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Posts tagged ‘bulldog puppy’

Cloudy With A Chance Of Fruit Bats

At o-dark-hundred hours on Monday, the tornado siren went off and we had to go down to the basement in our pajamas.  Our basement is no place for pajamas.  It’s colder than moon rocks down there.  It’s drippy and crickety and smells like wet cardboard and goat.

But Scott gallantly led the way, like he had a plan.

This was a red herring.  He did not have a plan.  Also, he did not have a bunch of tornado supplies down there like I thought he did.

This chart sums up how we did in the disaster preparedness department:

Tornado Checklist

Things We Were Supposed To Have

Things We Actually Had

6 gallons water     →

1 can diet Pepsi and a dog bowl

1 change of clothing & footwear each     →

Scott wasn’t even wearing socks or shoes so he probably has a termite infection of the foot now

2 blankets/sleeping bags     →

1 puppy-sized dog bed

3-day supply of food     →

A bunch of bugs, but Thunder ate them

Tools, flash light, batteries, radio     →

iPhone on 17% power

1 first-aid kit     →

1 tube model glue

1 fire extinguisher     →

whatever’s left in the can of diet Pepsi

Car keys, credit card, cash     →

A box of Christmas ornaments & Scott’s college diploma, framed

There wasn’t much to do except take pictures of Thunder on the iPhone.

She was having a blast.  She was all “Wooohoooo sleep-over camp is awwwwwesome! What activities are we going to do next, guys?”

She did not know we were thinking of confiscating her bone because we humans were hungry and the bone was supposedly chicken-flavored.

After a while, Scott said my photos were draining the battery and he needed it to monitor the weather, but really he was looking to see if anyone would deliver pizza.

This will not shock you as much as it shocked him, but getting pizza delivered to our fight-club-petri-dish-of-a-basement during a tornado alert was a no-go.

Scott was bummed about this until the siren stopped and I made him go upstairs and check himself for the following:

  • ticks
  • fleas
  • fruit bats
  • dysentery

While he did that, I texted PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) from Scott’s phone so he’ll receive monthly tornado safety tips via text message.  This is going to annoy him a little until he gets his first daily update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at which point he’ll be so mad he’ll want to put his fist through the basement wall.  I’m not worried about it though, because I’m pretty sure the basement wall is made of cardboard.

In conclusion, since I’ll probably get stuck eating canned sardines, canned corn and model glue in a small, unventilated space this spring, let’s cook fresh while we can, eh?

This is Israeli cous cous seasoned with lemon and thyme, flavored with some crumbled feta, and–if you like–tossed with poached salmon.

You start by cooking these large pearls of Israeli cous cous in broth and lemon zest, and then you add some thyme and lemon juice.

The feta brings the salt and some creaminess, and the salmon is a perfectly matched protein.  It’s lovely for a luncheon or a delicate dinner.

You can skip the salmon if you’re not a fan. (The dish without salmon is pictured below.)

Alternatively, you could serve a full piece of the salmon on the side, but I like to flake it up and toss it in warm.

Israeli Cous Cous with Salmon, Feta, Lemon & Thyme

Ingredients: (serves 2 as a meal, about 4 as a side dish)

1 c. Israeli cous cous

1/2-3/4 lb. salmon (1 fillet)

1/4 c. white wine (optional, for poaching)

1 1/4- 1 1/3 c. chicken broth (Depending on how much water the label on your brand of cous cous says to add.  I prefer low-sodium broth, because feta is salty.  You can substitute a vegetarian broth.)

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh thyme

3/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled

3 lemons (for 2 tbsp. lemon peel, and 2-3 tbsp. lemon juice}

hearty dash of pepper

Directions:

In a pan with a tight lid, put 1/4 c. water and 1/4 c. white wine (or a total of 1/2 c. water if not using wine).  You can throw in a sprig of thyme if you like.  Bring the pan to a simmer over medium heat.

Place the salmon skin-side down in the pan and cover tightly.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, until salmon is a matte rose color and is cooked through.  (Exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of your cut of salmon, and salmon will continue to poach until it’s cool.  Check doneness by peeling back a section with a fork.)  Transfer salmon to a plate and discard the liquid and thyme in the pan.

Prepare the lemon peel by zesting the lemons with a zester or a grater.   If using a zester that cuts long curls of peel, chop the peel roughly so that the pieces are not an inch long.

Check the instructions on your canister of cous cous to see how much water to boil 1 c. cous cous in.  It should be between 1 1/4 c. and 1 1/3 c., depending on the brand. You will be using that much broth instead of water.

In a small pot, also with a tight-fitting lid, bring the chicken broth and butter to a boil.  Add the cous cous and the lemon peel, stir, and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover the pot (this is important.)

Let simmer for about 7-8 minutes, stirring every few minutes (re-covering with the lid each time).

While the cous cous is simmering, prepare the thyme.  The leaves will come off the stem if you drag your fingers from the top of the stem to the bottom, against the grain of the plant’s growth.

The cous cous is done after about 7 minutes, when it has absorbed the chicken broth.  Taste to confirm cous cous is al dente or softer, if desired.

Immediately transfer cous cous to a bowl and toss with the olive oil.  Add the thyme, lemon juice, feta, and a generous dash or two of pepper.

Remove the skin from the bottom of the salmon with a butter knife and break the salmon up into flakes according to the natural grain of the fish.  Add the salmon to the cous cous.  Adjust seasonings, especially the lemon juice, to taste.

Serve warm.

Still recovering from the excitement of camp.

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