Operational Hazards

As I’ve previously mentioned, doing this right requires an immense amount of cooking.  As with anything you do frequently, you’ll end up with a few bumps and scratches based on repeated exposure to certain operational hazards.  Specifically with cooking, we’re talking about: minor burns, cuts, salt in wounds, oil splatter, barehand grabbing a cast iron pan, etc.  What I never thought I would do though, would be manage to burn my knee on the oven.

While having your average weeknight veggie cook-sesh, I kneeled down and decided to check on the broccoli.  Opening the oven all the way I leaned in to check on the florets in the back.  Something didn’t feel right though.  I was feeling a burning sensation but for some reason, my brain couldn’t quite identify where it was coming from.  I looked down at both of my hands.  One inside of an oven mitt, the other wrapped in a towel holding the pan.  Hmm.  Weird, those aren’t burning.  What is that? “OH IT’S MY KNEE.  SWEET.  LEANED INTO THE WRONG SIDE OF THE OVEN DOOR. I’M A FUCKING BURN PIONEER”.  While it didn’t take as long as that probably reads, you can rest assured that it took far too long.  I just couldn’t seem to quickly associate that my knee could potentially get burned in that way while cooking.

A lot of this paleo gig seems to be about chores.  The concept of paleo seems to feel like food needs to become a more prevalent part of your life.  Obviously your single goal in the day is not just feeding yourself.  However, more time needs to be devoted to feeding yourself properly.  That’s all well and good conceptually but in practice it has side effects.  Namely: a ton of dishes.  If you don’t have a dish washer (pro tip: get a dishwasher) this means you’re doing these things every single day in quantity.  Not just the dishes you eat, drink, and cook with.  But the multitude of dishes you need to store cooked and partially prepared food in.  I tote at least 3-4 tupperwares to work each day.  And each day they will need washed, refilled and replenished along with additional ones to store left overs and for portioning.

My first time around I often neglected this.  Like most people, I put dishes off until they were necessary.  A pan I needed was dirty.  The sink was full.  This threw quite a wrench in my original  paleo attempt.  Not being prepared for a constant amount of effort, I found myself in scenarios where a lot of dishes had to be done prior to cooking something.  This sets time back and then suddenly I was scrambling to prepare enough food in time.  Like with the cooking, I’ve decided to give more of a consistent balanced effort with the “chores” related to this much food production.  Just do a bit of work incrementally and it will make it easier in the long run.  I’m sure you’re thinking “WOW THAT’S PROFOUND…YOU’RE A GENIUS…CAPTAIN OBVIOUS’ SIDEKICK RHETORICAL LAD!”, and you’d be correct. Like I said, it’s all about the mental context.

Here’s something I made that I ripped out of Well Fed

Scotch Eggs.

In short: It’s a hard boiled egg wrapped in seasoned pork and then “breaded” with pork rinds.  It’s delicious and if you want the recipe follow the link above, I’m not much one for following specific directions so my recreation of how I did this will be spotty at best on my specifics.  I can say that it was much easier than expected to wrap the meat around the eggs.  It was also fun to make because, they look absurdly hilarious when they’re just gigantic meat-egg-balls, and they look delicious when breaded and finished.  I dipped them in mustard and went from there.  If you eat 2 of these things you’ll be totally full.  I usually ate these with a salad for lunch at work or just as a snack at home.

I think this is the first truly “UK” thing I’ve ever made.  It’s a bit weird, but it’s really good.  I wish I knew more about what “British” food was.  The common perception is that it’s all fish and chips and porridge.  While I don’t know truly what it is, I’m sure the assumption that their food is that basic or mundane would be as ignorant as British people thinking that we all wore cowboy hats and had dreadful accents here in the US.

These things are great to have on hand as a snack on the late night.  Why don’t bars here sell this kind of thing, I’d eat the hell out of these and you could tart them up with buffalo sauce, cheese and all kinds of crap.  What if you halved the hard boiled egg first and then deviled it and put it back together and then wrapped meat around it?  How is the United Fat Ass States not running with the concept of an egg wrapped in meat?  Much like good Rock and Roll, the British just seem to be on to it quicker than us.  My take: Scotch Eggs go to 11.

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2 thoughts on “Operational Hazards

  1. YAY! I’m glad you like the Scotch Eggs. Really sorry about your knee!

    For what it’s worth, I used a potholder with a giant hole in it the other day without realizing — MAJOR burn on my hand. I’m an idiot in the kitchen, which is not good for a cookbook author.

    Jess –> The Scotche Eggs will work great with beef — or ground turkey or bison or chicken.

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