Sunday, September 13, 2009

Funky Food

Nothing exciting in the knitting department. But I have been experimenting a bit in the kitchen.

Mrs. P, wife of Attorney P, sent her husband into work with a carrot cake on Tuesday. Mrs. P is (I believe) a schoolteacher who moonlights as a baker. The woman can BAKE.

Anyway, the carrot cake prompted Big Boss to wonder out loud about why we don't have pea cake if we have carrot cake. Peas and carrots go together well after all.

A little googlefu, and I was baking a Pea Cake.




Yeaaaah. It was OK. Nothing to write home about.

It only got half-eaten at work.

Another conversation at work (spurred on by another secretary bringing in one of those red and white mini-coolers that you always see on medical shows holding transplant organs) let me to lament out loud that I have never been able to find chicken hearts for sale at the grocery stores in the Lower 48.

We grew up with Mom making chicken hearts. Carrs used to sell styrofoam trays of them for cheap.

Try as I might in Colorado, Michigan, Texas, and New Jersey--I could not find JUST chicken hearts for sale! They were always mixed with gizzards and livers (eww!).

I tried everywhere--big grocery stores, little grocery stores, ethnic grocery stores. We even asked about them at a Mexican butcher shop in San Antonio. They looked at me like I was nuts when they told me "no" they didn't carry just chicken hearts.

Another secretary--who is Portuguese and lives in the Ironbound district of Newark, a Portugese neighborhood, and allegedly childhood home of Tony Soprano--overheard my lament and told me they sell them in her grocery store and offered to bring me some.


She brought me THREE trays!!!

Yes, perhaps I did hug her.

So, for lunch yesterday, Chunky and I had some good old fashioned fried chicken hearts.

All you do is warm up a skillet with some oil or butter (I used olive oil) and fry them up until cooked all the way through.

I chopped up a couple of green onions I had in the fridge that if not used in the next couple of day would have been dumped in the compost pile.


When they were cooked completely, they were delicious with a side of homemade applesauce* and a tortilla.


Chunky loved them! Dr. Mad Scientist turned his nose up at the offer to sample one.

I'm glad some of my tastebuds have been genetically passed on!

*Speaking of applesauce, although I didn't photodocument the process, I have two pints of applebutter in the water bath canner right now. WHEW! That's a lot of work for a little reward!

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Blogger Laura said...

Pea cake - interesting! And sorry, I don't blame Dr. M.S. for turning up his nose at the chicken hearts! : ) I love chicken, but the only part I really like are the breasts. I hate the dark meat of chicken or turkey. I also won't eat any meat that still looks like the animal it came, which rules out most seafood. I don't even like pulling out the giblets from a raw turkey - I make my husband do it. Yes, I know I'm strange!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Zonda said...! I'll pass on both ;) More for you! hehe

12:18 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

I love that you made a pea cake!! Personally, I'm pretty sure I would prefer carrot cake!!

And I bet you were so excited to enjoy those chicken hearts (you understand if I'm with Dr. Mad Scientist on this one?). Seriously nice coworker!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You can't get chicken hearts up here anymore! Those were good!
Well...they make zucchini bread why not pea cake? I know that there is a book at the library on putting veggies into things that kids will like to eat. I can't remember the title of it right now.
Love, Mom

12:58 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

Good for you for experimenting with food. I have a lot of trouble doing that. That said, I am begging you. PLEASE do not make me eat anything in this post!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

I think foods are weird depending on what you grow up eating... Hubby insists that chicken livers and pigs feet stew are both delicious, and yet he'd never had pork scraps with haddock before he came to visit my parents' place (and it took a whole lot of convincing to get him to try the crispity salty goodness that is pork scraps).

I'm all about trying things at least once, though, and getting the kids to try. Good for Chunky for being adventurous!

2:18 PM  
Blogger Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

Okay, I could eat the chicken hearts, and I would like them, but I also like fried chicken livers and gizzards, so there! :) One of my favorite meals (I maybe make it once or twice a year at at the most) is fried chicken livers, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. Damn, I'm hungry.

But the pea cake, forget it! Bleeh!

3:15 PM  
Blogger janna said...

I think peas taste too "green" to make a good cake....

My parents used to eat gizzards and livers, but chicken hearts? I'll have to ask Mom about that!

3:57 PM  
Anonymous marymac said...

More chicken hearts for you and Chunky, is what I say, but I love chicken heart and also eat chicken (and turkey) liver and gizzard. I've never seen an entire tray of hearts, either - yum!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

They sell chicken hearts at the grocery stores here. I just can't handle the thought. Can't handle the livers either.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I'm totally with the Dr on this one. No, thank you.

Pea cake? It even sounds funny to say. I wonder if you should mix peas and carrots into one cake. Probably ruin a perfectly good carrot cake.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Linnea said...

Wow, never tried chicken hearts! I'm curious, but slightly scared. And I love the idea of pea cake. Too bad it wasn't crazy awesomely good, but still - I bet you got major kudos for making it. I'd wanted to dedicate every Friday to bringing in some kind of baked treat to my office, but I'm not sure how receptive people will be, and I'm scared!

6:45 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I have to say I am probably with Dr. MS on the chicken hearts, but I would have tried the pea cake.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I've had chicken hearts, gizzards, and livers. I like the livers, the gizzards I can handle, but the hearts are on the bottom of my chicken organs list. It's the texture and the sound when you bite into it. Pea cake. Maybe it needed mayonnaise.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I feel I must qualify my remarks to say that chicken kidneys would be lower on the list than the hearts. What happens to the kidneys? They dont come in the little bag. Thank you.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

Hmmm, while I've never said no to a cake before, I think I might pass on pea cake. I can't even eat chicken LEGS, let alone hearts!

10:12 PM  
Blogger SiressYorkie said...

I used to love chicken hearts as a kid. Now the idea squicks me out, alas.

And on the apple butter front...our last house produced these MASSIVE baking apples, so hubby decided to make apple cider one day. When that didn't work, he tried for apple butter. Two blenders, a lot of swearing, apple spooge everywhere, and six hours later he settled for apple sauce. Guess who was cleaning up apple snot for the following three months?

Yeah. Those freakin' apples are deceptively time-consuming.

11:16 PM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

mmm, apple butter.

the chicken hearts, otoh, you and chunky can have those all to yourself. ;-)

8:22 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Pea cake. I can't wrap my head around that one. Ew.

BUT, chicken heart/gizzard/livers....I really, really need to get my mom to tell me how she makes them. They're made in a soy sauce concoction. I love them. I HAVE seen trays of just hearts, but maybe that's because I lived in the city. I'm going to have to go scour my supermarkets now....

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carrots and zucchini have a sweetness to them that peas do not. Peas have that alkaline aftertaste. They are high in protein for a green veg though.
There's a reason Morningstar Farms doesn't make ersatz Chick'n Hearts for the veg head market. (They do make a soy spare rib and I think it is hilarious.) Mag

11:08 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Seabra's! You could still get candy cigarettes there a few years ago... My family is Portuguese, and when I visit I always try to convince my grandmother to drive the two hours to Newark with me so we can buy linguica and pasteis natas...

11:48 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

I've never had chicken hearts--looks really good!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

If it's worth the very long drive for you, during "chicken processing season" (summer) I could probably get you all the hearts you could use from my butcher ;).

We're just now heading into apple season and planning to pick our first poundage of apples this weekend. I reckon I'll be up to my elbows in apple for the next month. Oh, joy! Oh, life! Thank goodness apple season is, but once, a year ;).

4:13 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Peacake? Sorry, sounds a little too much like it should be in urinal. If it had turned out well, we'd hafta rename it somehow. since it was meh, we won't I guess

7:15 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I think the pea cake sounds neat. I would have had a piece of that.

The chicken I looked at that last photo I was sure they were still beating.....see over active imagination limits me from trying new things. But I am glad you are happy and that dear chunky enjoyed them!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Rosi G. said...

Uhm, yea well it reads interesting! And I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Are chicken hearts anything like chicken gizzards? I cook gizzards about twice a year but can't stomach them more than that. :D

10:40 AM  

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