July 05, 2009

Countdown to Harry Potter

No matter how good the movie, the books are better. I can think of few exceptions to this rule and the Harry Potter productions are not one of them. That being said, I enjoy the movies and look forward to every new installment. When Goblet of Fire came out two movies ago, I hadn't had time reread the book before seeing it. Reading it afterwards allowed me to appreciate both. During the movie, I didn't remember enough specifics from the book to notice what was missing while reading it afterward was a rediscovery of scenes forgotten. I employed the same philosophy for Order of the Phoenix, confirming this wasn't a fluke.


This time 'round I've actually got a bit of time so I intend to reread books 1-5, saving Half Blood Prince for after the movie. Over the last two days, I've zipped through books 1-2 and started Azkaban (my favorite!). Now, if I can just pace myself I won't be tempted to read Prince until after the movie ...

This has become a food blog of late, but that has more to do with actually being inspired to cook lately. Since I joined that food collective at work , not only am I determined to use up all my produce, I'm trying to work in new recipes as well. There's been good and not so good.

I've discovered that I really don't like radishes -- well, not unless they are prepared the Korean way (a la mom) but for those, I need Daikon radishes - not these garden radishes. I found this salad idea but found myself picking out only the avocado to eat, leaving the radishes behind. They are too bitter for me, I guess. The idea of cooking them doesn't appeal to me at all. Warm radishes? Just the thought is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Oh well.

But. Garlic scapes? They are a whole different animal. They even look like one!


I'd never heard of these until they appeared in my weekly delivery. They came with a pesto recipe, but I wanted to find other uses. I discovered they perfectly complemented the leftover sausage ravioli I had -- sauteed in olive oil with basil and oregano and then tossed with the ravioli. They're milder than actual garlic, with a slight sweetness. Despite looking like a curly version of scallions, they are much firmer and have a nice crunch.

But the real winner this past week is this Indian twist I found.


I used Dutch Gold potatoes since I had them lying around. I wanted to add some meat to the dish, so while the potatoes were cooking, I browned a pound of ground turkey seasoned with salt, pepper and about 2 teaspoons garam masala and then set it aside. Since the meat was seasoned with the masala, I opted not to add Indian chilies as the recipe recommends. Instead, after adding the panch phoran, I stirred the veggies about a minute. Then I added the meat and continued cooking until the mustard seeds began to pop. Topped it off with this simple raita. I wish I had more scapes to throw in, but I used the last of the bunch. This is definitely something I will make again, though I suppose I will need to find a substitute for the scapes once their season is over ...

Last but not least, a little shout out to what is becoming my new favorite LYS. Though the Village Yarn Shop will always have a soft spot in my heart it is not as convenient since it moved from its downtown location. I often find myself instead at the Yarn Boutique which is a bigger (just big enough that it's quite cozy!) and better reincarnation of the former Knit n Purl, since it's just up the street. I was there earlier this week and they wound my yarn for me -- winding three hanks of this Cascade 220 in less time than it would take me to wind one [the old fashioned way of course with the hank looped around my knees and my thumb's circulation being cut off].


I've been to other shops where they point you in the direction of the winder and let you have at it, which is fine, but what service! Wonder whether Spirit Work will pick up the habit when it moves in just down the way ... Of course, with three yarn shops all within a relatively easy distance, I certainly can't complain!

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