This is one of my favorite recent YouTube finds.
The way she chops vegetables makes my thumb hurt.
This is one of my favorite recent YouTube finds.
The way she chops vegetables makes my thumb hurt.
I didn't see Mad Men last night because I'm trying to be an early bird, but this weekend, as I was thinking how many people we owe dinner, last week's episode was on my mind.
I don't think it's giving anything away to say that there's a scene where the Drapers are having a dinner party. After the adults move from cocktails in the living room to the dinner table, but before they can sit down, Betty commands everyone's attention and lists the upcoming menu.
What do you think of that?
My immediate reaction, as I was watching the show, was irritation. For Pete's sake, don't interrupt people's conversation to talk about the food! It seemed like a rather flat-footed attempt to inject festivity into an occasion where people were already merry enough. (It also seemed like something I might do.)
But on further reflection, I thought that maybe describing the menu - it was a theme menu - actually did heighten the interest in the food and turn a home-cooked meal into a real occasion - and thereby paid a compliment to the guests. (And I thought, maybe that's something I might do!)
Everybody knows I love a theme party, whether it's a murder mystery dinner or a holiday costume party or a Fourth of July picnic. And I also feel pretty strongly that full participation by the guests as well as the host is really important. It's a hassle for everyone, true, but I think the anticipation of figuring out your outfit or preparing a color-coordinated dessert makes just going to someone's house into a significant event.
I think I'll start preparing some menus.
This might just be my first meme ever. Why this one? I have no idea. Maybe it has topical relevance to my user name? Maybe I'm desperate for a procrastination tool?
I know I still owe Vaguely Urban my six-word life summary, but seriously, I have trouble enough coming up with my Facebook status reports. I think of funny ones in the shower, and then they slip away by the time I'm in front of a computer. And Angela has indicated her weariness of unsolicited political commentary, so I'll let the droll one I was smirking about this morning slip away as well.
Here are the instructions - jump in!
Copy this list into your blog, including these instructions.
Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
1. Venison - I feel like my dad went hunting with my brother at some point when we lived in the midwest and brought back deer. But I could be imagining it - maybe it was just a fishing trip. In any event, Tied House has a game burger that rotates among deer, buffalo, moose and ostrich, so I'm pretty sure I'm covered.
2. Nettle tea- no, but people talk about it all the time on Sharon's blog, so I need to find some nettles.
3. Huevos rancheros - nothing against them, but if I'm getting two eggs sunny side up, I'd rather have Eggs Benedict. I've had a breakfast burrito, though, which I think has all the same constituent parts.
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile - Navy Pier, Chicago. It was dry.
Black pudding - I avoided it when I was in the U.K. - it struck me as akin to chewing on a scab. But then they had it at the college debate world championships at Princeton and I made like I was cosmopolitan.
7. Cheese fondue
9. Borscht - I made my own and was throwing up all night.
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich - So this is the UK version of the list. Is this meant to be a foreign novelty? (See: Krispy Kreme.) I remember when we first moved to Japan and my mom hadn't yet found the Western grocery store. She looked all over for peanut butter to make us school lunches and finally came home with "peanut cream" from a drug store. I'm still not sure what that was.
14. Aloo gobi. Ace's favorite. I prefer the paneers.
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - the picture sure looks like stuff I've gotten from the Milk Pail, but I couldn't confirm. Ace would prefer to ban all stinky cheeses from the house.
17. Black truffle - I have black truffle olive oil in the cupboard, and I've gotten stuff with it shaved on top. It tastes distinctive, sure, but I don't know what all the fuss is about.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns - My brother's and my favorite treat when we were children in HK. Ace and I have three bags of frozen ones in the freezer right now. He will accept only one brand of frozen BBQ pork buns: O'Tasty brand. Because they're Irish.
20. Pistachio ice cream - my grandmother's favorite flavor when we'd buy scoops, but not one she ever kept at home. So it tastes of family trips to me.
21. Heirloom tomatoes - I am buried in heirloom tomatoes right now.
22. Fresh wild berries - most recently, last year in Oregon while exploring the USAT nationals bike course. They were tart. But the roadside berries in Oregon were amazing.
23. Foie gras - at Miho's wedding. Again - what's the hype? It's just a big slice of fat.
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - This was on the menu at Cafe des Artistes, and I'd always wondered. So we asked our waiter, who opined that it was available just for people who wanted to pretend to have rarified tastes but was basically a bunch of boiled trash. I was tempted so I could 'check it off my list,' but he advised pretty strongly against.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper. Oh. It's a habanero? Why didn't you say so? I feel no need to eat one raw.
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi - Mango lassi, though.
34. Sauerkraut - it's all the rage right now! Fermentation is totally in. I have half a cabbage in the fridge and wonder if it's worth the bother.
35. Root beer float - a.k.a. a "Black Cow"
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - Not at the same time. Just a couple of puffs. Worst morning breath ever.
37. Clotted cream tea - Did you see the Girls Next Door when they went to London and ate the clotted cream? Hilarious.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk. Goat cheese is fine. Goat yogurt is nasty to the max.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - I guess it depends where you buy it!
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - I have so far purposedly resisted the "Hot Now" ones, however, because I assume I'd fall in love with them.
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear - you mean tunas? I bought a couple from the Milk Pail once but didn't figure out what to do with them before they went bad.
McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - I'm such a liberal elitist.
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
Poutine - see # 55.
60. Carob chips
Sweetbreads - why?
63.Kaolin - The Chinese warrior monks? Oh. Isn't that like asking whether I've been exposed to asbestos? I have to assume so.
64. Currywurst - I'm going to have to go do the U.S. version.
65. Durian - like with the truffles, I'm not sure what all the hype is about.
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
70. Chitterlings , or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe - our neighbors keep saying they have it, but have yet to put out.
74. Gjetost, or brunost - sounds intriguing
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky - there seems to be a preponderance of Japanesey foods on this list, wouldn't you say?
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - I'm cheap. Remember?
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare - oh, rabbit. Can you believe I looked that up? I'm pronouncing it "ha-ray," and thinking it's some middle eastern curry or something. Hare. I always think of that scene in the Michael Moore movie about Flint, what was it called?
89. Horse - arbitrary, I know, but I'd feel bad.
90. Criollo chocolate - what an odd website that was. "Efficient" chocolate?
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa.
95. Mole Poblano - get the chicken mole burrito here.
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor - see # 55.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - yes! I have had Tia Maria!
67%. Now I have to see how I do on the U.S. version...hm, only 63. I'm so very continental!
The Queen posted yesterday on "the first time she drank enough to feel the effects," and her first time getting blackout drunk. Funny how we remember these things.
I was a pretty good rule-follower growing up, and wasn't even particularly tempted to flout the flimsy wristband rules when I went to college parties. It wasn't fear of getting in trouble so much as distaste for losing one's self control and decreasing one's faculties. It was a bit of a mystery why everyone was so into it; it didn't sound inherently fun.
Then, the summer after my junior year in England, my friend Emma and I choo-chooed all over Europe. We jumped the [train? ferry? I don't even remember] to Calais, scurried through Paris to spend as little money as possible before catching the train to Andorra (which I always imagined to be a fairy tale type kingdom), jostled our way through the running of the bulls in Pamplona, feasted on peaches the size of softballs in Madrid, and circled back up to Barcelona. After the beachside hotels we afforded easily along the Spanish Eastern coast, the cost of the fleabag youth hostel in Barcelona was an unpleasant jolt and the facilities grim, and we decided it was finally time to treat ourselves to a decent meal after many days of eating scrambled egg sandwiches. We ordered paella and sangria in a dark little restaurant with few other customers. The young and handsome waiters seemed to understand and sympathize with our finances, and refilled our glasses lavishly. I don't remember anything about the paella.
When we popped out into the summer heat, Emma and I floated along the main drag in a contented bubble of full bellies and mild curiosity regarding all the strangers rushing by at ten o'clock at night. It's a good memory.
After that, I had an appreciation for the upside of a fine buzz. I still never overindulged, though, because I never wanted to be "that girl" who couldn't take care of herself and turned herself into deadweight whom people had to care of. It seemed annoying, inconsiderate and rude.
The first time I ever got truly wasted, then, was not for another five or so years, by which time I lived in NYC. In the interest of limiting costs for an evening of going out, I didn't eat very much during the day - i.e. so that fewer drinks would be required for a giddy evening. Most of my life's decisions are rooted in my borderline obsessive cheapness.
As we killed time in my apartment until it was late enough to go out (I believe that, at the time, "going out" didn't start till after midnight) I somehow thought it was appropriate to match drinks with my best friend and usual clubbing buddy, a 6'1", 200 pound Tongan man.
We knew someone of influence, as I recall, and looked forward to going to some difficult-to-get-into club (I'll date myself if I tell you which one). And though I do remember bypassing the long line outside, I don't remember a thing about the club because the world tilted and everything went dark as soon as we walked inside.
I woke up in a fluorescently lit storeroom where the bouncers kept their pushbrooms and mops. I exchanged pleasantries with the bouncer sitting there watching me and learned it was his birthday. "Happy Birthday," I said, and laid my cheek back onto the concrete.
The next day, when I went to the gym, I saw a member of our group from the night before running around the track. I called out to him, ran up behind him and showered him with profuse apologies. He turned out to be someone else.
Since that time, I've come to the conclusion that reaching that point of helplessness is actually an important rite of passage. After that night, I felt closer than ever to the people who got me home safely and treated me with kindness - including the cheerful bouncer. And after that night, I never begrudged anybody else who drank a little too much and needed taking care of. I felt like I'd joined a fraternity of understanding and of mutual caring that I hadn't earlier been privy to when I was busy rolling my eyes over "that girl."
Of course I believe in moderation - it's the only way you can hope to fit everything in. But now I roll my eyes over those who have never known the rare instance of vulnerability, dependence and excess.
I've been wanting to go backcountry camping for YEARS (honestly, I just want to play Clan of the Cave Bear - Jondalarrrrrr!) and Ace wants to see a glacier before they all melt.
So this weekend, Ace and I head to Glacier National Park.
For me, anticipation is about 80% of the pleasure of any activity. So, I've been shopping and researching survivalist websites and imagining what I'll do if I meet a bear. I prepared emergency kits; I broke in my boots (oh - I wore them for a five-mile "run" at Rancho San Antonio Wednesday and worked up some sweet blisters - those turn into callouses, right?).
The most engrossing part of the preparations for me has been planning our meals. Although we don't have campgrounds reserved for the entire 6 nights (just 4, I think), I wanted to be entirely self sufficient for the duration. I'm assuming the main, car-accessible areas of the park sell overpriced nachos and BLTs, but there's always the chance we'll have so much fun in the backcountry that we'll wander over to the area where there aren't even designated campgrounds for the balance of our time. 'Be Prepared' is the Boy Scout Motto, what's the Girl Scout one?
So I used recommendations from nutritionists re how many calories (2000 for me, 3000 for him) and grams of protein (40/day for me, 55/day for him) we should allot for each day as a starting point, and filled in full meals from there, keeping an eye on vitamins, fiber (21 g/day), Calcium, Iron and even Sodium (with abandon!).
I ended up with five breakfasts, four complete lunches, four complete dinners and an extensive assortment of snacks and desserts that will ensure that we hit our targets each day - all without relying on beef jerky, which apparently attracts bears. (There's plenty of food for a fifth lunch and dinner, plus I'm assuming the first day and last day we'll be buying sandwiches on the road.)
Would you like to see our menu?
A Passage to India (dinner): Bengal Eggplant, Saag Paneer, brown rice, white rice, orange lassi (740 cals, 22 g protein, 5g fiber, 22g fat, 126% C, 62% Iron)
Diner Delight (dinner): Roast beef in brown gravy, mashed potatoes 'loaded' with cheese and bacon, Peach Melba (560 cals, 27 g protein, 6g fiber, 8g fat, 22% C, 36% Iron)
The Inscrutable East (dinner): Miso soup with shiitake mushrooms, agedashi tofu with seaweed, marinated soybeans in whole wheat couscous (560 cals, 32g protein, 10g fiber, 8g fat, 19% C, 16% Iron)
Thanksgiving Groaner (dinner): Chicken breast, garlic mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce (800 cals, 29 g protein, 2g fiber, 10g fat, 60% C, 24% Iron)
Fruit & Cheese basket (lunch): Oranges, apple sauce, swiss cheese wedges, herb crackers, V-8 (410 cals, 13 g protein, 3g fiber, 16g fat, 130% C, 2% Iron)
Nut'n Honey! (lunch): Honey peanut butter, honey wheat pretzel fingers, roasted chestnuts, Tang (550 cals, 13 g protein, 6g fiber, 18g fat, 108% C, 16 Iron)
Lesbian Lunch (lunch): bagel chips, hummus, trout fillets, tapioca pudding, V-8 (520 cals, 17 g protein, 6g fiber, 19g fat, 110% C, 4% Iron)
Euro Picnic (lunch): baked Yukon gold and blue potatoes, garlic and herb cheese wedges, Chianti salami, Tang (500 cals, 23 g protein, 6g fiber, 16g fat, 100% C, 4% Iron)
Breakfast # 1: Maple and brown sugar oatmeal with wheat germ and milk, Tang, hot chocolate (400 cals, 14 g protein, 6 g fiber, 4 g fat, 100% C, 60% calcium, 4% Iron)
Breakfast # 2: Cheese omelettes with crackers and jam, Tang, Constant Comment tea (400 cals, 10 g protein, 1 g fiber, 10g fat, 100% C, 4% Iron)
Breakfast #3: Strawberry oatmeal with dehydrated strawberries, wheat germ and milk, Tang, hot chocolate (400 cals, 14 g protein, 8 g fiber, 4 g fat, 130% C, 60% calcium, 4% Iron)
Breakfast #4: Salami omelettes with crackers and jam, Tang, Earl Grey tea (450 cals, 20 g protein, 1g fiber, 20g fat, 100% C, 8% Iron)
Evening treats include s'mores, Nutella, cookies and hot chocolate.
Snacks are loads of assorted dried fruits and nuts: dragon fruit, peaches, sugared walnuts, raw almonds, you name it.
I divided the 10,000+ calories into individual packets for each meal, with preparation instructions (i.e. "boil 2/3 cup water; add packet # 3; stir"), and piled them onto the dining room table, very pleased with myself.
Then Ace went to REI and came home with freeze dried beef stew and about fifteen Luna and Clif Bars.
It goes without saying that I won't be blogging live next week, but I'll try to springload a couple of random items just for giggles.
It's not. I mean, Bike to Work Day yesterday was okay, but Bike Home from Work Day was super painful. I didn't realize how bruised I'd gotten on the way in. The lesson? Ride your bike all the time or not at all. Or buy a big padded saddle. Incredibly, I haven't been on my bike since my race in Florida last November. I thought maybe I'd forgotten a ride or two, but when I pulled out my bike the number was still on it. Sad. Obviously, this falls far short of my bike-to-work-once-a-week resolution.
The no-purchases resolution also went by the wayside pretty early, but I've held on to some happy habits. I've been very attentive to my use-up-what-I've-already-got goal, working through disfavored shampoos and hotel complimentaries...and I'm about a week away from buying my first shampoo and conditioner for the year. Although I want to give baking soda and vinegar a shot for a week and see whether it's as good as claimed. Sounds tangly. (I tried those baking soda/hot water and baking soda/vinegar solutions to unclogging a drain, and they did squat. Ace called in the big guns when I wasn't looking.)
I also now try not to weigh people down with Stuff when I have to give a gift - I still go with edibles and drinkables and spa treatments. People who already have a lot of stuff and people who prefer to have no stuff both seem to appreciate it.
The community garden thing never worked out, but I'm delighted with the way the CSA membership has shaped up. I'm still not wild about some things (bitter greens), but I've adapted to others (tumbleweed), been surprised to enjoy others (raw baby turnips eaten out of hand - so sweet and delicious!) and the summer bounty, whew. We get strawberries every week, y'alls.
And remember how I planted all those flowers and weeds? It turns out you can eat Johnny Jump Ups as well as geranium flowers and nasturtiums - and I guess the dandylion leaves I accidentally ate are actually full of Vitamin C - and I've been making fancy pants salads with them. The rose and lemon-scented geranium petals are amazing.
(Dressing = 1 part walnut oil, 1 part white wine vinegar, 1 part Torani pomegranate syrup.)
I've been really proud of my firm, too. We did away with bottled water several months ago, and now, in this heat wave, we're putting all the lights on the lowest power setting and closing our blinds to "reduce the solar load." Does walking around in dark hallways feel like we've entered a depression already? It does, a little. But mostly it makes me happy that the powers that be are actually taking steps, rather than just paying lip service to being green.
Of course, not everything is top down. On the day the bottled water disappeared, we were given personal water bottles to refill at the tap. Me: Really? More plastic? Ten other voices: Oh no! The wrong type of PVC! Throw these away! We need new water bottles! We ended up getting more glasses in the cupboard, which is a good thing, but then this week we were handed plastic cups full of candy to remind us to be sweet to the folks in our summer program. Within minutes I received an email warning me not to drink from it.
Just goes to show, the power of the internets. I emailed some friends this article on people stealing gas, and one emailed me back that she'd just called to have a lockable gas cap set aside for her at a shop in Redwood City. I felt bad. Am I just fueling the hype?
Maybe it's always been this way, but it does seem like the media lately seems to be composing the narrative, rather than merely observing it, creating self-fulfilling prophecies. The economy, the election process, the pendulum swinging from optimism and a renewed desire for community to hopelessness and looking out for number one. I'm not above it. Heck, who just bought a 25 lb bag of brown rice last Friday? Who decided not to give those lumpy pillows to Goodwill after all, in case of having to take in neighbors, in case of the apocalypse?
Are we on the verge of disaster? Is this the beginning of the end? Or is it the same as it ever was and it's all just a matter of selling newspapers? Maybe it's too much to ask that consumers of the media look askance at it; what's the alternative? Blogs?
I tend to go on cheese buying binges at the Milk Pail, because they have such a wide selection and great sales, but I get over-excited and buy way too many at one time, wanting a little of this, a taste of that.
Unfortunately, I'm really the only one I know who eats them, so I'm left with a cheese drawer full of cheeses, that never seems to deplete, to which I continually add on subsequent binges, and that I really shouldn't deplete unless I want to add significantly to the cheese of the cottage variety now residing on my thighs.
So every few months I find myself pawing through the fridge, crying over playing card-sized blocks of green or white or pink mold and reminiscing. "Ohhh, I remember that one... that one was so nutty..." I'm not afraid of just cutting off the moldy bits, but sometimes, like when dental records might be the only means of identifying a fuzzy grey wad, sometimes it's just time to let them go.
I'd always heard that you should wrap cheese in waxed paper (but then my cheddar dries out and goes hard). I've learned from experience that blue cheese must be hermetically sealed with a minimum of two layers of plastic and preferably stored in a corner of the fridge far from all other cheeses unless you want them all to go furry. And sometimes, you know, after a smorgasbord dinner of cheese and strawberries and television, I just can't be bothered to do anything other than sweep the disparate varieties all into a Tupperware and call it a night.
So I was delighted to stumble upon this post that details exactly how to care for your cheeses.
Rule number one for me, of course, is to buy less cheese.
Or, if you didn't get the vegetables you love (nope, no asparagus yet), love the vegetables you get!
So I've been putting into action that plan of eating a thing until you're used to it, and it seems to be working. We got another load of agretti, and I tried a few more recipes until it was, dare I say it, tasty. Most appealing was this one:
Basically, you blanch the agretti in boiling water, then make a hot bacon dressing as for one of those spinach salads. I got past the non-leafy (what I thought was creepy) texture by treating them as green noodles, and it made all the difference. I was really psyched to be over this particular hurdle.
We got through all our greens by Sunday evening, and I actually had to go buy more to tide us over.
We'd been backing up on fennel, though, but I found this recipe for the bulbs, I think on epicurious.com, and made it Sunday. It's fantastic, and so easy.
Cut off the fennel tops (which I've used in stock, and the very fluffy bits of which make a beautiful, fresh, green tea that is supposedly good for your digestion).
Put them in a pan (this is three bulbs' worth).
Sprinkle on some olive oil and turn on the heat to medium-low.
Pour on generous splashes (a half cup to a cup) of white wine and of chicken stock (I fudged the amounts and proportions), and throw on a generous sprinkle of salt.
Cover, bring to the bubble and simmer for 40 minutes or so until the bulbs are tender. The recipe said to turn them frequently, but I forgot and turned them once in the last 10 minutes and it didn't seem to matter.
They look limp and not very colorful, but they taste fantastic. I expect these would be good served atop orzo or another pasta, especially with the sauce (which remains very liquidy) reduced and a sprinkle of parmesan. But definitely garnish with parsley or something, because they are very blah looking. (They taste just as good as leftovers, but go even greyer.)
[No CSA box picture this week. I topped and rinsed and prepped everything before I remembered to take a picture. It was a beautiful box last week, though. Lots of multicolored leafy things that I actually like (salad! finally!), and spooky purple carrots.]
For several years now, I've been doing my best to get the required "5 a Day" minimum servings of fruits and vegetables. I thought that doing the CSA would make it a piece of cake, and I'd never have to go to the store except for the occasional trip for eggs and milk.
But last week, as I chewed through another lunch of sauteed spigariello, or confronted my fridge to find a yummy snack, or rummaged around the kitchen for breakfast, and all that looked back at me each time was bitter greens, salty greens, chewy greens, I realized for how much of the 5 a day load I've relied on fruit. I love fruit! And I missed it! Vegetables do not excite me. I think the recommended daily fruit/veg proportion is 2/3, but I'm more like 4/1. The dentist gave me a hard time because something was wearing on my enamel. "Um," she said, "do you eat a lot of fruit?"
I also am startled to realize how much I have relied for my veggie quota on just a handful of go-to items - steamed broccoli, frozen spinach, sweet potatoes, bell peppers (really a fruit!) and asparagus. NONE of which I'm getting in my CSA.
So while I'm definitely expanding my diet into lots of exciting, exotic veg, it's not quite as purely scrumptious as Jamie Oliver might have one believe.
Fruit just makes everything go down so much more easily. As you will recall, I made pureed parsnips last week for dinner, and cut them with a golden delicious apple. Big improvement. Ace went to the store last week and came home with a bunch of grapes that I snarfed in two sittings. We get an order of fruit at work on Mondays, and this week I snagged a grapefruit that just now made my day. And yesterday I caved and picked up some out-of-season, non-local items: a couple of apples, bell peppers. I'd have got a mango but they were green. Ace brought home a box of Cuties that were a way better dessert than the pumpkin pie I tried to make out of our Halloween pumpkin on Saturday (blaaaaaaand).
Nevertheless, I'm pressing forward, and we ate the entirety of our box this week, plus some rollover from last. More because of appetizing selections than through any virtue of ours. I think it will become easier as spring turns into summer and the berries and tomatoes start coming in. But not just yet. The heads-up e-mail from the farm this week announced mostly good-sounding things, except for another load of tumbleweeds/agretti, the last batch of which we still have some left over. I tried it stir fried and hid it in that magic custard from last week, but just don't like the way it tastes.
But we went to friends' house for ribs on Sunday, and J. told me about a book she was reading about a guy who took a job as Vanity Fair's food critic and trained himself to get over foods he previously didn't care for. She made it sound as simple as exposing yourself to it eight times. (Great mental picture.)
So I'm choosing to view the repeat of undesirables as but an opportunity to expand my palate. And in the mean time, I'm rewarding myself with fruit.
Recipe for the week is a link to something my friend Gina made for a girls' night a few weeks ago. It was delicious then, and it was good again when I tried it this weekend.
The recipe suggests it's better reheated; I made it Saturday while I was home all day, and reheated it Monday. (But it was still good, fresh, at Gina's.) Instead of a whole bunch of chicken thighs, I just used a single chicken, separated into parts (bones in). Gina said when she did it, she skipped the pre-roasting of the chicken, so you can skip that step, too. I skipped the Gobo (Burdock Root), because I don't know what that is. I used all rehydrated mushrooms, and used the mushroom water in place of some of the chicken stock. I added multicolored (pink and orange and purple!) carrots at the stirring-in-the-chicken stage. And where it says "Mizuno," it means mustard greens, which were fantastic - I used at TON, and they didn't taste quite so peppery once mixed in.
And then have Cuties for dessert!