2014/05/03

Planes, trains and automobiles (French Fridays with Dorie: Tuna Rillettes)

Okay, so it's really Saturday, but it must still be Friday somewhere, no?

No, not really; but it makes me feel better to say that.

A week of airplanes, truck terminals and rail yards has placed me in a somewhat reflective mood.



  • When flying a certain "no-reserved seats" airline, Early Bird Check-in is well worth the money spent. Because we all know that the "C" in C Boarding Group stands for center. On a three + hour flight - that can be a very awkward situation to be in. 
  • I have also come to the understanding that many travelers on same unnamed airline have trouble counting. 
  • The flying process is exponentially easier when you've pre-printed your boarding pass and you don't have to check any luggage. 
  • You realize you've probably been somewhere too many times when the hotel manager knows you by name.
  • The phrase "good cup of coffee" appears to be relative. 
  • Wherever you go, there are nice people and mean people. It pays to figure out which are which up front.
  • The level of service at some restaurants is inversely proportional to the number of employees working at the front counter.
  • Some things are Just. Plain. Cool. (And if you are meeting with the owner of the trucking company responsible for that feat, it would be pretty dang foolish to say otherwise - but it really was cool.)
  • When in the South, don't pass up the fried pickles.
  • Oh, and speaking of food, there are some foods that don't belong in closed spaces - no matter how tasty they are...
For example, this week's tuna rillettes may be tasty, but they certainly don't belong in closed spaces.

It was with gratitude that I realized another "stuff on toast" (or crackers) non-recipe recipe was on the agenda. I was even more grateful when the hardest part about this "stuff" was throwing it into the food processor. This was something I could pull off in my jet-lagged state.

One can of chunk light tuna? Check.
One small shallot? Check.
A couple tablespoons of creme fraiche? Got it.
Salt and a spoonful of Berbere? Absolutely. (Hey, you didn't expect me to follow all the directions, now did you.)
Turn on the processor and process it until a light fluffy paste has formed? Done, done and done. 

After a rest in the refrigerator, the "rillettes"/ fish paste was ready to be slathered on crackers, toast or even a health conscious celery stick. After several days of road food, the simplicity of it hit the spot.

On the book front, I finally finished reading former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, biography, "Duty". It took me a while to get through (I certainly felt like I was performing my patriotic duty by reading the whole thing); but overall I thought it was an interesting insight into the mechanics of our government. My next book selection is definitely going to be fluffy and require no mental concentration whatsoever. My brain needs a rest.

In cookbook land, a surprising contender has emerged as my "most reached for cookbook" - Faith Durand's Bakeless Sweets. My baking mojo has gone into hiding and I have found the uncomplicated, stovetop creations of Faith's book have hit the spot. I do hope my mojo comes back soon, because both The Dude and Runner Girl's birthdays are pending and cake-baking is not optional...

Peace out. XOXO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, sounds like the kind of weeks I've been having. The woman in my accounting department, who is responsible to processing my reimbursement requests (including one which is currently over 1 month old!) told me this week that, "those employees who GET TO TRAVEL are responsible for..." I didn't hear a word she said after the GET TO part and I climbed right up on my soapbox and spent the next 5 minutes educating her on the joys of business travel. The poor woman, I may never see that reimbursement now. Hope your schedule settles down soon.

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  2. My friends who travel for work talk about all the awesome places they've been and haven't seen. It can be a real slog. Glad to know you came back to an easy recipe. Also, I love the sound of the Berberé - nice choice.

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  3. Yup "business travel" isn't the glamourous lifestyle it's cracked up to be huh? Glad this was an easy Dorie week for you :)

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  4. It seems that many of us were happy for an easy recipe this week. Welcome home - I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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  5. I am glad that you liked this recipe Cher! I loved it! I've never heard of berbere before if you like it I am going to try it too!

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  6. Most of us are glad for this week's no-fuss-recipe-unless-of-course-one-is-not-a-fan-of-tuna.....

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  7. Friday, Saturday, in the long run, does it matter? I liked this stuff on toast too. Great flavors, and so easy too. Your list reminds me of the "joys" of the days when I was always on the road for my job. I don't miss that! Have a great week.

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  8. Heck no! Nobody should ever pass up the fried pickles. Ever. maybe you should have taken out a jar of these rillettes on your flight to clear some extra room for yourself?

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  9. Love trucks. As a high school speech contestant in Manchester, Iowa, I went to State at got a 1-rating with a piece entitled "If You've Got It, A Truck Brought It." Trucks put me through college!!! When I was in Denver this week, I had lunch with my brother who owns my family's trucking business. Tough winter for trucks when they travel between Iowa and the far West. Sooo I sympathize with your job, your travels and your responsibilities and am just glad the tuna rillettes were to you liking. Berbere or no Berbere (had never heard of that, of course).

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  10. Trevor has an excellent idea - I almost always pack my lunch/snack for a long flight ($6 pringles, no-thank-you). I could add to your list, but I get it!

    I am so happy that this was a terrific welcome-home for you! I think it's interesting how the Doristas now have all of the ingredients necessary on hand!

    My book club is reading "Book of Ages - The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" (Ben's younger sister). Just starting, but it's fascinating. Good for you on finishing "Duty", I'm a fairly compulsive book-finisher.

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  11. I was also glad for an easy pick this week! The Berbere sounds interesting…I’ve never heard of it. Something new to try…yay! Hope this week will be a bit more laid back for you, Cher…enjoy!

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