Monday, January 24, 2022

Five Things

Why is it that when I am reading a book while using the weight machines at the gym I get dirty looks yet other people often stare at their phones much longer without moving? The other night, a guy sat on the Abs machine for ten minutes reading his email. Of course, it was my final machine of the night but I waited patiently (reading my book) until he was done. Everyone at the gym wears masks but Thursday was the first time they checked my vaccine status, following the new city regulation, of which I approve.  
Have you had any pandemic food cravings? I have yearned for popovers on and off since early in the pandemic. I never really generated enough sourdough starter for bread but I made enough for King Arthur’s Sourdough Popovers, which were delicious. I received a popover pan for Christmas but without any more sourdough I have been trying different recipes without complete satisfaction. I tried Mark Bittman, I tried King Arthur, I tried Betty Crocker. All more doughy than they should be. My sister suggested America’s Test Kitchen. Better but not perfect. Some recipes ask you to warm the milk, some ask you to heat the pan, the new pan manufacturer warned me to only use butter or cooking spray with flour. As you can gather, I have eaten a lot of popovers in the last month or so! They taste great right out of the over with butter, regardless of the recipe.  One the test is how they taste several hours later.
Jodi Picoult’s new book, Wish You Were Here, which I started at the gym the other night (see above), includes a character based on Yoko Ono. But it seems silly to call her a different name when every reader knows who it is meant to be. I suppose, for legal reasons, she couldn’t endow Yoko with an imaginary painting Yoko never owned but now that I have finished the book, I don’t see the need to base the character on a real person at all. The heroine is an art specialist at Sotheby's and the book is set during the first months of the pandemic; it is very readable (hello, 3 am!) but I did not like it as much as The Book of Two Ways, which made my Best of 2021 list. However, it's set in the Gal├ípagos Islands and the rights have already been sold to Netflix. It will make an interesting movie or miniseries, despite the crazy twist she throws in. 

These days we blame everything on Republicans or the supply chain (or both). My mother and I have noticed that Red Rose tea, our favorite, has dramatically increased in price, up to about $4.69 per box when it used to be $3.49 or less and often on sale. It’s still less than 5 cents a cup but I go through a box fairly quickly!
On the other hand, I must not use Chili Powder very often. I finished a .87 oz. container last night and noticed (a) it cost $1.79, which is laughable, and (b) it is from a grocery store that closed years ago! My sister Andrea always reminds me spices should be replaced every six months but some of mine are used so infrequently it doesn't seem worthwhile.


Cath said...

Yes, they do say spices should be replaced every six months but I don't and we definitely have some much older than that! As you said, we're not constantly using them. Although, we got an air-fryer about 18 months ago and the air-fried chicken recipes we do mean we use a lot more spices than we used to.

I'm not entirely certain what popovers are. They look a bit like little Yorkshire puddings but you mention yeast so they can't be. Little bread rolls? My son-in-law is the bread maker in the family and keeps his starter going. I've heard some people keep theirs going for years.

CLM said...

No yeast, I think it is the eggs that make them rise. They are like Yorkshire puddings without the beef dripping and eaten as breakfast or a snack rather than with a main course. I don't have an air fryer but everyone I know who does raves about it!

Lark said...

Those popovers are making my mouth water! They look delicious. :)

Katrina said...

I've used spices that were definitely over ten years old, with no problems. I'm always telling people that the spices found in Egyptian tombs would have been fine to use!

TracyK said...

The food / drink item I cannot get for the last few months is Tejava bottled tea. It is an unsweetened black tea and it tastes great. I have tried many other options and of course drink hot black tea from a tea bag, but I really miss Tejava.

My husband and son get aggravated with me because I like to have spices that are fresh or at least in date. I agree it probably doesn't matter with many spices.

CLM said...

Katrina, that is very funny! But, yes, if airtight, why not? Do your spices come with a tiny plastic sub-lid with holes? We have to wrestle it off to put a measuring spoon inside but you can use it to shake out the spice, if you prefer.

Tracy, I don't drink iced tea so I am not familiar with that brand, but I am sure it is very annoying not to find it. Supposedly, Tejava has free shipping over $75 but that would be a lot of iced tea! Do you drink it in the winter or just in good weather?

CLM said...

For those exasperated by Jodi Picoult's unreliable narrator, this Washington Post piece is very amusing: