The Big Quarantine – Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Day in Modern Banking: I stepped inside a bank today to deposit my sweet, sweet $1,200 government check. [Thank you Uncle Sam for throwing us this mere morsel. It does not hide your incompetence.] Walking inside a bank wearing a mask, my brain kept playing old Westerns. I could picture Bonnie and Clyde, Butch and Sundance, or just some random two-bit robber named Ringo out robbin’ stagecoaches and banks. I am well-steeped in those movies! Let me tell you, one thing you do not want running inside your head when you step into a bank wearing a mask are the words, “This is a stick up.”
I did fine, though I almost called the teller “Pardner.”
The Day in More Rain: Blah. It’s gross and if the rain isn’t actually falling, the air is damp and yucky. There are mushroom growing where mushrooms should not be growing. As part of my effort toward conquering confinement, I refuse to clock less than 10,000 steps, rain or shine, daily. My rain walk, designed to keep me close to home, is literally the square block my apartment sits on. A lap is .4 of a mile. I just go around and around. Perhaps I should walk and perform Singin’ in Rain so my neighbors really have something to see. I’m not the greatest live performer. So far I just have the do-di-do-do-do-di-do-di-do-do-do part down.
The Day in Fish Soup…eh, Chowdah?: Living here in landlocked Ohio, I believe I am allowed to take some liberties with my fish dishes and last night I winged it and whipped up a small batch of what looked like fish soup, but dammit, I’m calling it Chowder. The broth has a splash of milk which makes it New England style. That’s where the similarities end. I didn’t quite get the broth texture the way I wanted it and I used cod instead of clams. Sue me! With some corn, diced potato and minced jalapeno I made Cincinnati Chowder. I liked it, but don’t tell the folks from Boston!
This is one of the recipes the NY Times food section calls a no-recipe recipe. The directions give an outline and you use what you have on hand and cook how you want. I’ve been cooking long enough that I don’t always have to use exact recipes. I have dozens of chicken dishes and stir frys and, especially, soups, that I create from culling the ingredients already on hand. A classic around here is Sunday “Garbage Soup” where leftovers and veges past their prime come together for one last hurrah.
The Day in (Who You Callin’ A) Hoe Cakes: This morning as I continued my odyssey to try to use my overstock of cornmeal, I settled on Johnny Cakes, sometimes known as Hoe Cakes because hookers love eating them. Okay, I just wanted to type that sentence. The cornmeal based pancakes were known as hoe cakes because that was the tool cooks used to cook them on. Hookers might enjoy eating hoe cakes, but they are not part of the story. (Boring!)
Anyway, I made a batch. Johnny Cakes are the precursor of pancakes, but the base is cornmeal, not flour. I read that cooks have pretty strong feelings on whether the meal is mixed with milk or water. I used water. Eggs are a common and less controversial addition. I’m trying my best to not eat the whole batch today.
Speaking of making up things as you go, the recipe I picked this morning was from an old fashioned cookbook that I use when I’m looking for basic, home cooking. This looked like the batter I’d seen in internet recipes. Welp, I made the rookie mistake of not reading and RE-reading the recipe. As I worked through it, I’d added just one cup of milk and I knew not to add any more. If I had, the batter would have made a crepe like pancake. Sorry Ms. Fishburne, your recipe disappoints. I hope your traditional marriage made it through the Corn Pancake crisis.