A finicky guy's exploits in finding gustatory (and other) satisfaction in his kitchen, his neighborhood, and beyond.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stock, stock, and taking stock

1. Stock

I promise — this is going to be the very last mention of those eternal beans!  (For this week, anyhow.)  But there is one last project I am using them for, which will be one of my weekend activities.  I am going to make a soup out of the remaining bones with the few beans still clinging to them + the contents of my frozen stockpile.  Warning: the following picture may cause revulsion in the sensitive:

I assure you, pictures of the soup that I will convert this mess into will inspire drooling, not retching....tune in next week for the proof.

2. Stock

It's freakin' cold out there.  My oh-so-helpful weather app smugly informs me that the current temp is 22 degrees, but that it feels like 11.  Eleven!  I am miserable when the temperature dips below my age + my shoe size.  All this week, it's stayed WELL below that shrouded-in-mystery figure, so I had to do something to bring a little springtime cheer into the house.  I treated myself to a surprisingly inexpensive purchase of flowers from the florist department at WF.  We're currently greeting guests and cheering ourselves with this jolly spray of - - - stock:

I love that the delicate yellow color of the flowers so closely matches the color of our walls, although this picture doesn't really show the wall color accurately.  And something about how the flowers are proportionally too big for their bottle gives me a little frisson of happiness when I look at them.  I really can't explain this; it's a gentle sort of visual joke to me, I guess.

3. Taking stock.

Only one reader so far has raved about my burgeoning facial hair.  This situation must improve, so I am bringing an end to the subtlety.  (What, you didn't notice any subtlety on this blog?  It must be a problem with your browser.)

Here, in a naked bid for adulation (although, if it's warranted, I'm prepared to accept negative comments too — being rejected is less painful than being ignored, after all) is a picture of how my beard looks at its current state of growth (about 2 weeks of not shaving):

With the gelled-down hair and the glasses, I was going for the tortured intellectual look here.  Please let me know what you think of my hirsuteness.  If you need inspiration, please choose from the following comprehensive list of possible reactions:

  • you so sexy 
  • hotter than hell, mr. hanko
  • gasp you leave me breathless with desire
  • where did you get that pic of george clooney
  • put down that spatula you need to become a professional model

Or you can come up with your own phrases to express your exceeding admiration for my facial hair.  Just remember, I am a very sensitive person.

Have a great weekend.  Cook something that makes you feel sexy.  Or just don't shave.


  1. Okay Michael... I am up way to early and my eyes have not quite adjusted yet but....you so sexy.

  2. Well, I'll take your compliment. I'd rather be thought sexy by a myopic viewer than by no one at all. Thank you!

  3. Roses are red
    Your kitchen flowers are yellow
    With facial hair
    You're quite the gorgeous fellow

  4. Oooh —

    in the form of poetry
    gets me all giggly
    and quivery

  5. Tortured intellectual with a hint of blue collar, I like it.

  6. a somewhat wine-connoisseur meets novelist on book-tour meets historical-restoration carpenter look! oooh...sultry! and I love the blog!

  7. Thank you, m2f. I have been striving all my life to bring a blue-collar touch to my nerdy look.

    And thank you, kimbersew. "Sultry" is a wonderful word and I'm thrilled to embody it.

  8. I'm impressed with the way you have stretched those beans and diversified their presentation.

    Nice beard! Nice pic! I think I will try the cooking option to try to feel sexy, cuz the not shaving option might not work so well for a girl. Thanks for the suggestion though. :-)

  9. "his situation must improve, so I am bringing an end to the subtlety."

    BTW - it's not that I didn't notice or like the previous beard pics, but you always have so much in your postings to which I want to respond that I fear if I did actually respond to each, I'd end up with a reply as long as the original entry. Not to mention the pressure when presented with such wit (and good looks). ;-)

    I'm guessing the rest of the Hotter Than Hell, Mr. Hanko Fan Club feels the same.

  10. Aw, now I'm embarrassed. Thanks, Debbie — you're really sweet.

    And, by the way, I am always hoping that the comments will end up being much longer than the original post!

  11. Tortured intellectual? You've got it, spot on!

  12. A man who can laugh is the sexiest thing alive- you didn't need the facial hair but it looks great!

    Now to change the subject...do you ever look at Mother Earth News online? They had a recipe for bread that would keep in the fridge for quite awhile. I've been experimenting with it and wondered if you had seen it?

  13. Oh George Clooney says you stole his face!
    Have a great weekend (I'm making Mexican Streusel Brownies and Chicken and Dumplings)

  14. @piko: That bread recipe looks marvelous, but the daily baking would require a change to my whole lifestyle! I think it might be worth it, though, and I plan to try this out soon(ish).

    @LHC: I wanna eat at your house this weekend! Do let us in on what makes the brownies Mexican — I am intrigued. My guess would be cinnamon and some kind of chili pepper in the chocolate...am I right?

  15. I would recommend very small loaves. It's wonderful on the first day, soft inside, crackly tender crust, but it is a dense bread. I love having fresh bread every day, just by cutting off a hunk from the dough in the frig, but I prefer a lighter inside. The crust, however, is divine. Very crisp, but not so thick that I need a lumberjack to cut throghg it

  16. Oh, yes, indeed! Coming along very nicely, Mr. Hanko. Woof!
    The chiaroscuro, the gaunt cheeks, and the crumb-catcher - almost Slavic of you. Add a bowl of mush and you could be a regular Ivan Denisovich.

  17. Boy, your comments are highly appreciated. I may not have Slavic blood in my veins, but I do have some Slovak blood, which may contribute to that eastern look you describe.