Friday, May 13, 2011

Caribbean Spicy Dipping Sauce (Page 49)

RECIPE #1261

  • Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Adam, Chris C., Tom J., Ron, and a bunch of other mathematicians...
  • Recipe Rating: B

This was, I think, the last very quick recipe that I had left in The Book. It was the dipping sauce for some hors d'oeuvres I made a couple months back. I stirred together minced onion, minced scallions, minced red bell pepper, minced garlic, minced habanero, salt, and dried thyme. I added some boiling water and white wine vinegar to the vegetables, then I let the mixture cool. Then I added lime juice, vegetable oil, and cilantro. That was it! This dipping sauce went with some fish fritters (which I will blog about next). The sauce was a perfectly fine accompaniment for the fritters. The one odd thing about it was that there was too much liquid for it to be like a salsa, yet too many chopped vegetables for it to really seem like a sauce. If you just dipped your fritter in the sauce the minced veggies didn't stick to it. And if you spooned the sauce over your fritter it mostly just ran onto the plate, as it was very thin. It was difficult to get any delicious minced bits on the fritter. The flavor was fine though. I didn't dislike the sauce but I also wasn't tremendously wowed by it.

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My apologies for the insanely long blog silence. Life has been crazy busy lately, and I have done little except work and sleep. Last week was finals week, which meant I had to write, administer, and grade two final exams. Foolishly, I also agreed to give two talks during the week. So after a weekend of doing nothing but writing exams and talks, I gave a calculus exam Monday afternoon, then immediately drove to Chicago to give a talk at the University of Chicago on Tuesday. I stayed in Chicago on Wednesday to work with one of my collaborators, V. I drove home Wednesday night so I could get up early Thursday morning, hold office hours, and then give a final exam (add in there a grant meeting and a disciplinary group meeting and it was a busy day!). Thursday evening I worked on preparing the second talk of the week, on a very different topic, for a very different audience. My Chicago talk was on some recent research results of mine, and was aimed at specialists in Algebraic Topology. The Saturday talk on the other hand was more of a fun, popular math talk. It was very introductory, given at a meeting of mathematicians from throughout the state of Michigan, including some undergraduate math majors. The conference that it was a part of took place in Kalamazoo, about an hour and a half from where we live. Friday I spent the day at the conference in Kalamazoo, and the evening working on my talk for Saturday. Saturday was another crazy day. I went to Kalamazoo to give my talk then rushed back to East Lansing in order to attend the university graduation. It was my first time on the faculty side of a graduation ceremony, and my first time wearing my official MIT doctoral regalia (which I didn't buy back when I got my PhD, but rather acquired recently). After the ceremony I went to a reception for the graduates followed by a retirement dinner for one of my colleagues. Busy! Sunday I frantically graded the final exams I had given during the week, and calculated course grades. My special gentleman and I also ran around like crazy people trying to prepare ourselves for a long time away from home. Monday I packed and tied up loose ends during the day and in the evening, we left for Europe. Phew! It makes me tired again just thinking about it.

We are away for five weeks now. It is a long time to be gone. We have someone living in our house to take care of our kitties though, so they won't be lonely! Monday/Tuesday we flew to Paris, then drove to Lausanne, Switzerland. We decided to rent a car for our time in Europe, as we have to go to many different places, and several of them are a bit remote. The downside is that one of the items we didn't get to on the to-do list before we left was for me to learn to drive with manual transmission. So I actually don't know how to drive our rental car. That meant that after coming off an 8-hour overnight flight, Matt had to drive the 6 hours between Paris and Lausanne without anyone to switch off with him. He managed amazingly well. This week I am attending a conference in Lausanne. Next week I am attending one in the Black Forest in Germany. The following week we are headed back to Switzerland where my special gentleman will attend a conference in his field. I will only spend a few days at his conference, then fly to England to visit Chris, a good friend who I am also working on a research project with. The following week my special gentleman and I are headed to Nantes, France, where my special gentleman will be attending a workshop. Then I am flying from Paris to San Francisco to spend a week out in Palo Alto working with some of my collaborators. Then I will return home! My special gentleman has a few extra stops on his trip (Italy, and Stony Brook, New York, for instance). It is a crazy agenda!

I am quite backlogged in my blogging, so I will continue to update throughout my time in Europe. My jet-lag is wearing off, and I think I will have a bit of relaxation time between conferences, so hopefully I will have time to post! I have to admit, I wasn't too excited about the idea of being away from home for so long, especially when I was already so tired from the end of the semester. But now that we are here, it's awesome (as one might expect). Yummy food, beautiful scenery, friends/colleagues from around the world who I don't often get to see... I can't complain! Yay for summer "vacation!"

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