Did you know liver is the best food for rebuilding from depression? I didn’t know either. But I read the book, and decided that it was worth a try to get more liver in my diet. The book is really good. The author cites her sources and there isn’t anything in there that’s really outlandish or not in line with current nutritional thinking. What the book does is tie it all up for you in a nice little easy to understand package.
There’s just one little problem: I really dislike liver. I thought about what it is I dislike and settled on texture and flavor. I decided that this problem could be solved by grinding the liver with hamburger and making something with a lot of spices. Kibbeh seemed to be the likeliest way to go.
First, I bought organic beef liver from Whole Foods Market. My preference is meat from New Seasons Market, but I happened to be at Whole Foods. It came sliced, and the container was 0.8 lbs. Using the meat grinder attachment on my KitchenAid mixer, I ground the liver. This looked really gross, btw. To this I added one onion (pre-chopped in a food processor), 1/2 tsp-ish fresh ground pepper, 2 tsp. cumin and 2 tsp. allspice, and about 1/2 tsp salt. Stir. Then I ran it through the grinder a second time with one pound of very lean ground beef. While the meat was slooooowly working its way through the grinder, I was boiling one cup of bulgur wheat in two cups of water for around 10 minutes, and then I turned off the heat. Once the meat was ready, I layered meat, bulgur (straining off extra water), meat, and bulgur. I drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top and baked it for around 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
The verdict: quite tasty. It had a kind of flat flavor to it (I can’t really describe it, it wasn’t bland at all with all the seasoning) which I assume is the liver. It needed something tangy to offset this, so next time I plan to use a recipe that has tamarind paste in it, or else serve it with a lemon-juice heavy tabbouleh. Another alternative would be to squeeze lemon juice on top before serving.
All in all, I’d say attempt no. 1 at getting more liver in our diet was a success. While the liver was noticeable at the quantity I used (almost 1:1 with the ground beef) it wasn’t objectionable in flavor or texture. Of course, I prefer kibbbeh MORE without the liver addition, but the goal here is to eat the liver so this is a decent disguise. Also, Theo the cat really liked it too, he jumped on the counter and was tearing in to it before he got busted. :-/
Liver Kibbeh a la Claire
Between 0.5 and 1 lb of beef liver
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp (many grinds, in my case) fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp (or more to taste, we are low sodium in our house) salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup bulgur, cooked
See above for rough instructions
I spend a decent amount of time in the skincare section of our store, and have found the following reference really helpful. The book is A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients : Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients in Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals – the most recent edition is from 2005 and seems to be pretty comprehensive. There have only been a handful of ingredients I’ve looked up that it hasn’t contained. If you are curious about what’s in your skin care and cosmetics, I really recommend this book.
I had an entertaining day at the market yesterday. I had two repeat customers show up, both of whom informed me that they only use my soap. Last Saturday I also had a customer say the same thing. That is really cool! Of course, I only use my soap too… so I know exactly what they mean.
Then there was the rude lady who demanded to know how long my soap bars last. I was trying to say something like “Well it depends on how many people are using it and how often it gets used.” I mean, if four people are sharing a shower and each bathes every day, the bar isn’t going to last as long as two people, with one who bathes every other day. So I can’t exactly say “this bar will last for two months” or whatever. This clearly did not satisfy her. Nancy suggested I just pull something out of my behind for customers like that – “Yes, this will last you for two months!” since they probably still aren’t going to buy.
I finished reading an interesting book yesterday. It is called The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. After DH reads it I’ll post a review, since I have lots of things to say about it. He reads my blog though, so I don’t want to spoil it for him…
Anyway, lots of market fun was had yesterday. Next week my little brother and sister are coming to mind my booth while I mind Nancy’s booth (they are right next to each other, more like one big booth) which should be lots of fun.
Yesterday at Powells, I was tempted into purchasing the most recent Harry Potter, since it’s out in paperback now (that would be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). I’ve put off buying it because it’s so thick, and I know I’ll be useless for anything else once I start reading it.
Since I’m currently waiting, waiting, waiting for some of the other series’ I’m reading to hurry up and print the next book in paperback, I’ve been cruising the aisles looking for new talent. Whilst in the romance section (where the “Undead and…” series lives, although I’m not sure why exactly since they’re a lot like the Sookie Stackhouse books which live in the horror section) I found what looks like a charming, non-bodice ripper. Second Thyme Around, by Katie Fforde, is classified as a romantic comedy, with an organic gardener as the heroine. I look forward to diving into it.
The other Amazon goodie I bought with my gift certificate was a copy of Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook. I’m been wanting this book for a while, because it seems really accessible and I’ve been wanting a good knitting resource. Now I have to pick a pattern from the book and make something…