My son, the little man, loves both bananas and ketchup. What luck to find that the Philippines produces a ketchup made of bananas! You're looking at it right there, Jufran banana sauce, a product I for some reason have never noticed before at the Asian Mart. I also never noticed the black pepper sauce, which makes me feel a little dumb about being so enthusiastic about the chicken in black pepper sauce at Happy Seven in Toronto. There are lots of things one might not notice in an enormous, confusing multi-ethnic market and one of my resolutions for the days ahead is to notice more of them. For instance, today I also noticed Pocky, the Japanese biscuits dipped in chocolate or strawberry or green tea cream that I've read about on The Girl Who Ate Everything. Evidently they have appeared in my visual field many a time, as they're right next to the register, but today was the first time I picked up a box and put it in my cart. It is now clear to me that one cannot help but eat all the Pocky on the desk in front of one while while typing at a computer. One eats many, many Pocky this way. Perhaps even too many.
I was watching the Food Network yesterday afternoon because I was feeling too sick to do much else. I have a cold and a cough that has had me off-and-on out-of-commission for a couple of days. I didn't feel like reading or watching something I would really have had to pay attention to, so I tried some Molto Mario and some Everyday Italian, then some Simply Ming on PBS. I realized how little of this programming I watch these days. I used to get ideas for what to cook from the chefs on TV, but this function has been completely replaced by food blogs. Hence my Jufran and my Pocky and many other things I have been eating in the past few months. I also realized that Giada de Laurentiis has become more voluptuous than I remembered her, which explains some of the questionable Google traffic I keep getting, and that the commercials are still just as annoyingly frequent. Down with the Food Network!
I also spent much of today and yesterday sucking on Halls Mentho-Lyptus drops to soothe my throat and this has made almost all food taste kind of dull if not just bad. The Pocky tastes good but the chap chae noodles and potstickers I made for dinner were just kind of blah on my palate and the pasta with Italian sausage I had for lunch seemed uninspired. I think the food was fine. My bloody numb tongue was the problem. To that add the fact that I still don't have the cable to connect the camera to the computer, so taking pictures is basically useless, and I'm not much use to you, dear reader. I promise to cook something good and show it to you in a day or two or three but for now here are some belated forward-looking hey-it's-2006 thoughts. These are some things I want to eat in the next 362 days (in addition to Jufran fried rice and green tea Pocky).
-Organs. I have never tried most of the standard variety meats such as kidneys and sweetbreads. Beyond tongue and liver I'm basically clueless.
-Duck. I've never roasted a whole one of these or cooked the breasts on their own as the upscale restaurants do. The new public market always has fresh duck and I feel like I should be buying it to keep the supply going. Can one person make this kind of a difference? You never know.
-Lamb. I'm especially eager to roast a whole leg for a crowd but as of now I don't really have a crowd that would be interested in this kind of thing. Is that pathetic? I wish I could make it for you, my virtual dinner guests around the world. I'm also eager to experiment with ground lamb in middle eastern and south Asian ways.
-Braised veal dishes like osso buco. Never even tried it.
-Korean food. The bulgogi I made a few weeks ago was great but it's hard to know whether I'm on the right track with this stuff. There is but one Korean restaurant in Milwaukee and the usual sources can't tell me if it's really good or not. I might be missing something but it seems from my rather casual searching that Koreans have missed the food blogging bandwagon. For instance, there are no Korean blogs listed in Chef's Blogs directory. Koreans, where are you?
-Pickled vegetables. This is a continuation of Korean food, since east Asia seems to be a kind of pickled vegetable paradise. But the Jewish food of Eastern Europe has also produced its share of these.
Well that's enough for now. If I think of more I'll let you know. I'm now going to go numb my tongue in front of the tube. Allez Cuisine!