Sunday, August 20, 2006

Best Dinner of the Week

For Attrice!

Since virtually every damned body is blogging about food, I figured I might as well use my favorite pastime as fodder, too. And, Attrice told me to. Reason enough.

In chat one day, the subject of faux tuna salad came up. I used Attrice's description as a jump-off point for the best meal of the week (with nods to Jenniferschmoo for the original thought seed!). The results far exceeded my expectations! Some quantities are approximate -- use your judgement and personal preference for the best results.

Yummy Faux Fish Patties
Makes about 12 2" patties

2-3 tbl. hijiki, depending upon your preference for "fishy" flavor
2 tbl. soy sauce or tamari
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tbl. each of finely chopped onion, celery, red pepper and fresh parsley
1 egg or equivalent substitute, lightly beaten
1 tbl. lemon juice
1-2 tbl. mayo (preferably Vegenaise!) -- enough to moisten
1/4 cup canola oil

Cover the hijiki with boiling water and soak for 15 minutes; strain and rinse, then put in small saucepan with the soy sauce and about a cup of water. Heat to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mince.

Mash the beans to a coarse mash. Add half the bread crumbs and the rest of the ingredients. Place the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs in a flat bowl or on a plate. Using a wooden spoon or your hands (better!) mix the bean mixture thoroughly. Form small patties (about 2-3" across).

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high. Coat each patty with bread crumbs and place in the skillet. Cook until lightly browned.

Serve with tartar sauce (mayonnaise, dill relish, parsley + chopped green onion).

I served sweet potato oven fries seasoned with soy sauce, garlic and ginger on the side. It was delicious and the leftovers were fantastic.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's the Quality, Not the Quantity

I seem to have broken my old record for consecutive days of not-posting. Go, me! If you're one of the handful of folks who check here hoping for updates, I'm sorry. But I do admire your tenacity and optimism!

Big Things have happened in the last month, many having something to do with aging!

1. My mother turned 82. I sent her a gift, a vibrator! (I can't wait to see the traffic jam at the entrance to this blog when I hit "publish"!)

Here's why she got that gift: When we cleaned out her house, before she moved to assisted living, my sister J and I came across Mom's old vibrator. She'd had that thing since long before I was born. She said she used it for her back. She has scoliosis and also an old shoulder injury. She's also not the most sex-positive woman of her generation, so I always thought it was very possible she did actually use it for back and shoulder pain.

Still, J and I were a little creeped out by that old thing. Looking back, I know we were mostly creeped out by the thought of an old woman enjoying any kind of sex. I've given that a lot of thought in the past two years (not too much! Just enough! I've already done therapy, thanks!) and I think I'm pretty much over the creepedoutedness.

She's mentioned it a few times since the move, along with everything else we threw away ("My old Kodak camera! What happened to that?! There were still pictures in there, I think!") So when I was trying to figure out what to get her this year, that thing popped into my head. Possibly the idea was planted subliminally. So I got her the nearest approximation made in the 21st century.

She thanked me for it with her usual charm and social grace: "Thank you for your package." So, maybe she loves it, maybe she hates it. But now she has a vibrator again.

2. I had a birthday and turned 48. This was a nice birthday. I took the day off work, went out for a lavish supper (with champagne!) and saw A Chorus Line. The joy of the day, however, was somewhat eclipsed by

3. We found out my husband needs shoulder replacement surgery, as soon as possible, and

4. He was fired from his job two days after notifying his employer of this fact. After ten years and excellent reviews. The written notice from his boss said he was being terminated "without cause" (which it turns out is perfectly legal in our state! Yay at-will employment!).

About a year ago his boss asked him when he planned to retire. He said, "In August 2007." Since then things have gone downhill. Readers, store this in your long-term memory: NEVER DISCLOSE YOUR PLANS TO LEAVE A JOB UNTIL YOU'RE HALFWAY OUT THE DOOR WITH YOUR POCKETS FULL OF PILFERED OFFICE SUPPLIES!

5. We've been talking to a lawyer about #4. That's all I'll say about that. Except that I like her very much and she had traces of chocolate on her face the first time we met with her.

I promise not to wait over a month to post again! I do! And next time I will post only good news. I hope.