Sunday, February 12, 2006

A note on the name of this blog

When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to eat at restaurants. Home made bread was crumbly and wierd, and soda seemed better than juice. I still love eating at restaurants, and drink my share of pop. But somewhere along the way I discovered that eating at home involved more than good food, and had pleasures that restaurants could not compare with. Add to this that there are so terribly few good restaurants in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and we have plenty of opportuinty to make food that is, as Kristen said, "Better than the restaurant."

4 Comments:

Blogger Lynndi said...

Dear Jaybriel,

I like your new blog. Know that I will log on every few minutes just to make sure it's still there.

I have a terrible story of woe for you, about how the other half (the half who can't cook) live. Warning: this dramatic tale ends in mystery! Yesterday evening, after a weekend of casino gigs, little sleep, and too much driving, I tried my favorite method of relaxation, you know - THE bad habit. We arrived home in the afternoon, I delivered kid to b'day party across town, unloaded drums back in Urbana in the snow, ran back across town to pick up kid, went home to find Jesse struggling with cold/flu symptoms, exhaustion, and reeftank care (thank you so much for keeping everyone alive this weekend), and realized I had eaten nothing but coffee all day. Now, you and I both know that you can't really eat coffee unless you're eating coffee beans which is completely crazy, so I dressed my poor delicate family and urged them into the car for a short trip to our favorite restaurant, one so yummy that even you would go there. The food was amazing, as always, and the company also fine. One of the folks we see there pretty often asked why I hadn't used his soup recipe yet. Can you help me figure out the answer?

9:01 AM  
Blogger Lynndi said...

Dear Jaybriel,

I like your new blog. Know that I will log on every few minutes just to make sure it's still there.

I have a terrible story of woe for you, about how the other half (the half who can't cook) live. Warning: this dramatic tale ends in mystery! Yesterday evening, after a weekend of casino gigs, little sleep, and too much driving, I tried my favorite method of relaxation, you know - THE bad habit. We arrived home in the afternoon, I delivered kid to b'day party across town, unloaded drums back in Urbana in the snow, ran back across town to pick up kid, went home to find Jesse struggling with cold/flu symptoms, exhaustion, and reeftank care (thank you so much for keeping everyone alive this weekend), and realized I had eaten nothing but coffee all day. Now, you and I both know that you can't really eat coffee unless you're eating coffee beans which is completely crazy, so I dressed my poor delicate family and urged them into the car for a short trip to our favorite restaurant, one so yummy that even you would go there. The food was amazing, as always, and the company also fine. One of the folks we see there pretty often asked why I hadn't used his soup recipe yet. Can you help me figure out the answer?

9:01 AM  
Blogger Jaybriel said...

Lynndi,

I'm delighted you like my blog, and are checking it regularly. Indeed, I know the restaurant you were at and yes, I think it is dangerously delicious. I also think the fact that you and the Jessbot are in like flynn there with Coolio Abdullio makes you perfectly situated to become the best cooks in the universe. For now, I think the best thing for you to do is to entrust the recipe for safekeeping to someone you know who might care for it lovingly.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Lynndi said...

The recipe comes not from our fave chef but from another there who is quite in the know when it comes to chow. Take good care of it for me!

CHAYOTE SOUP

The delicately flavored fruit chayote is ubiquitous in the central highlands of Mexico. It varies greatly in size, ranges in color from white to dark green, and can have prickly or smooth skin. The variety most commonly available in the United States (also known as a vegetable pear or mirliton) has smooth, pale green skin that can be eaten but is sometimes removed.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 45 min

2 scallions, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon minced small fresh hot green chile such as serrano or Thai, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 chayotes (22 oz trimmed, or 26-28 oz untrimmed), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and pitted if necessary, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups water
_ teaspoon white pepper
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs


Cook scallions, garlic, and chile in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chayotes, salt, and 1 tablespoon cilantro and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add water and simmer, covered, until chayotes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in remaining tablespoon cilantro and purée soup in 2 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Season with salt.

Chef’s notes:

Additions may include
1 teaspoon of chipotle
1 teaspoon oregano
several fresh sweet chiles, diced and added after soup has been pureed.

11:53 PM  

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