THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #148

LOVE:

Tabbouleh:

IMG_0402

I wrote about tabbouleh ages ago, but I have updated my recipe, and I love the salad more than ever. I haven’t made it in ages, and I rather forgot it existed, but my body had one of those weird cravings where it felt like it would shut down if it didn’t get what it desired. So I whipped a batch up and could not stop shoveling it into my face. My body literally felt restored as I gorged on tabbouleh. I don’t fully understand what that was about, but am I ever glad that my brain told me to make it. It’s delicious. I’m going to be making it all summer, because it is the perfect thing to eat when the weather is scalding hot outside. I had forgotten just how refreshing it is. But then my world changed. I put an avocado on top and drizzled it all with a bit of sesame oil. I lost my shit. I haven’t found it again. It might be the best thing I’ve ever made. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup bulgar wheat (I like the bigger kind, but whatever you can find will work)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of GOOD salt, not the iodized shit
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 cup of scallions, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups of flat leaf parsley, minced (about 2 bunches)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup feta, cut into cubes
    • In one of two large bowls, combine the bulgar wheat, half the lemon juice, olive oil, half the salt, and 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir to combine and let soften for about an hour. When room temperature, chill.
    • Combine the rest of the ingredients in the other bowl. Chill.
    • Mix everything together, resist eating it, and let it chill overnight.
    • GORGE.

I like to top it with an avocado or some roasted tofu. It’s truly a miracle. Eat all the tabbouleh, readers. It’s probably one of my favorite foods in the world.

ALDI:

aldi

I went to ALDI once before with my sister, but I promptly forgot all about it. A friend and I went on a grocery store tour the other day (it’s a thing, reader), and to our mutual shock, we both fell absolutely head over heels in love with ALDI. I went twice in one day in two different cities. I am obsessed; I’m not even being sarcastic. The entrance kind of threw me off, but as I got deeper into the store, the more charmed I was by the variety and the prices. It was all so cheap. Like, I don’t understand how they stay in business selling avocados for fifty cents. Do you get that? If so, please comment below. I bought all the avocados I could carry, and so far, only one of them has been weirdly brown inside. At Walmart, they’re all funky and not that great. That, if nothing else, impressed me. BUT THERE WAS MORE! They had an amazing cheese selection. I bought a ball of fresh mozzarella for like nickels, and it tastes like the good ones I can only get in Paris. I bought some extra sharp white cheddar imported from England for half the price of a boring Cabot block. I even bought Brie. I’ve never bought Brie in my life. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with it, but it was affordable, so it’s mine. Then I bought asparagus. I thought I didn’t like asparagus, but I WAS WRONG. Asparagus is damn tasty, and I got a pound of it for $2. You read that right. I bought chocolate and spices that were basically free and coconut oil. I paid $4 for that coconut oil reader, which is literally 1/4 the price of the kind I normally get. I was screaming through the aisles, looking at all the things, wanting everything, and blessed to know that I am going to start going here every week. I am going to be the queen of ALDI. I was having a bomb ass time, but then I checked out, and I nearly cried. It was exactly like going to a Parisian grocery store where the staff glares at you, forces you to pay for a sack, and then passive aggressively throws your purchases at you. It was beautiful. And it was cheap. And I think ALDI might just save my life. I can afford to eat vegetables and fruits and stuff from there. I don’t have to survive on Cheerios and popcorn. GO RIGHT NOW, READER. You will thank me.

HyVee Sushi:

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Sushi is one of those things I have never had much of an interest in. Even before I was a vegetarian, I wanted to know why anybody wanted to eat raw fish. It still doesn’t make sense to me. I’m kind of gagging at the thought of it. Something I don’t gag over is avocado rolls. It’s nothing fancy. It’s literally an avocado wrapped in rice wrapped in nori. But, it’s really good, and when you dip it into soy sauce, it is really rather heavenly. I discovered recently that HyVee has a decent restaurant inside of it and they make really good sushi. Then I discovered that you don’t have to go to the restaurant and you can get it for even cheaper to-go. I’m in love with their avocado rolls. I’ve had it three times this week, and if I lived in Des Moines or a town with one of those big, beautiful HyVees, I would be eating that for lunch every damn day of my life. Who ever would have thought that a chain grocery store would have such good food? I didn’t. I’m not going to say that I’m obsessed because I use that word too much, but…I AM OBSESSED. You know what goes fabulously with sushi? French fries. You know where they make amazing French fries? You guessed it…HyVee. It’s heaven. HyVee is no ALDI, obviously, but ALDI doesn’t have a restaurant. I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore, I have sushi on the brain.

My Vineyard:

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Seven years ago, I thought I was going to be a winemaker. That was one of the many careers that I considered over the years, but this one fizzled out pretty quick. I enjoy wine, but I’m no wino. I’ll take a bottle of champagne, thank you very much. And there’s nothing more refreshing than a chilly verre de rosé when you are in Villefranche-sur-Mer, chatting with Madame Betty, and totally at peace with the world. But when I’m at home, I very rarely drink wine. I’ll take a cocktail if I want a drink. Anyway, seven years ago, I spent a week crafting myself a vineyard with supplies from around the farm. I found old wooden fence posts that I sunk into a corner of the yard that wasn’t being used for anything. I hung recycled fencing from the posts. Then I planted ten grape plants. There was concord, catawba, Niagara, and edelweiss. It was gorgeous. Then half the plants died because of some pesticide our farmers used. I was livid. The vines that survived did really well, and over the years they have grown strong and lush. I have long given up hopes of ever harvesting more than a bowl of grapes, though. The birds and bugs get to them before me every year. It’s maddening. All summer long, I watch them grow with such pride and fondness, then they’re gone in the blink of an eye. I’ve tried netting and all sorts of bird prevention, but it never works. I just accept the fact now that I’m doomed to never have enough grapes to make anything more than a batch of jam. That’s okay, though. The jam is damn good. I’ve been meaning to replace the empty spots in the vineyard since they died, and I’m finally getting around to it. I just need to pick up one more plant at Lowe’s this week, and the vineyard is filled up again! I hate that it will take five years for them to look as good as their older brethren, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I don’t care so much about the grapes anymore, I just love being out in the vineyard. It is the most peaceful place on my property. I spend incredibly amounts of time there in various states of undress, trying to coax my skin to tan instead of burn while sitting on the chaise lounge and sipping on a gin and tonic. It’s marvelous. The plants look so healthy this year…and so does my tan.

HATE:

The Mummy Theme Park:

I should have known from the cover.

I should have known from the cover.

I will watch literally any movie that comes out about Egypt. I still haven’t made myself view that horrific whitewashed Gerard Butler film, but I will in time. Oh I may as well put it on my Netflix queue now. Bear with…okay, it’s next on the list. I wonder if it will be as awful as the critics and Egyptologists say it was? Who knows. Whatever it is, it cannot be worse than The Mummy Theme Park. Why does this movie exist? What could have prompted somebody to accept and go forward with such drivel? It felt like a high school film project directed by the video game enthusiast son of a well-to-do dentist. You know the kind I mean, I’m sure. Surely the person who did this movie wasn’t a nerd because at least a nerd would show some accuracy in their representation of Egypt and its history. Instead we get a meaningless film that is about animatronic mummies. A sheik wears sequined fabric and there are Roman guards patrolling his palace in the modern era. I don’t get anything that happened. I don’t get why it happened. That movie will be lingering with my for too long. It’s still haunting me about a week later. I can’t get over the atrocious special effects or the nonexistent plot or the horrific acting. I mean, I have seen some shit in my day, but there is nothing on this planet that compares with the horrifyingly poor quality of this movie. I would usually recommend you all see something like this for a laugh, but it’s not on that level. It was a nightmare. I’m not even going to discuss the plot, because what little existed made no sense. I’ll just say this: the “archaeologist” fashioned an animatronic mummy out of the corpse of a dead pharaoh and a computer and then Italians took a train ride through a subterranean city that was also a tomb. I can’t.

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