too hot to cook

Dimme Sum of Those!

It’s still too hot to want to cook, but we have to eat something. I suppose we could all sit around under the AC and eat cold cereal every night, but we have not fallen that far. Yet.

The jury is still out about whether just caving and having strawberry ice cream for dinner is déclassé or counts as one serving of fruit and one of dairy.

Tonight, the humans have decided on something of a compromise. They are having a Dim Sum Night–but someone else has had the chore of making all the morsels. One trip to the Oriental Grocery plus a rummage through the freezer for things bought on previous trips should turn up a respectable assortment of things to choose from. Now we just need a pot of boiling water, a bamboo steamer, and a skillet, and the stage is set for a quick dinner without a lot of prep time. And no hot oven, which is a deal-breaker these days.

The steamer is very cleverly made. I like it.

Mostly because I know that *I* will not be the one cleaning it.

Sigyn, let’s see what the humans picked out.

Gyoza. Good choice. Not Chinese, but still delicious, and the human male can usually make these without burning them.

Now wait just a minute! Soup dumplings are Chinese, but bulgogi? Definitely not. It is very pan-Asian in here tonight!

There are some other dumplings that will be boiled, as well as some broccoli with oyster sauce. I bet the broccoli was the human female’s idea, as a nod to “nutrition.”

Mmm! I think some things are ready! Rather than wait until everything is done, let’s sample them as they come.

The boiled dumplings look pale and sort of lonely on the plate, but they’re full of tasty meat and veggies, so I will happily put them out of their misery.

Soup dumplings!

These want a spoon, because they really are full of filling and soup! I looked up how they make them, and it turns out that the soup goes in as a sort of jelly and only melts into soup as the dumplings are cooked. Don’t watch the human female eat hers, Sigyn. I saw it once. It’s not pretty.

Here come the gyoza!

Crispy on the bottom, tender on the top. You distract the human female and I’ll snag us one or two of hers as well as our own.

Sigyn gets excited about broccoli. So excited, in fact, that she forgot the oyster sauce. Maybe next time.

The human female says we have something special for desert tonight. I wonder what it is?

Owww! My ears! Great Frigga’s Corset, Sigyn, what is all the squealing for?

Hedge-hog shaped bao buns full of sweet red beany goo. I must admit, this is a thing of whose existence I had never once conceived.

More squealing! But not the happy kind. What now?

Custard-filled bunny buns! Sigyn doesn’t know which is worse, that we are going to eat little bunnies or the fact that they appear to have their eyes on their ears….

Fortunately, there are also apple-flavored mochi, another product I have never tried.

(poke, poke, poke) They certainly have that soft, small-mammally texture I associate with mochi. I wonder what they’re full of? Or maybe they’re solid all the way through?

Apple goo! And it’s delicious!

That is just the sort of meal I like–I didn’t have to make it, I’m not going to clean up after it, and there was as much dessert as anything else. Apart from the disturbing bunnies, I think it was a great success.

Best part? There is more of everything in the freezer so we can do this all again!

>|: 9

Sadly, Not Actually Banished…

It’s still hotter than Muspelheim outdoors, the humans are working hard and often get out of the office late, and neither of them feels like cooking.  It’s no surprise then, that “out” is often on the menu.  With the students gone now, between semesters, it’s a good time to try one of the new eateries in town.  I am enthusiastic, because I overheard the female utter the words, “Ban me.”  I have good hopes that the proprietors will take one look at her ugly haircut, her unfortunate visage, and her table “manners” and I’ll get to see them toss her out of their establishment.

It’s a smallish cafe with a limited menu.  Sandwiches feature prominently.  The human male has chosen one that seems to involve meatballs.

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Poke, poke, poke.  Not sure what the green stuff is.

Sigyn says the female’s has “lemongrassy beef, pickled veggies, and ‘nummy’  pâté .”

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That sounds…odd, but the bread is good.  Nice and crusty.

This place is big on cold drinks, too, which is almost more important than food this time of year.   The human female has selected a pineapple slushie.

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The male has a mango smoothie.  Not sure why the lid says “tea time”…

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Some of the other drinks have what looks like a good handful of little balls in the bottom.  Tiny grapes?  Bubblegum?  Ball bearing tea?  I have no idea.  I don’t trust it.

Well, the humans and Sigyn seem to be enjoying the food, but this has been a bust for me.  No one has made any move to eject the human female.

One final note:  the decor here is minimal.  A colorful blackboard wall.  A plant or two.  An old-timey lantern.  I’ve seen enough.  Come on, Sigyn, let’s g—

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Sigh.  Hang on, sweetie, Loki’s coming.  And then let’s leave, before we ALL get thrown out.

>|: [

 

Too Hot to Cook, Part III: What is a Newk?

Tonight the humans have decided to stay out of the kitchen entirely and we are going out to eat.  Sigyn, we haven’t been here before, have we?  I think I would have remembered an eating establishment with a name like “Newk’s.”  What in the Nine Realms is a Newk?  And is it a good thing that one owns a restaurant?

Here’s the food. The human female has ordered a salad.

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Lettuce, artichokes, grapes, pecans croutons, cranberries, and sherry vinaigrette. The human male has a pizza. Hmm.  I’m not in the mood for either, and not terribly hungry.

I’m more interested in the long, skinny package that the humans picked up from a whole basketful on the way in.

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Breadsticks?  Are these special implements for skewering bits of bread?  I did not know that bread needed special tools.  Mostly I just use my hands.

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Huh.  Sigyn, will you look at that…

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Not sticks for bread.  Sticks OF bread!  I can think of all sorts of uses for these.  We could use them as chopsticks!  We could conduct a dinner-time symphony.  We could do edible jousting!

I predict the human female will stick a couple under her upper lip and pretend to be a walrus.  (We can’t take her anywhere.)

>|: [

 

Too Hot to Cook, Part II: Of Laziness and Hypocrisy

The humans are still ambivalent about food.  They want to eat it, but they don’t feel like making it.  It’s not just the heat.  The university’s semester has started, so they both have endless meetings and a plethora tasks that should have been completed in June.  The work days run long, and by the time they drag themselves home, check mail, and dole out sustenance to the persistently whiney feline, no one feels like meal prep.  Recipes are streamlined and nothing that smacks of effort is attempted.

The humans are fond of spring rolls and sushi, but who wants to do all the rolling?  Not them, and not I!  Thus, tonight’s menu is something they call Roll-in-a-Bowl.  “Deconstructed,” they call it.  “Lazy,” I call it.

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What’s this stuff?  Looks like packing excelsior. Are we sure it’s edible?  Oh.  Noodles.  These will take a very brief dip in some hot water.  (Hey, that sounds like COOKING!)

Humans cannot live by carbs alone (though the female seems willing to put that theory to the test), so we need some protein.

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What piscine, pseudo-crustaceous, impostorous substance IS this? Dear, sweet Frigga mother of us all!  The humans are calling this “krab.”  Let me get this straight:  It’s fish, masquerading as crab?  Since a good proportion of fish sold worldwide is not actually the species it’s labeled to be, this stuff could be anything.  Quick!  We need some vegetables to counteract it.

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Gnnngh!   Now I know the human female is losing it.  Cucumbers and avocados are not vegetables.  She says the carrot needs to be cut “like matchsticks.”

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Good work, Sigyn!  Apparently the cucumber needs to be dittowise.

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Hey!  That piece looks a little wide to me.  The human female doesn’t follow instructions very well. I guess for SOME people, quality control means nothing.

The “krab” has now gone in, and it is time for the avocado.  I’m pretty sure avocado has no traditional place in spring rolls, but maybe we are making some sort of bastardized California roll?  (It’s an explanation.  I never said it was a good one.)

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Red and green–I at least approve of the color scheme.  Time to add the cooked, cold noodles.

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The human female has toasted some sesame seeds for the top (more cooking!) and the male has prepared a sauce of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  Pickled ginger is optional.  All that’s left is the struggle to eat the stuff with chopsticks, along with the evening’s subsequent entertainment–the picking of toasted sesame seeds out of one’s teeth.

Dibs someone else does the dishes.

>|: [

Too Hot to Cook, Part I: Nutrition, Out the Window

The humans like to cook, and –usually–they don’t do too badly at it.  However, triple-digit heat is not conducive to their wanting to get in the kitchen and roast, bake, fry, and broil.  I hear the same whiny refrain at the end of every work day.  “It’s too hot to cook!”

Tonight, the humans have completely abandoned the idea of cooking dinner and have opted for something cool and delicious.  They SAY they are supporting a newly-opened local business and meeting some friends, but really, I think they just can’t resist the cold and creamy siren song of small-batch dairy confections.  Ice cream for dinner!

Sigyn and I have no intention of being left out of this.

So many flavors to choose from–

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Ehehehehe!  A lot of them feature chocolate, which the human female cannot eat and which the human male does not like.  Awwww.  Too bad.  More for the rest of us!

See, Sigyn?  After you make your choice, you can ask the nice scooper-person to mix in some nuts or some candy.

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You’re right–the rainbow sprinkles DO look like fun!

Before we decide, let’s sample everyone’s selections.

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The human female, true to her nature, has gone straight for something that looks like it has cheescake, graham cracker crust, and caramel.

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That’s a little too sweet for me.  I prefer the human male’s pistachio.  At least it’s green.

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What flavor Is beige ice cream anyhow?  Cinnamon?  (lick, lick)  Nope! Coffee!  Not bad.  Not bad at all!

And the other friend has…

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…finished already.  Kudos, friend.  Volstagg would be proud.

>|: 9