I guess it was old enough that the moisture content in the buckwheat was no longer sufficient to, well, not catch fire.
I guess I need a new neck thingy.
I haven't done any actual work yet today--The White City is the next thing on my agenda--but I have been Exceedingly Productive Bear. You see, thecoughlin and TBRE and my mom and I went in on a winter CSA share, and tomorrow another ten or fifteen pounds of root vegetables will be descending upon my kitchen. So today, I had to use up most of the previous share, which has been malingering due to holidays and so forth.
I figured I would just cook everything, and it could be instant leftovers/veggie snacks and/or lunch (or breakfast, because as is often the case when I get up and start cooking, I forgot to eat anything), and I started a pan of roasted yams with salt (tiny ones, so I left the skin on.) and a pan of roasted beets, celeriac, and carrots with ginger and honey. I also tried my first-ever batch of sauerkraut*, which, if I am lucky and it works, we can have with kielbasa in a couple of weeks. I used a lot of garlic. I am very excited.
So lunch was two hard-boiled eggs (there are now only four left from the last flat from the ag coop down the block) and kimchi, with root veggies as a second course. I feel replete with healthful phytochemicals, lemme tell you.
Dinner last night was goat cheese tart in filo pastry with sauteed mushrooms. The mushrooms were a new thing too--white beech mushrooms, Hypsizygus tessellatus, which have that awful acrid taste that unripe persimmons have when raw (high tannin content, maybe?), but cook up into, well, mushrooms! I made them a bit overspicy-spicy, maybe, because we didn't have any white wine (I usually use white wine, onions, garlic, butter, thyme) and I was experimenting with different flavor profiles. But they were still pretty good; I just would have liked to taste the mushrooms more and the habanero less.
I was walking around the kitchen all last night going "Hypsizygus tessellatus!" with great portentousness and magnificent gesticulations. I need to write a story where the incantatory magic system is based on the Latin names of fungi.
Oh, and I thought of a cool thing for the Heroic Hookers Of The Old West novel today, if I ever get to write it.
I love living here, where I can walk down to the farmer's coop on the corner and buy local eggs and apples (they're supposed to have fresh veg this summer, though at that point we will be working through the SUMMER CSA and the garden and may be living in fear of veg), and where there are such things as wintertime CSAs. And I love the CSA because it not only encourages the eating of many many tasty vegetables (I swear you really can taste the vitamins in food that hasn't been cold-stored for months and then shipped all over the world--as we say around here, "Hey! There's food in my food!") but also because it supports local farms and makes me be creative. (Celeriac? Really? Cool!)
I should start using up the frozen fruit and tomatoes I put up last summer. It's January, after all. Soon it will be summer again.
I'm all about fridge-cleaning cookery today.
So later on I will make whole-wheat sourdough pancakes to give the shoggoth some exercise (we will eat them with the last of the borscht for lunch), and I will make whole-wheat crust pizza to use up the last of the pizza sauce and some lingering goat cheese and mozzarella, and life will be good. TBRE and I have agreed that today is a day for hanging around and not doing much of anything--she's off watching anime and playing with the cats, and I'm on the couch with the dog.
And maybe I will eat a persimmon, since there is one left. And play some guitar, and work on my manuscript, which is a complete draft and only needs to be made perfect now.
That sounds like a very good first day of this year that sounds like a science fiction year, for sure.
All that's left of the CSA at this point is two butternut squashes and four or five little delicatas, and since the squash is apparently going to run out after this week, I don't mind having those lingering--we'll get to them, and they'll keep until we do.
Margaret Atwood and Karen Armstrong talk about science fiction and religion on NPR.
*here's a picture where you can see the beautiful color. That's a bag of water acting as a seal under the unscrewed lid--I think it should let the fermentation products outgas safely. I know, it's a small batch of sauerkraut, but there are only two of us, and it was only one head of cabbage. And oh, the smell of garlic.