tost, a name we call ourselves

First off: yes, I started work at Facebook - about five weeks ago, more or less immediately after coming home from a six-month-and-11000-kilometre-long bike trip. (Well, okay, there was time enough in between for American Thanksgiving at Valkyrie's house, a few days with my parents up near Toronto, frenetic rounds of packing and unpacking and repacking, and a 3.5 day cross-continental train trip through some of the most fantastically picturesque mountain passes in good old America. All of which was packed into about two weeks.)

Before you ask what I do for Facebook: all engineers do Bootcamp for the first six weeks, after which they pick their team/project/generic business-sounding term for subdivision of work. I'm leaning backend - which means you probably won't see what I do, but it will somehow make your experience better: faster, more secure, more feature-rich, whatever. In the meantime, Valkyrie and I finally moved into our apartment about half a week ago. Yay!

Tost. What the hell is tost?

Well, we were biking along through Greece when we saw signs for τοστ, a snack-stop mainstay that turns out to be roughly the Greek equivalent of a panini. Yeah, you're supposed to pronounce it "toast", but it looks like "tost" - which we thought was hilarious enough that we decided to adopt it as part of our name.

So, tost. That aside, now that we've moved into our apartment and have a kitchen at our disposal, we've taken our hard-earned camp stove cookery skill and put it to work, scouring cookbooks both paper and online for deliciousness-ness. (And no, we haven't made tost yet; we haven't got a toster.) Without further ado, here are some of the results in recipe format.

Cossack Pie (adopted from The Moosewood Cookbook, page 138 to fit the ingredients on hand:)

pie crust

pie filling
1/4 lb. mushrooms (crimini works)
1 onion (yellow, white - your choice), finely chopped
1 cup cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
1 crown of broccolus (singular of broccoli!), thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour (all purpose)
1/2 tsp. basil (prefer fresh, but dried works too)
2 tbsp. wine (we used red, original calls for white, whatever)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/3 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup yoghurt (we used Pavel's Russian-Style, ~4% fat)

0. Make crust by mixing together flour, oil, and a pinch of salt until it makes something approximately the consistency, shape, and taste of a crust. (Seriously: if you don't know how to do that, get a premade crust.) Line pan with crust.

1. Remove stems from mushrooms and chop finely. (How finely? We cut them in round cross-sections, a couple of millimetres (sorry, semi-hemi-demi-inches) thick.) Set caps aside; you'll use them later.

2. Sauté mushrooms, onion, cabbage, broccoli, and carrot in butter, salting lightly as they cook. Add spices. Cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat, toss with flour and wine.

3. Meanwhile, whisk cottage cheese and eggs together vigorously. Go heavy on the vigour. (Or you could just follow the original recipe and blender these. We don't have one.) Add salt and pepper.

3a. Start oven preheating to 350.

4. Add egg-cheese mixture to sautéed vegetables (which should be off the heat - if they aren't, DO THAT NOW) and mix well. Spread into crust.

5. Slice mushroom caps and sauté with a bit of butter until they release their mushroomy juices. Yum.

6. Spread yoghurt on top of vegetable-egg-cheese filling, covering the entire pie. Top with mushrooms. Sprinkle generously with paprika. Bake in (hopefully heated-up) oven for 40 minutes. Remove. Let sit for a few minutes. Serve. Eat.

Yum! That's recipe 1 of 2 for this post - the next one is a curry we concocted with some vegan recipe we found and can't refind as a basis. That recipe seemed short on flavour, so we added a bit of chili-garlic sauce and extra-crunchy peanut butter to the mix.

some cabbage, finely chopped
2 potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushinated (like with a garlic press)
2 tbsp curry powder
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
peanut butter (screw that gourmet crap, we used Jif)
chili-garlic sauce (tuong ot toi vietnam, plus or minus a few language-specific accents)

0. Perform indicated actions on vegetables. Preferably with sharp knives (or your judo-chop-worthy hands, or carefully-wielded dental floss, or...)

0a. At the same time, heat lightly-salted water to a boil - enough to put the 2 potatoes in, since they will need to soften before you add them to the mix.

1. Heat butter in deep pan on medium-high. Add onions, cook 1 minute. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add curry powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few more minutes.

2. Add rest of vegetables EXCEPT POTATO. Cook until they start to pack down. Add peanut butter a bit at a time, stirring to melt it and spread it evenly throughout the mix. Add chili-garlic sauce. Stir some more.

3. When potato gets soft enough to easily stick a fork into, remove from water. Cube potatoes. Add to curry; this might dry out the mixture, so keep some water on hand to add more liquid if necessary. Stir every now and then, making some attempt to mash the potatoes down for extra creaminess.

3a. If you're planning to serve this over, say, rice - this would be a good time to start that!

4. If you're making rice, cook curry over medium-low heat until rice is done; otherwise, cook for however long you want (which should probably be at least 15 minutes.) Serve. Eat.

Yum! And that's the last of the recipe action. Enjoy!

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