Why, hello blog-readers!
I’d like to introduce myself as this week’s guest blogger! My name is Chad, I also went to law school with Janine and Lisa. I currently live in St. Paul and just finished my first month working at a new job.
Let’s get something out of the way real quick; my cooking credentials are basically nothing. Well almost nothing, I worked in restaurants for years through high school and college, but only worked as a cook/prep-cook when I was 16-17. Prior to working at my first restaurant my cooking skills pretty much ended at Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and Ramen. So why am I posting on a food blog?!
Basically, ever since Lisa and Janine first told me their idea for this blog, I’ve been pestering them to let me try my hand at guest blogging.
I mean, similar to my cooking skills, Facebook is pretty much the only “blogging” I’ve ever done. But I’ve always wanted to get into blogging! I’ve been following some of the same people on YouTube for over 6 years, and always thought it was such an interesting way to see into someone’s life. Also why not share something you know with the world. I mean, think of all the questions you may have Googled and weird blogs and forums you’ve read in the process. Anyone can be one of those people.
So, my ramblings aside, let’s get into this week’s theme… HANGOVER CURES.
So unlike my blogging and cooking skills, I have some mad skills when it comes to drinking and curing hangovers. My credentials you ask? I’m from middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin, I went to college at UW-Oshkosh, and I’m still in my 20s. Being from Wisconsin should almost speak for itself, and I suppose most college kids go through a “drink your weight in vodka, beer, and/or tequila” phase. I’m sure I’ll wake up one day and say “I can’t drink like I used to” but today… is not that day. So please allow me to share with you some of my Hangover Cures.
MIND OVER MATTER
Believe me, I could lie in bed and die right along with you. Waking up with that “dear god, what have I done to myself” feeling doesn’t exactly motivate you to peel yourself off the floor. But believe me, sometimes getting up and moving around can help. If you move, you’ll be more more likely to actively do something to help your current situation, instead of just turning over and wishing the room would stop spinning. Get your ass out of bed, get some water (start with smaller quantities), and if you have obligations that day – do them. A hangover should only be an excuse for your disposition, not you missing something. (Obviously if you’re in such a state of no-return, well then, you do you.)
TAKE A SHOT
Now I know some of you are big fans of hair-of-the-dog remedies but that’s not what I’m talking about. My #1, super awesome, go-to cure for hangovers is pickle juice. I’m not even kidding. If you can’t stand pickles and the very thought sends your hungover ass straight to the bathroom, obviously, to each their own. But I’ve looked around and tried every hangover cure out there and in times of great, great need Milwaukee’s dill pickle juice has been there for me. Basically Googling around tells me that pickle juice contains a lot of salt, electrolytes, and vinegar and this helps your body combat the diuretic effects of drinking. So after you’ve figured out that you can keep solids and liquids down, take a swig of pickle juice. Just trust me.
Now we get to the thing I crave immediately when I wake up after a night out: eggs. All I want when I’m hungover is eggs. I don’t care how they’re prepared. I don’t care if I have to go to eggs, if eggs have to come to me, or if I have to cook my own eggs. I. Need. Eggs. So as I was thinking about what I would cook for this week’s theme I know I wanted to do something with eggs, but was a little conflicted as to what awesome egg dish to show off to the world for my debut. I ended up with a simple scrambled eggs, ham, hash browns ,and toast. I know, grossly simple. But I don’t think anyone is looking to get fancy in the kitchen when they’re hungover. Amiright?
When hungover, it’s not like you’re going to want to make something that requires a trip to the store, so its best to use whatever you happen to have on hand: My boyfriend and I made a 10 lb ham the other day and we’ve been doing the ‘leftover-ham-in-everything’ thing since. When someone asks you if you want cheese with that – never say no. It’s always good to add onions, for a bit of flavor. When I know I might want some hash browns, I always buy one of those packages of Simply Potatoes (in Target they’re back by the dairy eggs, which is a weird place for them if you ask me). Since I didn’t have any of those, I decided I’d try to make my own with some potatoes I had on hand.
Use these in whatever quantities you think your poor body can handle.
I know potatoes take a long time so I got started making them first.
After peeling the potatoes, I used the big side of a standard kitchen grater. Careful, graters are sharp and being drunk and uncoordinated could be a hazard. Also I quickly diced up about a handful of onions and sauteed them. Put aside to add later.
I had read online that one trick to good homemade hash browns was removing as much water as possible. So after shredding the potatoes, I wrapped the hash browns in paper towels, placed in a bowl, and pressed down to soak up as much as I could. (This is where I really started to notice the weird color of the potatoes. They seemed to turn a dark, reddish purple (?) color.) After doing this, I put them in the microwave for 2 minutes.
While the hash browns were in the microwave, I sliced off some ham and cut it up it to bite size pieces.
Next was to start cooking the potatoes. I added a chunk of butter before to coat the pan and then lightly drizzled some olive oil over the hash browns once I added them to the pan.
One thing I distinctly remember from my little experience in a restaurant kitchen, is that potatoes always take the longest. After heating up the pan I spread my potatoes out as much as I could and as evenly as I could. This should help your potatoes cook as evenly as possible. I just added some salt and pepper plus a kitchen secret…
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.
I got to work on the eggs.
If you ever find yourself thinking “do I add milk, or water for scrambled eggs?” here’s a little tip; water will give you lighter, fluffier eggs where milk will give you heavier, creamier eggs. I always go for a little splash of water since my ingredients are usually pretty heavy (hold the veggies plz).
Whisk your eggs up until it’s an even consistency.
Get another pan out and throw some butter in there. Martha Stewart told me that you know the pan has gotten to the perfect temp when you can flick some water in the pan and it sizzles.
When it seems that the bottom is getting a little crusty, try and flip the hash browns in little sections (it’ll help cook more evenly than if you just stir them all up. Don’t worry if they stuck to the pan and stirring is your only option. It happens. Your’re hungover, it doesn’t matter.)
After getting the pan to the correct sizzling temp, add the eggs and IMMEDIATELY start stirring.
AND DON’T STOP!
OK STOP when you think the eggs have stopped being a runny mess and has starting to move as a solid. Turn off the heat source (the pan will have enough residual heat to finish the eggs).
Add your ham and sauteed onions.
Stir it all together. And add your cheese.
Next week come back for Diet Foods (a new years resolution staple) with Janine!