Indio, California: Though we went to Osaka for dinner tonight, most of the day was spent around ye olde trailer park. My Driver went to Costco yesterday, but it had been 11 days since I had risked my life at the grocer, so ventured out today, list-in-hand. Hand sanitizer in-hand. Face mask on-face.
Pretty-much every time I go to the grocer, there is a situation where I cannot reach something needed to add to the cart. I'm barely over five-feet tall. Luckily for me, nearly any random stranger coming down the aisle is tall enough to reach the item I desire. That was then; this is now. Now, I hesitate to ask anyone to grab something for me. COVID, you know. This morning, I was hovering around the dairy aisle, but could not even possibly reach the item on my list. It was on the top shelf in the chilled dairy case, and at the very back of the case. A six-footer would need to stretch hard for this quart of milk.
A very tall man (about my age) wandered by and was also looking into the dairy case. I asked him if he could reach the back-top shelf item for me, and he happily did. However, when I thanked him, suggesting it was possibly a huge "reach" for him during a pandemic, he told me I should stop watching CNN and that this virus was just a hoax.
What? I just didn't know what do with his statement. He was wearing a mask (as our local grocer will not let you inside without one, and it is now a state-wide mandate in California), but what kind of hoax is he referring to? The hoax of 120,000 people who have died?
Why didn't I just tell him: I do not watch CNN - I listen to NPR.
After returning from the place where I must buy food, the afternoon was spent cleaning food, sanitzing food, prepping food and cooking food. Remember all the left-over risotto from last night? It was turned into Suppli - telefono-style... meaning a little bit of mozzarella cheese is buried into the center of the risotto ball, so when it is fried/heated, the cheese stretches as the ball is opened... like a telephone wire. Of course! Makes sense.
I can't believe we each had a portion of risotto last night, and there was still enough left-over (from one cup of arborio rice!) to make 16 Suppli?
I added two egg yolks to the cold left-over risotto, then formed the risotto into golf-ball/walnut-sized balls. Then poked a little cube of dry/hard mozzarella (just larger than the size of a pea) into the center of the rice ball. After the ball was squished into a nice round shape, it was rolled through the whisked egg whites (left from the egg yolks used in the rice balls), and then rolled in Italian-style breadcrumbs (like from Progresso).
Then (this is when an outdoor kitchen comes in handy) the rice balls are deep-fried in oil (I used sunflower oil) for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown. Removed to a wire rack to drain. Suppli can be served immediately with a nice marinara sauce, or frozen, and reheated, for another day. The rice balls can be a great appetizer or a light main course.
As long as I was outside in the kitchen... Dave also bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco yesterday, so it was shredded and the meat placed in the freezer. (Just when our freezer was seeming a bit empty. Dang.) The bones/skin of the chicken was boiled this afternoon in the outdoor kitchen, along with any veggie scraps laying around, to make a nice quart of stock. A busy girl this afternoon in the heat.
We may be enjoying dinner tomorrow inside the air conditioned motorhome?
Dinner tonight? As I said, Osaka. Chicken katsu (with bottled katsu sauce), short-grained rice, sliced Armenian cucumbers (from our CSA box) and fried shisito peppers (from our CSA box), and a nice iceberg lettuce salad with a miso dressing.
Wait. Did I mention our rice cooker died in the middle of meal prep? Died. I was pacing around the kitchen, waiting for the rice to finish cooking before starting to saute the chicken cutlets, when I began to smell an electrical fire. I asked Dave if he could smell something burning? He could.
Oh, hello! It was our rice cooker! Shorted-out. Piece of junk. Only lasted 12 years or so of two-or-three-times a week use. I'm guessing the warranty is up?
Oh goodness, the smell from an electrical short is awful! Interesting part was transferring the partially-cooked rice to a stove-top pot to finish cooking. It was like living in the caveman days for a rice-cooker gal.
You can bet your rent money I ordered the exact-same rice cooker this evening. It is the best brand (I will never use another brand; never have, never will) and will forgive this one short after a dozen years.
Until my next update, I remain, your very rice-filled correspondent.