Thursday, April 27, 2017

Eggs and Company

The ever versatile egg has had quite a ride in the culinary traditions of many countries; it is a nutritional icon of bakers and chefs all across the nation. Home cooks rely on this quick and easy resource for thrifty meals. Children and the elderly find the soft protein chewable and digestible. and why not include the pets on this festive gourmet parade? At less than a dollar a dozen presently, the whole family can indulge.

Medical arena scare tactics have vilified the 'poor' egg industry; first it was the cholesterol, till that theory was reversed by research on the quality vs quantity  of metabolic process of the eggs. Now the focus is directed to cage-free production and salmonella or avian flu--Buyer beware! If the consumer intends to eat eggs raw in smoothies or out of shell, then it is best to depend on field raised chickens and reputable stores.

NOW! for the fun part of 'eggdom': What I do with the humble, yet majestic source of life, this egg in my kitchen.

1) Boiled Eggs, How and When:
Gently put eggs in bottom of pan--(i use a whole dozen for various purposes) cover with cold water--add a tsp of salt--bring to a boil for five minutes--turn heat off--cover with lid for five extra minutes.
--empty hot water in sink--fill pan with cold water till that is warm--empty again--Put a towel on counter--then roll each egg with GENTLE pressure to crack the surface only--pull--peel--rinse egg.( i let other eggs soak in the cold water while i peel the diaphenous inner skin off the smooth egg white) done! After admiring your handiwork, grab a sharp knife to slice or cube the perfect white oval shapes. Ready?

What to do with Boiled Eggs?:
a simple white gravy can dress up a quick open faced toast:
3 heaping tablespoons of flour--i cup of milk--salt and pepper to taste--shake all in a glass jar--let a spoon of olive oil or bacon grease or best coconut oil heat on medium in sauce pan--add liquid to pan--stir constantly till thick, add more milk or water or broth till smooth--add egg cubes--five minute total and you are serving a nutritious go-to breakfast, lunch or why not dinner.
serving suggestions: bacon bits, parsley leaves, green onion slices, pepper flakes and grated cheese all add flavor and eye appeal, savor!

Egg Salad:
 a standard which requires only clean hands and a gourmet mind:
Armed with any kitchen tool capable of smashing the rubbery food into submission; you reduce the eggs which have not quite deserved an award for successful peeling. let rest in bottom of glass bowl--now in separate bowl, you mix any or all the following ingredients--3 Tsp mayonnaise--1 tsp mustard<if you must> Dijon for sure--a dash of pickle juice ( i prefer bread-and-butter or sweet gherkins) a pinch of salt and a sneeze of pepper flakes or red bell pepper cubes, green ones and even yellow ones for color and texture! add to the eggs. Don't taste yet! wait an hour as flavors blend and cool.
Serve on toasted sour dough or on crackers, with an olive on top of course!. let imagination play with your food! mint or parsley add to digestibility.  a discreet lemon squeeze brings out the essence of freshness.

Now for Quiche:
Easy way first:
Buy 2 pie shells--lightly poke shells with fork tips, paint surface with coconut oil or melted butter--bake in oven at 375 for only five minutes ..
In a large glass bowl, 1 cup of milk-- 3 large eggs--a dash of salt and pepper--sprinkle of onion soup mix--a tsp of baking soda--a tbsp of flour.and a bag of frozen spinach, or can of drained spinach-- mix well--pour evenly in shells--add grated cheese on top--bake 45 minutes till brown and dry crust.
 for Better Quiche?make own homemade crust--use half and half-- fresh spinach and pan fried onion cubes--fresh Gruyere swiss cheese and six eggs--rich and creamy.
 Bon Appetit!

Dress up leftovers with yellow eyed slices, or throw onto salads for that restaurant effect and taste.
cut eggs in half lengthwise and plant flowers like violets or rose petals along with bushy lemon balm or verbena sprigs on its sunny heart, pink Himalayan salt or red pepper flakes will finish the garnish;. fun and crunch!sprinkle wine vinegar or rice vinegar and oil across tops; voila!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It's Only Water

Much of the developed world has enjoyed public water infrastructure over a century by now. Several generations of descendants have become so used to the facility of running water that the casual abuse of this precious liquid is considered normal by the majority of many countries. Local waterworks are aging, pipes corroding, from the aquifers to the sewerage, pumps are failing sporadically; it is time to pay attention to the stuff that slips through our fingers.

How many times a day do you consciously think of this abundant commodity and dismiss conservation advice? No time to stop the tap when brushing teeth? No patience to turn off the shower-head between soaping? How easy it is to be rushed into mindless gestures when a stressful lifestyle is knocking at the front door?

Preppers are people who seem to be aware of eventual conditions upon Planet Earth once the billions of inhabitants have neglected or abused its resources. We are advised to save water, to put water in clean, safe receptacles in case of public utilities failure due to disastrous weather events. The media are bombarded with fear tactics about the demise of polluted bodies of water. And yet, few are heeding the warnings. After a steady diet of “what ifs” we become inoculated against specific anxiety. We shrug and chug our worries between the kitchen sink and the bathtub. From home to workplace water flows easy.

The privatization of water is often necessary, because most consumers would not have the financial clout to dig a well and obtain pure H2O. Pipes, pumps, and plumbing are costly, corporations with legal and economic know-how can provide all aspects of bacterial and chemical safety, storage and pressure on a large scale. Water is not just that easy –come - easy - pshtt! Stuff for public use, it must first undergo a plethora of tests and twists, from a mayor’s desk to Councilmen’s chambers, to scientists and experts, to ditch diggers and well drillers; salaries are on the line. All of a sudden, I feel tired sorting through the tangible emergence of that earthly liquid.

I grew up where water was not readily available but rain was plentiful, in the city, we had a cold water flat. Comfort came the hard way in the countryside; eventually a well was dug, a hand pump was installed, a few years later, a tank was welded above it, then pipes were thrust through the two foot thick stone wall to the kitchen, and again to a water closet. Experiencing such a slow progress in the country prepared me for another slow ordeal in the western desert. Water was not expensive yet; it simply was not easily reached. We carried heavy plastic bottles till they were hot and we were exhausted.

When the news are replete with hardships inflicted on so many migrant populations, I immediately imagine how scarce potable water must be wherever they walk or live. From tap to toilet, the wait must be long and unsanitary, on whatever continent people live there are too many needs that are not met—and—water is the primary need, besides human connection. Looking for affordable solutions and humanitarian involvement empowers the reader and benefits society at large. Type ‘water’ in the search bar, see?