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Salt Fat Acid Heat

Yesterday's Friday Five are on the theme of "Salt Fat Acid Heat," a thing I've actually heard of (have leafed through the book & seen two episodes of the TV show).

1. What are some very salty foods you enjoy?
Peanut butter, salted dry-roasted peanuts, soy sauce, olives from the jar, pickles, pickled beets (which I then salt on my plate), lunchment ham (and other cured meats like salami & prosciutto), restaurant soups (of the sort one gets at Panera Bread, for instance), soft pretzels with lots of that large-grain salt all over, corn on the cob slathered in butter and salt, and the occasional fast-food fry (provided the salt is, like, coming off onto my fingers). Except for peanut butter, peanuts, prosciutto, and olives, though, these are infrequent treats. But I really enjoy them, and in the non-recommended quantities that I consume them, they're really salty.

2. What areas of your life could stand a little fat-trimming?
I need to trim the number of things I own/keep: mementos (esp. photos) whose significance my fickle memory has dimmed, Sherlockian kitsch & disposable pastiches, kitchen items (too many that serve similar purposes), DVDs & CDs I once loved but now never touch, books whose subject matter called out to me from the Barnes & Noble shelf but which today I'm certain I'll never read, marginal Christmas ornaments that'll never emerge from the storage box now that I have a tiny tree, etc.

I should also trim the number of TV shows I try to keep up with. It's too many, given all the other stuff I have to get done in my life. And even though I have more than enough space on my hard drive, I should delete all those decades-old files that are just sitting there, never again to be accessed. For example, I've got folders full of teaching materials so old that I can't open them with any current software.

Finally, my body could stand some literal fat trimming, if only that were how it was accomplished.

3. How acid-tongued are you?
Not very. I *can* do the bitingly ironic comment, but there is not much audience for it among my usual associates. I save it for a few appreciative friends, and otherwise stick with more, er, alkaline speech.

4. What's an interesting way you've burned yourself?
I don't know whether this is interesting, but it was memorable (to me). I was once taking a thin aluminum cookie sheet out of the oven one-handedly (like you do), using an oven mitt (of course), when my wrist wobbled and the thing started to slide out of my grip (I think I was heating up something heavier than cookies). Instinctively (and stupidly), I brought up the other hand (un-mitted, natch) to steady it.

And the air turned blue.

5. What are your favorite everyday cooking implements?
If "implements" only means "utensils," then a set of wooden spatulas like these might top my list. If it includes *anything* one uses in cooking, then add these items:

  • a Moneta brand ceramic skillet like this one (except maybe shallower) which I use every single day
  • a couple of Calphalon tri-ply (stainless steel/aluminum core) saucepans (aka pots) like this one, part of the large set the Man and I lovingly chose together and he left behind when he split
  • my big (okay, not by chef standards, but to me) beautiful santoku knife (I presume I can count it even though I technically don't cook with it)
  • an ancient, cured-to-black Pampered Chef baking stone (the one on the left in this photo is a dead ringer for it -- I've never felt compelled to try to clean it)