honeymoon, after all the general congratulations and questions were taken care of, he stopped at my desk, and said “October.” “October?” “You were right – October. The cake melted.”
It seems that transporting a tiered wedding cake, made with buttercream, from the bakery to the reception hall in your ancient (and un-airconditioned) car in temperatures over 100° is Not a Good Idea… the layers slid. (The caterer managed to put it more or less back together – it just looked a bit tipsy.)
I’m not sure why that story emerged so forcefully today – it was only in the low 90’s, this time – but I had to share…
What I Ate
At any rate – obviously I did not eat wedding cake, the other day…
I did eat tacos. I currently seem to be on a cheesy eggs kick, rolling them in my corn tortillas. I also have started to really look forward to my porridge… I mixed up a batch, to be ready! I wonder if I’ll switch first to hot cereal or hot coffee? I want to revisit my recipe for apple muffins, too – I know much more about gluten free baking than I did two years ago! And it’s apple season! The berries are gone, the last of the stone fruit is running down, but Greenmarket is full of apples and grapes – two major crops of the State of New York. (OK, so maybe I’ll try Concord Grape muffins next year…)
Salad for lunch. You may notice the Chipotle Tofu in it… Just as a benefit of writing a food blog is that I try new ideas and recipes all the time, a hazard is that old favorites drop along the way. When I wrote about packing lunch, I reviewed some old posts, and found a passing reference to preparing tofu this way. While I no longer eat as much tofu as I did four or five years ago, I never intended to stop it all together! And this salad is one reason – some tofu, a little cheese, one hard cooked egg – I think the variety works well. And of course, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes… Tortilla chips on the side.
I bought some garam masala from an Indian shop near me, and realized that, oddly, I had not purchased it there before. For a long time I passed the Penzey’s booth in Grand Central Terminal every few weeks, so that had been my source of spices – both convenient and good. Both it and my client are gone, now… Then I was up on Curry Hill (a nickname for the Murray Hill neighborhood, since it blossomed with Indian and Middle Eastern stores and restaurants) and then – we have so many sources of spices here in the city!
But when I have a new spice blend, I like to try it first with something simple, to get a feel for the flavor notes (and in some cases, the heat… though garam masala should not be particularly hot.) So I heated a little in some oil, browned pork chops in that, and then added broth to simmer. When they were cooked, I served with brown rice and fresh broccoli, pouring the spiced broth over them. Delicious! And so easy – just switching up the spice mix changes the whole meal.
I love playing with spice blends… Every source is a little different, and now I’ve even started making my own, sometimes. I should do more of that here. (I did share the Gingerbread Spice blend last year – I used that in everything!) What blends do you like?