12 weeks until the Ride to Montauk century
Today’s mileage: 1.5 miles (sad face)
Total mileage: 1.5 miles
Diet: Carb worship
Feeling: Pear-shaped. My shoulder meat is trying to abscond with my chin.
Well, at least I got on the bike today. I spent the morning shlepping groceries from the store in preparation for our 25-person brunch (unaffiliated with St. Patrick’s Day). (Tangent: F this winter. F THIS WINTER. I am so, so, so over it, as are my poor, gloveless digits, which nearly fell off during my five-block journey to the supermarket.) La Doug did most of the cooking for this one. I was happy to nosh myself into a totally unearned carb coma. When Doug first told me the menu, I was like, there’s no way we are going to need all that food. However, we managed total high glycemic decimation. We’re awesome?
- Doug’s mormor’s Swedish buns
- Make-your-own-waffle station
- BLT station
- Bundt pecan coffee cake
- Bagels, lox, cream cheese, with cucumber and peppers
- Lots of fresh fruit
- Jello-ed pineapple slices (not kidding)
- A cheese and charcuterie plate
- Bloody maries (marys?)
- Tea and coffee
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice
Like really fresh-squeezed orange juice. My tender legs hauled probably 30 lbs. of oranges in my trusty Ortlieb panniers, so that’s got to count for something. Doug wanted the oranges for fresh-squeezed orange juice, which is the kind of thing that I would NEVER think to do. I love fresh orange juice, I do. But you haul 30 lbs. of oranges into your house and squeeze maybe 4 lbs. of juice out with a five-piece contraption that needs to be cleaned by hand; then the skin and pith and pulp fill the trash bin, which means you have to take the trash out at least once before your guests even arrive. My lazy preference is to buy Odwalla or something like it, because that tastes perfectly fine to me — especially with a chaser of all-that-time-I-saved. (Even better than that would be getting fresh-squeezed orange juice from one of the Mexican grocers in our neighborhood, where you can often get a gigantic foam cup filled for only $5.)
But this is precisely why Doug and I make such a good kitchen team. His idea of a dinner party is an elaborate, plated, 11-course orgy with themed tablecloths and placecards; my idea of a feast at home is one in which all cooking happens in one pot, and guests are free to serve slop a scoop onto their plates their own damn selves. In real life, here’s how our kitchen personalities play out: when he has to turn his attention to a white chocolate habanero ice cream that refuses to set, I can swoop in and improvise a simpler salad to serve to patiently waiting guests; and my participation in his culinary choreography teaches me that I am a lot more capable of fancy timing and service than I think I am. He drags me along for the extra ten miles when all I think I’m capable of is five, and I push him forward with practical tactics when his ambition has surpassed his energy.
Back to my sad face cycling — the only reason I got my mileage up to 1.5 instead of 0.8 miles is that the orange haul left no room for milk, and I had to go back to pick up Rice Krispies for the waffles. Rice Krispies?, you are asking, intrigued. Yes! It’s the special ingredient in one of the many ingenious recipes in the Cook’s Country Cookbook, which is Doug’s absolute favorite go-to book. (There’s a newer edition available through Amazon here, but I don’t know if this recipe is in there.)
Light and Crispy Waffles from Cook’s Country: The recipe calls for beaten egg whites, nothing unusual there, but it requires milk, not buttermilk, eschews butter for vegetable oil (a common Cook’s trick), and uses 3/4 cup of cornstarch “to combat excess moisture.” But the totally brillso bit is that you add a cup of Rice Krispies to the batter. Doesn’t matter that they get soggy in the batter — through some awesome alchemy, they add secret pockets of snap, crackle, and pop, but don’t at all mar the deeply caramelized, perfect grid exterior. (Okay, I nearly burnt the one in the picture, but it was still delicious.) We use a Cuisinart Round Waffle Maker, which we set to 3. Nonstick surface and a well-oiled batter means we didn’t have any problems with sticking, even when one of the guests overfilled the grid, spilling batter down its sides. We also doubled the recipe without any problems.