Tonight was chef's night off (after a brief appearance) and the photog got off almost as lightly...
I discovered that going on a mad shopping trip for 3 hours in the late afternoon and fighting traffic--like I did the last few afternoons--is not conducive to playing with mayonnaise making. The last couple nights I was trying to make something different cooking wise and at the same time I was dead on my feet. So tonight I decided to let the chef take a well needed break.
We have a new supermarket in town, and I'm awed! It is called Super King Market
and evidently they are only in the SoCal area and now 5 stores including the one newly opened near me. The space used to be occupied by our spendy Gelsons but I guess with hard times people just weren't into $20/lb steaks and other gourmet/spendy stuff (in spite of Whole Foods Market evidently still doing well, where I am an occasional customer although not one of my major suppliers).
So all I can say is that Super King is exactly the opposite price wise. I went shopping there yesterday intending to buy just a few items but came off with almost more vegetables than I could comfortably carry, plus a pound of salmon filet, plus about 10-12 ounces of marinated pork chops, plus a nifty solidly made vegetable peeler (stainless steel and I love the way the blade doesn't swivel)----and all of this left me change out of a $20 bill! I saw vegetables I've never seen before including some unusual variety of green beans (Romano). I got limes, key limes, lemons, sweet lemons, yams, russett potatoes, some ginormous mushrooms, brown onions, red onions, summer squashes, zucchini, tomatoes, Atlantic salmon @ $5.99/lb, marinated pork chops @ 1.99/lb, total $18.54, and this will keep me in fresh vegetables for a week or more!
So for tonight's dinner I had their marinated pork chops cooked on my gas grill, some left over white rice (I was too tired/lazy to cook any starches) and my mom's recipe quick barbecue beans (recipe follows). The beans require 3-4 minutes prep and an occasional peek at the pot/pan every several minutes for about 45, the grilling took several minutes, the rice 45 seconds on nuke, and the chef spent his time surfing the 'Net.
One of my stops this afternoon was Cost Plus World Market, where I picked up some massive glass tumblers after buying a few last week. I think they're the same tumblers I already own several of (they're in storage, ya da same old song) but I like them so much I decided I wouldn't mind owning a dozen or more. Not only are they nice for a big deep glass of chilly ice water or iced tea, but when I'm in an artistic mood they work really great for cramming a bunch of colored pencils, technical pens or watercolor brushes in.
So anyway I've been buying various plates to give variety of food shots, and saw an interesting design I instantly liked. They're grey tones in a Japanese motif (picture below). I got 4 dinner plates, 4 side dishes and 4 salad/soup bowls. Mostly I've been buying twosies (2 each) but a few sets I've liked enough to buy larger service. The cashier said I had 60 days to change my mind and get an immediate refund. Nice store! I've shopped there (3 locations nearby, probably more I'm not aware of.
So finally, my mom's quick barbecued bean recipe. This tastes good, it's quick and easy to assemble, and it cooks itself with very little attention:
15 oz can Van Camp's Pork 'n Beans
about 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cap full of Wright's liquid hickory smoke
about 2 Tbsp ketchup (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
1 medium brown onion, diced
Just assemble everything in a sauce pan and simmer it for 40 minutes or so. Feeds 2 people who really like beans, maybe 4 or more particularly if they don't like beans.
So the food shot: grilled Super King marinated pork chops, mom's quick barbecue beans, and Jasmine rice (from yesterday). All in all it wasn't bad considering probably only 12 minutes in preparation.