Wednesday, June 03, 2009

visitation rights

we popped by to say hi to lil' ugmo and to see if our neighbours had surveys last night. the neighbours were SO FRIENDLY. the ones directly attached to us are the boom...they were so thrilled we got the place and were beaming about it. in the course of our conversation with them, a bunch of other people were walking around with their kids, checking in with neighbours, saying hi to each other. it was super cute! it makes me think everything is going to be okay. i flippin' love the neighbourhood.

the peeps across the street from us who sold their place for $428,000 (they bought it for $240,000 FOUR years ago, but they said it was a rental and was in piss-poor shape - worse than ours) showed us around their renos. he said that if you pull down the lath and plaster on the wall that separates your house from the person you're attached to, you can get the exposed brick. exciting!!! it's only like 1/4" of plaster, too. i think we're going to do it. we're going to have to seal it up though to prevent dust and crumbling mortar. actually, the more i read up about it, the more of a pain it seems...gah, yet ANOTHER decision to grapple with.

last night for dinner i made us black bean and farro burgers with a smoky red pepper spread. the burgers were amazing! i was so impressed. they were tender and flavourful, but the spelt gave it a nice chewy texture. the smoky red pepper spread MADE it though. i've attached the recipe for both below (i got them from food and wine magazine.) the pictures don't do this veggie burger justice. it's a little time consuming, but you could probably split the prep into two (easy) days worth of work.

so. 'terminator salvation'. what is there to say that hasn't been said at this point? the movie was a snoozer. all dark, bleached out, post-apocalyptic ultra-exposed and gritty textures - much sound and fury, signifying nothing. sam worthington does a good job of coming out of nowhere and upstaging christian bale - no small feat considering bale is giving it his gravel-voiced best. supporting characters are extraneous (including the inclusion of a totally mis-cast and outplayed common) and the story is ludicrous. my family spent a good hour afterwards arguing over where it fits into the mythology. it was hard to tell because they kept trying to knowingly shout out the mythology, but the references and the story were completely implausible - that's the tangled web you weave when you tango with time travel. it was kind of boring, really. skynet is the stupidest computer system ever. there were multiple points at which they could have killed the protagonists...but don't? the action sequences were aight, but nothing breathtaking and the female characters were walking hair products ads or had to stand there staring dumbfounded. weaksauce!

tonight is knit club night. i'm making vegan-friendly black bean chili with tomatillo salsa and diced avocado and scallions and crunched up freshly fried corn chips for chucking in there. (black beans two nights in a row = major pooting)

for dessert i'm going to fry up flour tortillas and toss them in cinnamon sugar and serve them drizzled with dulce de leche for the non vegans.


black bean burgers w/ smoky red pepper spread
makes 4 giant burgers and 8 small to regular sized ones

1 1/4 c. dried black beans, covered in cold water and soaked 4 hours or overnight
3 1/2 T. olive oil
1/3 c. farro (spelt)
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 t. crushed red ppper
minced garlic to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1 c. breadcrumbs, fresh or dried
1/4 c. chopped basil
1/4 c. chopped parsley
generous amount of salt and pepper
vegetable/canola oil for sautéing
8 buns
smoky red pepper spread and thickly sliced red onion for serving

- in a saucepan, cover the beans with water and simmer over medium heat until tender (add water as needed to maintain>)
- meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 T. of the olive oil and add the farro. cook over high eat, stirring, until farro is lightly toasted. add 3 c. of water and a pinch of salt and boil the farro until the grains are al dente.
- in a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until softened. add the crushed red pepper and cook for a minute or two longer.
- in a food processor pulse all but 1/2 c. of the black beans to a chunky puree. transfer to a bowl and fold in the reserved 1/2 c. of beans, the farro, the onion mixture, eggs, breadcrumbs, and herbs. season generously with salt and pepper. cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (can be made a day ahead)
- in a large skillet, heat 1/8" of vegetable oil. form the burger mixture into patties and add them to the pan, cook until golden brown and crusty, flipping once. transfer the patties to the buns.
- i sprinkled my finished burgers with some coarse fleur de sel.


smoky red pepper spread

1 red pepper
1 c. of feta
1/2 t. of smoked spanish paprika

- roast red pepper over a gas grill until charred and blistered all over. stick it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes.
- peel and seed the pepper and put the flesh in a food processor. blitz with the feta and the smoked paprika to make a fairly smooth spread.
- smear generously on the top and bottom buns of the burger.
- this stuff is seriously like crack cocaine.

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