Monday, August 11, 2003

Phew. Jeff went out of town this weekend, to a bachelor party. I had all these big plans of doing nothing- lolling around and writing and napping. Did I get in a single nap? No.

Friday night I used the leftover calamari to try Nigella's salt and pepper squid again. Without the watery limp Whole Foods calamari to muss things up, they came out perfectly. I also ate all the rest of the leftover aioli, both with the calamari and throughout the weekend, spread on bread. I have no shame.

Saturday I got up early and drove all around town- I went to Surfas in Culver City for the first time after an eGullet recommendation. They are the only place in town I've seen that carries whole star anise, though in Giant Restaurant Supply Size. I got a stockpot for all of $17, though, and some curry paste. I ignored the giant stone mortar and pestle that was only $10 more than the wooden one I have, and much much more- I could easily spend far too much money there.

I picked up the chicken and ribs for later this week at the 3rd and Fairfax farmer's market, along with some chicken backs and wings, which I took home and used to make stock. I've been meaning to make my own stock for about a million years now, but it took the eGullet Culinary Institute lessons and Alton Brown's stock episode (and I have to say, he has grown on me. The omelet episode really won me over.) to force me to do it. I used all the leftover bones I'd been saving in the freezer for stock, too, despite reading Judy Rodger's passionate never use old bones in stock argument in the Zuni Cafe cookbook just the other day.

In the meantime, I made the perfect omelet. I flipped it and rolled it in the pan, without a spatula. This may be my biggest accomplishment of the summer.

Yesterday morning I went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market with my big list. Jeremiah Tower was there signing this book , which I had planned on checking out from the library. I am a sucker for autographed books, though- when I was little, my grandmother was always meeting children's authors so I had a ton of them growing up, so I picked it up there. The man himself, who had that kind of tall rawboned gay chef look, promised me it would be funny.

For dinner I made matzo ball soup to welcome Jeff home, since he has been asking me to make soup forever, and I now had chicken stock and all. I've never actually had matzo ball soup, but I think Jeff is right in that the matzo balls were too dough-y. My cookbook collection does not offer too many matzo ball recipes, though- I used Mark Bittman's, and Nigella Bites also has one. I think I'm going to actually go try someone's proper matzo ball to compare.

The broth, though, was delicious.