April 12, 2010 | Filed Under extraordinary, for the mouth | Leave a Comment
if i have recent pictures i’ve taken it’s easier for me to blog. i know this and i even remember it, but sometimes it’s just a pain to upload things into the computer. am i really this lazy? clearly.
seeds are here. i know that i’m not late in getting started, but i surely could have been earlier, as big daddy hints every day. today we had a radish. a radish! a hairy white radish. it’s very gratifying, being involved in the growing of things. flowers are glorious, but the vegetables amaze me every time they actually appear.
January 26, 2010 | Filed Under for the mouth | 1 Comment
indian food is just about the best food around, as far as i’m concerned. i had never eaten indian food until i met ernie and now food has never been the same. we always go to the india palace when ernie’s parents are in town, sometimes we go to handi, which is an indian buffet, gilded with golden elephants and the like, but usually we make it at home. big daddy was a missionary to bangladesh for many years, but he eats my attempts at indian food like it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten. everyone should have someone like that at the table, someone who isn’t picky in general, always has something good to say, and thanks you like they’ve never eaten anything so delicious. i highly recommend it.
i’ve found a few indian websites here and there, and the occasional curry recipe on different recipe sites, but my favorites have come from these two books. the first, indian vegetarian cooking we got at a used book store when we were first married. i tweaked a few recipes and came up with a black bean curry that is not as good as the little red bean curry at indian palace, but is very good all the same. a word to the wise: don’t let the yogurt curdle. this book also has the amazing cream cheese fritters, which are battered globs of cream cheese that you fry in butter. nothing more should be said, unless you don’t like cream cheese, like ernie doesn’t, and who very politely asked me to please, never feed them to him again.
the other book that i really like is classic indian cooking, which i thrifted for $1 and almost didn’t buy because it was a full dollar and sometimes i’m really cheap like that. this book is a great textbook and has lots of adaptations, like how to cook tandoori chicken when you don’t actually have a tandoor oven and building one seems awesome, but possibly impossibly impractical.
October 6, 2009 | Filed Under familial, for the mouth, royal buffet | 5 Comments
i had many visions of fall things for the shop but am coming at them a bit late, it seems. christmas is waving her snowy hands at me and i know that i need skip ahead to make the ornaments and such that have been glittering in the back of my mind. i did manage some bats and an owl mobile, perching owls this time around (although i’m still up to make the owls in flight mobile, just so you know). i was thinking of leaves and things in red, but will have to save them for next year. it’s been a busy time and my energies have had to be elsewhere, everywhere else, all over the spectrum of else and where.
big daddy brought home a huge bag of apples on monday so i just had to bake an apple crisp (or two, ahem), even though the last round of apple crisp was so prolific that i should probably never make it again. the boys pick at the apples, “cooked fruit!” they protest, knowing that ernie doesn’t like cooked fruit, so why should they? i insist on a few meager slivers of apple along with the globs of crisp. i should probably just make some very buttery oatmeal cookies but i really like the apples, and so does lola. and now the house is divided down the middle as big daddy is keen on them, too. so many reasons to make apple crisp.
July 19, 2009 | Filed Under extraordinary, for the mouth | 3 Comments
this morning, yesterday morning, cool outside, a surprise. “do i need a sweater?” i ask. i always wish i needed a sweater.
last night: a feast of asian food. the market smells like fish and a weird sweetness. there were terrible gelatinous bloody things for sale, dark as cherries, but certainly not cherries. instead i bought mung bean sprouts, which we forgot! and tofu that doesn’t scramble when you try to cook it. annie made chicken, the general, who was amazing. we ate too much but wished we could eat more. peanut sauce, we love you. and another, a vegetable sauce of amazement. maybe the reason we love asian food is because of the many sauces. maybe because it takes all day to make so much of it. “eat slowly!” i remind, as jude stabs a potsticker with his chopstick.
July 16, 2009 | Filed Under for the mouth, ordinary | 2 Comments
the first half of the day was spent in bed, feeling dizzy and generally terrible, lola sprinkling granola all over the house. the last half was spent sweeping granola, making real mac + cheese (oh my, so good; a comfort food kind of day, after all), finding lids to the markers that were used for all of three minutes, dying my hair at last, bathing three kids, flipping channels through the nothing on television, finishing garlands, ignoring the kitchen, the hall, the laundry in the dryer from yesterday.
tomorrow: there is hope. and leftovers. and the weekend-to-be.
May 18, 2009 | Filed Under extraordinary, for the mouth | Leave a Comment
i really did intend to write more in may. truthfully, i did. our internet was frustratingly down! for days and days! clicking in! and out, working! not working, working slowly! not working, working fast! not working. it’s hard to be people who work! from! home! and have no internet connection. ernie was doing things like launching websites from coffee shops to get things done. frustrating! the interwebs seem to be on the mend, tho, so a saturday free-for-all at ikea (thanks camille! yay!) and a sunday of rest comes and goes and here we are, more than half way through may.
a long time ago, long, long ago, annie made turkish coffee for us after dinner. being that the pita house (the local place to buy a turkish coffee pot) is way off in a remote area of town that i do not often frequent, and that they do not take cards, only cash, check, which i never happen to have with me, i had not managed to pick one up until the other day when we went by on the way back from happy cow creamery and i had cash in my pocket from selling my kitchen aid mixer and a hankering for pita house falafel which can be purchased frozen, taken home and fried in your very own kitchen. the pots are around $7 and hang from the shelves with wired twist ties. they are unassuming and you may be distracted by the jars of pickled eggs and such to your left.
when i came home and gave the boys chocolate milk that made them a little bit sick (it’s so good from happy cow, though, almost worth feeling a wee bit sick afterwards) i decided that i must make turkish coffee immediately. having no! internet! i called annie who told me how to do it. the song of the turkish coffee burst from the pot and now i think about making it most of the day. it’s a tiny bit sweet, strong, has the grounds that, while very fine, are there to be chewed on? swallowed? i’m not sure what you’re supposed to do, but i do a little of both and leave the rest in the bottom of the cup.
if you must buy a turkish coffee pot, and i’m telling you that you must, you can get one locally at the pita house way down on pleasantburg drive. if you’ve never been there you must get the falafel plate with hummus and those olives-of-all-olives. bring cash. or a check. if you need to order one online, i know that they are here, and here, or you could go all fancy and get one like this here. then you bring it home, wash it out and make it. i like annie’s directions but i’ve also tried it a few different ways (this one is good and really does leave most of the grounds in the bottom of the pot) and cannot decide which way is the best way. i do believe, however, that the true turkish coffee drinkers do not add cream or milk of any kind. shame on them, they’re really missing out. or, perhaps, shame on me. if you do make turkish coffee yourself, please tell me how you do it so that i can try it that way, too. i don’t mind trying it many, many different ways.
August 11, 2008 | Filed Under for the mouth | 1 Comment
ernie’s aunt martha has this amazing bread recipe that her kids call the “best bread.” with my new bosch on the counter i tried it last week and even though i was right there scooping the fifteenth cup of flour into the machine i didn’t think that the green bowl would not contain the growing dough that crept up the sides and over and onto the stove like the blob. i also didn’t know that it would make three of the most gigantic round loaves of bread and two little baby loaves and that my oven would not be able to contain its magnitude. we gave some of it away, ate it, and the last of it was found yesterday in a sad moldy lump on the back of the fridge. it’s hard to keep track of so much bread. so this morning when i made it i cut the recipe in half and it made a manageable, yet abundant, dough whose yield was four friendly loaves that all fit on the counter in a nice, neat line. we ate the first one with butter and honey, hot and smashed from the too-soon cutting of it, the best way.
so, here it is, friends and all, marmee’s “best” bread. i used more whole wheat flour than she calls for, cut the recipe in half (this is the halved recipe), and used all oil instead of part oil and part butter. for her original recipe, and some really amazing breads, you can buy her cute little bread basket cookbook.
in your mixer, combine the following:
2 1/2 c. very warm water
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. dry milk powder (i like the whole milk nido!)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 T sea salt
2 T good yeast (like SAF: not those wretched little packets!)
so, mix all of those things and then add enough all purpose flour, one cup at a time, until you’re getting a soft, workable dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. don’t add too much flour or it will be too heavy. i think it’s approximately five cups here. if you want to add more whole wheat another cup can substitute some of the white flour in this step. knead for about six minutes. then let it rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place. punch it down (my favorite part, so gratifying, just as mister rogers knows) and divide it into four pieces. roll them out, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans. allow to rise for 35 minutes. bake at 350 for another 35 minutes or until a golden brown. let stand in pans for 10 minutes then turn onto wire racks. cool completely before cutting (unless you want that yummy, hot, smooshed loaf to eat in one sitting. trust me, you do.). brush with butter on top to make a soft crust.
makes four: one or two to give, one to eat hot, and one or two for toast or sandwiches for the next day or two, depending on how many people want to eat it in your house.