I ran out to the grocery store again on Saturday.
Hopefully, the time will come again in the foreseeable future, when I would not have to dodge the other shoppers, nor be in a rush, so as to minimize my time in the ‘dangerous’ public space of the store.
My two Easter bunnies from Lindt still have a day or so to go before they are done with their 72 hour quarantine .. but I will probably wash the foil wrappers with soap anyway, before I tear it open.
I made a late-night grocery run on Saturday (the Safeway store on 23rd Ave).
There was enough of every kind of food. I do try to make sure that I always have two or three weeks’ supplies of all my staples.
Some shoppers go completely overboard, or post pictures of empty shelves on social media. (Don’t do that. It just stirs up anxiety. Yes, the store may have run out of some items, but they are usually quick to restock the shelf).
Here’s a new-ish New Zealand beer (first brewed 2017) that caught my eye in the store yesterday.
The claims made on the packaging, are definitely tongue-in-cheek. – With the beast’s razor sharp tusks at his throat, Great Uncle Kenny drew his BBQ mate and slew the rare but ferocious guinea pig, thereby saving his Tinder date (Peru 1936). (No internet, no Tinder in 1936).
– The ‘#1 five-star award’ was by the ‘Miniature Horse Monthly Magazine’ at the ‘Australasian Beer Awards in 1648’. (No Australia in 1648).
Let me buy a pair of these Cosmic Crisp apples, I thought, to see what the hullabaloo is about. These apples are a new variety, 20 years in the making, by the University of Washington. The first harvest hit the shelves in grocery stores just recently.
Well, the apples are heavy: they feel like little bowling balls in one’s hand. The flesh is very firm and at the same time, quite juicy. The taste is crisp, a little tart, and a little sweet.
My first impression was that they are not as sweet as the popular Honeycrisp from Minnesota (1960), and not nearly as sweet as Washington State’s Red Delicious (originally recognized in Iowa in 1880). The verdict: I am still deciding which one I like most, between the Honeycrisp and the Cosmic Crisp.
I was out of marmalade (for my peanut butter-and-marmalade toast), and I found a can of the good stuff at the British Pantry store in Redmond. (Redmond is across Lake Washington from Seattle, and is where the sprawling Microsoft campus is).
Marmalade has a centuries-old culinary history. The word first appeared in the English language in 1480, borrowed from the French marmelade which, in turn, came from the Galician-Portuguese word marmelada.
The preferred citrus fruit for marmalade production nowadays, is the Spanish Seville or bitter orange, prized for its high pectin content, which sets readily to the thick consistency expected of marmalade. The bitter taste comes from the peel [all this information from Wikipedia].
We gathered at one of our regular watering holes for beers and something to eat tonight: The Chieftain Irish pub on 12th Avenue. Should we have a pitcher of beer, or a beer for everyone? we asked the waitress.
She was new and did not know right away, but came back and said five beers (pints) at $4 each was probably the better choice – which is what we did.
A pitcher was $16, but five glasses of beer from it would be much less than a pint each.
I read everywhere that we all need to eat more lentils and beans.
So when I saw this recipe (New York Times account needed for link) for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie made with French green lentils, I went for it.
It was a bit of work, but my efforts paid off nicely in the end!
There is aardvark and then there is yster- vark (porcupine). Local craft brewing company Hoogeberg (‘High Mountain’) named one of its lagers Ystervark. (I still have to try it).
The Ystervark is a ‘hybrid lager’, which means it was fermented at the higher temperatures usually used for ales. The time and temperatures used in beer fermentation is not an exact science, and allows brewers to be creative.
Here’s a beautiful red onion that I put into a roasting pan tonight, with sweet potato wedges, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
It’s a little tricky to get everything to roast evenly, without some pieces getting burnt – but I’m learning!
Local burger chain Dick’s Drive-in was founded in 1954.
This Tuesday, they celebrated their 65th anniversary by offering burgers at the ‘original price’ of 19 c.
The regular price today for a 1/8 pound burger, is $1.60.
That means average annual burger price inflation was about 3.4%* for the 65 year span from 1954 to 2019.
*Very close to the average of the annual Consumer Price Indexes (CPIs) published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics over the same period (3.5%).
My friends and I ran out to Ozzie’s Diner in Queen Anne here in Seattle this morning for brunch. Some of us had ‘the house mess’: a scramble of egg, cheese & some veggies, on top a bed of hash browns.
Temperatures only got to 42 °F (5 °C) today, but this is absolutely mild compared to the frigid temperatures expected along the Canadian border in the Midwest by Wednesday.
A polar vortex will drive down nighttime temperatures at places such as International Falls, MN to a deep, deep freeze of -36°F (-38°C).
Check out the cool packaging for eggs that I got, from Vital Farms .. and to boot it has the ‘Certified Humane’ label on it. (That’s the labeling that matters here in the USA, say my friends that know. Ignore ‘natural’ and ‘cage-free’). So these eggs are from truly free-range hens. The Dutch call these chickens scharrelkip –‘chickens that scurry’.