Sunday, January 10, 2010

When the smoke detector goes off, supper is ready

Sometimes I think recipes are unnecessarily complex.  Like the recipe for the baguettes from The Bread Book.  Do you really need to make a sponge and let it rise for FIVE hours?  And heat the pan in a 450 degree oven before putting the bread on it?  And spray down the sides of the oven every 10 minutes to produce steam?  Obviously not.

I tried to follow the directions, but managed to screw up right off the bat in that I mixed too much flour into the sponge so it was rather unspongelike.  And I didn't have any Crisco, so I greased the pan with butter, which scorched in the 450 oven (thus setting off the smoke alarm at the other end of the house).  And my stove is fairly new and has a self-cleaning oven and god knows what toxic fumes might be released if I sprayed down the sides while it was hot, so I simply placed a pan of water on the lower rack, a pan that warped in the extreme heat.  But despite all my shenanigans, the bread turned out fine.

The soup, Neeps and Tatties (turnips and potatoes) from Love Soup, was not nearly so complex, but I was trying to finish it and the bread at the same time.

All the recipes in Love Soup are vegetarian, and this time I actually used (store-bought) vegetable broth, and while tasty, the soup seemed a little anemic.  Using chicken stock and maybe adding a few bacon bits would have done wonders.

Of those three loaves above, we ate one for supper and I gave one to my SO and the final one is destined to become French bread pizza, so today I am baking again, this time German Three-Grain, also from The Bread Book.  This recipe is much simpler.

While waiting on the non-sponge to rise yesterday, I place orders with Seed Savers Exchange, Pinetree Garden Seeds, and Totally Tomatoes.  I dropped the mushroom patch and the dye garden - the former felt too much like adopting another pet, the latter needs a little planning and forethought.  The basil has not yet germinated.  My house is a bit on the cool side; maybe I need to find a warm spot for the seedling tray.

Now that the laundry room is officially done (and I have already received an invoice for the final payment!), I am going to do some rearranging of cat boxes today.

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