This weekend, Esteban and I did a lot of nauseating couple-y things like going out for dinner (actually, I just drank Cape Cods and kept him company. I’m having one of those weird Not Hungry phases, which is pissing me off because eating is fun). On Saturday, we both slept in, because it was raining and also it’s lovely to sleep in when it’s cold and the pitter patter of little (mouse feet) raindrops soothes your brow to sleep. I only roused myself from bed for the lure of the farmer’s market. It was the final one of the season, which sucks, because it’s so arbitrary and deigned by the city council and not the growing season. There’s still several weeks left of the harvest, lots of pumpkins and apples still in the fields, and yet, bah, November 1 is the strike of midnight for farmer’s, per some guy in a suit. Whatevs.
So, despite the rain and the lateness, Esteban and I hit Starbucks for some coffee and then he pulled up near my favorite apple vendor so that I could hop out and get my final Golden Supreme apple fix of the season, with two bags for four bucks total. I also snagged a ginormous acorn squash for a buck, and managed to only get a little soggy in the process. Then Esteban went to Scotty Boom Boom’s to do homebrewing and I went to the butcher, where the baby back ribs looked too beautiful to leave in the case, studded with really generous strips of the loin. Back home, I concocted a dry rub and applied it, then threw the racks in the fridge to do their thing, then after an hour, into a slow oven. Then I spent the rest of the day trying to make headway on the (fucking) laundry and also my backlog of writing for school.
The ribs braised in the oven for practically forever. I also threw the squash into the oven at one point, whole and uncut, then took it out midway, sliced and scooped out the seeds, then filled the cavities with brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper and some pumpkin pie spice that I had found while digging through our spices (which totally need to be organized. I found duplicates of a lot of things, and yet, we had no roasted garlic powder. A crime.) then, while waiting for the ribs to finish their final broiling, I peeled 8 apples for, well, something. With the new dozen apples, I had to do something with the leftovers from my stash that were getting waxy, but last weekend, I cobbled together a crisp recipe (arrrgh, I so didn’t mean that pun) and Esteban had decided that he preferred applesauce. I threw it all into a saucepan along with some rum and it ended up being the best applesauce I’ve ever made in my life, hands down. I still think it would have also made a fantastic crisp, though. Ah well. The world will never know. The ribs and squash were incredible too, and it was the kind of meal that, in retrospect, is like the planets aligning and a happy chance that each component managed to be the ideal representation of my culinary efforts (I don’t want to use the words “ability” or “talent” because I really think I have neither, just a sense of adventure) and I sort of wish I knew when something like that was about to happen, because I would have invited someone else over to witness it. Ah well, I guess Esteban’s gratitude is enough.
In other culinary news, about a week ago, I sent away for a test that would tell you if you were a supertaster. I’ve always been curious about Esteban, because of his utter abhorrence of all things vegetable (except mushrooms, potatoes and the occasional canned green bean), so it was worth $7 with shipping for two tests.
I received it on Saturday and I figured I’d use the other test myself. The test was simply a little litmus-sized piece of paper that you put in your mouth and started chewing for ten seconds. The paper was supposedly coated with a special chemical that to supertasters, is extremely bitter. Normal tasters would taste a mildly bitter or bland taste, while “non-tasters” would taste nothing or paper. I popped it into my mouth and waited, fully expecting it to be papery or maybe the taste of unsalted, unbuttered mashed potatoes. What followed was the most horrible acrid taste in my life! I think it was in my mouth for a total of four seconds, and that’s only because it took two seconds to cross the kitchen to reach the wastebasket. I then had to rinse out my mouth with water four times, then pop a piece of chocolate to get rid of the taste. I decided that it had to be a joke, this $7 test, because there’s no WAY that some people couldn’t taste that horrible bitter crap. However, when Esteban took the test, he chewed away, eyeing me like I was playing a joke on him. Only after about ten seconds did he start to distinguish a slight bitter taste.
So the mystery of why I dislike artichokes, olives, beer, coffee, some wine, brussels sprouts, dark chocolate, and a million other strong tastes has been solved. Actually, it wasn’t really a mystery, but will probably be yet another thing to feed my ego.
Like I needed another thing.