Carbonated Wit

Pleasantly bubbly and refreshing!

Category Archives: Comestibles

Gnocchi

I made gnocchi with sage brown butter sauce! It was shockingly successful considering: I have never made it before; I had waxy potatoes; those potatoes were green and starting to grow; I don’t have a good masher; we ran out of butter.

The potato did not get entirely mashed, but my lovely husband actually rather liked the chunks. I didn’t get them into pretty shapes; I was lucky enough to get them cut, they were falling apart. I think I might have needed a teensy bit more flour. But they were also tender, because of the light flour, and because the potatoes were undercooked enough to be hard to mash. (Overcook potato ==> needs more flour ==> small white balls of lead, says the internet.)

I forgot to season them when I put the batter together, oops, although I did add butter so that was okay. I used just flour and butter, no egg. An egg would definitely have held it together better but I kinda like not having it.

Then, while the water boiled to cook the things, I took fresh sage and fried it in a small pool of olive oil. This got very spattery since I had just washed the sage. Sage is fuzzy, you see. It holds onto liquid. I needed an oil shield! But fried sage is incredibly awesome, it’s crunchy and yummy, much less bitter, has a much better texture, and the flavor comes on you at the end. Also, this seasoned a bit of oil! Win-win. Added the rest of the butter in the house and browned it up. Also added some garlic-from-a-jar. Not enough sauce to toss the gnocchi in, but enough to put on the table for us to add. Since it would be undersauced, I decided to sprinkle the gnocchis with garlic powder and salt when I got them out of the water.

I was too hungry to get pictures.

They didn’t have a lot of individual integrity, although I think a sauce or an egg would have helped. They were pretty tasty, and the process was easy although time-consuming. I hear you can do it much faster with instant mashed potato.

I used All Recipes – Gnocchi II (and its comments) and this comment I googled up for reference. Go go gadget internet!

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Farmer’s Market

I finally got to the farmer’s market today. Sadly, I didn’t get there in time for raspberries… but it was otherwise entirely satisfying.

First, I passed the organic meats guy and let him know I’d be back for a chicken. We had filet from him last month and I loved it. Mr. Fizzy was not as enthused, but Mr. Fizzy’s tastes are tricky to satisfy.

Got a small head of lettuce for Mr. Fizzy’s sandwiches this week, and blueberries, cherries, and sungold cherry tomatoes. A giant burst of basil! It smells amazing! We still have pesto in the freezer from like two years ago, we will never use this basil. But it smells amazing and was like a buck. I chopped up a bit to go on our lunches today.

Frozen spinach gnocchi. Preserves with very little sugar in mixtures that I really love, even when I don’t enjoy the fruits that comprise them. Fresh roasted coffee…. oh man, so good. He even let me try the different coffees before I bought a cup! A giant loaf of tender bread, also after trying like four kinds of bread. A focaccia with garlic and tomato (and then later basil) on top.

Finally… marshmallow. We have a local marshmallow-maker. I haven’t tried their stuff before; I dithered between the raspberry and the blood orange and went for the orange, since I have a lot of raspberry jam at work.

This marshmallow is kind of epic. It’s tender and springy and not sticky at all, but frothy and light. It has a delicate foaminess. It’s obviously very sweet but it doesn’t overwhelm. The orange flavor is surprisingly subtle (next time, I will get the raspberry!) but present. It comes out as kind of a tartness as the sweet froth melts in my mouth. Just delightful.

The brand is sweetlydias.com. Try it!

How I kicked the Pellegrino habit

I’m old enough that back in my day, only silly yuppie types drank bottled water. Water with fizz in was just something you added to liquor.

But when I was an exchange student in Germany, my host family introduced me to the wonders of fizzy mineral water. They didn’t believe in drinking tap water and unfizzy mineral water was just noxious to me. Fizz it izz!

After I returned, I eventually settled on Pellegrino as the fizzy mineral water of choice for the next generation. It’s so good! It’s almost salty, but not very; the minerals are palate-cleansing and satisfying. The fizz is lively and wakes you up. So, so good.

The problem, of course, is that Pellegrino is expensive. Also it’s hard to buy in quantity; the boxes are usually glass (recyclable, but heavy, ugh!) or small bottles. I wanted CRATES of the big bottles!

Oh, I tried other brands, or the knock-off stuff in the grocery story, but it never quite satisfied. It’s just not the same.

But then… one day, someone sent meĀ A Link. There is a whole world of water nerds out there! People who have spent time perfecting the chemistry of emulating fizzy water. They geeked out, and then they put it on the internet for all to read!

BRILLIANT.

My then-fiance and I put a Sodastream on the wedding registry and I was On My Way.

I got ready to order all the component parts (okay, that’s gypsum salts, that’s table salt… how do I know if plaster of paris is food-safe, anyway?) when I read the most amazing thing. A product, called Burton Salt and used for beermaking, tastes very much like Pellegrino! It’s even cheap!

Victory. Truly.

The thing of it is, now I’m mostly not even adding the salts to the fizz. Mostly I’m just drinking straight carbonated water. Club Soda. Sparkling Dihydrogen Oxide. I went through a phase of trying to get different flavors to work and ended up with some really unpleasant sodas. I experimented with the Burton Salts and figured how much I needed to get the flavor right, and I still skip it much of the time. The carbonation adds a bit of sour that I find delicious all on its own.

Do you have a bubble problem?