February 03, 2010
Rating: UmRating: WellRating: OKRating: NiceRating: Kickin
(0 votes)
Loading...
Filed Under (Life, Travelog) by justin

Why do Americans eat more chicken than pork?

If you’re like me, this is true of you, but you can’t really explain why. So when my dinner companions asked me this the other day, I wasn’t really sure what to say. In China, pork is probably the most common meat.  It’s the fallback meat–the meat you turn to when you don’t have anything particularly meaningful for it to do. For you, it might be ground beef, but for me it’s always been chicken.

I was a little surprised that they’d even ask. So, I simply confessed my ignorance and shifted over to why we don’t really eat much mutton in America.1

Then I went shopping. For the first time in months (literally), I bought meat to prepare. Chicken.

Perhaps it was curiosity I’ve been fostering during this holiday. Perhaps it was excess time being domestic (i.e., sitting at home). Perhaps it was hunger. I decided to cook.

Saturday night, I made plum chicken and rice–a personal creation inspired by the common availability of plum juice here and my rather uncommon taste for it.  I should have replaced the rice with mashed potatoes, but I didn’t feel like going back out to the store. And the rice was pretty good too, I must say.

Sunday night, I made a sort of chicken and brocolli risotto. Sort of. While the concept is common enough, the method is personal.

Monday night, I made chicken parmesan. Drawing upon vast experience in eating it, none in making it, I created my own version, starting with crumbing my own bread (don’t get too excited–I had canned spaghetti sauce).

All from scratch. Without recipes. With nothing more than a hot plate, a microwave, and a rice cooker. I just did what seemed appropriate. None of them was perfect, but each of them was worth eating.

Now, those of you with cooking experience are waiting for the point. Those without it are rather proud of me.

I’m just grateful to the chickens, without whom none of this would have been possible.

  1. I’m glad I’ve been abroad enough to find out that mutton is good. Also, lizard.


January 21, 2010
Rating: UmRating: WellRating: OKRating: NiceRating: Kickin
(0 votes)
Loading...
Filed Under (Finds, Tech) by justin

One of the questions I’m asked most often by students and other interested parties (often at interesting parties, such as last night’s) is ‘Do you cook for yourself?’ While I’m not sure what answer would most satisfy the questioners, I usually claim to prepare some of my own food while admitting my kitchen inefficacy.

That was before I added a powerful new weapon in the war against domestic ineptitude.

Cookingbynumbers.com gives you simple recipes from simple food. Bachelors, inexperienced kitcheneers who just entered cooking contests, and people too lazy to get out and get food, cooked or cookable—this is for you. Just select the foods you have, and it gives you recipes. Simple recipes with cool names. You’ll feel like a French chef just by swiping some egg on bread and putting it in the oven. And don’t worry, it gives you all the instructions you could need, too—from chopping an onion on up.

It’s obviously not for the master-chefs out there. Or the aesthetes. It doesn’t give you all the details or gourmet results. It does give you edible food, simple instructions and a sense of accomplishment. That’s good enough for me.