A Twistedly Funny Visitor

(Post 66 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

I had a laugh today. The doorbell rang late morning. I thought that maybe Walmart was super early for once. Nope.

It was a woman selling prepaid funeral packages. 😂 It must be the current context that makes her visit so funny!

I later learned that Walmart will no longer surprise me because they now send an email letting me know my order has gone out. The timing ended up being perfect for me to have a beer with dinner. We have strict alcohol sale restrictions right now, like having to have it delivered, so I haven’t had a beer in weeks because I don’t need beer badly enough to order it by itself. I was waiting until I could add it to another order. When I got a call this morning that they were out of XX, I was a bit bummed, but gave them permission to sub whatever else they had except Corona. So I was delighted that, somehow, they got XX by the time the order went out, and that it even arrived cold-ish!

A long-time reader and online friend arrived from Saskatchewan recently. I put off us meeting until I felt comfortable that he hadn’t picked up anything during his long layover in CDMX. Last night, I had him over for tacos. I texted my favourite taco place up the street at 6:15 to get in line for a 7:30 delivery. I wanted fixings for 12 tacos, plus 1 litre of horchata. They told me it would be better value to get a half kilo of al pastor meat with all the fixings, so I told them to go ahead. There ended up being enough meat, tortillas, and fixings for 15 tacos, and there were beans (frijoles charros) and totopos! We got through the meat and tortillas, but I still had a ton of salsas, chopped onion and cilantro, beans, and totopos left.

I’m on a soft/easy to chew diet this month due to my braces, so I can’t eat crunchy totopos. But I can eat them soft in nachos… I happened to catch the cheese guy this morning, so I had fresh Oaxaca cheese. So for dinner, I blitzed the beans/peppers/bacon almost smooth and soaked the totopos in them for a few minutes, then added cheese and heated the whole thing through.

Then, I added generous ladles of liquid fire (salsa verde and salsa de chipotle) and creamy garlic sauce, as well as a good sprinkle of fresh onions and cilantro.

My improvised nachos turned out very close to what you can get in restaurants here (my beans were much soupier, though) and were super tasty and braces-friendly. I only wish I’d remembered I have pickled jalapeños in the pantry! It was an excellent use of leftovers.

Bonita would like me to add that she loves Oaxaca cheese. I gave her a nice chunk with her dinner and as I was chopping up my portion, she came into the kitchen, sat at my feet, and looked at me with the most forlorn look that I had to give her more. 🦊🥰

Crêpes!

(Post 65 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

Yes, eggs have officially taken over my life. 😆 I have a long list of foods to rediscover! Today, I decided to try my hand at making crêpes, my mother’s speciality. Whether I get off a plane late or it’s the first morning of a visit, there will be crêpes waiting. They always give me a stomach ache, but they’re worth it. Well, behold crêpes that don’t hurt! 😋

The recipe I found called for four eggs and I had one really large duck egg in my last delivery. I decided to halve the recipe and use just the single large duck egg in it, then adjust the quantity of milk. Look at that pretty yolk! You’ll notice a lot more yolk than white. So you can’t just substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs without making other adjustments to the recipe. The rule of thumb is one duck egg for two medium chicken eggs, and that might work for something like crêpes, but not necessarily in a fancy cake. I have a lot of experimenting to do!

Can you spot a bit of shell on the yolk? Duck eggs are very difficult to crack!

I can’t do real milk anymore, so I just added almond milk until I got the consistency I wanted:

“They” say the first crêpe or pancake is always the worst, but my first turned out to be the best one!

My non-stick pan is way too big, so I ended up with three giant crêpes. I might have ran off to Amazon after brunch to order myself a proper crêpe pan. 😇

My mother usually makes her crêpes with buckwheat. My favourite addition to those are stewed prunes (🤷‍♀️), but I like maple syrup on regular crêpes. I treated myself to a container of it last time I was at Costco. I have not had maple syrup in eons. It’s one of those things that flows through my veins that’s a bit dangerous to have in the fridge. But boy was I glad to have it today!

I cannot believe how perfect these crêpes were. Excellent first effort. I’m such an amazing cook to be doing so well with difficult things like poached eggs and crêpes on the first effort! 😆

A New Culinary Adventure

(Post 64 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

Since eating my first egg, I’ve been obsessed with eggs. I’ve been watching YouTube videos to learn various cooking techniques and trolling the web for recipes. I just know that I’m going to find the perfect way for me to prepare them and then I’m going to want them as part of my regular diet, not just in baked goods.

Egg #2 was scrambled:

I wasn’t a fan. It should have been delicious with the butter, crème fraîche, and cheese in there, but I did not like the texture at all.

Egg #3 went into banana bread:

I usually make banana bread with a “chia egg.” I did not notice a taste difference making my usual recipe with an egg, but the texture was so much nicer, less gummy and more crumbly, and I got more of a rise.

Egg #4 was a cloud egg:

A friend thought a cloud egg, where you whip the white into a meringue and add ingredients, partially cook it, and then add the yolk to cook to desired doneness, might solve my problem of not being a fan of egg white but loving a runny yolk. She was right! However, separating a duck egg is very difficult, even for experienced duck egg preparers, and the whites don’t whip up as nicely as do chicken eggs. So while this was really delicious (the meringue had chorizo, sharp cheddar, and yellow onion in it and the yolk was runny in the middle of this), it was a lot of work for an okay result.

Always one who wants to run before I walk, I tried to poach egg #5 for lunch today!

Really, for a first effort, I’d give this a 7/10. I failed at coating the yolk in the white, but the yolk was perfect. I added a little A1 sauce to the white and it was lovely, better than how the fried egg white turned out (I’ve since learned that duck egg whites get rubbery when overcooked, so I’m going to try fried again but take it off the heat sooner). I think that this was tied to the cloud egg in terms of how much I enjoyed it and being so much less work, will probably be my method of choice for a quick egg meal.

I don’t think I’m at the point of saying I love eggs but I’m really enjoying this new culinary journey I am on. I put in an order for more eggs and whenever they get here, I am going to be making fresh pasta with them!

I Ate an Egg!

(Post 63 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

As many of my long-time readers know, I have an intolerance to chicken eggs. Meaning eating a chicken egg won’t kill me, but it does make me feel ill. Chicken eggs smell rotten to me, which the allergist told me is a defence mechanism and proof that my body doesn’t tolerate eggs. A slice of cake made with two or three eggs is fine, mayonnaise or flan is not. I have completely cut out eggs at home, going to vegan blogs to find egg-free recipes for cakes, pancakes, pasta, and even things like frittatas and omelettes (hint: besan). But there is always a natural curiosity when you can’t have something.

Well, a few months ago, I was transcribing an interview with a famous Australian actress when she revealed that she had to eat an egg for a scene in her movie and that they had to use a duck egg because she is allergic to chicken eggs.

I immediately got on Google. Yep, people can be allergic to a chicken egg but be fine with a duck egg (and vice-versa) because they have different types of proteins in them! I got obsessed with the idea of trying a duck egg, especially fried and with a runny yolk to dip toast into. I thought duck eggs would be easy to find here. Jajaja! I struck out with all my contacts and finally went to the local food hunt group. Patricia at L’épicure gourmet, a treasure of a fine grocery store, said she had some!

I headed there this morning. This store is super expensive and you have to know what items are true treasures that are worth any amount of money and what are things you could find cheaper in a supermarket. So that’s why I spent $300 (about $18CAD) on two tins of UK Heinz beans… 😀

The eggs were very affordable, $4.5 each (about $0.27CAD). I also loaded up on yellow onions (so glad I have room to freeze them now!), Heinz chili sauce (apparently a very Canadian product), A1 steak sauce, and the last of their pastrami.

I came in and put together a proper fry-up. The duck egg was very hard to crack, kind of plasticky, and I got a couple of bits of shell in my pan.

Research told me to fry the egg in a generous amount of butter and then cover it with a lid to let it steam a little. I was surprised when I took the lid off that the beautiful yellow yolk now had a white film over it. Yes, that’s pastrami. I would not be so pedestrian as to have bacon with duck eggs. 😀

The first thing I noticed was that I knew I was cooking eggs, there was a distinctive “egg smell,” but it was not nasty. It didn’t have the rotten component to it. Fascinating.

First bite!

I liked the yolk on toast. There wasn’t much flavour, but it was creamy and rich and I knew it was very nutritious, high in the B12 and iron that I have a hard time getting naturally.

The white tasted vaguely like egg, but not repulsively like chicken eggs. I liked the crispy buttery bits the best. I think a fried egg might be a nice addition to a breakfast sandwich with the yolk running over everything. But I’m not particularly excited to try other methods of making eggs, like scrambled or poached, the experience was that underwhelming. But so far, I feel fine, so if I can actually digest my lunch without regretting it, I’ll be able to make my “famous” onion quiche again with those yellow onions!

And I’ll have to go back to La épicure for some 00 flour because I want to make myself some homemade fresh pasta, which, let me tell you, tastes like cooked glue if you don’t have egg in it!

I think my culinary life has changed. Giving it a few more hours before I celebrate, but the last time I had something super eggy, I knew almost immediately that I’d made a huge mistake, so I’m very optimistic!