Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Success: Homemade Ajitama

I ate at Tatsu Ya Ramen not too long ago. One of my favorite aspects of the ramen is always the ajitama, the soaked soft boiled eggs. I love that those eggs pack a decent amount of flavor and, overall, really enhance the ramen. I found a recipe online here at the Ramen Walker's blog. I really just used the recipe for the sauce bath minus the ginger and the leeks because I didn't feel like going out to buy them. I always have garlic on reserve though.

Soft boiled eggs were going to be the tricky demon here. It sometimes doesn't occur to me that the difference between a soft boiled and hard boiled egg is more a matter of a minute and not half a second. Scrolling through the comments, "anonymous" commented on a good procedure for the soft boiled eggs:

AnonymousSeptember 28, 2010 9:10 AM
you should put in the eggs when the water is boiling for 6 minutes. then, dump them in the cold water bath (mixed with a bit of white vinegar). proven and tested so i'm sure will work for you 100%

I wanted to give myself the best shot at not messing this up so I defaulted on that procedure. I also learned that when it comes to the art of peeling soft boiled eggs, it's best to peel the narrow end first. It seems that as more peel comes off, a vacuum  is created and the odds of peeling more of the egg off is higher, there's usually a dip in the egg at the wider end, so that alleviates the suction created. Fewer casualties.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cheese Diary: Dancing Fern

Nutty and Buttery, and that's all you need to know. The Dancing Fern is definitely one of those cheeses that meets my palate's default. It goes great with fruit too. I generally let my cheese sit out for a good while before I indulge as it really intensifies the flavor. I remember liking everything about this cheese, the rind was excellent. It was a pretty calm cheese too. If anything, it's like a...slightly more intense Camembert. When I had been going to Antoinelli's previously I was thinking that I just might have gotten to the point where I could have a regular order of the Caveman with the ColoRouge, but no, Kendall insisted that there were some cheeses I absolutely had to try before placing my order and the concept of my having a "regular order" at Antoinelli's was destroyed. If you have a chance to try the Dancing Fern, do it, it's on limited availability, but most of all, you'll be happy you did.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to Eat

I'm a retired teacher. I can now assess the difficulties of teaching a certain topic or idea from a new perspective. Teaching chemistry was always more than just teaching chemistry, there's a math background needed, a degree of critical thinking skills that need to be developed, and then, of course, the chemistry. There are a number of zones that need to be covered before hitting the bull's eye. Oddly enough, sometimes the most efficient approach is going for the bull's eye and then moving outwards. Regardless, a subject needs a more holistic view.

Above is my niece with the Gunther. One thing that kind of gets to me is that she bird picks at her food. My grandma and mom built a culture around me that I always need to finish my food (and then, of course they'll tell you to lose weight) so bird picking is a natural pet peeve for me. She doesn't always finish what she's given and I can only give myself a headache over what it is she will choose to eat. My brother in law relates to me that she knows a lot of the food out there is crap. Fair enough.

One day when niece was bored and I happened to be making soup, I enlisted her help in making my crack fish soup. I explained what each vegetable was to her and she saw me chopping bok choy, cabbage, and fish. She learned of the importance of tasting and adjusting your food as you cook. You don't have to stir all the time, fish does not take that long to cook, and hon dashi makes a stock fast.

I think my biggest accomplishment was that SHE ATE AN ENTIRE BOWL!! I did have to remind her to eat her vegetables, but overall, I was happy.

I don't know if it's because she helped make the soup, or if it was because she learned about everything in it, either way, it was a nice learning experience for both of us and I wish that she could have stayed longer so that I could teach her how to pick produce, meat, and fish. I got her to eat well. I think this might be a reiteration that if kids know what is being placed before them they'll be more likely to eat it.

Niece likes: