Sunday, July 6, 2014

More food blog for a day

I am just sitting around today poking at my blog, messing with my recommended books list, adding new links to old posts there, and leaving obscure comments on old posts that I am running into that are never likely to be found by anyone else, but you never know. I am also waiting for our new refrigerator to arrive. So it seemed like a good time to write a Sunday post, which we all know is the incredibly folksy kind of post. The kind of post where a person can talk about a refrigerator and not have it mean anything. Yes, I could develop a refrigerator discussion into a rumination on aging, or life in Minnesota, but on Sundays we let the new refrigerator just be a place to put food that we want to keep cold.

And the refrigerator breathes a cool sigh of relief.

I have a sort of vision for this new refrigerator. Part of me is aware of the perversity and ultimate unhealthiness of this vision, but nevertheless it leaves me breathlessly excited about the arrival of our new appliance.

I picture my big, shiny, white, clean new refrigerator shelf, which is far bigger than anything I had in our old, small, freezes-anything-too-far-to-the-back refrigerator. And on this beautiful shelf are jars, just jars. None of them will be fancy, but all will be at least plain, clear, unlabeled. The left side is full of slightly varying in color mayonnaises and aiolis. Saffron mayonnaise, sweet meyer lemon mayonnaise, sesame tamari mayonnaise. The other side of the refrigerator shelf, the right side, will all be full of fruit syrups, each one like a big, fat, sweet jewel, full of light and rich gem colors. Cherry syrup and strawberry, peach and plum, raspberry and mango, all waiting to be poured into a clear glass a quarter to a third full, and then finished with the most strongly sparkling water I could find. When one adds the strongly sparkling water to the syrup it foams beautifully into a pale opaque colored version of the syrup itself, and tastes quintessentially of the fruit one started with.

No one asked about the mayonnaise,  but I did get a comment request last week for a fruit syrup recipe when I mentioned them in passing.  I thought, "Why not?" 

This is a very simple recipe (well, simple to write, or explain, but it can vary, based on the fruit, as to how much work it is). I am going to base our fruit syrup recipe here on the bucket of cherries my incredibly kind and generous co-worker gave me just yesterday. But similar principles apply to other fruits.

1. Get a bucket of some kind of non sweet pie cherry. These should be fresh cherries ideally, given to you by someone you work with.

2. Spend a couple hours pitting these cherries on your back porch or somewhere pleasant outside. You have to do this outside because pitting cherries is roughly like slaughtering a pig. Staining red splatters would spray the entirety of the inside of your house no matter what precautions you took if you did it inside.

3. Discard the pits. These are not edible! Too crunchy!

4. Put all your cherries in a big pot. Add a whole lot of agave syrup, or if you will, sugar. But they have to be organic because otherwise you will get cancer and die. I don't want you to die!

5. "How much syrup or sugar?" You ask. A whole lot. But not too much. I know this is awful cooking blog measuring, but fortunately there is a huge margin here before you can go wrong and I'm not even sure you could go wrong.

6. Cook on low heat for a couple of hours. Ideally it will look a bit thickish, but it's still going to be quite liquidy.

7. Just let it sit there for some hours cooling.

8. Strain it through a metal mesh thing, you know, a strainer, that's like mesh. You really want to stir and get all the precious liquid that you can out and into your jar.

9. Add your beautiful, deep red jar of cherry syrup to your shelf with the blueberry syrup, plum syrup, espresso syrup, and cantaloupe syrup. These will be to the right of your Aiolis, unless you are tragically allergic to raw eggs and have something else on that side of the refrigerator.

10. Reserve all the drained cherries for other recreational eating opportunities!


  1. Hello, I'm back. I wandered away for a while, mostly because, though I enjoy the posts very much, if felt like you weren't reading my comments as you rarely replied. I know it shouldn't matter, but it did. Then recently I saw Grape, and he said, "are you still reading my friend's posts?" and I said I hadn't for a while (I'd pop in now and again, but not comment). So I came back and read a whole bunch of posts, all of which were well worth the time. And I saw your comment to the woman who asked why you would say you feverishly await comments and then not reply to them. I understand your answer. I feel the same way about leaving comments. I am shy on the Internet (though not in person).

    I like to reply to posts. But when no one answers, I feel that I'm somehow not cool enough or something. I know you'll understand.

    P. S. I have the whole collection of Rex Stout Nero Wolfe books! Maybe I already said that back in the day...

    1. Well then, welcome back. I will now try and over-address everything in your comment.

      No, no, I always always read comments. I'm afraid that I obsessively check my blog for comments despite the leisurely pace at which they arrive on my blog. Then I read the comments several dozen times. When I gave up marketing my blog, a position I still must feverishly struggle to keep (I don't know if you read that post, it would be from a few months back), it probably only increased my comment checking, despite the fact that it had the effect of greatly reducing my actual readers and commenters. I have tried to channel some of this energy, curiously, into writing some of my own comments, buried deep into the history of my blog. They can be like extra blog posts, but with a kind of latitude that comes with the feeling that almost no one will ever find them. The response you read to that woman was perhaps at the beginning of that phase. I'm afraid to look at that comment of mine as I think I will find it a tad, er, sharp.

      But you probably noted there that for awhile I specifically wasn't responding to comments. Thus the non personal lack of response back then to your comment. Now I am responding. Just look at this!

      The reason for that is that sometimes I feel a bit of trepidation in responding to comments.

      This is out of A. Pure shyness. B. The concern of talking directly so much to one person out there and making anyone else feel left out. C. Feeling like some things I need to say to make a proper response to a comment will end up being like a whole blog post in itself and be a lot of writing time away from writing daily blog posts.

      I think there's a length limit on these comments so I'll continue below...

    2. But I have decided that the shyness thing is helped by the non-marketing and the way that I don't have the same kind of casual, one-time readers I used to have. The left out thing I decided is okay because anyone who would pour over my blog enough to read comments is probably happy enough to find anything extra to read, and the having to write an extra blog post to respond is helped by the realization that I actually like writing, so this, for instance, is not a burden, but a pleasure, and so, what the hell.

      I suppose this might be a restating of a lot of what you would have read in my other response you found about commenting, but your comment seemed to deserve a somewhat kinder version of all that, and some updating too. Anyway, I do diligently respond to comments now, so comment away, as you like, and I will always be glad to see them.

      My responses may not always be this long though.

      No, I don't remember a mention of your Rex Stouts. A complete set would be handy. I think there might be one or two I've never read or tracked down. My library system maybe has two thirds and I got most of the rest through inter library loan. There was one neat copy from world war 2 era that was printed in a smaller size to save on paper resources for the war effort!

      You know Grape? Lucky!

  2. I AM lucky to know Grape and I always get a kick out of it when I see him mentioned here. Thank you for the long comment back. It was very satisfying. You'll see me around more now, and I won't expect an answer to EVERY comment.

    A woman I worked with over 20 years ago introduced me to Nero Wolfe. She had a collection, and I started my own as well. When she died, I inherited her collection, so I combined the two, came out with a complete set of the books in the best shape and gave the rest to a friend who was just starting on her own Nero Wolfe adventure.

    1. I know, he's almost like a running character here, but he's real! It's super neat!

      I have never inherited anything, but it strikes me that that's pretty good really.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.