Whenever I help someone start a blog, I tell them one of the most important things to do is to pick a posting schedule and stick to it. Over the last year, I haven’t taken my own advice. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to post my 3 recipes a week and then felt horrible when I only managed to post one recipe a month. It was a vicious cycle that was robbing me of my joy in blogging which is sad because I have always said that when I don’t enjoy blogging anymore, I won’t do it anymore. Yeah, there were several times in 2021 where I thought about permanently shutting down A Solitary Feast.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, my friend told me not to make any decisions while I was grieving the loss of one of my best friends and culinary companion, Audrey. She said to give myself time and grace and come back to regular blogging when I am ready. How did I get such smart friends? She was absolutely right. I spent time missing Audrey, pursuing some interests outside of cooking and blogging and lots, and lots, of reading all the books I could get my hands on. Eventually, I found my way back to the kitchen and the peace and calm I feel when I am there which helped me find my joy in creating recipes and writing posts for the blog again.
So I won’t be shutting down A Solitary Feast. I am making some changes to my publishing schedule, though. I will no longer be publishing 3 recipes a week. I will now be publishing one recipe every week. The day of the week might vary but I will publish once every week.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix well. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. To use: heavily sprinkle all over chosen protein or make a marinade of 2 tablespoons rub, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Add protein of choice and let marinade at least 30 minutes before cooking.
One more recipe for 2020 and, according to some of my friends, it is the weirdest recipe I have ever posted. I don’t know about the weirdest, but is unusual. If you have never heard of Furikake, that is okay. I hadn’t heard of it until a few months ago when I bought a copy of Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian recipes.
Furikake is a Japanese spice blend, originally, used over rice. Now used to season pretty much everything. There are many different kinds of Furikake, all are based on sesame seeds, some kind of seaweed, salt and some kind of dried, flaked fish. It tastes a little nutty, briny but it doesn’t taste like fish.
So what do you use Furikake on? You can use it on rice, of course, but don’t limit yourself. I have used it on eggs, popcorn, and vegetables so far. I am going to try it on salads and some sauces I am working on. Rather than adding a lot of flavor to the dish, Furikake enhances the flavor that is already there. You can also Google Furikake recipes and come up with a load more ideas on how to use the stuff.
Some notes on sourcing ingredients for this recipe. Don’t buy a large amount of sesame seeds at once because they go rancid quickly. I found the sesame seeds and nori seaweed at my local grocery store and at Natural Grocers. There is a spectacular Asian market in my home town where I found the Bonito (dried tuna) flakes that I used but you can also order them on line.
Yesterday was a good day. It was filled with small acts of kindness, a three hour long nap and best of all, a long, properly social distanced, visit from my dear friend, ess. We haven’t seen each other in over 2 months. We very seldom go more than a week without seeing each other. I didn’t realize exactly how starved I was for in person human contact until she showed up.
Ess brought me three dozen fresh from the chicken eggs. They are so pretty and I can’t wait to start using them. What a nice surprise. Ess is one of the few people in my life that gets my “cooking thing” as my family calls it.
The first thing on my agenda was to get ess some time with my cockatiel, Squeak. Ess loves Squeak and I think Squeak loves her right back. He puts up with ess doing things to him he doesn’t even put up with from me. I know of all my animals, Squeak is her favorite. Don’t worry, ess, I won’t tell.
I think Squeak has missed ess as much as I have. None of my birds like to be held much or sit with me for long. We interact with each other in different ways. However, when I brought Squeak out and handed him to ess, Squeak went to her shoulder and sat there the entire time we waited for our dinner to be delivered.
Then we sat out by the picnic table and ate and talked and ate and talked and then talked some more. It felt normal and that hasn’t happened in a long time.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Combine the spices in the skillet and toast until the seeds begin to sizzle and pop and the sesame seeds smell toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Immediately transfer seed blend to a spice grinder; let cool for a few minutes then grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
This week I struggled with everything, even things I love. Physically, I am not sleeping, for the first time in years, my allergies are killing me. I am not hungry so I am not eating regularly and when I do eat its junk food, a lot of junk food. I don’t feel good. None of these things is helping me be in a good place mentally to deal with all the crazy going on in th world right now.
So I have decided to start a Whole 30 on May 15. The program’s structure will get me back into cooking and eating 3 good for me meals a day. I know from past rounds that my allergies and sleep will improve as I move through the 30 days. These things will help me feel better and when I feel better my mental outlook will be better.
Guys, I have another spice blend for you. Make it tonight because you are going to need it for tomorrow’s air fryer recipe