Guys, good news.
If you ever wondered exactly how far from the ceiling you can place a shelving unit before it becomes a fire hazard (and/or violates New York City fire code...since it's really truly unclear just how much correlation there is between the two).
As of noon today. I'm your girl.
Seriously. I'll be positively brimming with useless information about the do's and don't's of fire safety. Apparently there's more to it than "stop, drop, and roll". Who knew.
(On a side note - someone should probably alert early education administrators about this. They need to update their syllabi.)
You see, at least in NYC, there's this law that at least one person present in a science lab at any given time must have this fire safety certification, with the penalty for breaking it being a fine. A very.large.fine.
In the past, the fire department has only done random inspections for this during the workday and since the head of the lab and a few of the seasoned lab members have it...it was a non-issue. And then they announced that they were going to be doing weekend and after hours investigations. So obviously the newer members of the lab offered to never stay past five or come in on Saturdays and Sundays...but somehow my boss just didn't go for that. No idea why.
Long story short, I'm going to be spending two hours today learning about all sorts of rules and regulations that have nothing really to do with how not to set the lab on fire (because seriously...pretty sure a "don't leave your bunsen burner on unattended" would have been enough). Surely it will be equally as useful as that time I spent an entire afternoon learning how to do CPR. And then promptly forgot it all the next day.
The best part of this whole ordeal is that I need to bring proof with me that I graduated from college. Like...a copy of my diploma.
Because getting into and going through the first two years of medical school isn't evidence enough. Obviously.
And for that matter...how exactly does having a college education correlate with your ability to learn how to not set things on fire? Unclear. Very unclear.
As you can see I'm full of grievances today. Rifling through every inch of your apartment looking for paperwork you probably never had to begin with will do that to a girl.
A night filled with that much clutter can be made better by only one thing.
Soup. And fritters, in this case.
A warm and hearty lentil winter squash soup, to be precise, paired with what are essentially savory zucchini pancakes and a hearty slice of Italian bread. No fire safety certification necessary. Win.
This post is part of a virtual dinner party hosted by Nutmeg Nanny to celebrate the release of Faith's new cookbook. First up on the menu was these zucchini fritters! Unlike other zucchini fritter recipes, which are more potato latkes like, these are almost more of a savory pancake. While being equally as addictive. Really, try not shoving them into your mouth by the handful. (Especially after not being able to find either your diploma or your transcript amidst that mess that you call your apartment.) I dare you.
Kabocha French Lentil Soup
Serves 4, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 kabocha or other dark orange winter squash
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 5 coins fresh ginger, 1/8-inch thick
- 1 whole star anise
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, medium dice
- 1 leek, sliced into 1/4 moons
- 1 fennel bulb, medium dice
- red pepper flakes or chipotle hot sauce, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 with a rack in the top third of the oven. Cut the winter squash in half and remove the seeds. Rub cut surface of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place, cut side down, in a roasting pan with the 1/2 cup water. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, star anise and water. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt.
- In a large pot, combine the olive oil, onion, leek, and fennel. Add additional salt, to taste. Cook covered over low heat until the veggies soften, 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the star anise and ginger coins from the lentil saucepan. Add the lentils, lentil broth, and squash to the pan with the veggies. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes or so, allowing flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste.
Zucchini Fritters (Ejet Kousa)
Serves 4 as part of a maza platter or 2 as a meal
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Flair with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky, reprinted with permission.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3/4 lb zucchini, grated
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 bunch parsley, minced
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- canola oil, for frying
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the zucchini and cook until softened and the water has evaporated, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Lightly beat together the eggs, flour, parsley, black pepper, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the zucchini mixture.
- Add enough canola oil to a large nonstick skillet to coat the bottom. Heat over medium heat.
- Drop the batter onto the pan in 1/4 cup scoops. Fry until set and golden on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until set and golden on the other side, about 1 minute.
- Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Cook the remaining batter the same way until it is all used up.
Check out these other blogs to see how their fritters turned out!
Brandy – Nutmeg Nanny
Amanda – Fake Ginger
Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Gina – Running to the Kitchen
Joanne – Eats Well With Others
Heather – Girlichef
Natasha – Five Star Foodie
Megan – What’s Megan Making
Rachel – Baked by Rachel