Monday, July 9, 2012

What the hull

Every year we buy at least a flat of strawberries to freeze for later.  We hull them and lay them out on silpats, throw them into the deep freeze, then transfer them to gallon bags once they're hard.  It's great because you can pull out 1 berry or 50, depending upon your needs.

I don't have a strawberry huller, though.  Doing this with a paring knife has always been a pain, and inevitably winds up wasting a bit of the fruit (not that the chickens mind).  This year I rummaged through my utensil drawer and came up with a perfect solution.

A corn cob holder works perfectly!  Alton Brown would be proud: I turned a unitasker into a multi-tasker.  Poke the longer prong into the center of the berry and rotate the shorter one around.  Sometimes it doesn't quite make it but a quick pop of the potato peeler and it's all set.

By the way, while I love having tile counter tops, I hate having 4" tile counter tops with white grout.  What a rotten pain in the arse to keep clean.  It requires a toothbrush and a good hour to get these spotless.  Someday - you know, when we're rich - we'll replace it with... well, something different.

I've been riding my bike to work again.  It's actually more convenient than driving, not to mention faster.  Biking is 15 minutes door-to-door whereas it's more like 20 when I drive because I have to park a couple of blocks away.  Biking, strangely, allows me to bring more with me because I'm not hoofing it down 3 blocks of hill (and then back up in the evening) with armloads of cargo.

I discovered recently that several of my co-workers have never had fondue.  Quelle horreur!  I spent a year in the region of France called Savoie ("sahv-wah"), which is in the Alps' foothills.  Fondue is a regional specialty.  You can feed several people for around $30, which is relatively cheap when you compare that to the $100 or more it costs at The Melting Pot.

And so I thought you might get a chuckle from this picture.  Here are the contents of my bike panniers today.  It made me laugh on my way to work, knowing that people would be surprised to find out what made up my cargo.
I had - take a deep breath - a complete fondue set, dish towels (because I hate using paper towels at work to dry dishes), wine, homemade iced mocha mix, dill and sweet pickles for a coworker, brown rice pudding for breakfast, cherries, a nail kit, sandals, wine opener, nutmeg grater, garlic, sunglasses, cheese, and my purse.

And I rode to work in a skirt.

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