Instead of fulfilling my patriotic obligation by whipping myself into a shopping frenzy worthy of Todd Palin in the Sudafed aisle of the Anchorage Piggly Wiggly, I have instead been a near shut-in, toiling away on this infernal device making CAD drawings in advance of an upcoming show. It has been fun, in its way, since the steep learning curve offers plenty of satisfaction; increasing fluency is its own reward. The resulting drawings are even more exciting, and I can’t wait to get the hundreds of little pieces milled so I can paint them and put them together. It’s been a while since I learned to do something new at this level, and it feels good.
I’ve been cooking, but taking time off from this has been most enjoyable. There will be plenty more to write about in 2012, but I thought I’d put up some pictures of recent meals to assuage what is no doubt a mounting and febrile panic on your part that I haven’t been getting enough to eat. To which I say, “Smelts! With caramelized turnips and leeks!”
There has also been a trip to Chicago, where I made a pretty nice Christmas dinner, but apart from a few phone pics on Twitter I didn’t bother to document it. It’s been happening a lot lately, especially when there is company; the photography gets in the way of both cooking and enjoyment.
Before we left, I made my famous Korean chicken wings again, except they were thighs. Just as good, and with even more meat. I could eat these every night.
Seared scallops and polenta made another nice dish, with a messy but lubricious brown butter pan sauce:
And more seafood: damn good panko-crusted fried calamari with a wicked sauce of Greek yogurt, capers, relish, yuzu juice, and mustard:
Finally, a cold and congealed gravy puck left from roasting a chicken (and some of the meat from same) gave me inspiration to make pot pies. Roots from the garden, leftover creamy celery root soup, the gravy, herbs, frozen peas, and garlic gave some serious body and flavor to the filling, and the caps of crust of course dressed up what is just a big steaming pile of leftovers into something positively luxe.
Next year I’ll get back into this writing thing, I swear. It’s been a nice break, after almost six years of pretty steady posting.