Saturday, February 18, 2017

Shudder Shot or Screamshot?

I saw the jug of unsweetened almond-coconut milk in the fridge the other morning and got this idea that it would be tasty mixed with vanilla protein powder and the cold coffee left at the bottom of the pot. High protein! Low carb! Caffeine!  Like a treat, if not a treat. So I made myself a big dishwater-colored “shake” and sucked it all down in about 20 minutes. What happened next helped me understand how all how those mysterious liquid diets work. My appetite was obliterated. Nuked. Razed. I didn’t feel satisfied so much as blunted and dull, but I did not think about food for the rest of the day.

Ten hours after the shake, I made dinner, and even then I had little interest in eating. I made the lamb chops from Naomi Pomeroy’s Taste & Technique, which I had hoped would be as extraordinary as the salmon from the night before. The method was almost identical: You sear your meat in oil in hot pan, add butter, finish in the oven, basting with the butter. Results: fine. Nothing special.

Last night, I tried Pomeroy’s method for cooking chicken breasts which is — guess what? —  almost exactly the same as her method for cooking salmon and lamb chops. Sear in pan on stove, add butter, finish in oven. A few fussy steps in there, easily eliminated. I think the key to this recipe is that she has you brine the chicken for an hour, which transformed the drabbest meat on the planet into something pleasantly salty and alluring. 

I like this book and its plain, satisfying dishes. As always, once I get started with a book, I want to try everything.


On another subject, you know that hideous moment when you go to take a picture with your phone and it reverses and suddenly you’re treated to the image of your own face from a severely unflattering angle that accentuates double chins and wrinkles? I’ve always thought there should be a name for that moment and when this horrible thing happened to me the other day as I was preparing to photograph lamb chops it came to me: Screamshot. Genius. I told Owen, who was the only other person in the house, about my new word, and he looked at me with utter disdain. He said everyone in the world was already familiar with the phenomenon and “screamshot” was an incredibly dumb name. Why would anyone want to scream? 

There’s a word for someone who asks that idiotic question: sixteen.

Mark prefers “Shudder Shot.” 


  1. It seems you have found a very effective appetite suppressant! I don't know how much fat was in your milks, but that would factor in as well, I think. Did you make your milks? Just wondering. When I consume high protein and fat, I am not hungry for hours.
    The more you say about this cookbook, the more I want to buy it. I like simple cooking for everyday, and if I can improve my technique, that's always good. Jennifer, you didn't answer our question about the beans cooked in oil. Were they greasy tasting or just luscious? I'm still wondering.
    I love screamshot and shuddershot both as both describe my reaction to seeing myself unexpectedly. Wait until you get to your 60's! YIKES, who IS that old woman?! Oh, yeah, it's me; how depressing.
    I have a Netflix recommendation. We have been watching Nobel, and we have truly enjoyed it. I find that I really enjoy a lot of Scandinavian productions on Netflix.

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  3. Thank you for writing again! You are one of my favorite writers and I always look forward to your posts. Would you mind if I used your essays about chickens and goats (from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter) in my AP Language class? (I teach at the independent school in the town where your in-laws summer.) You would join the ranks of, among others, Didion, Franklin, Faulkner, and Thoreau.

    On another note, if you have not yet been to Sid Wainer's Gourmet Outlet on one of your trips here, you should add it to your to-do list.

    Thank you again for all the work that goes into this blog!

  4. I was sad that none of my favorite cookbooks from 2016 were included in the 2017 Piglet, so to console myself I went to the bookstore today to get Betty Fussell's new essay collection Eat Love Die. I saw Soframiz, which made it into the piglet competition, and became intrigued by yufka. That cookbook came home with me, and I look forward to experimenting with it. That's the thing about Piglet - it makes me pay attention to books I never noticed. As does your blog, although I have successfully avoided falling for Korean food.

  5. Glad you are checking out a Piglet book. So far I don't feel I have to buy Taste and Technique, which is a huge relief.:)

  6. There is definitely something about the lens on an iPhone that makes me look super haggard and exceptionally well endowed in the proboscis department.

  7. Jennifer, just wanted to say that I hope you are not affected by the absolutely scary weather that the Bay area is having. I have thought of you when looking at the national weather.

  8. I am sooo trying that shake! Sounds a bit like bullet proof coffee, but a little more complex. I also think screamshot is pretty good. Sixteen year olds know nothing.

  9. This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. Everything is very interesting to learn and easy to understood. Thank you for giving information.
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  10. Really wanting to know your take on Piglet going forward, especially today's offering!

  11. Yes to screamshot. Thanks for continuing to write my favorite blog!

  12. Another request for Piglet commentary!

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    realli! what color/print u choose! curious to know!!!! so many choices T_T i took so long to decide..

    and i agree, they look so yummy can wear outside too! but but.. i will wear for pajama party hehehehee..

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