Sunday, August 17, 2008

Making Stock, Taking Stock

The chicken carcass had been sitting in the fridge for three days so it seemed like the right day to make stock. Not to mention the crushing exhaustion that has been dogging me for months now demanded a little R&R if I had any hope of making the Weekly Deadline From Hell, and the packet of Tanga Fresh buttermilk in the fridge was posing a direct challenge to me: Palak Paneer. Tying it all together neatly was the borrowed copy of The Black Swan that I had started reading late last night to combat insomnia.

The Stock: One chicken carcass left over after feeding a hungry Midwest American dude last Wednesday+ One quartered red onion+ one quartered carrot+ teespoon dry sage. Boil until reduced, top with cold water, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, strain of final goodness into container for refrigeration. It turned out better than my last stock, must say, and had less icky chicken fat to strain out (what do they feed those animals?!). The meat from the carcass made a nice chicken salad brunch.

The Cheese: One packet of Tanga Fresh Mtindi+half teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to the boil, simmer for about ten minutes whtout stirring so the curds don't get too skinny. Strain to separate curds and whey, sit on your tuffet and eat. But if you want to make paneer, save curds in little tupperware container and refrigerate. Google what to do with whey, or just drink it with a pure water chaser like I did.

The Book*: Suh-weet. As your truly is undergoing a sort of personal renaissance, it has been interesting to see what grabs me in the stuff i have been reading and re-reading. This pop-philosophy book is a good one, but I will not deny that I am enjoying it for probably all of the wrong reasons: i like the author's mischief, i find the independence of thinking inspiring, the new information exhilarating if obscure, the language delicious. But I am nowhere near intellectually rigorous enough to truly understand what he is saying, especially when we get into the empirical stuff (i am unapologetically intuitive). I get it, but not in any directly applicable way. I will need to read this one a few times, maybe get one of the economists in my life to break it down for me.

What I am really reading the book for is in fact the snippets of autobiography that the author has included in the book for context. This self-professed Levantine's recollections of his childhood and the development of a sense of self, identity and agency were definitely not of the garden-variety- and I loved them.

*The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. What's on your bedside table?

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