H’mm. This joint looks familiar.

October 13, 2011

This is what my brain feels like. Plus my allergies are driving me batshit.

I think I used to hang out here some. Of course, that was back when I used to cook. And actually eat, instead of drinking my dinner.

It’s not been a particularly good month so far. I’m stressed and I’m depressed and I’m tired all the damn time and I’ve been as busy as the proverbial three-legged cat in a litter box, and right now this very evening I am supposed to be out in Phoenix with my dear friends John and Nancy, watching the desert sunset, drinking one of John’s most exceptional margaritas. But I am not. I am here in  Hot Springs with my dog and my NS, drinking wine in a box.

If it will make you feel better, I'll save some bottles and transfer it over.

Albeit it’s relatively decent wine in a box. It’s Bota Box, and they have in Malbec, shiraz, red zin, merlot and cab as well as chardonnay and pinot grigio. I have had the merlot and the cab, and tonight I picked up the red zin, which is a Lodi old vines zin, and it’s quite nice. Not to mention $18.99 plus tax for a three-liter box. Hard to beat.

Why does one capitalize Malbec and not the other varietals? It just seems like one should.

Anyway. I HAVE cooked, a little, mostly last weekend. Didn’t load up on veggies at the market, as I thought I was headed west on Monday morning and I knew I wanted to grill burgers one night and cook a pot roast the next day. So I did that, and the remains of the pot roast went into vegetable soup.

I was disappointed in my pot roast. I got a bottom round, not a cut I’ve cooked with much, and about half the recipes called for a short, high-temp roast and leaving it rare, and the other half called for braising it. I went for the latter. It was plenty tender, but dry. Should stuck with chuck. But cut up and cooked in the crock-pot on Tuesday morning, it made a quite excellent vegetable soup, of which I still have a copious quantity.

And I made latkes, which managed to foul up mightily, because I did not drain the potatos and then I had to put too much flour in to thicken them up. So they were doughy. But I had them with a wonderful over-easy, farm-fresh, free-range, double-yolked egg that may possibly be the best egg I ever fried in my life. I think I’ll be having another one of those Saturday morning, and possibly Sunday as well. Maybe with some bacon and cheese muffins.

Probably the best of the bunch. Sweet potato soup, black olive feta bread.

And one night I made a curried sweet potato soup, recipe detailed elsewhere on this blog. That was pretty exceptional. And I made a black olive and feta whole wheat bread that wasn’t bad at all, except for the fact I put it in to back after it rose the second time, after I’d taken the pot roast out, only to discover several minutes later I’d turned off the oven. So it fell. Looked kinda rough, but tasted good. The recipe came from a website, and here ’tis:

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted black olives ( whole or chopped )
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a bread mixer combine 1/2 cup lukewarm water, milk and the sugar. Add yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the whole wheat flour and rye flour. Mix for 2 minutes cover and allow to rest for 2 hours. Add salt, oil and 1 cup of bread flour. Mix for 1 minute. Add remaining bread flour 1 cup at a time. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. Mix for 10 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl, give dough a turn to coat all sides. Cover and allow to rise, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and pour out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Spread dough out and add olives and feta on top. Fold dough and gently knead dough. Shape dough into a round bread loaf. Place onto a cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour. Take a sharp knife and make two slashes on the top of the bread. Allow to sit for 1- minutes. Place dough in a pre-heated 375F. oven for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

I was out of rye flour, still, so I subbed some buckwheat flour and added a little ground flaxseed for good measure. And it was about a cup each of olives and feta, because that was what I had. Wouldn’t want it every week, but it was good.

It keeps teasing us with fallish weather, but still hovers stubbornly in the low 80s most days. Nevertheless, I’m going to attempt to invoke fall this weekend with some braised short ribs, and I think I’m gonna try my hand at Marcella Hazen’s tomato sauce and make some gnocchi. Past that, I’m not sure. Maybe lasagna.

H’mmm. I have duck confit in the fridge. What kind of sauce, and what kind of cheese, could I use to make a lasagna with that? I am intrigued by this thought. You and y’mama ‘n ’em got any ideas on that one for me?


2 Responses to “H’mm. This joint looks familiar.”

  1. Whitney Says:

    I just now (this week anyway) discovered Pinterest, are you on there?

  2. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    No, I’m not, although Child B is and thinks it’s the finest thing since sliced bread. Guess I’ll need to check it out.

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