Sunday, May 14, 2017

Whole30: Day 16

OVER HALFWAY YESSSSS. Only 14 days left. On Memorial Day, I can drink a ton of *ahem* reintroduce beer into my diet and see how things go. Or cheese. One of those two. I will keep it to only one of them, because I do think the whole reintroduction phase is the right idea and that was part of why I wanted to do this, but yes, I am counting down to that day.

Today wasn't all that bad as far as the anger and resentment go. I was feeling kind of irate and snacky around 4, and would have LOVED a glass of rose or a beer (and also a snack to go with them), but I settled for a bunch of pumpkin seeds and some freeze dried pineapple. And then there were things to do again: keeping busy is essential. Today it was farmers market, followed by breakfast (I made some breakfast sausage from scratch and it is GOOD: five more patties left, so I can have more over the next few days!), then giving the dog a bath, finally finishing our wedding photo album (our one year anniversary is in just over a month, oops), writing the other posts that I published today to catch up on the last few days, doing a fair amount of dishes, and then cooking dinner, which was ALSO quite good. I didn't miss cheese or bread or any of the foods we're not supposed to have, today, because what I did eat was so great, but I sure did miss a beer while I was blogging or a glass of chardonnay with the scallops we had for dinner. That would have been lovely.

How I felt: Pretty good: slept almost ten hours last night, which really surprised me (was expecting to wake up by 8, as I usually get up earlier). But no grogginess, no headaches, solid energy all day.

Brunch: Fried egg, sliced avocado with olive oil, some camarosa strawberries fresh from the farmers market (I almost didn't get any: they said these were overripe and weren't going to sell them at all, and only sold them to me because I looked so disappointed when they told me they'd sold out of that variety altogether; I got two baskets that were handpicked, plus a grudging basket of albions that'll last a few days longer; albions are fine, but the camarosas are my favorite), and some homemade breakfast sausage that I'm kind of proud of. I love the sausage patties we had the very first weekend we were doing this and haven't been able to find any breakfast sausage without sugar, so I just bought a pound of ground pork and mostly followed this recipe to make patties this morning. The tester I had for breakfast today was delicious, so I made five more patties with the rest of the pork and look forward to having them this week.

That patty may not look like much, but appearances can be deceiving.

Dinner: I realized a few days ago one really decadent-seeming item that we could totally have was scallops, so I've been wanting to find those the last couple days. Santa Monica Seafood was out of sea scallops altogether yesterday (only thing they were sold out of that I could see), but I found some at the farmers market today that were pretty affordable (well, that's all relative, I guess: we've been spending a fortune on food, anything that costs less than $25 feels affordable). We still had some broccolini from last week that would be good broiled; roasted potatoes are always a solid addition to the meal; and I picked up some arugula from Maggie's Farm that would be great with a lemon vinaigrette, and so we had seared scallops and those three things.

And here, I have to talk a little more about the searing part, because historically, that hasn't gone well for me. I've heard that you have to get the scallops as dry as possible in order to get a good crust on them, and aside from that, I had no idea what to do. So I turned to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and he has a recipe for seared scallops with a lemon pan sauce. Now, this almost didn't work out: he says to heat a pan over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, then add butter (ghee, for us) and olive oil, then garlic, then the scallops. Well, that's just too fucking hot. The garlic started to burn, and I learned a few weeks ago that pan sauce made in a pan with burnt stuff in it will just taste like burnt stuff, and I already did all this work to get all the other ingredients for the sauce ready, so you know what, garlic, you are OUT. I pulled the scallops out of the pan, even though they were partly done, dumped out all the garlic into a ramekin (maybe it would be salvageable), put the pan back on lowered heat, added more ghee and olive oil, and put the scallops back in to get their sear. Had to lower the heat still more, because everything was smoking, turned over the scallops, started to brown them on the other side but was worried about overcooking them if I waited to get the crust, so I decided to call it a day with good crust on just one side and took everything out. Held my breath and added the lemon juice that the recipe called for and scraped up all the brown in the pan (almost no black! it was getting there, though), waited for it to thicken up, and then added the chives, and then the scallops back, and tossed everything around to get them good and coated in what became a glaze. Thank god it wasn't awful, because I'd have ruined the scallops if it had been. I want to make this again soon, because I feel like I've almost got it. Lower heat next time, and I'll have more oil in the sauce, too: it was almost all lemon, which was a bit much.

Maybe not the best picture, but I was in a hurry: I wanted to eat it.

I will say this: I am learning quite a bit throughout this. More than I expected to. So as irate as I sometimes am, that alone is making it... almost worth it. (The child in me is saying "I could have learned this shit with wine too, you know.")

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