Mock Rendang and new digs

So as I type this, the air in my house smells like roasting beef and curry. I found a package of beef stew meat way back in the freezer the other day, stamped “Not For Sale” and “Nov. 2010” from some Redmond, Wash. meat company. Never one to turn down an opportunity to cook something sketchy, I have the stew meat slow-roasting in my Dutch oven with tomatoes, turmeric and garam masala. The meat unthawed red and smelled okay, so it’ll be fine. FINE, you naysayers.

My plan is to cook up some rice to go with it and attempt to create a version of Indonesian rendang, which I had once at Iza, a pan-Asian restaurant in Missoula. Properly made, rendang is beef simmered slowly with coconut milk, lemongrass, tamarind and a bunch of other ingredients which are expensive/difficult to procure here in the boonies. Mine’s in the spirit, at least. If it tastes lousy, there’s always sriracha.

Also: House! The day I flew back from Christmas I moved out of my miserable, cold apartment next to a car wash and am pleased to be renting a room in a proper house in a nice part of town. Pleasantly, I don’t have any roommates at the moment, so until someone else moves in, I have full command of a decent kitchen and my crap is strewn everywhere. Two counters! Two! And an island! So much space!

I don’t have photos for you, because my only working camera is buried somewhere in one of the bags I haven’t unpacked, but picture a house that a real adults would live in, with real furniture instead of futons, silly decorative plants, cable TV, functioning dishwasher and washing machine and a HOT TUB. I live in that house now. Weird, right? It’s temporary, of course, but I feel so much more like a mature adult-type person.

My next step will be to throw a bitchin’ party, of course, which will be tough given I only know six people to invite, but I can make it happen. I just found Dixie cups in a cupboard, which means Jello shots, which means awesome.

(I didn’t say I was totally a mature adult now.)

I’ll try and update you folks with how the mock rendang turns out. I’m gonna go see if the Food Network is showing somebody besides that obnoxious bastard Guy Fieri.

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