Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jeff Visits The Treehouse

House-guests are generally great people. I love them, in fact. But to have a guest staying with me who is as entirely dedicated to food in the same exact ways that I am is a priceless, invigorating, and thrilling thing. I did have a primal guest for a weekend, and though he's gone home, he continues to be a guest of sorts-- piping in on the weekend here in this post!

El: Jeff first embarked upon a driving adventure in which he missed my town (a couple of times) and then I led him back. When he got here, a feast awaited: Primal Tamale Casserole, as mentioned two posts back, and fixins. It got a little dry for me during the driving adventure, but my lovely neighbor came to the rescue with sour cream. We fared well, methinks.

Jeff: When I used Google maps to find how to arrive at El's location, I may have accidentally checked the "Please drive me around the city in efforts to show me all possible ways to not make it to the location" box. This did, however, provide the necessary time to make me all the more hungry for the meal El had provided for the night. The casserole was a great meal, but i feel that the true star of the night food-wise was the Mexican rice! I typically do not care for cauliflower rice but that stuff was the bomb.

El: The next morning, Saturday, we had Crossfit for breakfast at Crossfit NTX, my local box. Always a good time with Sean and the guys there. By good, I mean insane. I go on Saturdays when I'm off, for their community workouts (which are Saturday and Sunday) and it was stellar to bring Jeff to his first session. 

Jeff: Crossfit has always been one of the things I've desired to try out, and not only did i get to try it but it completly dominated me. I do not have a regular workout routine so by the time we were done with the 30 minute warm up I was already aching and sweating. In the end(five days of soreness) I have a huge desire to return to Crossfit because the workout was intense but the people involved were helpful, friendly, and made me feel accepted despite my lack of physical ability.

El: We earned ourselves a good lunch, and though steak or some-such may have been more appropriate, sustenance came in the simplicity of cod wraps with egg salad. The egg-salad I made with my herbed mayonnaise-- the basic recipe plus parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, and of course the rosemary-infused avocado oil. Big pebbles of blacked black pepper gave it a punchiness and plenty of dill pickle a familiarity. My only complaint was that there was not enough. The cod was... sigh. Better luck next time, self. 

Jeff: I really enjoyed the Cod wraps(I blame the Cod itself for being tougher than desired, not El's cooking ability). The leaf veggie we used to wrap the Cod was surprising more substantial to the meal than you would think that a wrap would be. I found myself just chewing on the tasty leaf itself more so than the cod filling. The egg salad was great, and I believe I did get the larger portion of it, but you snooze you lose. 

El: As we finished licking our plates, we had already begun to ponder the direction that dinner would take us, and some great spark of ambition caught me. "I want pizza," I professed. And that was the end of that. Half an hour later, we roamed my favorite grocery store,  H-Mart, in Carrollton and allowed Jeff to stock up on things that he can't quite get where he's from. 

Jeff: Where I come from, finding something like almond flour or powdered coconut milk is next to impossible. So having the opportunity to do shopping for things I can't get my hands on was a welcomed expedition. At H-Mart I bought some Purple potatos, seaweed, and coconut products in various forms. I have to say despite not having a clue what they say on the label, the Asian brands of food are great! Later in the week I took home those purple potatos and fried them in some olive oil and spices, and they were amazing, with the crispness and consistency of a spud but with a sweeter taste. 

El: That got us talking about what else he can't get, and less than an hour later, we were in the vast and bright mall of food that is Whole Foods Park Lane in Dallas. Jeff doesn't get to go into Whole Foods so much, so it was a thrill-ride of sorts... we nabbed a basket of goodies for pizza making, general groceries, and Jeff's trip home. I forgot what all we got, but at one point I bought some Salish Alderwood smoked salt and ran back to the butcher, where he kindly rubbed it on fresh pork belly for us and sliced it like bacon. Thats as uncured as it gets. We got some in-store hand-stretched mozerella to top the pizza and some parm and eggplant to compose the crust, a la my favorite pizza recipe at This Primal Life. Another goodie we got was chipotle chili powder, which smelled so much like BBQ sauce it was unavoidable. I figured that's make a good pizza sauce... *cough, cough*

Jeff: Now I've been to a whole foods before, but I have to say its not quite the same unless you have El with you.. Not only does she know exactly what cheeses to buy but she will willingly help any customer who is need! I think I lost her like 5 times during the trip, whether she realized she was lost or not is another matter. Mainly bought some delicious cheeses from Whole foods, my favorite so far being the Goat Gouda. Having a market where you can buy organic/grass fed products is a blessing you may not realize you have until you don't have it at all. 

El: Now that I look at the pizza recipe, I realize why it was 'too wet...' ...we forgot almond flour! Or neglected it. But we bulked up our (tiny eggplant) recipe by adding more eggs, parm, and coconut flour. I also forgot to 'return to the oven' before topping, which would've improved upon it... but it was SO good that we didn't much care. 'Fresh' bacon, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and HOT tomato sauce mingled with delightfully fresh mozzarella chunks and left us satisfied and happy. 

Jeff: Oddly enough I love food. This love of food includes all types of food, except for the famous Pizza. My entire life has been filled with lackluster Italian pies, with too much sauce or too much greasy cheese and the like. That night, the pizza El made quietly restored my trust to pizza, she obtained perfect balance of toppings, sauce, and crust. That chipotle powder we used in the sauce was a bit spicier than intended so the first batch of sauce became a batch of bbq sauce to be saved for later. I think the pictures of the pizza should do some justice to it, but let my recommendation go out for all pizza lovers, this stuff was gooood.

El: When Sunday finally came, we rolled scrambled eggs in prosciutto and nori, packed lunch, and set out on a hike on the 380 Greenbelt, a nearby park. It was more of a stroll, I guess-- beautiful but too easy to be a 'hike,' and the weather was perfect. The walk was (thankfully!) sprinkled with dogs, which make most anything better. We settled on a log for a casual lunch of a recipe (another actual RECIPE!) that I've made and will make time and time again, from The The Primal Blueprint Cookbook-- little shrimp bites. I just made a quick Asian cabbage salad to go underneath. And some sauce.

Jeff: By this time the Crossfit was just beginning to take its toll, which caused me to walk in a funny stiff legged kinda way. I think what kept me going was two fold, first fold was the amazing breakfast we had. It was my first prosciutto to ever be had and certainly not the last. The scrambled eggs we filled it with were great, just light enough so we wouldn't feel sluggish on our hike. The second fold was knowing there was more delicious food to be had when we decided to stop and have lunch. The shrimp bites paired with the creamy Asian sauce was a match made in heaven, with the crunchy salad adding a great contrast. On the way back I think some of those dogs knew I had eaten a delicious meal because several of them tried to bite me, despite my friendly smile.

Our weekend came to a close with that-- a return to Denton and the seeing off of Jeff. Then, on a separate note, I was reunited with my car and had a spectacular Pappasitos dinner with my parents. But, unrelated it is!

Jeff, great to have you. Come back as soon as you can!

Next Up: My Awesome Asian Dressing Recipe.


Anonymous said...

Wow! It looks (and sounds) like you guys ate well...yummy!

Jeff's sister :)

dragonmamma said...

Rather a late comment here, but I swear I'm not a troll! I had to check you out after reading Jeff's story at MDA. You'll probably get some other extremely late comments as I peruse your blog over the weekend.

Shaleah said...

That is more than ok! Its kind of funny to read this post on the blog, seeing things pan out the way they did!

Jeffrey said...

I guess I did go back didn't I?(in reference to your last little paragraph)