kindkit: 'A man in WWII-era military uniform drinks tea in front of a van painted with "The Soldiers' Drink: Tea" (Fandomless: Soldiers drink tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
I have been to the laundromat! This is a chore I loathe, because I have to go out, where there are people, and then I have to sit there near other people while my laundry does its thing. So I tend to avoid it. But today I bribed myself by going out to breakfast first (this also involves being near other people, but there's food and I didn't have to cook it or wash the dishes afterwards). Thus I managed to get to the laundromat and run another important errand before noon. Go me, I guess.



And now I'm back home waiting for some bread rolls to finish rising so I can put them in the oven. It occurred to me recently that I seem to have a lot more success with bread rolls than with loaves, which always seem to come out of the oven gummy in the middle even if I cook them until the crust is almost burned. (A lower temperature is not enough to help, unless it's so low that the bread doesn't get crusty at all. I think the issue is altitude--because the boiling point of water is significantly lower at my altitude, anything cooks via water boiling or steaming, like the inside of a loaf of bread, takes much longer than it would at sea level. But rolls are smaller than loaves and so it isn't really a problem.)

This week I'm trying to adapt my favorite bread recipe, a lovely multigrain one that has rye flour, cornmeal, and oatmeal as well as regular flour, into rolls. I do have a whole cookbook of recipes just for rolls, but they're not designed to accommodate a long slow rise and so unless they contain a lot of flavorful extras, I find the final product almost flavorless. The dough for these rolls, by contrast, got mixed at about this time yesterday, sat in the fridge until evening while enzymes in the dough did . . . enzyme things to develop flavor, then sat out on the counter since about 10 pm fermenting and further developing flavor. I've made this dough a lot, and I know it will taste fantastic provided I get the timing right when cooking the rolls. I'm going to try about 20 minutes in a 450 F oven and how it goes.

Later I might make some scones as well. I'm craving them because I bought some nice jam on sale at the supermarket on Friday, and what better thing to do with strawberry jam than scones?

Also today, unless I get lazy, I'm planning to cook a small pork loin roast with a sauce of apples, hard apple cider, and cream. The cider is what's left over from a bottle of Harry Hotspur's Hard Pressed for Cider, a Trader Joe's brand that I bought on impulse last week. It came in a big 22 oz (a bit over 600 ml) bottle and I thought I'd never drink it all, hence the plan to use the leftovers in a sauce. Let me tell you, once I got a taste of it I almost said "screw the sauce" and drank the whole thing in one sitting. It's apple-y and a bit sweet but not too sweet, and I guzzled it down rather shamefully on Friday night, having had a long week at work. I may be planning to buy another bottle this week. I feel very unsophisticated, but sometimes you want to drink something other than water or fruit juice, and I try not to drink much soda. I don't especially like most wine and it's expensive, and while I think of myself as someone who likes beer (ale, not lager) most American ales these days are hopped to the point where I find them unpleasantly bitter. /long explanation of my alcohol choices

Yesterday I made a pizza. This is another area where I'm embracing my own lack of sophistication. A couple of weeks ago I went to a good deal of effort to make a fancy pizza topped with potatoes, rosemary, bacon and blue cheese. And it was okay--anything with bacon and blue cheese on it is going to be at least okay--but I realized I'd rather have had a regular old pizza and saved the bacon and blue cheese for another use. Also the potatoes, which disappeared as an element amongst all the strong-flavored stuff. So yesterday I made a normal American-style pizza with mozzarella, some slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (okay, sometimes I do get a little bit fancy), sausage, onion, and olives. It was very satisfying and I didn't have to drag out my benriner cutter to slice a potato uniformly thin.



I do sometimes do things other than work and cook. I just finished reading David Grann's The Lost City of Z, which is about Percy Fawcett's 1925 expedition into the Amazon in search of a fabled lost civilization; they never came back, and the lost expedition has itself become a kind of fable. It took me a while to get into the book, but in the end I enjoyed it very much, and the revelation in the last few pages--which might not be news to those better-informed about archaeology than me--was breathtaking.

I got stuck about halfway through Kai Ashante Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, but I'm going to try to go back to it. The story's full of interesting stuff, including a queer protagonist, but it demands a fair amount of concentration to follow the narrative and work out what's going on. Also, I wasn't expecting a Depressing Thing that suddenly happened and which I'm hoping will be fixed before the book ends.

We had a huge sale on used books at work recently, and I picked up a few. Okay, six. Five of which were cookbooks, like I need more cookbooks (but they're so tempting!). I got Marcella's Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazan, Authentic Arab Cuisine by Ziryab aka Farouk Mardam-Bey (although modern, it's a cookbook in the old tradition, full of poetic digressions and anecdotes both historical and personal, and therefore a lot of fun), a book about pies, a book about southwestern cuisine (because sometimes I feel bad that I don't try harder to cook the kind of food that's traditional where I live and whose ingredients are readily available), and a copy of James Peterson's Essentials of Cooking to replace one I had to sell years ago when I was unemployed. The sixth book was A Doonesbury Retrospective, a massive, massive collection of 40 years of Doonesbury cartoons. New, the book retails for $100; its original used price was $20; I got it on sale for $2.99. I'm not even a particular Doonesbury fan, but I couldn't resist.

It will possibly surprise no one to learn that a shelf of my bookcase recently collapsed because it had too much weight on it. I should try to put that back together this afternoon, actually. And then I should go through the damn books and see if I can bear to sell or give away some of them.

Fannishly I am still obsessed with Hannibal. It's one of those rare fandoms where there's genuinely a lot to think about and discuss, and I'm enjoying that feeling of immersion.

Okay, time for the rolls to go into the oven and for me to end this long post.

on 2016-02-29 12:24 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
Posted by [personal profile] lilacsigil
I have never had much luck with potato on pizza, even if I do theoretically like the taste. The edges work out well but the middle ends up bland.

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