24 September 2009

In Which I Make Several Discoveries

A couple weeks ago, Jared and I went to Culturas, the tapas restaurant at El Serrano on Columbia Avenue. I had never tried tapas before, but my parents had gone to Culturas the month before and I was pretty excited when we walked through those carved mahogany doors. (Is there anything cooler than heavily ornamented wood? I submit that there is not.)

Well, I discovered that tapas are awesome, especially when they are really expensive and eaten by candlelight on a Spanish-style balcony overlooking a fountain-and-shrubbery filled courtyard. (A SHRUBBERY!) The avocado frito was something of a revelation. Who knew you could fry avocado? Or serve it with balsamic vinegar and wasabi? I sure didn't.


Yesterday I was making Italian bread, and when I walked into the kitchen to place the beautifully shaped, slashed, and risen loaves into the oven, I realized that smoke was coming from the vent. Oh, bother. Sure enough, the oven had a fire in it, thanks to a very buttery pie crust the day before and very buttery scones a few days prior. Ergo, discovery number two: the postponement of oven-cleaning is a horrible idea.

The bread turned out just fine, though. After the fire died, I scraped the bottom of the oven and baked those shaped slashed risen loaves until they were golden and steaming. So there.

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