So I got it in my head to make falafel.This is part two in our ongoing series about oil, and its effect on modern Paul.
After church, I went to the co-op nearby that is for people who are too much hippies to shop at Whole Foods. I went to the spice aisle to stock up on parsley, because the amount of parsley required for falafel is measured in tablespoons. (I basically never measure spices, but "tablespoon" sounded kinda large, so I didn't want to mess it up.) Of course, I couldn't stop there, so I spent something like fifteen minutes mulling over the other different spices I could get. I can't wait until I am a spice-rack owning adult1
. I also got plenty of chick peas, because I understand that they are important, in addition to delicious. And oil. You need oil to deep fry things.1You think I'm joking, but I'm not going to consider myself an adult until I'm settled in one place enough to get a spice rack. This is more of a commitment than it sounds like, because, once you have a spice storage system set up, you're committed to going back to the same place and getting the same stuff if you need to expand it.
So I went home, reinvigorated the dried chick peas, cut up an onion (using the nice new mandoline I got, which, despite what it sounds like, you should not strum
), gathered together the necessary spices, divvy the chick peas up into two classes and put class 1 into a blender.
It turns out that a blender is not the same thing as a food processor. I'll tell you how they differ. While both of them can be used to make food into a paste, the body of a food processor is wide enough that a paste cannot reasonably support the weight of other food. In a blender, it can, and the small quantity of paste produced will quickly form an impenetrable floor to spare its cousins from the same gruesome fate.
Actually, the wall is not entirely impenetrable. It will admit the passage of a wooden spoon one might accidentally be holding in the blender while it is in operation. (By the way, roommates, you may have had a little extra fiber today. Also, one of our wooden spoons has nicks in it now.)
If you ignore that I may have just given away its ending, I faced a serious dilemma. I had everything I needed to make falafel, but it had too much structural cohesion. Mashing with a fork and a hand blender didn't work very well, either. I was on the verge of angst. I'd never failed to make a food before. Sure, there had been some incidents, of varying levels of edibility and humor value, and I'd occasionally attempted to make one food and wound up making something else, but I'd never had to stop in the middle because I was stuck
before. Then, fortunately, Alec came back from New York City.
Alec and I applied more elbow grease to deconstructing the mix, and decided that, if we set the class 2 chick peas to boil for longer to soften them up, they'd have the chance their siblings never knew. Meanwhile, even if they didn't stay together, we could at least give class 1 a chance to shine in the hot oil. It might turn out that, instead of falafel, we'd wind up with deep-fried salad
, but I've eaten deep-fried cheese before, and I figured that this would be much the same, only healthier. Alec managed to get a ball of stuff together, and put it in the oil.
Success! The result was brown on the outside, soft on the inside, and tasted much like it was intended to. While I worked on putting class 2 through an accelerated program, Alec went out to buy tahini sauce (I realized before the start of this project we didn't have anything to serve falafel with, but — shoot, the rice. I forgot about the rice.
Well, if you ignore a pot of rice for too long, you get something carbonized and smelling strangely of popcorn, but not as good, and harder to clean from your pot. If you ignore a rice cooker for too long, you get cold steamed rice. That is a wonderful thing about rice cookers. I hope no one minds that I just stuck the rice cooker's pan in the fridge, but I don't think anyone will need to use the pan for any other purpose. Now where was I? Right, in a parenthetical.) That's better. Alec went out to buy tahini sauce, Sarah got some lettuce and cut up a tomato, and I deep-fried individual chick peas (delicious, BTW) while I waited for Alec to return. Before long, we had a lot falafel of two distinct quality grades, and I had a sense of accomplishment. We did not burn down the house.
Now, I'm pretty proud of this, but falafel, in places where it is traditional, is traditionally fast food, so what I've done is approximately the moral equivalent of making freedom fries. Oh, right, I should put up a picture of the falafel:
Awwww, what a cute falafel!
Incidentally, in the interest of intellectual honesty, most of this was written yesterday. There have been no falafel-related incidents today, and I did
- I went sailing on a schooner on Friday, for a release party at work. This is the version of our software that we've been working on since well before I started working there. I wore a pirate hat. Yay!
- I discovered that you shouldn't turn on the heat in your apartment for the first time since winter and then sit where it can blow dust in your eyes. On the other hand, you should turn on the heat in your apartment for the first time since winter, because, dude, it's getting kinda cold.
- I now have a friend who has a tattoo. No wait, I have a friend who now has a tattoo. The latter is not exactly the same as the former, though technically, they're both true.
not forget about the rice for over twenty four hours.