Cooking with Foxfur: Pasta Salad with Bolt Cutters


We’re in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures in excess of 73 degrees. Don’t laugh, it’s Oregon. It’s warm enough to dry out the webbing between our toes and evaporate at least an inch of water from the front yard. Seeing as how summer’s here, for the next three days anyway, I felt it was time for whipping up some summer fare: Pasta salad.

I decided to cook the pasta outside lest I risk heat stroking the cat and otherwise negatively affecting indoor air quality. I have a propane stove I made from a barbeque that someone threw off the bridge and into the creek last summer. That’s the thing with living in the sticks, it’s a free dump for the cityfolk. I wrassled the thing to shore with a comealong and removed the side wing burner assembly. I welded up a frame and stand from scrap angle iron and water pipe (that’s bong to you hippies) and since the burner valve was damaged I installed a propane regulator from a dead BBQ out in the yard. So I went out to use Frankenstove and LO! The burner grate thingy was gone!

Similar to cast iron, don’t clean it once it’s seasoned…

After turning the kitchen upside-down and finding no cooling racks, much to Sweetpea’s delight (Mrs. Foxfur), I decided to use the steel mesh from my gold dredge’s sluicebox. One problem: it wasn’t there either. I finally found something that would work:

Good thing the plastic was there to hold the rust together. I used the blade on the BBQ brush to knock the plastic off and the bristles to shine it up a bit.

A little pruning with the bolt cutters…

Let’s see Bobby Flay do this!

That being done, it’s time to start cooking.

Tuna Pasta Salad

  • 2 Cups pasta (shells, elbows, bow-ties, anatomical shapes)
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar (cider, white, rice, glacial acetic acid)
  • 2 Tbsp Mustard, prepared (yellow, dijon, honey mustard)
  • 2 Pinches & 1 Dash black pepper
  • 3 Bell peppers or enough to equal 1 Cup when minced
  • 1/2 Medium onion or enough to equal 1/4 Cup when minced
  • 1 Cup green peas (1/2 can)
  • 1 5 – 6 Ounce can of tunafish

Fine Fixin’s

Set 2 quarts (4 cups) of water on to boil. Add a few dashes of salt. When boiling, dump yer pasta in.

You probably know how to do this but I’m having fun with the new camera and it just looks cool. This camera has a special food mode. My food is special.

Let it go for 8 – 10 minutes until it’s done how you like it. I like mine all denty like (al dente for you purists). Then drain it. If you don’t have a pot lip strainer, get one. Mine is stainless steel from IKEA. It’s imported (from Vietnam)!

Set the pasta aside to cool.

Now we’ll prep the veggies. I recently acquired an incredible ceramic knife. It’s the only knife I’ve ever had that will slice through a piece of paper just like Zorro can do! Got it at The Grocery Outlet, or as Sweetpea likes to call it, The Grocery Whorehouse: You never know what you’re gonna find but it’ll be cheap. Price wise, not quality wise. It’s like a garage sale for food!

I minced the onion up really fine, about the size of pickle relish. You don’t want (I don’t want) big chunks of onion. I mince the peppers a bit bigger. While cutting up the yellow pepper I found clear evidence of either alien life or genetic engineering within:

The tentacles retracted every time I tried taking a photo so you’re just gonna have to trust me…

The veggies were done thusly:

Sexy vegetables!

Combine the mayo, vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper, and mustard. Now whip it, whip it good. Slather it all over the pasta and mix until homogenous. That’s a big word. I like big words. Fold in the veggies until evenly dispersed. If done semi-correctly, you may just end up with something like this:

I like to throw all sorts of tidbits in mine. Diced ham, cheese, bacon, corn, green onions, crabmeat, etc. Don’t get too hung up on amounts of ingredients. I vary the amount of mayo and seasonings depending on how crazy I get with the tidbits. I’ll leave out the vinegar for the unadventurous and serve it on the same plate as their PBJ with the crusts cut off. You know their kind.

Get reckless with this salad. If you mess it up, put it in a nice bowl, cover it with foil, tie a ribbon over the top, and bring it to your neighbor. Just be sure to get your bowl back…

Advertisements

Dear seared albacore roll, I hate you!


What did you do to me? Why? All I wanted to do was enjoy you. I’ve always loved you in a can. I even got with the times and adjusted to your new foil-pak outfit and discovered that it was still the same beautiful you inside. I have always savored your delicious flavor and incredible texture. You are simple and yet complex. What I’m trying to figure out is why you turned on me the other evening.

I caught a glimpse of you as you slid your way toward me in your smooth and practiced linear fashion. I saw you beckoning me and giving me that come hither look. You looked so fine and inviting, sweet and hot. Throwing all caution to the wind, I swept you up, placed you on the bar in front of me, and gently removed your top. You were so beautiful, so alluring, so inviting. Your nori corset held you as though the two of you were born as one. The grains of rice that adorned you were divine, glistening. Your green onions and red sriracha made you look as though you were the Christmas present I’d always wanted but never knew to ask for. I gazed down upon your delicate flesh and eagerly anticipated the moment that was to be ours. It was to be our first time together and the visions of ecstasy that awaited us momentarily obscured my vision. It seemed that I could taste you before you had even entered my moist, warm mouth. Oh the things I imagined doing to you my teeth, my tongue, my hard palate… I smeared you with wasabi and showered you with soy sauce and then lovingly guided you between my open lips in a slow, passionate, deliberate celebration of your form. I took you in deeply. I couldn’t imagine a more loving and tender moment between us as I began to manipulate you, to blend our flesh together, to become one with you and you with me. And then?

Then you shit in my mouth. I was aghast! At first I thought it must be some kind of synesthetic confusion brought on by the woman sitting across from us in the über busy red Ross Dress For Less pantsuit with the purple flowers, the green piping, and the gold fringe accents. I thought that her outfit must taste just like what you were doing to me at that moment, that once special moment. But it was not synesthesia. No. You were indeed shitting upon my tongue. The more I tried to deny that fact the more you shat upon my most delicate and sensitive organ. Its moistness sullied by your astringent tissues. Its sensitivity ruined by your acrid green onions. Its curiosity dashed by the sriracha that had adorned you and made you look like a goddess on that conveyor belt catwalk. I contemplated pushing you out of me immediately but I couldn’t bear the thought of squandering all of the desire that I had already invested in you. I believed that if I allowed myself to continue to completion with you that everything would be alright and that I would make you mine. After all, true love is about accepting the faults of others. I was in a profound state of denial, like an abused lover believing that if I just gave you another chance that everything could be the way it was before. That’s where I really fucked up.

 I should have rejected you as soon as the passion had turned to poison. I should have spat you upon your creator who was only mere feet away. But no, I just had to keep going. It was a huge mistake, like masturbating and crying at the same time, I should have pulled myself together and had the strength to say no. But alas, I did not do so and so you continued to torment me unrelentingly. I left the restaurant in tears clutching my take out tray tightly to my chest. I left your two awful companions sitting on the bar, the bar that was to be our gateway to a love bigger than you and I put together. I ran to my truck fumbling for my keys, desperate to climb into the womb-like safety of the cab where I could be alone and be far away from you. The next few minutes were a blur. I remember yelling, a lot. I remember shouting “WHY?”. Then I remember being on the open road trying to flee that awful rendezvous with you and your tongue-shitting ways. Oh dear, what was I to do? What could I do? I frantically searched the center console, the armrest, and the door pockets for a mint. Just one mint. That’s all I needed, all I wanted. I could find none. I greedily slurped down half of the contents of my 64 ounce insulated travel mug hoping that the soothing flavors of my carbonated beverage would rinse the taste of shame and humiliation from my mouth and move it closer towards my digestive tract. But it did not. Oh no. Not even close. You cunning little bitch. Did you, Satan, and the Pepsi Cola corporation sign a blood pact to intensify my oral and olfactory agony? I would argue in the affirmative.

The next logical action to take was at hand. A cigar. I lit it and drew so deeply that my forehead made a popping sound like a freshly opened jar of applesauce. But the relief, the relief that I expected, that I needed, was not to be had. No. No, you tenaciously held to my tongue like a barnacle holds to a whale’s adipose vent and ruining forever what once was good and clean and pure. I finished that cigar and immediately lit another. Again, I found no relief from your putrescence. Why oh why would you not leave me to my misery, allow me to be alone and ashamed of what I had done in the peace and privacy that I yearned for at that moment? I needed no further reminders from you of what a fool I had been, of what weakness I had displayed in accepting your advances, of my short-sighted decision made in the heat of the moment. My drive home was not a short one. In fact, it was rather long and made only longer by your continued insistence on fouling my palate with your disgusting residual ridicule. And when your filth finally started to fade and I thought that I might just make it out alive after all, you came back! I burped. I burped and there you were! It was as though our first congress had begun all over again. Each and every time I burped you came back to me. Each and every time I burped I shouted “FUCK!”. I will never be able to estimate just how many times I screamed “FUCK!” during that seemingly endless drive home but it sure as hell was a fuck of a lot. My world was simply full of fuck.

Upon arriving home, Sweetpea came running to my side. She had heard the wail of “FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!” as I tore ass up the mountain. She was crying, as was I, and pleading with me to tell her what had happened, what was wrong, what could she do for me. I brushed her aside and bolted for the one place that I knew that I could find reprieve: the bathroom. I ran to the sink, grabbed the toothbrush from its old and crazed plastic preschool juice and crackers cup, squirted gobs of red jellied toothpaste upon its bristles and jammed the salvation on a stick into my mouth. I went at it with a ferocity that I’d never imagined my vanilla whitebread ass to be capable of. I brushed and cried, cried and brushed, and brushed and brushed and brushed. At last, when the gums surrounding each and every tooth, facial and lingual, mesial and distal, were awash in the blood of my shattered heart, I decided that was enough. I spat the crimson mess into the sink and stared into the mirror at myself. I shall never forget the eyes that looked back at me. Hollow, empty, devoid of the spark of life that they once held. The face that I beheld was one that was lacking the humanity that it had once had in abundance. A defeated visage of the man I once was. A spectre. A lad insane.

Long into the night as I lay curled in a fetal position on the couch, alone and shaking, the only sound that could be heard to escape my lips was a low and moaning “fuuuuuck….”.

I will never, Never, NEVER again pollute my mouth or taint my soul with another seared albacore sushi roll. My last words to you are a haiku that I hope you will take to heart and remember.

Fuck you albacore

I will never be the same

Your taste lingers on

Forest Grove Sushi, Who Knew?


Forest Grove Sushi

Sometimes I refer to Forest Grove, Oregon as a little shit-kicker town. For the most part it’s a sleepy town of about five thousand folks. It does, however, have a well-groomed downtown area centered around Pacific University, the Forest Grove library, and the city offices. It’s come along quite nicely in the 20 years in which I’ve been visiting.
For a couple of years I’ve been meaning to stop in and sample the cuisine at Forest Grove Sushi. Having done so tonight, my only regret is not having done so when I first thought of it. The design is half and half traditional and modern but with a true countertop glass sushi cooler. The sushi chef does the hand clap, always a good sign in my world. They offer a menu typical of many smaller japanese restaurants here in the states.
I ordered a Oregon roll; crab, avocado, cream cheese, cucumber, and topped with generous salmon and avocado slices that touch the plate on both sides of the roll. Absolutely delicious. The salmon was perfect. ~$8 / 8pcs.
I ordered red snapper nigiri at the same time and was surprised at the thickness of the pieces delivered. The size was impressive as well covering an area twice as large as the nigiri rice it is laid upon. ~$3.50 / 2pcs.
After demolishing the above I decided I needed to gather more intel. Next target: The FG roll. Tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, cream cheese, and cucumber in a roll with the nori on the outside. Again, highly delicious. ~$5 / 6pcs. All of the above were arranged artfully on traditional japanese plates and presented gracefully. The service was prompt and courteous and earned the server a handsome tip.
I ordered some rolls to take home to Sweetpea. An 8 piece California roll, $3.50, and an 8 piece inari roll, ~$3. The inari roll has strips of inari (fried sweet bean curd) with crab, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in nori with the rice on the outside. Sweetpea eagerly approved and promptly destroyed both.
If you’re on your way to Tillamook on Hwy 6, hop off at Banks and head south into Forest Grove to getcha some Forest Grove Sushi. After your meal you can either order some mochi right there or head out the back way from town, Hwy 8, and stop by Scotty’s for a soft-serve creamy cone or other frozen Americano fat bomb.
Damn. I could just kick myself for not having tried their sushi sooner.
Now I know.

www.facebook.com/FGSushi