Easy DIY Condiments to Better Your Self-Esteem

Three Simple Cooking Tricks to Impress The Fuck Out of Everybody

I’m getting a little bored with the writing posts. I mean, I love writing, but you know what else I love to do? Cook. And it’s summer. So the veggies are out to play. No, there are no pictures. Because I’m not a food blogger. Just a girl with food tips (also, my kitchen is disgusting right now).

Yeah. That’s right. I too have feminine habits. Y’know what else I can do, sort of? Sew. And I can darn socks. I know, right? How weird is that shit?

Anyway.

Let’s take a moment and talk about three really simple things you can make in your kitchen–make, mind you, and not buy–that’re simple, easy, and totally good for impressing the fuck out of anybody who eats with you.

Right now, you’re looking at me with raised brows. ‘Why would I take all the time to make it,” you’re saying, “when I could just buy my organic non-GMO gluten free totally-safe-for-even-the-wimpiest-children mother Earth loving brand at Whole Foods, for only 10.99 a bottle? I mean, I have to buy SOME foods. That six figure salary doesn’t make itself. If it did, I’d namastay at home.”

To which I say: good for you. You sure that stuff is GMO free? Wow, okay. I’m not going to say anything else: saying you don’t mind a GMO or two opens you up to more self-righteous internet trolling than admitting to feminism in public. For that matter: what’ve GMOs done to us THIS week?

The fact is, if you stay on Pinterest for five seconds you’ll see every possible condiment and convenience food in its paleo-friendly-what-the-hell-ever make-at-home form. The fact is, ninety-five percent of that stuff isn’t worth doing. A few things, however, are. They are:

1) Homemade mustard
2) Homemade whipped cream
3) Homemade pico de gallo

Homemade mustard is AMAZING. Much stronger, tangier flavor, and ZOMG you can mince it just as fine as you want. Also, don’t be intimidated: it only takes about five minutes to throw it together. Most of that three day time period is waiting.

Em’s Ho-Ho-Homemade Mustard

Prep time: 3 Days
Yield: 2 cups or so. Fuck if I know, really.

You’ll need:
1 C mustard seed (I use about 2/3C yellow seeds, 1/3C brown. More brown seeds’ll make it punchier. Less’ll make it more like French’s.)
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 C mild vinegar (I use a mixture of white wine and distilled white. Apple cider works too–key is, make it a mild vinegar. None of that balsamic shit. You want the flavor of your mustard seeds to shine).
1/4 C water
2-3 splashes bourbon
1 tsp honey

1) Take your mustard seeds. Put them in a jar with your vinegar, water, and bourbon. Close the jar and sit it somewhere cool and dry.
2) Wait, breathlessly, for three or so days. No, don’t actually hold your breath. Check the seeds occasionally: if they start looking a little dry, add a splash or two more vinegar.
3) OH JOY. The day has come. Uncap that shit and dump it in a food processor. Add turmeric and honey. Give it a few pulses: I like grainy mustard, so I barely blend mine. I’d tell you how long to blend, but hell, you can figure out what you like, right?
4) Sample your amazing fucking mustard. Give Whole Foods the finger. You, buddy, just became soooo much wholer foodier. You made your own mustard. How cool is that? Orgasm. Scream your spirit animal’s secret name to the sky. Put out some crackers and meats.
5) BECAUSE MUSTARD.

Aaaand Number Two.

Em’s Homemade Whipped Cream

Prep time: Overnight (you’ll see why)
Yield: Depends on how much you like whipped cream. Me and Definitely Not Dave polish this off pretty fast, with or without something to blame it on).

1 C Whipping Cream (note, NOT the heavy whipping cream. I’ve tried it. Just not the same).
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (usually, I just fill the cap and dump that in there. Along with…)
1/8 tsp almond extract (seriously, just a few drops of this works)

1) You need a mixer and a bowl. Got those? Awesome. Stick the mixer beaters and bowl in the freezer. I usually do this the night before, but you want ’em in there for at least an hour.
2) And I feel I hardly need say this, but your cream needs to be cold too. It best’ve been living in that fridge for a while.
3) Now that everything’s colder than you could possibly imagine things being, dump your cream in your freezy-cool bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond.
4) Stick your beaters in your mixer. If your beaters are so cold they stick to your fingers, I am totally not responsible.
5) Beat the fuck out of the cream. On high. For 1-2 minutes. Your whipped cream is ready when stiff peaks form.
6) Lie in bed in dark room, eating whipped cream straight from bowl. Watch Friends reruns. Sob in terrible joy.

Trois:

Em’s Puerile Pico de Gallo

A note, before I begin: if you don’t like spice, go make ice cream or something. This is a salsa–a fairly mild salsa at that. Therefore, there are jalapenos in it. And no sissy measuring of hot sauce in ‘drops’.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: Enough dip for 4-6 chippers

4-5 medium reaaaaaally fresh vine ripe tomatoes (the key here is really ripe and fresh. Get the best produce you can find.)
1 large red onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1-2 jalapenos
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (again, adjust according to how much you like cilantro.)
Juice of 1 medium lime
Valentina hot sauce to taste (I usually go for about 2T. Enough to add flavor, but not enough to kill the flavor of the vegetables is what you’re going for.)
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Deseed tomatoes. Chop and add to bowl. Place tomato insides in doggie bowl and hope dog isn’t allergic to tomatoes.
2) Chop tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro fairly finely. Mix all together with garlic until living in happy veggie harmony.
3) Juice lime over veggies.
4) Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
5) Serve immediately. Or, honestly, I usually stick it in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so, just so it knows who’s boss (and so it gets a little cooler).

Recipe: Six Hour Southern Cabbage

image
Image @quaddle on deviantart. Ruined by me. Satan watches you making cabbage.

I happen to have a little extra time today. So, as promised, here’s my Southern Six Hour Cabbage.

Beforehand, a note. If you are looking for delightfully crisp, healthy, still-green leaf vegetable, turn your attention elsewhere. If, however, you want salty, spicy, mash-between-your-teeth pot likkery COMFORT, then this cabbage is for you.

That guy I live with (known henceforth as Definitely Not Dave, or DND for short) would probably wish me to inform you of its restorative properties, as well as its near-volcanic effects on the digestive system. Again: if you don’t mind farting like a wet sneaker on linoleum for the next few hours, this delicious cabbage is the no-longer-quite-so-green meanie for you. If you’re having your mother-in-law over for dinner, perhaps stick to steaming.

Alternatively: serve it anyway, and set your phone on record. Depends on whether or not you like her.

Anyway, Southern Six Hour Cabbage.

You’ll need:

Big ol’ pot
Roughly 2Q to 1G water (consider, if you will, the size of your cabbage. The water needs to cover it by an inch or so.)
1 head cabbage
1 med. sweet onion
5 large cloves garlic (seem like a lot to you? Take your garlic-pansy ass over to some other cabbage recipe. I usually do seven.)
1/4 c apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste)
1 tsp celery seed, or 1-2 sticks celery
1 tsp bacon salt (alternatively: 1 ham hock + 1 tsp salt, or 1-2 cubes ham bouillon)
1 T vinegar based hot sauce (Louisiana, Texas Pete, etc.)
More salt, if you for some reason still need it

Chop onions, garlic. Saute onions in bottom of your soup pot for 5 minutes or so over medium heat, or until transparent. Add garlic, continue to saute for 30 seconds. Usually, I add in my celery/celery seeds at this point. It doesn’t really matter, because everything is going to be cooking until the remains of your ancestors are gas in someone’s hovercraft tank.

Chop your cabbage and add it. Stir, so things don’t get all layered and shit. This isn’t a parfait.

Add water, enough to cover the cabbage by about an inch. Now bring things to a boil.

Add in your vinegar and hot sauce. You could probably do this at any point in the watery life of this recipe, but hell, I’m superstitious, and I think Satan watches you when you boil vinegar.

Reduce to simmer (usually two or three setting on my crappo apartment stove). Cover with pot lid or whatever’s handy, because you always lose the lids and you can’t for the LIFE of you figure out how, seeing as they never move from your kitchen.

And COOK. Oh sweet Jesus, COOK. Cook while you prepare the rest of your dinner. Maybe get a head start on the cabbage by an hour and THEN cook the rest of your dinner. Stir occasionally, more or less whenever you remember. The point of this is, you want to cook the cabbage over low heat for as long as you’ve got until they turn the power off on you. Hence, six hour cabbage.

Just keep an eye on the water and make sure it’s covering the cabbage and you’ll be fine. Beyond that, cook until the last gasp of hydrogen in our beautiful sun makes the transition to helium.

Serve, with warning label as to gaseous nature of cabbage. Enjoy your delicious mushy vegetable.

A note: I sometimes add in like a fistful of hot pepper flakes, mostly because I enjoy seeing people cry. Also, this could totally be done in a crock pot. High for four hours, I’d say. Resulting cabbage would be loved so tender it could never wear pants again.