I haven’t posted in DAYS, which is normal for most food bloggers, but completely out of character for me given the fact that my laptop and I are basically Siamese-twins. I have been writing, it’s just that I’ve been writing some entries for my cookbook and got behind on the blogging. Luckily I have a half hour to kill right now before I can put my bread in the oven, so I can post some things.
I will never make grape jam again. Grape jelly, maybe, though I don’t like the stuff, but definitely not jam. This isn’t because it’s terribly difficult to make. It’s because I am not very smart. You see, I found grapes for under a dollar a pound yesterday. I (predictably) wanted to put it in jars so that I could store it in the cupboard until we have to move and donate all of our canned goods to the hobos, at which point their little hobo-stores will throw it away since it’s a home-canned item. Even hobos don’t want botulism. I Googled a recipe for grape preserves on my iPhone and saw that it could be done by peeling some grapes and sticking it with water and pectin and sugar in a pot. Easy! And it’s fresh fruit instead of jelly, so it’ll taste better than the purple Welch’s swill! I brought home five pounds of grapes and realized that I didn’t know how to peel grapes. I checked online and the advice was to submerge in boiling water for a minute and then ice them. Seemed like S.O.P. for peeling, so I went for it. TWO AND A HALF PAINFUL, SOUL-DESTROYING HOURS LATER, I had a pile of peeled grapes and a desire to kill. Every little grape held on to its skin more tenaciously than like, ANY of Buffalo Bill’s victims in the Silence of the Lambs. It was that kind of tiny, detailed, finger-tippy work that makes you twitch, starting at the tips of your fingers, working its way all the way up your arms, at which point it usually manifests in the hurling of a large bucket of grape-skinned water at the flat-screen television. That part only happened in my imagination, though, because having lost a loved one myself, I didn’t want to see Chris in that same state of anguished loss, weeping openly into the carpet in front of his smoking Sony. I’m nothing if not a giver. Anyway, it almost put me in a mental institution, but I pulled through. Then I went to the laptop to check the recipe and it said “Peel about 1/4 of the grapes, leaving the rest intact.” MOTHER F*CKER! I didn’t look closely enough on my tiny phone screen. I missed the fact that I could have stopped 1/4 of the way through, when I was only gently irritated instead of fueled with a longing to drive my car through the door of the Whole Foods. Anyway, I made the jam. There are seven jars of the stuff. I am going to either reserve it for people I love or for people I hate. I haven’t decided my final judgement on it.
Now, here’s a slightly funny story. Daring Baker’s Challenge for the month of September was to make vegan crackers and vegan dip. I followed these steps:
1) Laughed with derision at the idea of vegan dip. Determined that the only vegan dips I could think of are salsa and hummus. Further determined that I hate hummus and salsa is boring. Complained on the message boards at the stupid choice for challenges.
2) Ignored the problem for weeks.
3) Decided to make crackers and dip for one of Chris’s coworkers. Ding! Remembered that I needed to make crackers for my challenge, and this would work in my vein of not paying for my own challenges. Awesome.
4) Made delicious herb and whole wheat crackers. Tackled the dip dilemma. Did not wish to make vegan dip. Decided to prepare spinach artichoke dip with bacon. Realized that some of the ingredients in this are not vegan. Namely, the bacon and the dip.
5) Made it anyway.
6) Mentally wrote long post including bullshit recipe involving soy cheese, soy milk, margarine, and Bac’n tofu sticks or whatever they’re called. Was pretty pleased with self.
7) Never wrote the post due to early-onset Alzheimers (the same disorder that causes me to search for my keys for HOURS whilst holding them in my hand).
8) Decided it was too late to lie about it, and that I’d have to hope next month we were allowed to use real ingredients.
9) Ate Chik’n the other night to atone. Well, actually it was to screw with Chris, but it still feels like atonement.
So here it is in all its glory! Whole-wheat herb crackers with soy parmesan and rice milk artichoke and spinach dip, fraught with delicious bits of smoked Bak’n TVP pieces. Or, as I like to call it, “I can’t believe it’s not bacon! Likely because it is…dip”