Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ghee (Page 577)

RECIPE #848

  • Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I chose this recipe last week because it fit my 15-minutes-or-less criterion that I am using these days. This is actually a component recipe for an Indian spinach preparation I will make as soon as I have more time. Luckily, this ghee keeps for a while, so it will still be good in a couple weeks when hopefully my life calms down a bit. It's hard to really grade this "recipe." It had one ingredient: butter. The method: cook the butter, then pour through cheesecloth into a jar. That's it. The point of clarifying butter is to get rid of the milk solids, which burn at a pretty low temperature. Then what is left can be heated quite hot without burning. There are two methods of clarifying butter. One is to just melt the butter, let the milk solids settle, skim the froth, and carefully pour the clarified butter off the top. The other is to cook the butter until the froth cooks off and the solids brown a little and then pour off the clarified butter. The latter technique takes only minimally more time and gives the butter a bit of a nutty flavor which you may or may not want, depending on what you are using it for. So basically what you start with is butter and what you end up with is slightly less butter; it's a bit hard to assign a grade to that. I like butter, so I'll give it an A-.

This "recipe" isn't online.

My apologies for the blog silence over the weekend. On Friday afternoon, after teaching my classes, I drove up to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a meeting of the American Mathematical Society. It was a 5-hour drive, and although I kept meaning to stop for dinner, I just kept driving along. Finally I found myself in Battle Creek, Michigan, only a few miles from my final destination, and STARVING! There was a Cracker Barrel there, and that sounded really good at the time. My special gentleman and I often eat at the Cracker Barrel while on the road, and I always order the same thing: a big bowl of grits with maple syrup and some cornbread. Mmmm... multiple forms of corn! I had never really thought about how much this meal costs until I ate there on Friday. I was eating alone and I drank water, so the above meal was my entire bill. How much did my sit-down dinner cost? $1.79. I felt a little embarrassed actually. Also, a little unsure how you tip on a bill of $1.79. It seemed awful to leave a 30 cent tip. The waitress was nice, and she paid attention to me... she even called me "sweetie." So I left her $3.00. I'm pretty sure it's the only time in my life that I have left a tip larger than the bill. In any event, it was a very tasty dinner and definitely worth more than the $1.79 I paid for it!

The whole experience was strange. I wasn't quite done with my slides for my talk on Saturday, so I had my laptop out while I ate and I was working. This is apparently uncommon behavior -- for someone to sit alone at a Cracker Barrel on a Friday night, eating grits and typing on her laptop. Several people stared at me. I, however, was perfectly content!

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