Things I learned this weekend

Zesting a lemon makes your house smell like you just cleaned it. So fresh and lemony! I don’t know how it took me so long to buy a microplane – zesting is so much easier with one. Really, kitchen gadgets are generally worth the hype. A microplane, citrus presses, and a potato masher have changed my life. I used the zest in a batch of lemon-blueberry scones, which turned out wonderfully thanks to my friend Google, who taught me that…

All-purpose flour is not the same as self-rising flour. My scones called for self-rising flour, which I do not have. I was prepared to swap in all-purpose flour and run with it when a little voice in my head said I may want to Google the difference, just in case it was a make-or-break kind of thing. And turns out it is: self-rising flour already has the leavening agent included, whereas you’d have to add it to all-purpose (makes sense). Fortunately, it’s easy to use all-purpose flour in place of self-rising: for every cup of all-purpose flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Easy! Good thing I checked or those scones would’ve looked pretty sad.

Happy scones

A fresh chicken on sale can cost less than a rotisserie chicken from the deli! Whole chickens were on sale this weekend for $0.79/pound, making the total cost under $4. Mind. Blown. I spread a mixture of fresh lemon (zest and juice), olive oil, garlic, mustard and fresh herbs all over it and roasted it with carrots, butternut squash, shallots and red potatoes. Best Sunday dinner ever.

I do not like aged beef. Mark and I went to our favorite Seattle burger place on Friday night, Uneeda Burger in Fremont. We’ve been to Uneeda many times before and I always get the same thing (the “classic”) so I know what I’m getting. I’m basically an expert in the classic. Don’t mess with my classic. As soon as they placed it in front of me, I knew something was off. I could smell it – almost a rancid smell. I initially just chalked it up to pregnancy hormones – beef can smell odd sometimes and still be perfectly fine. So I took a bite. NO GO. It tasted like it smelled: on the verge of going bad. I then did what any good wife would do: shoved it in Mark’s face and asked if he smelled anything weird (he didn’t) and then had him taste it to see if he thought it tasted off (he thought it was normal). Then I took a bite of HIS burger: salty Uneeda heaven and exactly what I had been expecting. I took a couple more bites of mine to confirm whether I was crazy or I would do the unthinkable: return it to the kitchen. After a passionate discussion of the pros and cons, I sucked it up and returned the burger to the kitchen, explaining that it tasted bad and could I please have another one. A minute later, the Uneeda cashier came to our table and explained that I’d gotten the special 21-day aged beef patty by accident (normally you pay extra for it), which accounted for the “sweaty” taste (his word, not mine, though accurately descriptive), and he was so sorry about that and here was a coupon for a free burger the next time we came in. Long story short, I eventually got my replacement burger and it tasted amazing and exactly how I wanted it. But now I know. Aged beef: never again.

#93: To Kill A Mockingbird

I've already updated my original post by crossing off the 1961 classic To Kill A Mockingbird. I remember this book was on my sophomore year reading list in high school but for whatever reason, our class didn't get to it. It's an important book - I really liked it. I haven't decided what book is next. Steinbeck perhaps?