Oh, blarg, why do I abandon you so. I have been neglecting this space in favor of the twitters, whose twits are legion, and who is so, so uncomplicated. Also I’m trying to start a business here and it’s kind of busy. Excuses, excuses, I know, but I feel like I should tell you about it.
Have I mentioned this? It’s not news to most of the world, I’m sure, but our recent culinary discovery has been this: brining stuff in strong tea. That’s turned out to be a pretty powerful move, particularly when we’ve gone with the really smoky-tasting Lapsang Souchong
over chicken or (particularly awesome) fish; trout that’s been brined and pan-fried thusly has this great lox flavour to it, but is still a big, tender piece of meat. That costs about a tenth what a comparable pile of actual smoked salmon would cost, I might add, which is also nice.
On another culinary front, modulo a bit of fiddling around it turns out that these two links provide excellent, excellent advice about making pizzas at home, and even my amateurish fumbling has produced better pizza than we’ve been able to order in.
You’ll need cast iron pans for that, but it turns out that nobody knows they’re resurfaceable, so once they’ve messed them up they throw them away and buy cheap nonstick pans, which if you’re paying attention means advantage: you.
I’ve had a lot of luck picking up the semi-wrecked cast-iron cookware I see at garage sales and reseasoning them as per this excellent advice, though I preface that with the scorched-earth approach of hosing them down with oven cleaner and letting them stew in an heavy garbage bag for two or three days. Stripping them right to the bare metal has proven to be the right approach, though I should tell you that the people who claim that cast iron gets smoky are Doing It Wrong, and seasoning their cookware with oils that have a relatively low smoke point. I did that wrong myself at first, but now that I’m doing this the right way around it turns out that 50-year-old cast iron actually works better than my two-year-old teflon, and I’m always happy to chalk up a victory for the old school.