Little Measuring Cup

Alright my darlings, tonight I have a wide and random array of topics to cover. But I am getting to the bottom of my pile of post-it’s this evening, so that is simply how the cookie crumbles.

Let’s begin with a disclaimer; when the inception of this blog occurred, which was one of my life’s better moments, driving south on 101 with Pep – well, she was actually driving, and both of us were yammering away at 101 miles an hour… we found the elusive gimmick, and then we began to hash out it’s details.

One of the ideas that she put forth for the rules of engagement were to not drink and write…right. No really, I did try. But I am a writer, and we are nothing if not liars (and drunks). So my new rule is not to blog, while totally blotto. That I can manage – just the same, I do have a good buzz on this evening. Not at all by surprise, however. Before I headed home this evening after work, I picked up a bottle of Hakutsuru draft Sake. About $3.50 for an 8oz bottle that is roughly equivalent to 2 or 3 cocktails of – whatever. & then I opened the bottle of Primitivo. Which is why I am even discussing drinking at all…

I usually wouldn’t go on like this, right? But I am so taken with Primitivo because it it the varietal of grape that is the ancestor of Zinfandel, classically my favorite wine of all, and to stumble upon this granddaddy of my dear friend is a treat. Even in the snootier circles, this grape has earned a bit of notoriety of it’s own standing, but just the same, not a single bottle of it has sold off of my shelves as of yet. So I bought a bottle of my own, and opened it as an encore to the sake. & I usually wouldn’t be hitting the sauce quite this hard either, but it’s been a day, & yesterday was Valentine’s Day, traditionally the most depressing day of the year for singles. For me it was just extra busy at work, but then today (the day after) my Pa got me some new hiking boots, so that was pretty nice… since I had worn a hole thru the bottom of the last ones.

So element #1 is Primitivo, juicy and robust, like a new pair of boots! Element #2, is the little measuring cup, such an innocuous sounding scrap of glass, but this is where things get weird. I bought this little cup from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, Ha – Ha! I thought I might win, I actually thought I would win, but I didn’t  – I did however, buy a bunch of their crap, some of which has proven to actually be fairly useful or interesting, the rest of which is simply, crap.  These little measuring cups are cool because they do conversions; teaspoons, tablespoons, milliliters and ounces. As someone who aspires to be in the recipe publication business, this is a very handy thing, they come in a set of three…

But when I look at this little cup (it’s two sister’s still snug in their cardboard boxes) I do not see just the wee scrap of glass, inscribed with numbers, letters, and demarcations. I see a ominous vacuum of everything that is vacant from my life – time, space, dignity? Nonetheless, I feel that these lil cuppies will serve me well one day, when we are ready.

The one major shortcoming of this cup is that it converts to ounces by volume only – obviously. You need a scale to convert dry ounces, but then I could pour the dry ingredient from the scale, into the cup, and tally that… I actually did have a nice little scale for a second there, but the ex took it when he kicked me out of the trailer (wow, did that really happen?) I also used to have a Kitchenaid mixer! The other ex kept that one, and probably gave it to his peach of a new girlfriend… and that kids, is why I am as single as the day is long. Men are thieves.

Another random thought on my kitchen of the future, is a little appliance that I think could replace the microwave, for me at least – the toaster oven! We have one at work, and it is such a little trooper. Also, at the Diner we used a convection oven in tandem with the micros (they don’t require an exhaust hood…) and for our customers that were really anti nuked-food, we would make their stuff in there, it just took three times as long, and it really doesn’t do pasta… But I thought of this when I was making toast the other day – it is very cold here in the Sierras, especially this time of year, so the butter is very hard, and that led me to muse on how nice it is to make toast at work, in the toaster oven, because you can just put the butter right on the bread at the start, and it all heats up together, you could even make cheesy bread! This will also be key to garlic bread, without having to heat up the whole big oven. Hmmm…

I am trying to revise the Diner’s recipes so that there will not be any need for a microwave, but without sacrificing the overall convenience of the food. I don’t know that this concept will hold across the board, but the toaster oven bit is a good lead.

So I managed to keep this to three random topics, I had to draft the piece and sleep on it tho. Oh yes, one last bit about the entry just before this one, where I wax poetic about the Dharma? I certainly do not expect to single-handedly save the world with this book of mine, but it is my intention to lend a hand.



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