I’m Supposed to Make Nyama Choma on Saturday

I’ve been to Kenya twice. The first time was as a study abroad experience in undergrad (and I cannot recommend The School for Field Studies enough) and the second time was helping out with a research project and seeking my own for graduate studies.

As you can probably imagine, this means I’m a bit more aware of goings-on in Kenya than I am some other countries in the world. Not exactly that I know more, but that a news report about Kenya is more likely to catch and/or keep my attention than some other country I haven’t visited. Human nature.

Human nature also says I pay a attention to the city I live in, and place I truly love.

You all know where this is going.… Continue reading →

Stock tragedy

My freezers are perpetually full. I think this is a regular complaint here on MetaCookbook. No matter how hard I try to get them a little emptier, it seems I end up with freezers full to bursting.

One of the issues I normally have is stock. See, making stock is something I always think of as a way to clear out the freezer. Typically, this is because I have three to five chicken carcasses1 stuck in there, as well as chicken trimmings and the trimmings of veggies. My thinking is that this will get that stuff out of the freezer. The bags of trimmings, the big plastic containers of bones.

I never manage to consider how much stock will end up back in the freezer.… Continue reading →

Experimenting in the kitchen

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

I’ll write this up fully later, but I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you. I’ve been in the kitchen more than my silence might indicate, but mostly doing simply things like hummus. Today’s my first experiment in awhile.

Well, I call it an experiment, but like the cautious cook I usually am, I took Marc Bittman’s recipe for “Braised Oxtail with Garlic and White Wine” and messed with it as I cooked. For one thing, I used beef neck instead of oxtail. It looks just as (if not more) tasty than the oxtails I’ve had, but was astoundingly cheaper. If this works out, I may never go back to oxtail.

His recipe also calls for 4 ounces of bacon. I didn’t remember that before I started quick thawing the beef neck.… Continue reading →

[122] 2011 Christmas Dinner Bone-In Prime Rib Roast

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

Last year, Bill and I accidentally started a tradition. At least, it felt that way to me earlier this month, when I was thinking about what to cook for dinner.

Apparently, I felt that way last year too. Even though I made some mistakes last year.

This year was also good, but not as good. I didn’t like the wine as much (a Washington State Malbec vs a Chilean (I think) Pinot Noir). This was a bone-in roast, and also had substantially more fat on it. The rancher (same as last year) had also had the bones cut off the meat, then tied back on. I do not know why, but it prevented carving the way Mr. Bittman suggested.

Anyway, I thought you guys might want a quick look at what we had.… Continue reading →

Meadow Haven Farm Visit – Cows

In the previous post I posted about why I was visiting the farm (to pick up a butchered hog) & the chickens on the farm. This was going to be a post about the hogs & the cows, but it turns out I took a lot of cow photos.

Cows! The cows were pretty neat, especially given their relative lack of aggression. Cows in the New Mexico bosque are total jerks, in case you didn’t know. I mentioned this (maybe in slightly politer terms) to Jeremy. He told me the trick to cows is to be confident and make sure they believe it.

I’m just going to say, that’s pretty hard to do when you have no experience with cows and you suddenly find yourself the star of a Looney Tunes short.… Continue reading →