Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Rescues: Food and Science

The Seattle portion of our trip was lovely lovely lovely; more to come later. Been playing catch-up since we got back Sunday night, but I think I'm there now.

I have cooked dinner three nights in a row! (Usually we're on leftovers or something frozen by now.) Ravioli with salsa and corn with peppers on Tuesday, loatian pork with tofu and asparagus last night, and tonight I made pork vindaloo and aloo gobi (with saffron rice).

Tonight was almost a disaster. The aloo gobi turned out really bland, and I was despairing over it a bit, but it became much more palatable once I had it on my plate and added salt, which brought ought all the other flavors. (And it was A LOT of salt. Coming from me, that's saying something.) The pork vindaloo needed to simmer for an hour and a half, so I did all the rest of the recipe last night and this morning so that I could put it on the stove as soon as I got home. That all worked fine, but there's something wrong with the recipe, because after an hour and a bit the pork was cooked and the sauce... wasn't really sauce. It was super-watery and overly sour. (The recipe called for a full half cup of lemon juice and no vinegar, which is odd, and then a lot of water on top of that.) So I took the meat out and reduced it down and added a bunch of salt and some sugar to cut the sour and a little bit of onion powder because doesn't vindaloo usually have onion puree and then I made a roux with butter and Wondra and added that and so on and FINALLY I felt like I had rescued it and made it into actually food.

At least the saffron rice was super-easy to get right.

The other rescue I feel proud of at the moment is that the revisions on a paper I reviewed came back, and I think that my review actually significantly improved it. They added a line to the acknowledgements saying so, and on basically every point I made, their response was "ooo, that's a good point, we did what you suggested, plus a bit more". Which was... way more agreeableness than I expected. Reading over my comments, I hope I didn't come across too harshly, but maybe it's made up for by the fact that after I trashed one of their conclusion paragraphs for being apples-to-oranges nonsense, I pointed out how they could salvage it by focusing instead on the comparative size of the nectarines. (The did say "thanks" in the response to that comment in particular, so hopefully?) Anyway, reading over the changes they made, I think the paper really is much improved, so I feel like, YAY! I have helped make science more better!

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