What I’m cooking: November

What I’ve cooked recently:

  • I threw myself a party and checked off most of my autumnal cooking wish list. I mulled two liters of wine. I boiled up all my ginger root into ginger syrup, made ginger beer and still have a bit of syrup left to make a new batch. I hardboiled 18 eggs from my CSA surplus and deviled them all; each and every one got eaten at the party. I stewed, I baked, and I quite honestly wore myself out on cooking for awhile.
  • I still had eggs left, so I pickled some. Pickled eggs are great! They have a different consistency than regular hard-boiled eggs; the vinegar soak makes them tender, almost creamy.
  • I somehow amassed a surplus of red and black radishes and treated them more or less like banh mi pickles. I adore these and put them on everything: on crackers with sliced up pickled eggs, on bread with cheese, on top of this very simple bulgogi recipe.
  • I never really plan to make a gratin, but then I’ll start googling recipes to use up potatoes and heavy cream and next thing you know, I’ve made this recipe but with zucchini and sweet potatoes along with the regular potatoes. It was very comforting and filling and actually has no cheese in it, which is good, because pretty much all the cheese got eaten at that party.

What I’m looking forward to cooking:

This is the last month of my CSA, and as the farmer’s market season winds down I’ll need to schedule in regular trips to the Reading Terminal Market to get my fruits and veggies. There is always a wide array of produce to be had, but I am always drawn to the dollar bags. Large quantities of cheap, overripe produces will mean a shift toward long, slow, and large-scale cooking: fridge jams, tomato sauce, soups, casseroles. I look forward to it.

What I’m writing:

Talk to me about writing, friends, because I have written very little for myself this month. I’ve written some blog posts for work–at the museum blog and also the library blog, where I’ll also have a few posts up later this month for #NoShameNovember–but I haven’t finished any of my drafts on my own blogs or either of the chapters I am supposedly submitting for publication. I had considered starting on NaNoWriMo this month, but I think I’m just not ready. Too busy at work? Still recovering from my defense? I don’t know.

So tell me: what are you writing, and how are you doing it? When you write? How do you make time for it? What trades do you make or carrots do you tantalize yourself with? Tell me everything, I need inspiration.

3 responses to “What I’m cooking: November

  1. I want to know what pickled eggs taste like, exactly: is the outside tart, but the inside creamy? I have the same morbid curiosity for century eggs: something that my brain tells me I wouldn’t possibly enjoy, but Just Maybe.

    In the days when I wrote, which now feel a legendary bounty of free time and energy, I made myself by Putting It Down on my To-Do list. For someone with anxiety disorders, there is nothing higher pressure than an unmarked item on a to-do list. I went for 1500 words, good or bad, because even if the writing was bad, there was nothing so terrible that a second or third draft on a better day wouldn’t fix it. No carrots. Just a topic (or a chapter) and a calendar slot. That’s how I’ve been making myself blog lately, albeit badly.

    Your package came today, and it brightened what feels like a preapocalyptic month. Part of me said to wait until recovery, but you know. It’s six days away, which still feels like an eternity. I’m SO excited, because YES, I’ve listened to Nightvale and loved it – but not since the first handful of episodes! I haven’t done logic puzzles since, I think, CLUE, and you don’t know how much self control it takes me not to start them tonight (even though there’s a hundred, and I know I can’t do 100 in six days, but you know. I need to make surgery and recovery something to anticipate.)
    And I promised myself not to explore the swag bag (OR the candy, OR the clay) until, yes, post surgery. But I’m really excited, and thank you SO much.

    HIPAA violation alert: I wouldn’t mind hearing (outside of this blog, if that’s better) about your experience (or whomever’s experience) adapting to synthetic thyroid stuff. That’s the thing I’m second most worried about (the most being metastasis and radioactive pills.Lifestyle and energy changes also don’t sound fun, but you know. I can live with that.)

    • Yes, pickled eggs are tart–and spicy, if you put jalapenos in your brine like I did–but they also still taste like eggs. The yolk is more or less the same texture it would have as a hardboiled egg, but the white part is not rubbery. It doesn’t bounce back when you bite it; your teeth sink into it. That and the tanginess are the big differences, I think. I do not know they would bypass your dislike of hardboiled eggs.

      I will think about this all-stick-no-carrot writing plan. I am not troubled by an unfinished to-do list; that is my entire professional life, basically, my work to-do list is five pages long. But I’ve definitely done the “you’ll write now because you HAVE to” routine when I was finishing my diss and… I don’t like it. I don’t want to. But I do want to write, so I may need to. I’m thinking.

      To all else I replied by email, but I’m still so pleased you liked the books!

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