Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quiet Night at Home

(Hmmmm. I began to type this title and it popped up. I must have used it in the former blog.)

I was going to go to the gym tonite but decided to stay home. B. is at work but has tomorrow night off. It's been hectic around here and also at work. I'm tired. Can make up the gym visit. I haven't been on the blog since Saturday.

Last night I came home and began finishing off a sauerbraten that had been marinating since last Thursday night. I hadn't made this dish in a while. I came to love it years ago while I was an exchange student in Germany. Before then, I don't believe I'd ever had it. At least in the region of Germany where I spent most of the year (Westphalia), this dish was made for special occasions -- I think I first had it at Christmas dinner.

I had run out of juniper berries (for the marinade) a while back and, as expected, the local Publix didn't have them. Rather than make an almost impossible mid-week run to Laurenzo's or Epicure Market, I decided to go with pickling spice, as called for in a recipe from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. (I'd also gathered up a few recipes from the Web to consult.) The pickling spice did a serviceable job, but I prefer the flavor imparted by the juniper berries and will stick to using those from now on.

Yesterday I also prepared a sauteed cabbage side dish from The Joy of Cooking, along with potato dumplings -- from a box. Both turned out excellent. I'd been afraid to subject finicky B. to the traditional German sweet-and-sour cabbage (which I love) and go with the sauteed cabbage, since I'd made it before and he liked it. This is a rather simple affair -- a grated head of cabbage sauteed in bacon drippings with onion or garlic (I used both) and then baked in the oven with a cup of sour cream. (I also drizzled some vinegar in it.) The last thing I made was the gravy from the meat marinade, thickening it with the usual ginger snaps. Came out great but everything took several hours, including cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. Hence, I'm taking the night off.

Changing the subject. What about all the flap over John Kerry's maliciously misconstrued joke! I'd like to see George Bush come out and apologize for causing the deaths of 2,800 U.S. soldiers and who knows how many Iraqi citizens. (More anon -- have to run to the store.)

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