Archive | March, 2012

Drumsticks and Violins

11 Mar

Two weeks ago, a certain someone’s violin met it’s near demise. Case open, a heavy-footed drummer(not mine) accidently came into direct contact with its neck. In the dark, drummer boy (mine) stood motionless. When asked by the heavy-footed perp, “What was that??” he muttered…nothing.

Speechless, his only thought was ‘How do I tell her?’ That’s right, he didn’t. He waited five long minutes and then broke the news to her bandmate, Dave. Now, Dave, who’s in his early 30s and a newlywed, waited for a moment, hoping this was just another one of their warped prank-plays. Upon another moment and final viewing, reality set in. Someone would have to break (yeah, I went there) the news.

Right, again! Kristina, Dave’s beloved, was given the dreadful task of looking into violin girl’s warm- brown doe eyes and relating the news.

Well, she took it well-enough, for what else could she do in that moment. Her violin was now in two pieces and rendered useless. Fortunately, it can be fixed. She’ll need a new neck and tail and has been relatively assured that it can be ready in time for her cross-country busking trip, soon approaching.

As for the drummer with the heavy foot, a verbal apology was, eventually, secured–3 days late, and arranged by Kaukab’s daughter, amid teen graveling against said motion. In this case, right trumped embarrassment.

Which reminds me of an Asian-glazed drumstick recipe I concocted a few years back and would like to share with you now.

Asian-glazed Drumsticks (remember, these measurements are approximated, since Kaukab’s daughter is a product of the ‘no-measure’ immigrant cook.)
10 – 12 drumsticks
1/2 lime
1/4 – 1/2 C soy sauce (I’m using Kikkoman “light” these days.
3/4 C Canola oil
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1/2 C jam of any nice flavor (grape, blackberry, orange marmelade, etc.)
few drops hot sauce
smidgen of ginger paste (1/8 to 1/4 tsp.)
light drizzle of sesame oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Put drumsticks in large baking pan. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over drumsticks to coat. Turn meat to make sure all sides coated. Place in oven, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until begins to brown and glaze up. At this point you’ll need to add some water (about a cup) and then cover tightly with foil. Bake for additional 25 to 30 minutes. Check once during this time to make sure some liquid remains in bottom of pan. Turn drumsticks during second half of cooking period. By the end, you should have nicely glazed, browned sticks.

Serve with some soft violin music.

Old Food; New Food

9 Mar

Well, it seems Kaukab’s daughter has something she doesn’t.

High blood pressure. Evidently, no matter how much olive oil, garlic, and parsley Kaukab fed us, the other party’s genes won out.

Of course, the news could have been far worse, but it forced me to rethink food. Salt, in particular. I’m good about using salt sparingly when I’m in the kitchen. And I stick to water for my choice of daily beverage. But, eating out? That’s an entirely different animal. Even the bistros and cafes tend to overdo its application.

I don’t eat out regularly, but even in small doses it’s enough to exceed my salt limit. Even so, I had to admit that changing what I ate was my responsibility. This required me to take immediate assessment of the foods I enjoy–potato chips, potato chips, and potato chips. I wasn’t prepared to give them up entirely, but I figured if I could eat the ones with ‘no added salt,’ I could reduce my salt intake rather significantly, especially if I chose to eat fruit in place of them.

My great potato chip search led me to a playful world of alternative veggie chips: carrot, sweet and blue potato, and zucchini. Sassy chips…and tasty, too.

But, I haven’t stopped there. I decided to re-visit brown rice. I had only tried it once…once upon a time…and had decided, rather quickly, that it wasn’t for me. Little did I know then of the many varieties available, so I had closed the cookbook on that. But, recently, I had been served a cold brown rice salad, with finely chopped red and yellow peppers, garlic, red onion, cilantro, and cucumber, infused with a cider vinegar dressing made up of vegetable oil (I used Canola), honey/sugar (I used REAL maple syrup–couldn’t get the honey jar lid open), mustard (I used dijon), cayenne or red pepper flakes (I used a jalepeno–finely chopped, seeds removed), and the evil, no-good salt.

My friend’s recipe was easy and really good. I didn’t write it down, just pulled out items from the pantry/fridge as the litany of ingredients passed through the telephone wire (yes, some of us still talk on land lines). Not necessarily a good strategy, in that I may have excluded an ingredient, or two, now that I’m thinking about it. None-the-less, it matters little. This is the kind of salad you play with, depending on your tastes and pantry offerings. I put in some sliced black olives and used green onions in place of the red; green peppers in place of the red and yellow, since that’s what my fridge offered me.

Oh, and I left out the garlic. On purpose.
Call me a rebel.

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