Have you ever reached into the 'fridge, pulled out your little carton of cherry tomatoes and said "awwww! They got all wrinkly! Damn it!" Well, I learned my food preservation techniques from my parents. Eggs, in the fridge. Butter, in the fridge. Hot sauce, in the fridge. Honestly, everything goes in the fridge that isn't either chalk full of chemicals or hermetically sealed against the elements. Now I keep at least one stick of butter out every week so I have a good consistency for toast. My french friends tended to keep their eggs in the pantry, not the fridge. I alternate between putting hotsauce in the fridge or the pantry, based on which one is less full. I haven't died yet. Well, it turns out cherry tomatoes don't want to be refrigerated either! The carton I got had a cute little cartoon that said "I don't like being cold--keep me on the counter, not in the fridge!" Wow, thanks carton, I didn't know! So cherry tomatoes are like certain parts of the male anatomy: when put in the cold and damp they shrivel up and get small. I'll never put you in the fridge again, cherry toms (except, of course, when I forget!)
So, the roadkill story: my man got a shotgun recently and hasn't gone hunting yet, but is planning on going bird hunting. I am excited. I love new meats and am happy with the prospect of hunting our own. However, last week my brother and I were driving to Moscow Mountain and a pheasant jumped out in front of the car. I have a rule: I do not slam on brakes or swerve for animals if it will endanger my own species. Humans first, animals later. Needless to say, I quite literally punted the pheasant off the passenger headlight. The thing went peeeewiiiiiiiiiiiiing, rocketing off the front, tumbling a bit, and landing in some thick vegetation. Well, bro and I decided to stop the car and look for the bird. There was a HUGE spray of feathers all over the road. We followed where we thought the bird landed, but couldn't find it in the brush! I was disappointed--I thought it would give me good practice plucking and gutting. There is no way that the bird could have survived, so my theory is it disintegrated.
So, on that note, today was quite a culinary day! I had an AM meeting with a classmate of mine who is working on helping me understand the most mind-melting project. He is a godsend, so I try to bribe him with food whenever I can. P understands R and Matlab much better than me. If he were to quit the project I would be up shit creek. So, I made him scones. Oatmeal scones, and I couldn't find my regular oats (I just moved) so I used 2 packets of instant. I think it definitely changed the texture a bit (made it drier) but the overall result was pretty good. Recipe to follow at the end.
At lunch my lab-mate K and I went to a French teahouse where we tried a white tea and an oolong, had a cheese tartlet with fresh organic greens, and lavender crème brulée for dessert. Delicious!
Dinner was a portobello sandwich in balsamic reduction with roasted (end of) summer squash on the side. My man made this for me, and it was simple yet elegant.
Speaking of end of summer, my god! Where did it go? I am ready to go pick apples and press cider, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the days to get shorter. Who am I kidding? I'm never ready for the days to get shorter! Here in Pullman the shortest day of the year means the sun sets at 3:30!!! Ouch! I know, for those of you who live in Alaska I am complaining about nothing, but 3:30 is just too damn early, if you ask me.
In a bowl stir together 2 cups flour, 1 cup oats, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, and salt to taste. Add in 6 tbsp room temp butter (I smoosh it together with my hands) until dough gets a crumbly texture. Meanwhile, in small bowl whisk together 3/4 cup buttermilk (I didn't have any, but I had some heavy whipping cream (!) so I used that!) and 1 egg. Add to flour mixture along with 1/2 cup fruit, 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nuts. Mix thoroughly. Divide dough into 8 even balls. Smoosh balls onto a cookie sheet, place in preheated to 350* oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes. (photos are of pre-baked, and right before being shoved into my mouth)