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BuckwheatMarble_1

I have been baking cakes lately, and putting things in jars. I am also poised before the chasm of a great transition, which has me somewhat preoccupied; just hanging out nervously, waiting to hear back from those voices in the wind. So I’m keeping busy with kitchen stuff.

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Hello, my little bloggie friends!

Is anyone even subscribed to this thing anymore?  I don’t think I’ve updated it since like the late 80s in internet years.  (Three years, yo.)

Now you might be wondering:  why revive?  Why dredge up the past?  WHY NOW???

And as you sit there, poised over your screen’s greenish glow, waiting with bated breath, I will tell you:  GIANT FABRIC STASH.

Yes, that’s right, peeps. The Odd Kitchen is now (also) a sewing blog.  ‘Cause I have two ginormous plastic bins of fabric that I have been collecting and carrying around with me from apt. to apt. FOR TEN YEARS.  Ten years!  That’s like the early 70s in internet years.

So, because I am a tidy little organized buglet at heart, I pulled each piece of fabric and each garment that needs fixing out of bin and bag and PHOTOGRAPHED THEM ALL, and MADE A SPREADSHEET.  And this freaking blog will help me check every last little thing off that list.

I’ll still post about food, too.

Go, gentle Scorpio, go…

Sauerkraut

So.  Do you like sauerkraut?  I mean — have you given homemade sauerkraut a chance in your adult life?

I was reintroduced to the stuff when I lived with a roommate in Boston who was, according to a friend, “like a Level 10 vegan.”  Vegan roommate, an excellent cook, used to pack red cabbage in jars and let them ferment in a cabinet, adding the finished product to sandwiches and rice dinners and other things.  It was good sauerkraut, not creepy like the unmonitored vats at a hot dog stand, and I could see that it was very easy to make.  (It is easy on the level of doing your own laundry.)

Not long after I found a terrific fanzine called Wild Fermentation that teaches one how to make their own sauerkraut.  It also teaches one how to make cheese, or tempeh, or tej or yogurt or pickles and other fermented foods.  It has since been turned into a book but you can still find the stunningly simple recipe for sauerkraut here. Thank you, Sandor Ellix Katz, a.k.a. Sandor Kraut, for making your passion so accessible to us.

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Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to include a recipe for “Untouched Chicken Salad Sandwich” or something equally mawkish. I just happened to read my old teenage fave on a long bus trip recently and couldn’t help but laugh about its fine details and the way in which I took its perceived message straight to heart when I was younger. There is something slightly chiropractic about reading books that once seemed so deeply private and personal as a yearning kid when you are all grown up and grumpy. At least this one ages fantastically well, if you can’t tell at least by the way my current writing style sucks up to it. Really though, communing with the Glass family again reminds me how cheap and exploitative douchey lame Wes Anderson films are. Do you hear what I’m saying, buddy?

Hmm. Enough of this critical foofery for the time being. I just spent last night on a boat! And in a day or two, I’ll have a groovy recipe for some of the fruits de la mer we collected whilst sailing the seas of Our Great 49th State.

Postscript 8/29/09:  It was a very hot day today for San Francisco, and I was walking from one cool covered place to another when I found The Way of a Pilgrim propped up against a drainpipe not too far from the corner of 23rd & Folsom.  A funny coincidence, that this little brown book should find its way into my hands less than a month after re-reading F & Z.

4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch dried thyme
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
A bottle of white wine
3 cups stock
1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips, then chunks (preserved pepper is fine)
1 heaping tablespoon pimentón
Grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in butter until soft. Add rice and cook a few minutes more. Pour in a few glugs of wine and stir down. Add the stock in doses after this, stirring and adding more as the liquid is absorbed by the rice. On the last round of liquid, add the roast pepper and pimentón. Don’t let the rice stick to the pan. The whole process should take about 20 minutes. The rice should be tender with a little bit of bite in the middle, and the liquid around it should be creamy. Stir in the Parmesan and serve with steamed mustard greens and a glass of the wine. You can make fritters with the leftovers.

6 servings

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