Would Dexter Like My Pastries?

Cinnamon Sugar Pastries

The answer is yes.  But that’s not really what this post is about.  I just couldn’t think of a title.  What this is really about is the joy of grocery shopping, the consequences of not planning, and the murderers hiding in my bushes.

First of all, unlike murder, I’ve always enjoyed grocery shopping.  I can never seem to get out of the store in under an hour because I end up wandering around imagining the meals I could make, then doubling back for things that I still need.  If I planned ahead I could get in and get out, but I don’t really want to.  My meandering process of grocery shopping puts me in a relaxing reverie…until, for example, I see a girl vigorously grab her boyfriend’s ass right in front of me, like I saw today.  But that’s another great thing about leisurely grocery shopping: people watching, even when they do things you don’t really want to see.

My grocery store of choice is Central Market.  I wasn’t enchanted my first time there, but I’ve been back millions of times and have fallen in love with the variety and quality of food.  I like their bulk section for grains, legumes, trail mix, and other items because it’s cheap, I can get exactly the amount I need, and it’s environmentally friendly (cuts down on packaging!)  They also have a section with prechopped veggies I can buy by the weight, like Whole Foods.

I did my grocery shopping there today. It was one of the two productive things I did today, the other being going to the gym for an hour.  Instead of studying and planning, like I should have, I blew my entire day on the following things, in order of most time-consuming:

  • spending hours and hours in the itunes store and app store browsing apps for my phone and computer and installing them
  • watching a few episodes of the 90s series Twin Peaks
  • reading The Devil in the White City.
     Useless.  It’s all because I didn’t make a plan for today.  I’ve realized that without a schedule or to-do list I don’t really do anything.  And I’ve also realized that I’ve been watching and reading way too many things about murder and serial killers lately.  Twin Peaks is about a murder investigation and The Devil in the White City is half about a serial killer in Chicago in the 1890s.  To top it off, I finished up the third season of Dexter yesterday.
     Not going to lie, all this murder has definitely made me look over my shoulder.  You should have seen me taking out my trash last night: I peered out the door of my apartment carefully, scanned the bushes for murderers lying in wait, hopped a few steps out the door, tossed my trash six feet to the pickup spot, and lunged back inside.  Right before I reached my front door I saw a neighbor looking at me from the balcony of an adjacent apartment, so once I was inside I felt like the idiot that I was. Am?
     Yesterday was more productive.  I made my second attempt at puff pastry and it was to die for (hehe.)  It took the whole day, of course, between the folding, rolling, and chilling of the dough.  I used the dough for a sopapilla recipe from the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry website because it was easy.  I just had to cut the dough into squares, bake it until puffy and golden, then cover them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
     They turned out flaky, buttery, and sweet…but I had to ask myself: is making my own puff pastry worth it?  What took me a day could have taken me 20 minutes with the pre-prepared stuff.  Although you can’t really beat homemade…
     If homemade truly is the best, the solution is just to make a ton of dough myself and freeze it.  That way I don’t have to block out a day to make it.  But out of curiosity, next time I’ll try a really high quality butter with my dough and get a Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheet so I can compare results.  This is an experiment I don’t think I’ll mind testing.  And I can watch Season 4 of Dexter while doing it.

Speaking of breakfast…

I just started watching Dexter (yeah, I know I’m late to jump on the bandwagon) and the opening for the show is the most disturbing morning routine I’ve ever seen.  It’s not that it’s abnormal.  Ham, egg, blood oranges, coffee…but they made it so…visceral.  They did an excellent job on it.  (And it’s a really interesting show to boot.)

Hosea wins Top Chef. Meh.

Those of you as obsessed with Top Chef as I am already know that Hosea has won the $100,000 prize, and even though I love the show and enjoyed the season (because of Fabio, really), I couldn’t bring myself to care.  I was personally rooting for Carla, whom I thought was annoying and under-qualified at first until she came out of nowhere with some mad culinary skills.  Then I grew to love her wacky antics and giraffe-like awkwardness.  I knew she was screwed the minute she agreed to take Casey’s suggestion on cooking the meat in a weird way she had never done before (can’t remember the name…).  It’s such a shame that she royally screwed up at the finale when she was doing so well the past few challenges!  I didn’t want to Stefan to win because, well, he was an arrogant asshole–even though he’s really talented.  Now that I think about, I think maybe I would have almost prefered Stefan over Hosea.  Hosea is nice and all, but he was practically handed the title; his sous chef was Richard, for God’s sake!  Ah, well.  Maybe next season.  Until then, I’ll miss you Tom Colicchio, you sexy blue-eyed teddy bear you.

Tom Colicchio