Not worth my salt today

February 14, 2011

UPDATE: I wrote this post yesterday. For whatever reason, I forgot to download and edit the photos and add them. So I’ll do it tonight, with an addendum at the end.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just haven’t had my mind on cooking today, though I’ve done a fair amount of it. But I have had a mental block, I guess, against salt.

The proper way to eat sorghum molasses -- blended with butter, on the plate, with a knife blade.

This morning, per the plan on the PJF breakfast; I made my cheese biscuits, making extra so I could fry up the whole pound of sausage and make up some sausage-and-biscuits for breakfasts next week. Started to turn the dough out to knead, and thought, “Damn! I didn’t put in baking powder!” So I mixed some baking powder up with some water, stirred it into the dough, kneaded it a bit by hand, and then turned the dough out to knead a couple of times, flatten and cut out.

And put no salt in it.

Still turned out decent — baking powder, after all, does have SOME salt, and the cheese had a little salt in it (I used PJF sheep’s milk cheese). But they’d have been better with a bit of salt.

However, with some sorghum and butter, and a farm-fresh fried egg, and sausage, they made a damn fine breakfast.

Then I was making Guinness Whole Wheat Bread for NS. He loves this stuff. I make a loaf a week, and he eats it all week long. We buy almost no grocery store bread any more. I mixed up everything, it finally dawning on me I could use the small handi-chopper to grind up my cup of oatmeal, instead of dragging out the FoPro, and poured it in the loaf pan to wait until the last pan of biscuits came out of the oven.

And it hit me — I hadn’t added the salt.

So I poured it back in the bowl, added the salt, stirred it up vigorously. Washed out the pan, regreased, and put it back.Ā  At least that was an earlier catch, and a looser dough, more like a thick batter.

Then, I was making meat loaf for dinner. I had a blues society board meeting that I knew would involve pot luck, for which I made yet another loaf of bread — it was a bread day, and I didn’t leave the salt out of that one, either, but I needed to feed the kid, who’d had a restaurant meal on Friday and takeout fried chicken yesterday. So I cooked for him with an eye toward leftovers for the week — meat loaf and mac and cheese. And I got the meat loaf all put together and in the pan and I thought, “Sonofabitch! No salt!”

So I poured IT back into the bowl, added salt, remixed and re-panned. And now I have leftover meatloaf as well as a couple of sandwiches worth of meatballs for the kid, so we’re in good shape for the week.

I did not make cheese. Ran out of time. I may try it tomorrow night, just a plain farmer’s cheese, as I have no fresh tomatos with which to eat fresh mozzarella. Dammit.

New experiment in bread, baked in the Dutch oven.

Oh. That other bread. I knew the host for the blues society meeting would be making soup, so I offered to bring homemade bread. I was paging through recipes looking for one that would go well with soup when I came across a Cheddar Cheese Onion bread, and I thought, “Yeah! That oughta work!” Recipe is in the Best of Southern Living cookbook, for those interested. It’s a pretty soft dough, with a cup of cheddar cheese in it (I’ll put more next time; it wasn’t near-bout cheesy enough) and some chopped onion. I chose to use onion powder instead. It could stand more onion powder and more salt, I thought; the half-teaspoon of cracked pepper was a nice touch. It called for baking in a 2 1/2 quart casserole, and if you did that, it’d be a tall loaf of bread. I baked mine in my 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven, sans lid, as I didn’t have the appropriate casserole, and it make about 3/4 of a Dutch oven full.

Pretty yummy looking. Tasted good, but it wants a little tweaking.

I’m about to kick my bread-making into a higher gear, I think, with the purchase of a Kitchenaid stand mixer. I have a fairly powerful, fairly pricy Sunbeam hand/stand mixer. The stand is a cheap POS plastic, but the mixer itself ain’t bad. But it won’t hold up to bread. I saw a KA at WalMart t’other day for $200, and another one for $150. Asked the peeps over on Foodpickle their opinion, and the consensus was buy the most wattage you can afford.

And then one of the respondants told me about, where you can buy refurbished KA appliances for lots off the regular price. And they have a KA Pro, which is two steps up from the Classic, which was the $200 one at WalMart, for $200. And I have a tax refund due this next week. I believe that KA is calling my name. I don’t know where in the Sam Hill I’ll put it, but I’ll find a spot.

UPDATE, MONDAY NIGHT: Bought that sucker! It should be here midweek. I plan to put it through its paces this weekend. We will have bread, so you and y’mama ‘n ’em come on! (Bring sorghum molasses, or in the alternative, blackberry jam!)


2 Responses to “Not worth my salt today”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    But I have had a mental block, I guess, against salt.

    Your blood pressure will thank you for that. šŸ™‚

  2. littleclove Says:

    You’ve inspired me to get my bread-ON! Cheddar cheese bread? WOW. I’m impressed. I have a mixer just sitting there on my counter, waiting for the next time I make “average” pizza dough. šŸ˜‰
    But, bread! I have to try that! Thanks for the inspiration!

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