Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Bryan continues to toil in the garden. Here is our first crop. Radishes. Mmm.

I'm less in the dirt, more at the stove, even though I really want to know how to garden. I'll get there eventually. When the fossil fuel runs out in a few years, say.
Below, my first successful chicken liver dish. Hello B vitamins. Perusing the web and various cookbooks for ideas yielded nothing that jazzed me until I remembered Steinhof, the Austrian restaurant we used to frequent in Brooklyn. They had this liver pate with gherkins and sour cherries I used to order sometimes (with a dirty Ketel One martini). After carefully draining and cleaning my pastured pound of organs (the very thing I hadn't done the first time around when I unwittingly created blood paste in my food processor) I sauteed the shit out of them in ghee, smothered them with onions caramelized in organic bacon fat, and sided the lot with gherkins and dried sour cherries. Voila, lunch for the entire week (because no one else in my family dared to eat organ meat.) 

I recently remembered that I was an art major in a previous life. Maybe when I saw this cool project idea on a friend's blog. You can also get it here.

The gist: Tell the kids that you have a FUN project in store. No not in THE store. You're not going shopping. That's the whole point. You're going to RECYCLE old stuff. Tell the disappointed peach-puffins that their fingers are just the right size for the job. Just like those children Liam Neeson saved in Schindler's List.

Put them to work peeling old crayons. Hover as they make a mess all over the kitchen floor. Silently tally the crayons that have not been fully peeled. Finish the job yourself when they lose interest five minutes later.

Fill a mini-muffin tin with the peeled crayon bits, muttering to yourself that you could be outside getting some sun.

Melt the pieces in a 275 degree oven. Yell at the kids to get the hell away from the hot stove when you check after three minutes. Check again after five minutes. After six minutes. Stir with toothpick. Check again after eight minutes. Wonder what you're doing wrong. Wonder why you thought it was a good idea to use the muffin tin you impulse-bought at Williams-fucking-Sonoma. At least the other one is still in great shape. You don't need two anyway. The oven always burns whatever's on the bottom rack. Everything is FINE.

Make sure there are no children afoot when you transfer the piping hot wax-filled muffin tin to the refrigerator or else There Will Be Pus. And cursing.

Stash tray on stove-top while you spend a half-hour moving stuff around in the fridge so there will actually be room. Slam jars and Tupperware on the counter with enough hostility to show whoever's around that you have been thoroughly victimized by this "project." Throw away moldy cheese and bread and salsa. Ignore the hideous gooey hairy sticky spots in the back of the tempered glass shelf. You don't have time to deal with that shit.

Finally, stick the tray in the fridge, go lay out in the sun on the Ikea chaise lounge that is already starting to fall apart after one season and ignore everyone.

An hour later, open the fridge and see that someone (Hamish) got busy with a toothpick before the crayons fully hardened. Shake it off because you eat meat now and don't fall apart over the little stuff anymore.

Check out your starter tan in the mirror.

Bang on the back of the muffin tin with the heel of your nutrient-dense hand to release the crayon-muffins and suddenly feel high like you're on drugs because it fucking worked. You knew it would. Ha!

Call the kids back from the television. Watch them have fun stacking the new crayon muffins up a million different ways. Remind them not to hurl them at each other.

Forget to actually draw with the newly forged crayons because all kidding aside, they are tiny wonders of sensory fulfillment. They click together like castanets, smell like childhood and make crazy stackable color combos that dazzle the eyes. Watch as Hamish hoards them all in his room and feel like mother of the century.

Wake up early the next morning and peel the rest of the crayons, even the ones that aren't broken.


Amelia Plum said...

woohoo! go elise. great post. you sound so different in your posts, still the same funny, insightful elise but, well it sounds like eating all that meat is having a very positive effect on you. love the photos.

elise said...

amelia! thank you for noticing. and for the props regarding my newtritional ways. and you've known me for forever so it means a lot coming from you. I keep checking your blog for a new post. I know you're busy with school but a girl can dream... lots of love!

Cate said...

I love that this really has NOTHING to do with radishes. Love it.

Those crayons -- are your swanky Williams Sonoma muffin tins full size, or mini? I might have to ruin some of mine soon. We love peeling the paper off of crayons in this house. Just think, if your tins were non-stick, you actually did yourself a favor by rendering them truly unfit for making meat muffins. After all, you don't want teflon in your liver treats, right?

Meat muffins heh-heh.

elise said...

Cate! I was feeling rad-ish. get it? oh I love puns. the muffin tins are mini. they're not nonstick but I hold out hope that they will cook food without rendering anyone ill. I just have to scrub them. which might take me a year to get around to doing. definitely don't want teflon in my meat-muffins, which sounds like a great idea. mini-pate cupcakes. the kids might eat organ meat yet! thanks for the inspiration.

vrexy said...

I keep meaning to post comments to you so that you know I am reading and loving the things you write, but I remain a lurker at heart! I really love these crayon muffins! What a fun thing!