September was a short and quiet month in the kitchen, with one trip away from home at the beginning and one at the end. We have continued enjoying the last of the plums, peaches, tomatoes, and other late-summer vegetables from local sources, as well as the early apples, but we know we'll soon be settling for not-so-local choices. During the month, I have shared quite a few photos of our simple meals, but I haven't really made anything new or ambitious. Why would I interfere with the taste of a ripe local tomato, for example!
Honey is one great local item we can get here in Michigan. When you buy it from the bee keeper at the Farmers Market you have a much higher level of confidence that it isn't an adulterated horror show from China!
Although some outdoor chefs cook outside all year, we usually store our Weber grill in the winter. As a last farewell this fall: a new library book has been changing Len's ways of using our grill. Meathead
by barbecue chef Meathead Goldwyn (published 2016) has offered all sorts of technical and scientific explanations and suggestions about grilling! A ThermoPop thermometer, which very rapidly registers the temperature of meat on the grill was a suggested purchase inspired by the book. It will also be useful for bread baking.
|A Meathead recipe that Len followed with superb results: Marinated Lamb Loin Chops. They were tender and perfectly done. We'll probably end up buying our own copy of the book when it goes back to the library.|
The publisher's description lists a number of issues that are included in Meathead -- and they have not disappointed us:
"With the help of physicist and food scientist Prof. Greg Blonder, PhD, of Boston University, he explains why dry brining is better than wet brining; how marinades really work; why rubs shouldn't have salt in them; the importance of digital thermometers; why searing doesn't seal in juices; how salt penetrates but spices don't; when charcoal beats gas and when gas beats charcoal; how to calibrate and tune a grill or smoker; how to keep fish from sticking; cooking with logs; the strengths and weaknesses of the new pellet cookers; tricks for rotisserie cooking; why cooking whole animals is a bad idea; which grill grates are best; and why beer-can chicken is a waste of good beer and nowhere close to the best way to cook a bird." (source)
Besides preparing fresh produce and watching Len use the grill, most of my food activities in September consisted of reading and TV. I posted about several of the food books I read, but not so much about the new Netflix release of the Great British Baking Show.
|Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, judges of GBBS.|
We binge-watched all 10 episodes of the new GBBS: as always, in the US we are a year behind, so we were watching the 2017 season. It was the first post-BBC season, with new hosts and judges except for Paul Hollywood, but the formula for the show is so standardized, and the three replacements are so similar to the former ones, that I had a feeling that I was just watching it over and over again. But not a bad feeling, just a feeling.
|All of the contestants on the first episode of the show. Of course they were eliminated one by one until only three remained.|
On every season we have watched you could see the contestants sit like this and wait for judgement at the end of each episode.
It seemed to make sense to just sit down and watch the whole season -- in fact, we did the last six episodes on a single day from 3 PM to 10 PM with a bit of a break for a quick dinner.
|The final celebration, GBBS 2017 now on Netflix. Very much like every other final celebration!|
We arrived in Seattle Wednesday, September 26, so we're out of the kitchen and into a new no-cooking environment. By the time this post appears on the blog we should be on an expedition to the Pacific Northwest on a National Geographic ship (assuming all goes as planned). We also started the month with some travel to the east coast -- so the month in the kitchen was really very short.
Instead of a kitchen of our own, here's what we have been experiencing for the last few days of September, to complete this wrap-up:
|Dinner in Seattle at Duke's Seafood and Chowder: crab cakes and salmon!|
Local fish and seafood make a rare treat for us.
|Duke's kitchen, not mine!|
|The kitchen at Daniel's Broiler, showing the salamander where they cook the steaks. |
|We ordered our prime rib dinners before they ran out. A huge portion!|
|The view from our table at Daniel's Broiler, Lake Union, Seattle.|
I have scheduled this post to appear on September 30, and will link to Sherry's "In My Kitchen" blog event
if I have internet access from the ship, which we board September 29.