Monday, December 25, 2006


I almost missed it, thanks to being stranded for three days at the Denver airport. (More on that later.) But here I am. My first Christmas at home. It's been a good day.

Diana got me a shiny new wok from (where else?) the Wok Shop, along with all the equipment I'll ever need for using it -- bamboo and metal spoons and spatulas, a wire skimmer, big long cooking chopsticks, a steamer tray, a dumpling rack, and a bamboo cleaning brush. I'm WAY excited about this. I just got through seasoning the beast -- you scrub off the protective mineral oil, then stick the wok over high heat and add some vegetable oil, and roll the oil around in the pan until it's all burned on. It's just like seasoning a new cast iron pan, only more violent. What could be better? Then you fry the hell out of a bunch of onions to neutralize the metallic taste. My house smells GOOD.

Diana, my love, there's an endless progression of stir-fried foodstuffs in your future. And dumplings, and tempura things, and anything else that can be cooked in a wokish manner.

(At Ten Penh last spring, my foie gras came with a garnish that has haunted me ever since... bacon tempura...)

Switching channels: my mother's pecan pie was one of the dishes that, in my early childhood, formed my idea of what "good to eat" means. Here's the recipe. It's dead easy and impossible to improve on. All other pecan pies are inferior.

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp flour
2 unbeaten eggs
½ eggshell milk (yep, that's what she said. I'm not arguing)
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 cup pecans
Crust for a 9-inch pie

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first nine ingredients and put in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with good vanilla ice cream, or without it.


Mike said...

Speaking of stir-fried foodstuffs and tempura things, I still have some of the '04 cicadas in my freezer. Let me know.

Rob said...

Hm. I'd really like my first sampling of the things to be fresh, not frozen. I'm willing to wait another 15 years.

Stuart said...

Remember to heat the wok before you add oil. Nothing ever sticks if you do that.

Did you hear about the Korean cookbook?...."100 ways to wok your dog".

Rob said...

Ooooh. That's so wrong. :-) Good to see you here!