*Tap*Tap*Tap* Is this thing still on?

So, hi.

I know, I haven’t been around much. Work is busy. Home life is insane. And did I mention I got the bright idea to go back to school? You know, when you major in music they don’t make you sit for a single accounting course. And since my end goal is to get my CPA… Well, you see my predicament. I know, extroverted accountant sounds like an oxymoron, but since when have I been the normal one?

But hey, I got to play with a cannon over the weekend.
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Lumpia was made and consumed

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And most of all, my soul was rejuvenated by the company of the very best people. You know who you are. My tribe. My heart. I am blessed beyond measure.

Here’s to you
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I’m on a break between trimesters (accelerated classes so there are 3 sessions per year), so I will attempt to get the free ice cream flowing again. You know what happens when you let dairy sit too long, so there may be some clean-out and overhaul needed. Do ignore the smell.

I don’t know what’s coming next, but I hope you’ll stay along for the ride.

Lumpia! In pictures

The story of lumpia in pictures.

First you prep the ingredients
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Shredded carrots (2.5 ish lbs), chopped green onions (1 bundle), garlic (1 whole clove), a dozen eggs-separated (2 or 3 whole eggs go into the mix), and some soy sauce.
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Reserve the egg whites. They will be used later.
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Mix in the meat. Here it is 5.5 pounds of ground pork.
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Time to get messy. Each roll takes about that much filling. Close to a standard ice cream scoop.
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Personally, I prefer to work with the spring roll wraps. Start at the corner
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Roll tightly towards the center
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Fold the sides in
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Continue rolling. This is where the egg whites come in handy. You will dip that last corner in the egg white to glue the roll closed.
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Line them up carefully. Try not to let them touch.
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If you are planning to freeze them, it’s a good idea to let them sit for a few minutes to let the egg white set.
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They freeze well at this point. You can thaw them out to fry later.
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Or get them straight into 350ish degree oil
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Fry until golden
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Wait until they are cool enough to eat and enjoy.

Whew!

So as I’m sure you noticed, SqueakyB came to visit. There was shopping and eating and gaming and pedicures and a missed flight (d’oh!).

We even squeezed in a little zombie shooting.

Photo by Micah Heath
Photo by Micah Heath

Just one of the dinners

She came out to experience the mess that is our house and the awesome that was Super! Bitcon. Full report to come once I’ve recovered. Here’s just one of the 1400 pictures I took of the event.

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So We Had These Two Cucumbers

The last from the garden. Something special had to be done with them. But what? I’ve fermented some delightful sour pickles, but there were just two of these.

What to do? And then everyone’s favorite uncle mentioned Kimchi cucumbers over on the book of face. I was intrigued. That recipe sounded pretty good, but I’m not very good at following directions. Besides, I wanted something a bit more pickle. And then I found this. With a bit of a tweak here and a substitution there, we get this.

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Obviously, we didn’t have 6-8 Korean cucumbers, we had 2 cucumbers from the garden. We didn’t have any Korean red pepper either, but we did have some bhut jolokia flakes. And Oops! Apparently we didn’t have any onions in the garden either. Oh well.

I cut the ends off the cucumbers and cut them into approximately 2 inch sections then quartered them as the recipe instructed. I salted them thoroughly and let them sit for 2 hours. It’s odd, but you have to wilt your vegetables in order for them to be crunchy once the fermentation is complete.

While the cucumbers were resting in the salt, I minced the garlic and mixed up the paste. Once the cucumbers were ready, I spread the paste over the spears and crammed them into a mason jar. Then I poured filtered water into the bowl where I’d mixed up the paste, swirled it around, and poured it over the cucumbers in the jar. Always be careful of the water used in a fermentation process. You run the risk of killing the beneficial bacteria if there is any chlorine in your water. Most cities chlorinate the tap water. You know, to kill bacteria. Generally a good thing, but when you are encouraging Lactobacilli, chlorine is not your friend. I topped up the jar with more filtered water and put the lid on loosely. You don’t want any outside air getting in, but there will be some gas that needs to escape. Ferments burp. Then I left it out on the counter for 12-18 ish hours.

From there, we stuck it in the fridge. 5 days later, we had delicious crunchy kimchi pickles. Each bite was bright, cool cucumber followed by the slow burn of the bhut jolokia. Oh yeah, definitely doing this again. Next time, we’re going to try slicing the cucumbers.

PINK!!! Deviled Eggs

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Do not attempt to adjust your set. The colors in this post are true. It really is that PINK. The surface it is sitting on is actually blue.

So I mentioned that we recently discovered pickled eggs and promised you pictures. We bought some high quality large (not extra large or jumbo) eggs from the local grocery store. We let them sit in the refrigerator for about a week and then boiled and peeled them. Fresh eggs are awesome for frying, not so awesome for boiling. Be patient. We pickled 16.

We started with three fresh beets which we wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and roasted for approximately an hour and a half. They should squish a little almost like a baked potato. Leave them wrapped and set them on the kitchen counter until they reach room temperature. At this point, we put them in the fridge overnight, but I’m pretty sure you could skip that.

I understand that you can use canned beets, but I liked starting with fresh. Your mileage may vary.

When you unwrap the beets, hold them over something because they will be juicy and that juice will stain. Once they are unwrapped, they should peel easily. It will just slip off. Again, be very careful not to drip it on your pants or shoes. Cut them into smallish chunks. They will go in the jar with the eggs.

The construction of the jar should be some boiled peeled eggs, some roasted beets, some garlic, more eggs, etc. Just keep it mixed up. We also added some dried dill weed.

Like with any pickle process, bring your salt and vinegar mixture to a boil, then pour it into the jar. Place the lid and ring and let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature. the lid will very likely pop, but since this is a very low acid recipe, you cannot make it safely shelf stable without a pressure canner. It’s alright, we’re going to eat them soon. Once they reach room temperature, stick them in the refrigerator. Leave them no less than four days. Ours sat for ten. Ten days allows for the color to really penetrate the eggs. Which makes them come out of the jar looking like this.

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That color? It goes all the way to the yolk

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You can eat them just like this and they are delicious. We may have sampled one. Maybe.

Drop your yolks into a bowl and set your halves up for filling.

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For deviled eggs, I like for my creamy ingredients to be a generous third of the volume of the yolks. Most of that should be honest to goodness mayonnaise. Miracle Whip is an abomination and if you try and substitute it, I don’t think we can be friends anymore. My feelings on Miracle Whip can be summed up here. The rest is ranch dressing. I know, bear with me. Maybe that’s the native Okie. For my dry ingredients, I use a few good clumps of mustard powder and some cracked pepper. (I really like to go ahead and add some wasabi powder here, but I knew there were people I would be serving them to that can’t rock the wasabi). We’d normally add salt to deviled eggs, but the pickled eggs are plenty salty enough already.

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Mix the filling until it looks like you are going to ice a pretty, pretty princess cake. It helps to put it into a bag that you can use like a pastry bag for egg filling.

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Garnish with some bacon. Because bacon.

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You can even put a little dollop of wasabi on the tops of some of them as in the first picture. And then you just might want to lick the bowl clean.

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And there you have it. Hot pink deviled eggs.

How To Tuesday Like Jennifer

Put on some four inch heels.

Add some wishful thinking

And then dash your own hopes by proving that the file cabinet is apparently not Jennifer proof.

Drive home in rush hour with smashed and swelling finger extended.

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Because of course it would be that finger*.

Have a delicious dinner that pales in comparison to even more delightful company. Nothing better than embracing a good friend for the first time. Except maybe the gazillionth time because one can never overflow that particular cup. Share all the laughs and stories that make a tribal gathering great.

Finish the evening with a bourbon on the patio considering a jacket in July, completely forgetting to pull the evening’s pictures off of your camera. (See that link? Brigid has pictures up. Go see hers. No, I’m not really that tall. Remember the shoes?)

Open the windows to enjoy the unseasonably cool weather.

Yeah, it was a good day. I’m calling it a win.

*Didn’t break it. Just bruised it. Most of the swelling was gone by morning.

 

Oh Pickled Eggs!

Why did it take me so long to discover the deliciousness that is pickled quail eggs? You remember the eggs, right? So we pickled the last of the quail eggs. 50ish, I believe.

Yum! Absolutely perfect savory goodness. So good, in fact, that I haven’t paused between removing them from the jar and shoving them in my mouth to get you a picture.

Ok, so a couple may have taken a detour into a martini, but since there are no pictures, it didn’t happen. That’s what the internet told me. So obviously, since it didn’t happen, it must happen because the non existent martini was delicious.

There’s currently a jar of chicken eggs pickling with beets in the fridge because pink pickled deviled eggs must happen. Hopefully, I will be able to refrain from shoving them in my face long enough to get you a picture or two.

So, If You Eat Cookies, You Must Play More Golf?

I better eat fruit so I don’t have to chase that infernal ball around for 2 whole hours!

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Spending that much time on perfectly manicured grounds would be so tedious! Two hours! Ludicrous.We should definitely all pick the fruit so we have time for meaningful things like doing our taxes.

Golf. Pshaw.

Disclaimer: I don’t golf. I consider golf courses to be a waste of perfectly good rifle ranges.