in addition, to our grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, we drank beer. obviously.
this time, it was hitachino nest beer white ale. it's not a hard-to-find beer, but i had never had this variety. and it was good. tasted like summer. it's a belgian-style japanese beer and there is an owl on the label! it's fairly sweet and fruity, but not like a kriek.
recommended by me, and easy to drink.
but, oh, president's day. day off.
i grew up in the south, but i did not grow up eating grits. my mother doesn't like them, and so they were never made in my house. i always thought they were a little weird, texturally, so i never ordered them in a restaurant. but, everyone else i know from the south eats them.
kim wanted to make grits, and i said i would try them exactly how she likes them: with lots of butter and salt. i mean, how could that be unsatisfying? in addition, she made an omelet with goat cheese, a salad of arugula and red bell pepper, and added some carrots. almost every meal at my house has carrots. i love them.
i ate the grits; they weren't bad. they are made from corn! but i still don't love that gritty texture.
overall, it was fantastic. like her.
this is a strawberry cream pie. i asked if that meant heavy cream or whipped cream and she confessed that she was unsure. you see, this pie's recipe had to be transcribed during a phone conversation with an aunt she has somewhere in the south. this is a special pie. a family pie.
i don't know its exact recipe. i believe the secret to its tastiness is that the "cream" is a combination of cool whip and cream cheese. sounds weird because it is. but really, this is a good pie. full of strawberries in syrup and vanilla and some sort of flaky crust made out of god knows what. yum.
the nytimes reported today:
Just about everyone has heard about the recent recall of peanut products, but many Americans don’t realize that cakes, snack bars, brownies, cookies and ice cream may also be contaminated with salmonella, a Harvard University survey has found. Of the 93 percent of Americans in the survey who knew of recent recalls, fewer than half knew that some snack bars had been recalled, and fewer than half were aware cakes, brownies and cookies had been recalled.
i know that not everyone has the same obsession with food as i do. i do not really understand why people do not care what is in their food, but i know that they do not. but there was a salmonella outbreak, and people apparently have continued to eat products that might be tainted. what? why? it's like playing russian roulette. this is not choosing organic avocados over the "other" ones. this is an illness that can kill you.
so, in case you hadn't heard...
the peanut corporation of america is in trouble. and the fda does little. there was salmonella found in a variety of peanut products. the conditions at the plant are horrific:
Raw peanuts were stored next to the finished peanut butter. The roaster was not calibrated to kill deadly germs. Dispirited workers on minimum wage, supplied by temp agencies, donned their uniforms at home, potentially dragging contaminants into the plant, which also had rodents. The conditions at the plant, more circa 1955 than 2009, would have been enough to cause alarm in an industry where sanitation can be a matter of life and death, food experts said.
it gets worse.
But they were only one element in the salmonella outbreak and subsequent food safety train wreck that started here and swept through the country — claiming eight lives, sickening an estimated 19,000 people in 43 states and spurring an array of recalls, including TV dinners, snack bars labeled organic and ready-made meals for disaster relief. With children accounting for half of the salmonella illnesses traced to the Blakely plant — and a worldwide recall that now includes pails of peanut butter shipped to schools, military bases and nursing homes — the safety issues raised by the outbreak are drawing comparisons to those in China’s tainted milk scandal.
we have no real set of guidelines to protect us from continued similar problems.
so: the peanut corporation of america has filed for bankruptcy. this is a blow to the laborers, as this is no economy in which to look for work. hopefully, whichever company emerges to meet the demand for peanuts will be cleaner. but that's really just the beginning.
we ate them with grapefruit (white not red), whole-grain toast, blueberries, and a miniature salad of cucumber, arugula, yellow bell pepper, and tomatoes. it's so pretty. but not too pretty to eat.
this lunch was less than $4. it came from the bodega on the corner of park place and classon. that's a swiss cheese sandwich on a roll with lettuce and tomato and mayonnaise and mustard. and a bag of potato chips and a dr. pepper. i am fairly sure that i did not get a special price; it's just that cheap. holy moly!
oh, and p.s. this is obviously a "smashley hangover special."
smashies: organic applesauce in a pouch. we could not get over it.
for my birthday, i was the lucky recipient of a box of them. yelena has become such a good gift-giver. they are super. probably too expensive, but if i had kids, i would put these in their lunch boxes. and there is no high fructose corn syrup. whoohoo!