Excerpt – Time, Fire, and Cuisine

One of my first friends in college was a Hawaiian girl and between my accent. I sound like a complete bumpkin accent and her pigeon speak it seemed we could understand each other without having to talk to anyone else. The difference is akin to Moxxi from Borderlands with her normal voice and her accent. Below was the first dish she told me about back on the islands.

It was also with her that we talked what kind of books and what we hated about cookbooks nowadays. They seemed like glory shot filled food porn magazines and they did not teach or better someone’s cooking ability. Having this up now on my own blog kinda makes me look back at the path to get here and to any would be authors wanting to start a book of any kind. Be in it for the long haul.

July 9th – Spam musubi

Knowing that musubi is a Hawaiian dish on default we are going to pair it with something that is about as integrated in to the island cuisine, spam. Looking at the can some people may not enjoy the taste of such a thing and if that is the case you can remove the spam for some spicy Portuguese sausage.

Start your preparation by taking some good sushi rice or in the case that none can be found some medium grain rice cooked so that it is slightly sticky. This can be done by finding a rice grain with a lot of starch and only rinsing it once in cold water quickly. Like the Japanese sushi you will need to create a blend of your favorite vinegars to flavor the rice. I prefer mixing a batch of vinegar that is a quarter of the dry rice by volume. My vinegar mix starts off at 3:2 rice wine vinegar to apple cider vinegar.

After mixing up the vinegars in a container and your rice is cooked you want to remove the rice from the pan in to a bowl preferably wooden. Wooden bowls, not being so popular though may be hard to get to so just relax before taking your favorite mixing bowl out.

Before you flavor the rice though on a cutting board take your spam, remove it from the can and cut in to slices as big as your middle and ring finger combined. Begin cooking these in a pan letting them crisp up a little before topping your rice.

Place your rice in to a bowl and with a firm spatula begin breaking up the rice until you get a half dozen large clumps. Then slowly pour in your vinegar while breaking down the sticky ball so that they have a slightly tacky surface while appearing moist.

Shape your sushi to be held with two fingers. Begin shaping your race making sure to wet your hands as the rice will stick to your palms less. Finish by topping your creation with your fried spam or sauteed sausage. Matches well with anything teriyaki flavored as well as a light seaweed salad.

Sushi rice – 4:1 dry rice to vinegar mix by volume

Vinegar mix – 3:2 rice wine vinegar to apple cider vinegar.

To be a cook in portland

One of the problems cooking in Portland is how deep the competitive pool is. Just taking the culinary schools you have AI, WCI, and OCI. From there you have groups of three hundred per program times two to three for each separate program looking for a free externship close by. Just from that there is a pool of about 2500 hundred people who are asking to work for free in most cases. Add on top all the smaller schools and you can easily add another 2000 people on top of that.

So in Portland there is a minimum of four thousand people every six months looking for experience and are able to not be paid for that time versus actually hiring people. Because after those externship times are done they enter another pool constantly growing of people who can cook to order but nowhere for them to do so. True, after some externships some people will be offered work no doubt.

It’s not like I’m new in a kitchen myself. I have done a large bit and a short amount of time and nearly have a decade of experience around the pacific northwest all before my twenty-fifth birthday. It is just I love to cook. I love to make food because food is something all cultures around the world had. Everyone had to eat and through food you can learn a lot about the past as well as the future.
There just seems to be so much wrong with what I love that sometimes I ask is it worth it. It is of course ( it always is).

Long story short. In food, in portland we should either get ready to change with the times or be ready to be passed by it.

If you agree or disagree let me know. I would love to hear your opinion. If you think i need to take another cup of coffee before typing because I may be out of my mind then go ahead and message me too 🙂 Happy holidays.