Friday, August 25, 2006

suffer me a gripe....

.....and i'll give you a recipe.

we like our house. big southern exposure. our bedroom faces east so we get the dawn. nice layout. the structure is sound and well insulated. the plumbing works. the electrical system works. the windows open and close properly. actually, the interior seems well done. but the exterior...oy vey! the siding, horizontal manufactured wood planks, is ok and appears to be installed properly, but the edges and intersections aren't done well, he said tactfully. the corner and window trim don't overlap the siding, there is no flashing above the window trim, and it all depends on caulk for watertightness. the sun just eats up caulk. and paint. the caulk was cracking and the trim was getting to need paint, and then soon the siding.

so we decided to replace the siding with cedar shingles and to replace all the trim with unpainted cedar. imagine my surprise as i was removing siding and discovered that it had been installed before the three porch/step entries were cast in concrete..........right up against the siding. so i had to cut the siding with a chisel where it ran behind the steps and porches.

this is the side of the tallest porch. it is under a large overhang and very well protected from the weather, so we will just run shingles right up against the concrete. maybe we'll install some copper flashing for a nice appearance. and balance. the other side of this porch does get weather and will need flashing.

i didn't take a picture of the steps as i chiseled the siding to match them. imagine the fun, especially under each step. there was, of course, no flashing and lots of caulk. i made copper flashing and, yes, caulked it to the 'crete. this is the end product.

now here's your recipe.

mango risotto (cha cha cha)

i am sure i heard a reference to mango risotto on foodtv. so i googled same. i found several links to recipes. they all turned out to be the same! the mango was pickled and added after the risotto was cooked, and the result was a sidedish to go with roast duck. so i invented my own recipe.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 peeled and chopped mango
1/8 tsp cayenne powder (we have very potent cayenne)
lime juice (i used the half lime on hand. a whole lime would be better)
1 cup arborio rice, or other risotto rice
1/4 cup sliced ginger (maybe i used a bit less)
some raw, peeled shrimp
olive oil
6 cups boiling water

put the ginger in the water. keep the water just below a boil.
saute the onion and pepper in a generous dollop of oil. add the cayenne.
when the onion is almost cooked, add the rice.
stir until it all starts to stick.
add a quarter cup dry vermouth
add a half cup or so of the water
add the lime juice
add the mango

risotto is cooked at a boil by adding hot water a bit at a time and stirring constantly. taste the liquid as you go along, adding salt as needed. maybe more cayenne to balance the sweetness of the mango. when the rice is close to done the liquid will start to thicken. the shrimp cooks quickly and is not so good if over done, so add it when the liquid is getting thick and creamy, and turn down the heat. you might want a bit more oil. don't put the ginger in the risotto, the flavor comes through in the water, and it's kinda tough and intense to eat. i served mine with a generous sprinkling of fresh, chopped basil on top.

the only ingredient i actually measured when i cooked this was the rice, so the amounts are all a guess. ok, the mango was whole. chopped jalapeno would provide the heat instead of cayenne and add a festive touch of green.

bon appetit!

robin is reveling in her newfound freedom from the tyranny of posting. i'm taking up the slack, but i am a slacker.


we will still be sharing pictures on saturday. send us your fave.

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