Friday, August 29, 2008
Alright, I am announcing a new version of our head photographer's (moi) portfolio--after countless horas of anger lost on that headache known as PDF, she has updated to the internet. While the majority of her work is done for the Salty Cod and for selfish reasons, she does in fact work as paid staff in her University's publication department--the newspaper, yearbook, and website. Well, money is money.
Please do me the honor of inflating my ego and visit the new portfolio, c'est tres chouette.
Mallory Elise Photography
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There is a festival for absolutely everything. And it is not just an American thing. If it exists in the world, there is a group of people somewhere celebrating it. Party everyday eh. In my own town of Poulsbo we celebrate Norwegian heritage by consuming lutefisk and spit roasted meat at our annual Viking Fest held in May, in neighboring Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula the Lavendar festival is held every July to make known the worlds largest producer of lavendar outside of Provence, here in Spokane the lilac festival is held every May, in Walla Walla the onion festival is held late july, and the Wenatchee apple harvest festival in late September celebrates the regions apple bounty before they are shipped off to grocery stores around the world (including Paris). These are a few of the hundred in my state alone, multiply that by fifty and then add in 3 million from around the world. It is a notion as common as two eyes and a nose, we like to celebrate.
Driving my housemate S to the Spokane International Airport for her evening flight to Washington DC from where she will be driving all the way back to Spokane in a little car (yes, cross-country, but more on that later) we hear on the radio the voice of the weather woman announce, "and what beautiful weekend weather we'll have for you to get out there and enjoy the end of the lentil festival with.." What did she say? Lentil festival? Ahk! When, where? Did we miss it? S just stares ahead, clearly relieved by her immense fortune at finding herself en route toward the opposite side of the country from me. Home from the airport, I phone E, E there is a lentil festival! We must find out about it. E: I love lentils! Alas, as we discover too late, the lentil festival is but a few hours shy of finishing, and that being in Pullman, a no-nothing town about an hour and a half's drive south of Spokane. Perhaps next year. Only kiding--Spokane next August? Not on your life.
The Lentil Festival in Pullman is actually a national festival, as it commemorates the largest lentil producing region in the nation. Over one third of the lentils grown in the entire country come from the Eastern Washington region known as the Palouse. Eastern Washington, for as unromantic hic farmer-town as it sounds, is an agricultural paradise of rolling fields and peaking hills studded with farm land as far as the eyes can see. Potatos, wheat, onions, apples, barley, alfalfa, grapes, and of course lentils. Lentils are consumed all over the globe; in Europe, Asia, throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Africa--the lentil is as communal as wheat. They have been discovered filling grain sacks in Egyptian tombs since before 2000 BC, and like everything else to the Egyptians (did you catch Bourdain eating the pigeon on Monday?) lentils are famed as an aphrodesiac. Food in general is eh. Lentils are more of a bean than anything, though flat like a fan or a lens. Rich in protein, soluble fiber, and iron, the lentil is a little health pill.
Following is the winning recipe in the festival, by Lindhda Sagen--an actual Pullman resident. Go figure. Poppers, quite the unappetizing name I will say; inspires images of something sticky that comes in a bucket from say a large fried chicken chain. But we must remember, we are in Eastern Washington--a land all its own.
Fabulous Lentil Mushroom Poppers: By Lindha Sagen
30 medium-size white mushrooms (remove stems and set aside. Scrape out all the gills using spoon)
1 tube Jimmy Dean original flavor sausage
¼ c. finely chopped mushrooms stems
1 c. cooked lentils
¼ c. finely chopped onion
¼ c. celery
1 tsp. breadcrumbs
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 of package)
½ c. shredded Italian cheese (divided)
¼ c. Parmesan shredded cheese
1 c. Marinara sauce (optional)
Method: Place clean and hollowed mushrooms on baking sheet. Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a separate medium size pan, combine sausage, mushroom stems, lentils, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally to break-up sausage. Sprinkle remaining Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve alone or with heated Marinara sauce for dipping.
Place clean and hollowed mushrooms on baking sheet. Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a separate medium size pan, combine sausage, mushroom stems, lentils, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally to break-up sausage.
Sprinkle remaining Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve alone or with heated Marinara sauce for dipping.
The lentil, lentille, lentilha--where would humanity be without the lovely lentil. Stuck with chicken noodle soup that's where. Lentil soup is an ambrosia, one which I would unhesitatingly be proud to list in Bourdains "what would your death row meal be?" game. They celebrate the lentil in Pullman every year, but we can award it equal justice without throwing it a party. For none of you will ever (hopefully) travel physically to Pullman for the festival, so make soup, share soup, we're all connected by soup! Vive la lentille!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Traveling is an everyday event. We travel when we communicate with each other, when we care about what others see, do, feel, find--my adventures in the backyard are travels for a New york journalist whose walk in Central park is a travel for the dentist in Madrid, and his visit to the butcher is a travel for the architect in Argentina whose newest skyscraper has allowed the Japanese business tycoon's imagination to travel thousands of miles on streams of sparkling window panes. The Parisian baker makes her way into Australian ovens forming pastries steaming in kitchen windows in Arizona, and the story detailing the pies fall from the second story windowsill sends the lawyer in London into a fit of laughter. And your story at the office water cooler, at the family barbecue, at the new starbucks, your voice is travel for me. We cannot all travel, perhaps for some cross-oceanic voyages will not be possible in this lifetime, money, time, work, life is a fact but that's why there is more than one human on this planet. Television, internet, books, magazines, friends--just listen to others stories, read them, watch them, share them, talk about them, want them, open yourself to them and you can go anywhere, there's more than one way to travel, I circle the globe before nine each morning.
Is there a point to this--sometimes no, but this time yes! My younger sister is traveling to Copenhagen Denmark to fulfill a semester of Architectural study through her university. She will be there until Christmas and has invited the rest of us to join her through--gasp yes a blog! (whose making fun of who now) She is offering us a look at the Melancholy Prince's land, through the eyes of an artist, a Seattleite, a Salty Cod sister--Denmark! What the hell is in Denmark? Dunno let's find out. Ryan will take us. Who knows, perhaps she might even be able to string a few words together to form a sentence. Venez! Den Reisekammeraten.
Bon Voyage sister! What can I say, we're travelers. Well, welcome to blog world.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Swiss cake rolls are not Swiss, ironically they are quite unpopular in Switzerland where they are called biscuitrolles or roulades. No the Yanks and Brits dubbed such a cake as Swiss for what appears to me as... well for no apparent reason whatsoever. English speakers around the world also refer to the sponge as jam roll or jelly roll, yet it does not belong to them. It does not belong to Little Debbie either. Then who does it belong to? No one. Though we the food historians may hypothesize. Yes we can. And here is the thesis: we all own it.
(painting above by Hall Groat II available at the artists Blog)
The Chinese egg roll (卷蛋糕) first appeared in daily pastry shop window in the early nineteenth century, undoubtedly snaking its way north out of the ovens of British Hong Kong. In Spain the gypsey's arm (brazo de gitano) is often rolled with a lemon curd, and its brother of the same name in Mexico is swirled with chocolate and rum filling. The Fins call it sweet roll, the Brazilians rocambole, and the Swedish Drömrulltårta (dream roll cake) made completely of potato flour. In Malaysia they are filled with coconut and pandan, in India with pineapple and regional fruits. The Japanese are known for dyeing the sponge green with powdered teas such a matcha, and in Indonesia the Bolu Gulung is most popular with locals in its many cheese sauce varieties. Here it has been stated and argued, the rolled spongecake with a layer of jam, cream, curd, or cheese is owned by the world. The world has named it, but the Salty Cod will rename it. For this silly simple little pinwheel, but what language could be used? What language represents and translates to everyone? Perhaps then the only thing to call it is a Salty Cod.
This cake is for my buddy E on his birthday today, big 22. Happy birthday to you as we sit in a rainy minor league baseball park, our mutual disinterest in the game will get us through.
Spokane, Spokane, Spokane. A day with a high of 41.7 degrees (107) followed by a night of window shattering wind illuminated by celestial scaring places the region in a meteorological state of drizzle and a high of 22 degrees(67). Welcome to Spokane. The Spokane Indians baseball team is playing Boise Idaho. Joy. For those readers outside of the country (and outside Japan) who understand little of the pull of interest for the slow stick-ball game, I hear your groans, this parrot has outlived her attraction to the game through phaseal obsession. What can be said other than perhaps the fact that it is, like most other sports, a sport. And In the history of sports and their need by humanity, is the need to escape, rally, and be part of something greater, something collective. Perhaps a Visa Go World commercial here. Salty Cod advertising. We do everything here. What do you need. We can do it.
Salty Cod Coconut and White Chocolate Pinwheel Cake
ingredients: ~.5cups flour ~4 eggs separated ~1tsp baking powder ~ 1 packet vanilla sugar ~ pinch of ginger ~.5 + .3 cups sugar ~ powdered sugar ~ 2 sticks butter ~ coconut ~ coconut water ~ white chocolate
method: (sponge sheet cake) mix flour and baking powder. beat egg yolks with .3 cups sugar until custardy. beat egg whites until stiff and add .5 cups sugar. beat until stiff again. fold in the yellow, and fold in the flour. Line a cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper. spread batter out on the pan. cook at 375 for about 12 minutes. immediately when you remove from oven transfer cake to something like a towel. (well thats what i did, but i think it can be done better) peel off parchment paper, and roll cake WITHOUT the goop, roll it like rolling sushimaki, use the towel for the bamboo mat. when it cools, unroll it and slather a layer of the cream (jelly, custard, whathaveyou) on and then re-roll, using this time a piece of parchment as your sushi rolling mat. Eh voila!
A mizzling day, a lazy game, a worldy jelly roll cake... jelly roll.. jelly roll jazz; perhaps the recent depressing listenings here in the office of old school jazz and blues has somehow mystically pulled this entire day together in themed accompaniment. A jazzy blue cake, to make a rainy blue day, a little brighter, a little brighter for those birthday blues. The wind will dry the grass, and the wind will turn the pinwheels, so baby blow out those candles, cuz i wish you bluebirds in the spring, but spring where? Jupiter or Mars? So in other words you better save the last dance dance for me, and if you take my heart please don't break it, cuz cake was made for you and me!
100 down. A hundred more to go.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Grapefruits, also known as the forbidden fruit of Barbados (oh yeah...) are surprisingly produced in the greatest quantity in the United States, China pulling a not-so tight Second by around 50% fewer the export capacity. If only the gold count were the same...High in vitamin C, and antioxidents (yes let's get our levels checked) grapefruits are that "classic" diet food. But my friends, did you know that the flesh of a grapefruit is 90.48% water? Perhaps it is why we reach for one when we are parched, when we are thirsty and tired, burned a little by the sun, and sweaty even at a standstill. Refreshing, a slap in the face, cool and sour refresh us. But if it's sour, you can't forget to add the sweet.
So a summer cake, what would you make a summer cake from? Too hot in the kitchen, that is the correct answer. But if you can handle the heat (we here at the Salty Cod are building our heat tolerance) then fire up the ovens. But we must have a reason to make a cake, cakes need venues, need purpose, that is what solidifies a cakes being. Give me a reason, and I will make you a cake. Then let's swim in the lake.
My housemate S is having guests, that's a reason. Ancien amis from my first two years in Spokane expecting the revival of mallory-experimental baked goods, that's a reason. How about a selfish reason. I dedicate this cake to my knee! Yes, my little knee who has come back to me. Who bakes a cake for a knee. So perhaps, maybe this one time, I will write for grapefruits, as my editor told me, why not write about grapefruits for grapefruits? they deserve. So, I baked this cake for the sake of grapefruits. 14 August/Aout/ Agosto is now grapefruit day. Hey, so on y va.
Grapefruit Grass Cake:
mix dry ingredients. in a seperate bowl beat sugar and oil, add eggs, add yogurt, add juice, add zest. Combine the wet and dry. butter and flour two round cake pans, and cook for ~30 minutes at 350.
Candied grapefruit: carefully remove peel from grapefruit, cut into thin strips. boil in water in a saucepan for 1 minute, and repeat for times. In a skillet, dissolve 1 cup of sugar into half a cup of water and bring to boil. boil peels in syrup for 10 minutes. Remove and let drip dry on a rack for minimum 4 hours. Once dry and sticky, roll in sugar. Et voila! Use leftover syrup for glaze, or repeat procedure using lemongrass, though dicard the grass when syrup is acquired.
Grapefruit buttercream: .5 cup butter beaten, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup grapefruit juice with pulp. Whip it all together.
Ingrédients: 200g farine du blé ~ 2 cuiller à café lévure chimique ~ 200g sucre ~ 8oz yaourt ~ 110 ml d'huile ~ 3 oeufs ~ 1 sachet de vanille sucré ~ 2 cuiller à soupe de zest du pomplemousse ~ 50 ml de jus de pomplemousse.
mélangez les ingrédients séches. dans un autre bol, fouettez les oeufs, sucre, et huile, ajoutez le yaourt, ajoutez le jus, ajoutez le zest. Mélangez les deux. Diviser la batture entre deux ronds. Faissez cuire pour ~30 minutes à 180.
Pamplemousse Sucré: Enlevez le peau doucement, et coupez en petite tranches longs. Faissez bouillir de l'eau dans un petite casserole avec les peaus pour un minute. Repetez 4 fois. Dans un auter casserole, faissez bouilli 200g du sucre et 125ml de l'eau. Mélangez les peaus dans le sirop pour 10 minutes.Enlevez et se dessécher pour 4 heurs. Roullez dans sucre.
A cake for the sake of grapefruits. They deserve. Pink is such a happy color, we do not eat enough pink food. Though I made this cake from wheat, I enjoy it none the less. Sight and smell may be just as powerful senses as taste. No not really, but you look, and I look. We look together. And next time, we try it with gluten free flour. Eat a grapefruit, don't think about the heat, think about...think about the grapefruit.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
In this months National Geographics Traveler magazine columnist John Rosenthal dives into the pol-it-i-cal big brotherhood of yet more airport security programs by the US homeland security department. In short, get ready for yet even more difficulty at the airport. The TSA have found a second passion aside from protecting transportation against the irksome pests known as travelers and commuters--cattle ranching. Since January of 2007 Americans have been required to carry passports to the previous safe-spots, ok happy neighbors of Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The next airport security jumble appears now to be the mandatory holding of a REAL ID card to travel in and outside of the counrty. Have you heard of Real ID? I hadn't. Why? Perhaps it is because our states are finally starting to fight back.
The Deparment of Homeland Security passed the REAL ID law in 2005 by an endorsement of the 9/11 Commision. The law went into affect May 2008. Haven't seen it in your state yet? Then chances are your state is one of the fifty that have "put it off" through requisition of extension. Fifty? Why yes fifty of the fifty. A national identity card? In the United States? Are Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry rolling in their graves? They've been rolling for almost eight years now as our states rights have been exponentially deteriorating, so maybe they'll start doing summersaults. Are there any states rights anymore? United States, states states states of America. Aiiiia. Major opposition to the REAL ID is played by States rights advocats and the American Civil Liberties Union with arguments nesting in high costs, loss of privacy, and the kicker: how the hell does this protect anything against terrorism?
Along with the REAL ID, the TSA has come up with yet another brilliant idea in protecting US citizens against themelves--Secure Flight program. Nothing new, Secure Flight is a Federal screening program that runs all passenger names against two No Fly lists before granting "permission" to fly about the country. Meaning in effect, that now all passengers in the US would be granted or denied permission by the Government each time they fly. Though with the institution of the Known Traveler Number, those who fly frequently and have proven not to be a security threat to our nation may avoid those "sticky" yet common "oops" of harrassment and boarding denial that occurs to thousands of innocents each year. Who is on the no-fly list anyways? Author Bruce Schneier puts it quite elegantly, "The no fly list is a list of people so dangerous they cannot be allowed to fly under any circumstance, yet so innocent we can't arrest them even under the Patriot Act." Even? Now that's saying something.
Are we safer in the airport? Are we just meant to feel safer? Why should an innocent citizen, for example, myself, feel absolutely paranoid and guilty for just trying to board a plane in or to her own country? US flights cannot be attempted or managed while sober at risk of nervous breakdown, while in contrast air travel in Europe is quite relaxing. Personal experience has provided me a great loathing of American air travel. Remember San Fransisco? Why do my 35 minute air time flights from Seattle to Spokane routinely take a head pounding 6-7 hours of my day? Is it really necessary to take flip flops off during boarding security? In Europe never are you asked to remove your shoes. Experience gave me the impression that travel and transportation in the European Union is there FOR the customers, for the travelers, while traveling in America one recieves the feeling of "how dare you be trying to travel you nameless cow" just one in the hurd of millions of numbered passengers awaiting government "permission" to use a service made for, paid by, and created by us, we, the people. Yes the people.
Since Spetember 11, airport security and federal control over the skies has grown astronomically in protection against terrorist threats. But there is a line between protection and power lust, also known as abuse. A law should be deamed usable only if that law actually proves useful to its end under its justification. Otherwise, it is what the English language denotes a smokescreen.
What needs to be changed--many things. But above all others is the need to abort the practice of treating individuals as criminals. Racial profiling is still if not more so a major practice at American airports.
Salty Cod anecdote: My return flight from Paris, looking a complete mess with shaky arms and ghost-tear stained cheecks, i crossed the French security checkpoint of Charles de Gaulle into the International wing. "Titre de Séjour s'il vous plait" the agent demanded. Hmmm, c'était epuissé au debut du mois, savez-vous ca? yes, I replied still sniffeling, but it's not my fault that my green card expired, you should ask your government why they would give me such a card. He turns to his buddy who shrugs, and he in turn shrugs and returns my card to me, "ok well have a nice flight, and don't be sad miss, you'll be back soon" Merci. I reply as I smile thinking if I were in the US with an expired green card there would be a SWAT team already pinning me to the ground with tasers.
A was held aside from the rest and made to wait while the rest of the passengers went through. He offered to hand me my laptop over the railing so i could board without waiting for him. I refused, no i'll wait for you this is ridiculous. Twenty minutes more of security screening, phone calls, and then finally the "ok, you can board." I had never been more ashamed to be an American in my life. A merely shrugged, you get used to it, in the end they always let me board though! This is crime against himanity.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Passport to (insert destination here) is a hit series on the Travel Channel; previous editions include passport to Latin America and Passport to Europe, and now Passport to Great Weekends (in the US, Canada, and Mexico). Now the show is not food-centered like Anthony's, it is a more rounded "guide" similar to Rick Steves show...though you don't find yourself in a drowsy comotose stuper at the end of the hour that is often a result of a Steves viewing (sorry Rick).