Pete Lee

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Turkey Week Update

Well folks, it's been a little while since I've posted an update. I've been very busy with some short-term IT contracts while trying to find a good longer term (3-6 month) opportunity.

Tales from the Kitchen Lab
With a lot more spare time, I've had more time to hone my cooking skills. My new favorite discovery is that delicious soups can be created from relatively few ingredients. For example: caramelize one large diced onion, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a couple of pinches of kosher salt over low heat for 20-30 minutes (no burning!), then combine with four pieces of whole browned chicken thigh and add just enough water to cover to produce a very thick mixture. Bring to boil, then allow to simmer at low heat for three to six hours, adding only enough water to keep things covered. This basic recipe produces a surprisingly rich soup, to which you can conservatively add salt and other herbs (black and/or red pepper, Italian seasoning, etc.). For even better results, refrigerate this mixture and skim the fat off. If you're wary of leaving a stove on unattended for four hours, use a crock pot. Total cost of this meal: about $2--and much better than Taco Bell.

Opera Season, Act I
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Portland Opera's performance of Faust. This experience reminded me of opera's unique place in the arts: a glittering, spectacular amalgam of poetry, theatre and music. In the alarmingly evocative Act I, I thought about periods in life where I traded my own time and person for something that, in retrospect, left me woefully impoverished. This experience reminded me that in a world full of pop music, rife with hooks and salacious videos, the fine arts still have their place: to take our minds and hearts to places within we fear to tread, much less discover.

Turkey Day--And A Rant
My friends Eric & Chandra have invited me (and twenty five of their closest friends) over to their house for thanksgiving. A storied master of grilling, roasting and pickling alchemy, Eric will undoubtedly amaze us again with a sumptuous dinner. A little while ago, we talked about the amazing flavor of Heritage Turkeys (see this write up). Despite the cost (2-3x), I highly doubt you'll ever want to go back to the Beverly Hills-styled turkeys sold at the store. Fashioned by their agrarian masters with voluptuous breasts and dry personalities, these mass-marketed fowl provide but a wispy memory of the rich, full flavor enjoyed at harvest dinners past. Spend more on that turkey, and I'll guarantee you'll have something to celebrate about.

2 Comments:

  • Welcome back to cyberspace, Pete. The soup sounds very tasty and soul-warming. Sometimes the most simple things can be so wonderful.

    By Blogger Marcus, at Sunday, November 19, 2006 2:02:00 AM  

  • Hey Pete! It's Rachel of Butternut Squash Soup Fame. More precisely, I am invited with Shaumae to the din din and will preparing said soup (nothin' but fresh, organic & labor intensive loveliness...)

    Another question begs an answer. My friend Ann, the good doctaaaah you met at my house party 2 weeks ago... might she be able to join in the gobble gobble? She's moonlighting Wed. night and will be in need of some good comany! rachelcarillo@yahoo.com is the place to answer. for some reason, your DOT ORG address isn't recognized by my sys.

    Yours in soupiness,
    Rachel

    By Anonymous Rachel C., at Monday, November 20, 2006 9:42:00 PM  

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