What I Learned This Week: #241

Monday, May 23 – Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Week in Poison: I’ve been buying freshly ground peanut butter for years. I get it at the farmer’s market and it’s delicious. I grew up on Jif though, and, while I don’t buy it, sometimes I get a hold of some (usually a friend’s house) and I can not resist eating a spoonful, and relishing in that luscious mouthfeel. It brings back my childhood.

A couple weeks ago I did buy Jif to use it in a recipe to make “Puppy Chow” also know as “Muddy Buddies,” which calls for melting chocolate, butter, and peanut butter and tossing it on Rice and Corn Chex. I don’t even like it. It’s too sweet for me. But, it’s simple to make and I bagged it up for my friend to use at her fundraiser. I gave the rest of the jar of Jif to a coworker (after my obligatory spoonful) and went back to my crunchy, fresh peanut butter.

On Monday, that coworker was at my desk first thing in the morning. “Are you trying to kill me?” she asked. Uhh, what? Turns out, the single jar of commercial peanut butter that I’ve bought in the several years was recalled for potential salmonella contamination. Damn. No one got sick, thankfully, but that was a wild piece of news to start my week.

The week in Non-Stick: I mostly cook on non-nonstick pans. That fond (browned bits) at the bottom of the pan create a flavor bomb. But for breakfast cooking, I like a nonstick pan. The one I’d been using for years finally got too “chippy” for me. I did the research and bought the Tramontina pan recommended by Wirecutter, The New York Times consumer review section.

I didn’t realize how much my old pan had deteriorated. It still worked just fine. But the first morning with my swanky new pan, I realized I had forgotten what nonstick pans could do. My first flick of the spatula sent eggs flying. Whoa! I had to adjust my technique. I’m irrationally pleased with my pan!

The Week in Taste: Pearl Star, which I mentioned here recently, currently has the best fresh oysters I can find in Cincinnati, where the nearest ocean is a 10 hour drive away. I’ve been going there frequently enough to know the menu and asked why the “foam” oysters (oysters dressed in a citrus foam) weren’t on the menu. The answer was, they got a new chef who is concentrating on fresh, bright flavors. The dressed oyster she prepared was exactly that, citrusy and bright. Really delightful.

Weirdly though, for a restaurant that really hits all the marks, the house wine is a dud. I’d not ordered their house wine before, but I’ve never been disappointed by house wine from a restaurant I like. Until now. It had a weird aftertaste. I asked if it had turned. The bartender said, “that’s the way it’s supposed to taste,” and added she didn’t like it either. Well, that’s a piece of info she could have shared! Anyway, she gladly pitched the wine and poured me a glass of white that, get this, tasted just fine.

The Week in Aging: A couple weeks ago, my foot started to hurt. It feels a lot like the same pain I had when I dislocated my heel as a teenager. Because of that, I assume I’m experiencing arthritis. I kind of hope that, or something similar, is the case, because, though it sucks, I will be dealing with a pain management issue. But, until I know for sure (via a soon to scheduled foot doctor appointment), I’m trying to not over extend. This weekend I was set to go to a three-day music festival in Louisville, and decided to eat my ticket and stay home. I allowed myself a little time to mope and be cranky about my first old age ailment. And then I bought a new pair of shoes and moved on.

The Week in Not Acting My Age: Saturday day-drinking went a little off the rails for me when, plenty drunk enough, I walked by a friend sitting outside at the Hub, and joined him for more drinks. I believe he left at some point and I sat and talked to some very progressive, smart dudes. And drank. Anyway, one of my tell-tale signs that I’ve had too much to drink is that I wake up in my street clothes, not sleep clothes. That hasn’t happened in years. Well, reset the count to zero, ’cause it happened this week. Oy. Pretty much made Sunday a waste which is why I try not to drink like a 21 year old frat boy. Oh well. I had a great night.

The Week In Organization: I’m a little behind in switching out my winter clothes to the summer clothes, mostly because each time I’ve tried to finish it, the temperature drops and I need a sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt. This weekend I decided to just do it. I should note, this switch over is a big deal in my household. I call it “Touch Every Sock” because I literally touch every piece of clothing I own even if said clothing is not part of the switch. The Goodwill box gets filled up and I feel in control of the closet. Also, I take everything out of the closet and mop the floor. It’s quite a production. When I’m not out drinking with people half my age, I make a fairly competent adult!!

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