Category Archives: cooking (or something like it)

Soup (a post by Lee)

It’s not even 3pm, and I’ve already had 4 conversations in 3 different mediums about soup.

1. Text Message

Anna Marie: I am planning to make at least 2 soups for/with you this weekend. Please brainstorm what you want. I had two in mind as backup. We will freeze most of it to get you through the winter.
Lee: That’s so nice. Vegetable soup!
Anna Marie: AHHAHAHA
Lee: I don’t know any other soups
I don’t think I own bowls hahahaha
I’m reading the Wikipedia page on soup
Anna Marie: Lee.
Lee: Oh my god there are so many types of soup
No gazpacho
I don’t like that
No ma’am
Anna Marie: Maybe we should swap to gchat?

2. Gchat

me: I thought maybe you were anti-gchat
BIRD’S NEST SOUP
OMG
Anna: Do you like my Soup Idea?
me: MY MIND IS BLOWN
I JUST WALTZED INTO [supervisor’s] OFFICE
AND SAID,
“[supervisor’s name].”
and she said “…yeah?”
and I said “HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF EDIBLE BIRDS NESTS”
Anna: waltzed haha
me: and she said “…?”
AND I SAID “I’M SENDING YOU A WRITE UP EVERYTHING IS MADNESS” and toodled out

3. Email to Supervisor

Subject: Bird’s Nest Soup

Okay, so, apparently there’s a bird in China named the “Edible-nest Swiftlet.” It makes its nests OUT OF SALIVA. They look horrifying. It must take them forever to construct a saliva nest, and it’s almost a pity that humans harvest this nest, then boil it down. There’s almost a tragedy inherent here? I just got kind of sad.

Anyway. So humans harvest the spit-nest, and dissolve it in water. This results in a gelatinous broth. Apparently there are some super health benefits to it, though I’m not sure it’s worth the cost. A bowl of bird’s nest soup can apparently cost $100. And, if you’re anything like me, half that soup would end up on your lap, so you’d have a dry cleaning bill to work with, also.

THE MORE YOU KNOW!

4. Back to Gchat

me: what 2 soups did you have in mind
Anna: well, ideally i need a blender
1. veggie with some pasta (like whole wheat shells)
2. acorn squash / sweet potato (that i made last week for myself)
(blender for #2)
me: these sound complicated
we could just
buy CANS
of soup
and eat them like savages
straight out of the can
as I’m unclear as to whether or not I own bowls

Cooking TragicLee (a post by Anna)

Lee is a total catastrophe in the kitchen. That’s why I’ve forced her in front of the camera time and time again while “trying to cook.” She’s now moving in a more literary direction as she wrecks recipes. Check out the first of many monthly installments here on Forever Young Adult!

Hey Y’all, We Saw Paula Deen! (a post by Anna)

The combination of a Living Social deal and Lee’s newfound love of cooking led us to Reliant Park last weekend. Paula Deen was in town!

Fulfilling our daily apron-wearing quota.

As we waited for Paula, I noticed the demographic surrounding us: 90% middle-aged women with big hair. When she hit the stage, they went camera crazy!

Look at all those cameras!

Paula invited her husband Michael on stage, and I expected them to start cooking. I soon realized I was attending a Paula Deen comedy show. The only cook at work was a Whole Foods chef, making Paula’s Southern comfort foods on the kitchen behind her with the help of Michael.

Paula’s comedy show involved liberal use of the words y’all and butter. She said she felt at home in Houston with her big hair and personality. Instead of telling cooking stories, we heard about how her dog ran away from her, the experience of being in the delivery room when her grandson was born, and a lot of sexual innuendo. At one point, she pulled out a chunk of her fake hair and told us about the time her husband took her on a “romantical” date. The audience clapped constantly. It was a blast!

My video footage was limited, but here’s a snippet of butter and Houston talk:

Paula Deen talks about butter in Houston from Anna Smith on Vimeo.

And that’s the story of how Lee permanently adopted the Paula Deen “Hey yall” to her vocabulary.

A Brewer, a Baker, a Vegan Cheese-Maker (a post by Lee)

Y’all! Anna Marie’s back! And the first thing she did when she walked in the door was kill a huge cockroach whose presence incapacitated me and left me whimpering on the couch head straight to the fridge and request some cashew cheese!

I was a little nervous about the tasting. I discovered yesterday that cashews may be my least favorite nut.

This is my game face. No wonder I never made varsity.

But, guys! Here’s the thing! It actually wasn’t bad!

In fact, Anna Marie, with equal parts pleasure, sincerity, and surprise, commented after sampling the cheese, “This is actually really good!”

So now I’m thinking of starting a cashew cheese food truck and am open to suggestions for names.

Cashew on the flip side!

Barefoot Contessa - watch out!

When the Cats are Away, the Mouse Shall Play (a post by Lee)

Both Jordie and Anna Marie are out of town for a few days, rendering me unsupervised.

This is not good.

Without anyone to check and balance me, I find myself engaging in a variety of projects ripe with potential disaster.

One activity I generally do not participate in – and which I particularly should avoid doing solo – is cooking/baking/preparing food in any way that does not directly involve the use of a microwave.

So, in the absence of my two Jiminy Crickets, I decided to dive headfirst into food-creation by making cheese. Naturally.

This is why it's best not to leave me to my own devices. They should never travel.

Inspired by a conversation with my pen pal, in which she sent me this article about one of the actors from Home Improvement, I resolved to attempt cashew cheese.

Equipped with this recipe, I toodled over to the grocery store.

I am not known for being particularly efficient in grocery stores. The overwhelming amount of products mixed with my tendency towards distraction lends itself to lengthy trips, culminating in me not buying anything I actually need.

But how can you not get carried away when your local grocery store features such astounding displays of pastry architecture?

You down with HEB? Yeah, you know me!

All things considered, my trip was relatively quick. I only needed 3 items for my recipe. It took me 45 minutes, and I left with 5. Oops. But they were très superfluous necessary.

The first step in creating this faux-cheese is to soak the cashews for 2 hours.

There is nothing worse than getting all excited about a project, and having to wait two hours to be able to do anything with it. It’s at this point that I started to regret my decision.

The world's most boring activity.

Finally, the cashews were adequately soaked. I threw all of the required ingredients in a blender, and then accidentally added some additional ones. Feeling cocky, I tried to mimic the trick where you squeeze lemon juice out of the lemon and through your fingers, so you catch the seeds and the juice goes into the container. Except my juice kept pooling together in my hand, and I’d spread my fingers the tiniest amount, and oops! About two or three seeds ended up in the mixture. Fun fact: lemon seeds and lightly-blended cashews look the same. There is no hope for you there. Just blend and pray lemon seeds aren’t toxic.

The recipe is rather vague, especially for a culinary idiot like me.* It required I “add water if necessary” to gain the proper consistency. I assumed a hummus-esque texture would do the trick, and ended up with something that looked like this:

Nothing like a bowl of... this... to whet your appetite.

Anyway! I’m supposed to let it settle in a cool place for 24 hours before refrigerating it/sampling it/throwing it away. We don’t, however, use air conditioning, so there really isn’t a “cool place” in sight. I think I’m just going to leave it on the counter and hope for the best. It really can’t get any worse.

This is so wrong.

* An aside: I used to own a paper chef’s hat, given to me by a chef in Charleston, SC. It made me feel like a kitchen wizard. I had to throw it away, sadly, after someone came into my dorm room while I was sleeping freshman year and vomited all over me and my hat collection.

UPDATE: Anna Marie came back! We ate the faux-cheese!

The Pi Day Curse (A post by Lee)

Yesterday was Pi Day. You may recall how last year I managed to completely botch my surprise pie. This year, Mar and I joined forces to bake a chocolate fudge pie.

Maybe it’s because we’re bad bakers. Maybe it’s because we don’t read recipes as well as we should. Maybe it’s because we attempted baking after we imbibed a Pi Day cocktail.

my attempt at a strawberry gin basil

But somehow we managed to replace the recommended 2 teaspoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of flour.

Luckily, Mar swiftly caught her mistake and scooped out the offending flour. And thus Pi Day was saved!

celebrating Pi Day with Will Smith!

And now for my close up. (a post by Anna)

Day by day by day for years now, Lee has set her mind towards one thing: FAME. She speaks of her desire to be famous almost daily and has asked me repeatedly to help her achieve this goal. I’ve made YouTubes, written blog posts, and raved about her to nearly every person I came into contact with. I’ve told her time and time again that fame takes time. That’s at least what I thought… until I recently became famous. And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
MY NAME GOT PRINTED IN GOOD HOUSEKEEPING MAGAZINE!!

If you're wondering who wrote the question above my name, I have no clue. ...........................

I realize after seeing the innovative question that I pose to Susan, you’ll come running to be my best friend and grind beef with me. I’ll be real; my friend Brad interned for Good Housekeeping and got me the hook up. To me, this couldn’t be funnier. As for Lee, I’ll never hear the end of how I’ve stolen her dreams.