Thursday, March 13, 2008

Anxious but Ambitious

Hello, friends.

For a couple of months, I have been feeling a bit on the frazzled side. Much of my life has changed. Key points: I have withdrawn from school for the semester due to personal and health-related issues. But never fear! I will be return and graduate! Also: My parents are moving five hours away this spring, and I am not altogether certain that I am ready to not be anyone's kid anymore. And finally: I am recently singled, still cohabitating with my ex until further plans can be made as to what to do with our now cumbersome lease.

So, I'm sorry. This frail version of my former self has been a tad bit on the sad side, and hasn't been doing much cooking. And when I have cooked, it has been old, uninventive staples that fulfill the requirements of nourishment and comfort, but do not aspire to blog-worthy standards. And now, I've gone and gotten sick. Sniffly, runny nose, body chills, and a terrible, keep-you-up-all-night cough. Not condusive to gourmet adventures.

I was a bit hopeless for awhile there, friends. Was I even worthy of calling myself a foodie at all? And the Absentminded Chef?? "Cook" is stretching it. But I was reading a blog that I really enjoy, called Becoming a Foodie . About how it's okay to love blood oranges but it's also okay to love Velveeta. And I realized, I am the Absentminded Chef! I make spinach artichoke dip that will knock you naked! I have grapeseed oil in my pantry for drizzling on baby spinach! And I'm a real person too! So there!

Now, a whole woman once more, I must bid you adieu. Earl Grey is calling me- the loveliest, most aromatic Earl Grey I have ever tasted, bought at The Fresh Market, loose- to be tied up in cheese cloth and brewed. I am particularly fond of it with a dash of half and half and a fair measure of sugar. But since I am the only person drinking tea, and am a real person, and I left my kettle at my mother's house, I will be heating my water- IN THE MICROWAVE! Shocking!

Gourmets, mock me if you dare.

The Absentminded Chef

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Burnt Chicken, Enigmatic Green Beans

Oh dear. I had hoped my first real post in my food blog would be about food that is, well, good. But alas, I am afraid it is not to be. Last night was a humbling experience to say the least.

My girlfriend and I are in the process of repainting and moving into a new house. On top of this already demanding task, we both have finals, and work, and Christmas shopping, and everything else that attempts to spoil the milk of the holiday season. But we're ambitious! Last night we had decided that we WOULD finish painting the trim of our living room, despite the fact that Danielle gets off at 11, we both had to be up very early this morning, and the state of the trim was disastrous. In addition, being the sweet and romantic girlfriend I tend to be, I decided to cook the First Dinner In Our New Home. (Reserve "Awwws" until the end of the story to determine if you still think it merits them.) I went to our old house, gathered the necessary ingredients and implements (nothing too fancy- just schnitzel and garlic sauteed green beans on the menu) and headed to the new house to begin cooking. As I left I felt one fleeting notion that it would be just as romantic to prepare the dinner at our old house and transport it, but quickly dismissed it, rationalizing that it must be cooked there, not just eaten, to be the First Dinner In Our New Home. Go figure.

So. I pounded, sliced, and breaded the chicken, and began heating the oil. Immediately things began to go awry. Much to my chagrine smoke began slithering up around the coils of the burner and around the pan. Apparently the last tenant did not do a good job of keeping food off of the burners, and I did not do a good job of cleaning them. I rationalized (I am beginning to see that this a problem for me) that it couldn't be very much, and it would quickly burn away, and it would be okay for me to cook the chicken. The stove had different ideas. Sure enough, a moment after I put the chicken down, the smoke alarm began screaming with a veracity unpredictable by its dingy exterior. I immediately flipped off the burner, began opening windows and doors, and flapping a dishcloth at the detector like a madwoman.

However (as usual) I had forgotten just one TINY detail. Being a woman accustomed to cooking with a gas stove, I had not taken into account that while the burner may be off, the residual heat will linger for quite some time. So the chicken remained on the burner, still cooking. Still smoking. Still absorbing oil. And eventually, burning. By the time I realized this and blurted out the appropriate expletive, the smoke alarm was going off again, and it was too late for the chicken anyway. I put it in the oven to finish browning the side I had not gotten to. Oh well, even if it wasn't very good, there would be green beans. Right? Except I'd forgotten a can opener.

So. When Danielle got home, we sat down at the lovely tablescape (or floorscape, as the case may be, as we don't have a table yet) I had set up, a tablecloth with candles and wine glasses and plastic plates and utensils, to chicken that had confounded me, green beans that had eluded me, and wine that cheered us both.


The Absentminded Chef (I think I am living up to my namesake)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Times

It appears as though you have stumbled upon my blog. Thank you! I was hoping you'd do just that. I'm Savannah. Let me explain. Wait, that would take too long. Let me sum up. I'm a Southern college student, studying English and aspiring to write a cookbook. Until I finish college, attend culinary school, find an editor, publisher, backers, etc., I'm planning on keeping up with this blog to chronicle my culinary adventures. Or misadventures, as the case may be. It makes sense to me- I seem to have a knack for writing and a knack for cooking a flawless, fancy schmancy meal but still managing to burn the bread. Thus, the Absentminded Chef is born! I suppose there are worse things of the absentminded nature to be. The Absentminded Pyromaniac, for example.

So here we are! Where to go from here? That depends on any number of things- mainly whether or not I interest you enough to add me to your favorites and visit me on the regular. So far, you've only commited to reading a paragraph and a fourth. Let me tell you a little more and we'll see if our fledgling relationship will blossom or combust. It's up to you, really.

My cooking style is somewhere in between European bistro type food and classic Southern comfort food. My grandmother and mother have distinctly different cooking styles- grandmother being the latter and mother being the former. I've blended their cooking styles, and thus find myself making fried chicken and collard greens one night and spinach roulades and homemade pesto the next. Voila! The perfect recipe- approachable gourmet food. On a college budget, of course.

Now. The time has come. You must choose whether to click the X in the corner of your screen in a flourish of boredom and disdain, or (hopefully) think to yourself, "My. She seems charming. And perhaps the recipes she posts will be more delicious than disastrous. I believe I'll visit again." Like I said, it's up to you.


The Absentminded Chef