Sunday, April 17, 2005

a whole mess o' photos

It's Sunday, and while it's not quite as nice as yesterday, it's pretty damn nice out.

Let's put you in a Sunday frame of mind:

from my ex-coworker, Penny

The above was taken by Penelope, an ex-coworker of mine. She's got a great eye for the right shot, and I found this one hypnotizing.

I ruined my Namsan triumph by eating "pan fried fusion spaghetti" last night-- a mutant beast I created with a bunch of leftovers. It went something like this:

the stars

Above, you see the cast of characters. We've got leftover white sauce in the cylindrical plastic container; we've got lovely tomatoes from Min-sung's family; we've got the pasta ingredients laid out, along with onions, mushrooms, spices, and sundries.

(NB: Cheese snobs will note with disappointment that I caved and bought bottled parmesan cheese. There was a reason, though: I'd made a bunch of sauce for friends, and wanted to give them parmesan without obliging them to pull out a grater. That, and the regular parmesano reggiano was a bit beyond my budget at the time.)

Below, we chop an onion into submission.

onion returning to the Tao

Can mushrooms be far behind? Look:

death to fungus

I decided I was going to make a quasi-sauce with the tomatoes, so I chopped them in such a way that no piece of tomato had a long strip of skin. Man, I wish I had a blender.

tomato-- fruit or vegetable?  all I know is it looks like crap when it's coming outta my ass

Now witness beauty as I heat olive oil and pure butter. And let me take a moment to sing the praises of Korean butter. It's easily on par with European butter. Watch the melting:

she melts in my arms

As with the white sauce, we stir in the garlic, get it slightly brown, then stick in the chopped onion:

Oh, for a muse of fire

The tomatoes come in next. I should note, though, that if I'd had a blender, I'd have done this differently, pureeing the tomatoes, stir-frying the onions and spices separately, then heating the tomato sauce and adding the onion mix later.

watch them suffer

A little bit further along in the process... add some wine...

tastiness will be yours

And now-- the shrooms:

can't get high off these

Watch that baby simmer. We're reducing now, trying to drive out most of the excess water:

reductio ad absurdum

And now... the dirty secret they use at Papa John's Pizzeria: add some sugar.

a sauce that'll knock your teeth out and make your testicles explode

We've got spare tomatoes and mushrooms, so why not make a salad, eh?

chop it, baby!  chop!

Yes: I've added a bit more wine... the sauce is reducing nicely... but I realized later that I'd made a mistake in keeping the heat too high.

reductio ad cunnilingus

I've taken the sauce off the burner and am concentrating on making the pasta now. Flour, salt, egg, water:

come to me, O pasta

Another neat thing I discovered: why knead? Mix the ingredients up with a fork, add flour as necessary to keep the dough from getting too sticky, and you end up with well-behaved mush. Notice how little flour is left over in the bowl. And notice, too, that your hands remain clean during this part of the process:

looks a bit like dog shit, but rolls out more neatly

On a well-floured board, I continue to knead the dough, this time by hand because the flour keeps things from getting too sticky. Then I split the dough into two pieces:

I want you, I knead you, you are my everything

In the following pic, I've taken one of the halves and started rolling it. It rolled out neatly into this circular shape, at which point an idea for oven-free white pizza struck me. I might try that when I'm over at Smoo. You a big fan of white pizza? I know I am.

round and firm

I'm making pan-fried pasta, and here you can see that I'm cheating by cutting thick strips: takes less time.

many women say that when it's thicker, it gives them a sensation of being filled up

Pile the dead onto a plate:

they were stacked like cordwood

Then send them to hell:

boiling mad

Drain thoroughly, because we're frying them next, and you don't want tepid water mixing suddenly with hot oil.

a rest I need... yes... rest

Return them to the pain, this time in oil:

imagine they're slugs

Sample a noodle before it fries:

village idiot

Don't be overzealous:

feel the burn

Eventually, you end up with this very yummy result:

pretty damn good, no?

And when you add the reheated white sauce, the newly made red sauce, and sprinkle cheese on top, you get the following ensemble:

the moment of bliss

Accompanying the main course are a cup of tea and a bowl of the mushroom-tomato salad. The salad dressing is a quick mix of olive oil, salt, pepper, a little basil and oregano, a spot of sugar, and a very tiny dash of Korean apple vinegar, which is extremely bitter and can overwhelm your dressing.

Moving on now...

I took these magnolia photos today. Here's what the blooms look like when they're fully out:

oh, yeah... she's ready

These late bloomers remind me of the evil plant in "Little Shop of Horrors."

Feed me, Seymour.

from outer space?

Finally, a photo of decay. As I noted before, the blooms (and their lovely smell) don't last long-- only a few days.


But I'm happy to have brought these blooms to you. Enjoy.


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