A Windy Day Bike Rider Deserves Lunch

Yes I did. It was a cloudy, windy Saturday in Toronto and I wanted something different for lunch than coffee and a cookie at Starbucks.

I decided to head to Charles Street between Yonge Street and Bay Street for a plate of okinomiyaki at the Okinomiyaki House.

I’ve never had it before but passed the restaurant plenty of times over the past 20 years. Today was the day I ate okinomiyaki.

Okinomiyaki and a Coke

Okinomiyaki is a savoury pancake filled with chopped onion and cabbage. I ordered beef so my pancake also had sliced pieces of fried beef too. On top a sweet and tangy barbeque sauce is spread along with a dollop of mayonnaise. It was delicious and only cost $10.00 Canadian with a can of Coke and tip.

Then I pedalled against the wind to get home. Ugh. So tired now.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and chilly so my bike ride will take me to Soma chocolate shop in the Distillery district for Mexican hot chocolate. No, I’m not bringing you a sample. Go there yourself and enjoy the spicy elixir.

High Falutin’ Jello

 

By now you know how much I loathe jello. Be it cherry, grape, lemon, or lime flavoured in bright hues, with or without fruit, shaped like a fish aquarium, eyeballs, or Canada’s flag, I hate it. It’s rubbery chewy texture sickens me and I can’t stand the weird over-sweet chemically taste. I cheerfully make do without jello for dessert. 

 

Imagine the shock and awe when I was flipping through a cook book and I noticed a recipe for eggs and vegetables in aspic. Oh. Ewww. It resembled a transparent bundt cake, but it was made from evenly distributed peeled hard boiled eggs, cooked veggies and covered (COVERED) in transparent jello. My eyes hurt and some bile bubbled up into my nose right there in the cook book section of Indigo. I don’t think I’m going to recover from that image for quite a while. 

 

So, aspic. It’s made from cooked down bones and gristle (head and feet are some choice bits of critter). It’s a thick liquid when hot but turns into edible rubber once it’s chilled. Pretty much any kind of  meat, eggs, and veggies can be cocooned within it’s clear clutches (some choice ingredients I found when I googled were veal, pigs trotters, pheasant, eel (you know, snakey fish), pig skin, cow skin, ox tongue).

 

Jellied Eels. Good for somebody else.

 

I thought I hit aspic gold when I read “Larks Tongue in Aspic” because that’s at least a 10 on the Vomit Scale, but it turned out to be 70s prog rock band King Crimson song title:

Can you imagine trying to catch the larks, then pulling out their little tongues, and then prepping them in aspic? This would definitely be a tedious afternoon chore. And any icky one.

Video Spoiler: There are no larks! 

 

Jello Facts That Horrify Me (and probably you)

JELLO IS THE OFFICIAL STATE SNACK FOOD OF UTAH
How horrible for them. According to this Wikipedia article that has seriously frayed my nerves, Utah is part of the “Jello Belt”.

ERGO, MORMONS ENJOY JELLO. WITH SHREDDED CARROTS. SOMETIMES FRUIT.
And apparently the green lime flavoured Jello (or sneaker flavoured to be more precise) is a favourite because many more boxes of the green stuff was sold in Utah than in other states.

Eww.

THE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN JELLO IS GELATIN.
And gelatin comes from boiling and boiling and boiling the connective tissue from animals. I read a most wonderful article in The Chemical and Engineering News (online edition) and provides and interesting chemical and historical information about Jello. That’s right CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS. Because that’s where I want to find the latest and greatest food recipes. 

HOW TO CONQUER JELLO 
When you see a bowl of jello coagulating in the fridge, toss in a handful of FRESH pineapple. The pineapple contains an enzyme that will neutralize the evil quivering jello into harmless flushable mush. Do it! It’s the only way we can defend ourselves from this foul snack. 

But if you persist: Here’s some information about how to satisfy your South Beach Diet requirements and create a Jello-based holiday recipe then check out this picture I found at Kalyn’s Kitchen:

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It’s Double Berry Jello Salad.

And yes, it does look like it’s been hacked off a person.

Horrible. Just horrible. 

And I thought I’d found all of the horrible jello recipes in existence…

Nope.

I found numerous websites dedicated to jello based recipes.

Yecch!

I pledge to share these with you. You are welcome.

Sawdust Salad, anyone? My favourite part is the option to “Grate cheese on top if desired”. Thanks, but that would ruin a perfectly good bit of cheese.

Maybe you are not getting enough calories. I know this is rather troublesome for people. So here is a recipe to help you pack on the poundage, HorseRadish Mold.

Num num num! The recipe promises 2113 calories per serving. I imagine it comes from either the 1 cup of mayonnaise, or possibly the 1 cup of sour cream. Unless it’s the 4 ounces of horseradish… Regardless, you can be sure to plump up soon after a plate of this salad.

And the Vingada.com Award for Least Appealing Recipe Title: Mom’s Congealed Salad! I wonder what the punishment is if you don’t clean off your plate? This sounds vile… especially the instruction to add ice cream to the blender if the cottage cheese-mayo-jello mix isn’t sweet enough. Oh, and don’t forget to garnish this with nuts.

I suddenly have a craving for anything that is not sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, horseradish, or jello. Particularily lemon, lime, and orange varieties.

But I’ll leave you with this bonus recipe in it’s entirety.

Olive Relish

Bright Spots For Wartime Meals – 66 Ration-Wise Recipes, 1944

1 pkg Lime Jell-O
1 pint hot water
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sliced stuffed olives
1/2 cup sliced sweet pickles
1/4 cup diced celery, if desired

Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Add vinegar and salt. Chill. When slightly thickened, add remaining ingredients. Turn into small individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold. Serve with fish or meat. Makes 12 molds. Hospitality needn’t cost you much … either money or pints. Try some of these color-and-savor combinations, all made with food easy to get nowadays. They’ll prove to you and your friends that you can still do luscious entertaining in spite of shortages and rations. Say welcome in wartime!

I copied this recipe from the Jello Museum‘s website. Yes, the Jello Museum, opened by none other than Bill Cosby. Go look, they have pictures. Anyhoo, the Jello Museum has several “Historic Jello Recipes”. I dunno, maybe jello saved the free world from fascism.

Bon appetit!

Garlic! Oh Magnificent Garlic! How My Breath Awaits You!

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My friend Naseem (who is one of my Facebook Obsessions friends) sent out this link to all of her Facebook peeps.

Oh, you must click on this link. Go watch the video. It is awesome! Now I want this thing… and yet it would sit in a kitchen drawer until the next tidy-up/purging. But the video would be worth the price of the garlic card. Yes, garlic card. Go watch the video. I’ve declared the music as the official soundtrack of my life.

After you’ve watched the swinging Swedish video, go thank Naseem by visiting her Flickr photos. She has over 3,000 photos — some of them of gorgeous cakes and hamsters (but don’t worry, there are no hamster cakes).

Umm… is that a green molded salad? Do you hate me THAT much?

This is what I’d expect any guest to ask if I presented this Jello based entree.

May I present to you… Jello’s Holiday Waldorf Salad!!

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Be honest with me… does it look like creamy compost? I think it has an extruded from mashed grass clippings look about it.

Who came up with this gem? Can you imagine the thought process that went into developing this recipe? “I’m thinking lemon Jello and and and mayonnaise! Yeah and apple! And I need to punch up the flavours with some celery! This will be fabulous.”

Not only would I have to be starving before I ate this, I’d first have to eat the wall-to-wall shag carpet and the curtains in the living room before I’d drop a tablespoon of this glop on my plate.

Besides, isn’t Waldorf Salad supposed to have chicken in it? Did Jello figure there was enough meat product (from hooves) in it to satisfy that recipe trolling public that the chicken (from chicken) wasn’t necessary?

Well I’m not going to be the first to eat this. Here’s the recipe. Tell me how it goes.