Posted on Feb 18, 2011 by e-bro

i have no free time. but i do live in new york now!

Canning some wicked jam.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 by e-bro

The holidays are over, but citrus season is not. Because money isn't falling out of my ears (that would be gross anyway), I decided to get super crafty this year when it came to gifts. I recruited a special pal who has experience canning jam. FYI, non-perishable jam needs to be sealed and all items needs to be sterilized. My friend had doused her kitchen in boiling water and I brought the sharp knives. We ventured out to Berkeley Bowl for some fruit, in this case about 8 lbs of blood oranges and a 1/2 lb of Meyer lemons. After returned to her house, we rinsed the fruit and using a vegetable peeler, cut the colored part from 2 lemons and 4 oranges.

Then we finely diced the peel and put 2 tablespoons of the lemon peel and 6 tablespoons of the orange peel and 1 cup of water in a 6-8 quart pan. The rest of the peel is unnecessary.

With a sharp knife, we carefully peeled all of the white crap off of the fruit and cut the lemons and 10 oranges into chunks, trying to keep all of those pesky seeds out of the "good" bowl.
Take the fruit in the "good" bowl and puree them in a food processor until you have 2 cups that are smoothly blended. Pour this into the pan with the diced peel. Puree remaining fruit and put it through a fine strainer to extract juice. Juice the rest of the fruit until you have a total of 4 cups. We had to go get more fruit at this point because some fruit aint so juicy! Take this pan and boil it on high heat stirring a LOT until it's reduced to about 5 cups total, or for about 10 minutes. Now the pectin, mix it (a 1.75 oz pkg) with a 1/4 cup of sugar and add it to the pan. Stir on high until it starts to boil rapidly. Add 4 cups of sugar to the pan and stir until it returns to a boil. Now watch the clock for one minute and remove it from the heat.
Now using a sterilized spoon or ladle, scoop the mixture into clean canning jars.
Leave about 1/8 inch of room at the top, wipe jar rims clean and set a sterilized flat lid on each jar, screw on lids. All of these pieces should have been resting in a boiling pot of water and using tongs and a towel you can make this happen without burning your paws. Beware of splattering boiling water or fruit. OUCH. Let the jars rest on a towel for 5 minutes and turn them rightsideup. Let it cool there for 24 hours and by now all seals should have popped in. When you press on the top it shouldn't budge.

New year, new post!

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 by e-bro

I hope none of you watched the season premier of the new Biggest Loser, because they keep puking! Anyway, despite the really crappy tiny cell phone photo (my camera charger was a NYE casualty), I wanted to share with you a really delicious way to ring in the new year. It starts with a full belly of resolution-friendly dinner. My boymate and I have embarked upon a new eating leaf. I know that's so cliche, but you gotta start somewhere (thanks Bob and Jillian!). Tonight I made something that almost blew my own mind. It is as follows:

Artichoke: Clip off the outer leaves, chop off the top pointed inch, shave off the outer skin from the good leaves all the way down to the stem. Pry that point open and ferociously scoop out all of the furry bits and the dots those furry bits came from. Have a halved lemon handy and rub the lemon over all surfaces of the artichoke so it doesn't turn brown and yucky. Do that to a few artichokes and place them in a sauce pan, tops down. Add half of that lemon and a smashed clove of garlic. boil for 30ish minutes until you can pull one of the outer leaves out and have it taste yummy. For a dipping sauce mix a T of lowfat or vegan mayo, a tsp of dijon or spicy mustard and a squeeze of lemon. YUM TOWN AND Z BOYS.
Tomato Pepper Soup: Chop a whole onion and a yellow pepper (in retrospect, maybe roasted pepper?), 2 cloves of garlic, add some salt & a bunch of red pepper flakes and saute in a good sized sauce pan until soft and flavory. Add a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes with their juice and a couple of cups of stock (I used chicken). Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. When everything is heated through and incorporated, blend until smooth. Return it to the pan and simmer for a few mins with the lid on. DONE and DONE.
Seafood: Go to Trader Joes and purchase a frozen bag of calamari, shrimp and scallops. It all comes together and is approximately $5. For two of us, we just needed about 2/3 of the bag (the other 1/3 can be used for the leftover soup you'll surely have!). I sauteed it without bells or whistles for about 45 seconds in a hot pan. They release a ton of water. Strain off that water by quickly dumping the seafood into a colander. Meantime, add olive oil, garlic and some thyme (my plants have provided me with lots). Return seafood to pan and cook for another minute or so. Squeeze in some more lemon and viola, DEEEELISSSHH.
Questions? Concerns?

We be jammin.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 by e-bro

So, I am unemployed again. My brief stint as a member of the temporary work force was like a bad date. I was out of the house, but I wasn't in love. So, here I am with an abundance of free time. I recently ate a cherry and an almond in the same bite and was like "I want to make a 100% homemade pb&j!" I executed (literally, so bloody!) step one in this process by making cherry jam. Here is my step by step recipe that I stole and adopted from other recipes on the internets. First you want to purchase cherries and wash them. I got bing cherries for $2.99 a pound at my local corner farmer's market store in the Mission. Very cheap and delicious.

Then you want to, well first you want to buy a cherry pitter. Highly recommended $13 purchase. You can also use it for olives. Anyway, pit all of your cherries. And make sure that all of the pits actually shoot through the center of the cherry. I had a few hangers on that I discovered later.
You also want to add a good amount of citrus. I didn't have a microplane for zesting so I peeled just the yellow part off of two lemons and finely diced it. I also squeezed their juice which I added to the pot. My jam came out really lemony which I like but you can cut that down to 1 lemon if you like.
You want to chop about 3/4 of your cherries and put them in a big stock pot (it gets real bubbly so you want room) with the lemon stuff. I added about a cup of rum. Some other recipes recommend kirsch at the end of the recipe but I mixed it up. That will need to cook for about 15 minutes until everything is all soggy. Stir frequently. Then you want to add what looks to be an absurd amount of sugar. I had 3 lbs of cherries and I used about 3 cups of sugar. It will get very bubbly, keep stirring on medium heat for about a half hour. I heard about an "am I done" test where you put a white plate in the freezer for about 10 mins. Put a teaspoon of the jam on the plate and put back in the fridge for 5 mins. If it looks jelly-like you're good to go.
The problem I had was that no one told me that it wouldn't actually look like jam when it's done. It will still be "wet." It will jam up in the jam jar. When it's still warm put it in your previously boiled jars (just put all of your jars and lids in another big pot and boil for a bit. Leave fully submerged in water until you're ready to fill the jars). Put the lids on and refrigerate forever.

Don't hate me.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 by e-bro

Hi everyone. I apologize for ignoring you lately. There is a simple explanation for this, though it's not a pretty one. I HAVE NO MORE FREE TIME. At least for now, I am working. It is a temporary gig, but it is occupying my days. This is bitter-sweet. I miss the gym, the farmers market, my kitchen, parks, lunches, reading books, etc. For the past few weeks I have been exposed to something I had started to take for granted during my past four years of employment. At my previous job my coworkers and I were welcome to explore our personalities through fashion. We could wear whatever we liked, within reason. Some days we had fancy meetings, so we wore fancy clothes. Other days it was mellow, so we wore flip flops. I was also located a mere 2 blocks from my public transportation so I didn't get a good glimpse of the fashiony goings on in the financial district. I now have a 15 minute walk to my place of business (which shares a space with a strip club, no joke) and I am privy to all sorts of youthful outfit atrocities on their way to their first jobs out of college. You can tell the kids who are trying to patch together faux professional ensembles out of their Forever 21 stretch poly blend potato sack dresses, awkwardly comfy mall shoes, blazers their moms bought them and other items that they randomly decided were appropriate. The boys have it easy. The girls look weird. Until they get their first raise and get a fiance and upgrade to coach bags, Banana Republic and J Crew. They quit getting wasted at night so they have time to give themselves proper blow drys in the morning. No more ugly knot buns. Kids are cute, but jobs, my friends, are the opposite. I miss my free-time, at least until I find my perma-dream job. 


Posted on May 20, 2009 by e-bro

The word Gazpacho always reminds me of the Nazi police but in reality it is a tomato based chilled soup often eaten when weather is warmish. In San Francisco we have what can hardly be described as a summer between May and August. Thus, we do things like wearing sandals and having picnics when our toes are cold and the wind is blowing our napkins around to fake ourselves into thinking it's warm. One of these things, which I am preparing to do on Friday is make Gazpacho. I seriously have to keep reminding myself not to type Gestapo. Ok, here's the recipe!
8 slices white bread, crusts removed, bread broken into big chunks
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded
1 English cucumber, peeled
1 large white onion
1 green bell pepper, seeds and pith removed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Kosher salt
High quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup to 1 cup tomato juice, if needed
For the soup:
Soak the bread, in a medium bowl of water to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and place in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, 2/3 of the cucumber, 1/2 the onion, and 1/2 the pepper and add to the bread. Add the garlic, season with salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to combine and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry (soups voted no on prop 8) and to let the salt pull some moisture out of the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, for the garnish, dice the remaining cucumber, onion and green pepper into perfect 1/4-inch dice and reserve.
Working in batches, puree the tomato/bread mixture in a blender with the vinegar. Blend in tomato juice to loosen the mixture, if needed. Remove soup to a large bowl and stir in about 1/2 cup of high quality olive oil. Taste for salt and add more, if needed.
Chill. Serve cold garnished with the diced cucumber, pepper and onion. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if desired.

Number one suggestion.

Posted on May 14, 2009 by e-bro

My number one suggestion for those who are job-free is the same as my excuse for why I have had a dearth of posts lately. The internet is the new Judge Judy and Family Feud. Get off the computer and go outside. Some symptoms of internet addiction are: ignoring humans, boring people with inane Tweets, beginning to actually capitalize Internet because you think it deserves the same treatment as other pronouns. Between all of the blogs related to any number of fascinations you can think of, Facebook, Twitter, online banking, job hunts, e-networking, shopping, emailing, IMing and Googling, you could easily never leave the house. This is not better than watching "stories." I am not suggesting that you quit the information super highway altogether, I'm just suggesting that you get in the slow lane. Start actually talking to people. Me and my boymie need to start heeding my own advice. 

Decoration for your body.

Posted on by e-bro

I have been on a Jewelry making or at least a jewelry reconfiguring kick lately. I have also been reading a lot of blogs related to it. One of my favorite necklace makers is the Glamourai who makes extremely cute, vintage-inspired, layered necklaces sold on Etsy. I have also been addicted to ebay for cheap arm, neck and ear decor. Why not merge the two? You can purchase "lots" of things like this, this or this for a fairly low price and then either use old chains of your own or you can get chain by the foot at websites like this. With a few inexpensive tools and loop connectors you can string together a real neat necklace that people will comment on forever. You can start with a clasp, attach a quarter-inch loop and add different length chains with different pendants attached to each by smaller rings. Are you getting a picture of this in your head?

Get creative with your ebay searching, do you collect things? If so, search for "lot" and various other words for cheap collections of vintage jewelry. You can deconstruct the individual pieces and add different clasps. If you get really awesome at making jewelry, you can sell it and make money! There are tons of online shops, including Etsy and craft fairs popping up all over the place. Mission Indie Mart popped up a couple of years ago in San Francisco and has gone from a back-yard affair to a monthly big whoopsie that is perfect for selling and purchasing crafty and giftable items. Word?

Quiet please.

Posted on May 5, 2009 by e-bro

I forgot to tell you one something really awesome for free timing. About two months ago I got a library card because I needed a good place to study for my French class and to potentially check out books. I forget how to use the Dewey Decimal System, but I am imagining computers figure that out for me now, right? Anyway, until today I TOTALLY forgot the best part of the library that I discovered on my first visit. They have DVDs of all of these awesome TV shows that I have never seen. Netflix is real neat and all, but the library is 2 blocks from my house and it's 100% free dollars. That's a job-free bargain. 

Jock talking.

Posted on May 4, 2009 by e-bro

Something you might have time to do now that you don't have a job is blog. You might be wondering why there's a photo of a buff jock above. Well, when I google'd the word "jock" a bunch of nearly naked dudes showed up. In order to spare you those, I picked this one. He's pretty non-offensive, right? You now may be wondering why I would google the word "jock." Well, friends, I am moonlighting as a sports blogger. Actually, I have been doing that longer, so technically I am moonlighting as an unemployed know-it-all. I wanted to tell you sooner about Total Jock Talk, the sports blog to which I contribute, but we've recently experience a massive upswing in NBA-playoff related posts making now the perfect time. 
I suggest you run right over to that site and read all about exciting topics related to sports. If you don't like sports, perhaps you like snacking: Total Snack Attack
I am recommending here, too, that you start a real neat blog of your own. Do you have a hobby and some witty friends? Perhaps they would like to join the blogosphere with you as well. Do you like movies? Spend your free time visiting theaters of all types. There are lots of films to be seen and matinees are slightly less wallet molesting than evening flicks. Use your blogs to critique and review movies. That is just one idea, you're smart, so you figure out what the world would most like to read about. And send me a link, I'll be sure all of the other jobless people I know read it.