So, it’s been forever since I have written. It’s been a crazy year and I guess I get discouraged when I don’t get instant results. However, today being Father’s day I thought it was a great opportunity to revisit my blog again. I hope to stay with it this time. I have a lot of photos and things to write about.
I have always loved cooking and eating healthy and love the challenge of letting these two often opposing forces marry. But thanks to this blog I have been able to go back to mostly vegetarian ways while not feeling deprived.
That being said, when my husband called me on Father’s day morning after playing golf with his father and brother-in-law and asked me if I wanted to go eat wings, I couldn’t say no. I LOVE wings. I spent most of the day eating wings, cheese, and bread. And wine. Did I mention that the bread was homemade? Yeah. You heard me.
My father loved to bake bread. LOVED it. He had a bread machine and would make bread every week, often giving me some as a gift. When I got home from stuffing my face with wings and blue cheese dressing and quaffing pints of Blue Moon, I had a burning desire to try my hand at baking bread. I have never been good at baking. My cupcakes come out dense. You could probably kill someone instantly by clocking them upside the head with one. I used to bake my husband a birthday cake as a surprise and it took me a while to realize why he always looked as thought he wanted to cry when I would surprise him at the door with a “cake” lit up with candles. My friend Walt came over one Sunday and taught me how to bake. For about a week I could bake. But then it went away! But bread I can do.
So, back to bread. As many of my friends who lost their fathers already probably feel, father’s day is hard on me. You see advertisements every where, you get emails from places you shop at reminding you to make this father’s day really special. You feel like shouting, “Yeah, I would if my father wasn’t DEAD!” I’m so very lucky to have the in-laws that I have. Not everyone is this lucky. Most people I know tolerate their in-laws at best but I love mine. My mother-in-law is Vietnamese and cooks all the time and she is so sweet and smart and funny. My father-in-law is a real fiery guy with a kick ass collection of Beatles records (some even on reel to reel). When we go to their house for dinner he always opens a bottle of wine for me and we usually end up getting a bit sauced together. Occasionally he breaks open his extensive Scotch collection and we do the same. It’s the little things like this that make it possible for me to stay positive when I’m feeling the dearth of familial love. Because I’m lucky enough to have another family through my marriage. Does that make sense?
So, I found a recipe that only included ingredients that I already had and pulled out the Kitchen Aid that belonged to my dad. When he died it was one of the things I got and not only is it an awesome thing for a foodie/wanna be chef to have in her kitchen, it also has sentimental value because of course it feels like my dad is right there in the kitchen with me when I use it.
And when I started mixing everything up, I realized how serendipitous it was that I was using it to bake bread on Father’s day.
I love Kitchen Aids. They make baking so much easier. I’m still not sure what to do with the dough hook but I’m sure I’ll get it.
So, I mixed it all up, let it rise, and then separated the dough into two balls (ha ha ha ha ha!!!! two balls!!) and stuck them in the oven. The recipe yielded two round loaves. I was pleasantly surprised when I cut myself a steaming slice of bread, put some butter on it, and liked what I tasted. The outside was crusty, the inside was soft, and you could taste the caraway seeds. I added some kosher sea salt after brushing on the egg wash so along with the rye goodness there was a crunchy saltiness at the end of the bite. I’m also going to go ahead and admit that the entire loaf is gone. The whole thing. The other loaf I immediately gave to my downstairs neighbor. I asked if I could watch her eat it. Luckily she’s used to my quirkiness and knew that it wasn’t some strange food fetish thing (then again, maybe it is). This bread made me think dirty thoughts. It’s that good. Like slap your mom in the face with your dick good. You get what I’m sayin’?
I made a second loaf with the same recipe but this time I added onions, shallots, and fresh dill. I dipped this in olive oil when it came out. This loaf was awesome! It made me want to touch myself. Not to mention that it made me want to slap your mom in the face with my dick. Seriously that good.
Now, about eating that other loaf in one day, here is why. I decided to make goat’s milk ricotta. At least the recipe said it was ricotta even though it came out as more of a chevre in my opinion but it was still delicious. I used this recipe and I don’t think I did it correctly because the curds and whey didn’t separate. I also don’t think I used a very good cheesecloth because it seemed as though the holes were too big to catch the curds. I ended up heating it back up, adding more lemon juice and some tarragon vinegar. I used a metal strainer designed for fine grains and tea so that it would catch more of the curds. An hour later I went back and scraped what I could off of it and while there wasn’t much, I did end up with about a fourth of a cup of a very fluffy, tangy cheese that I spread on that first loaf of bread and topped with raspberries and blueberries. This put a tingle in my dingle. Heee heeeee!
So, I hope I haven’t bored any of you. But it has been a food filled weekend and I just wanted to share with all of you, whoever may be reading. If you are reading this now, thank you! It’s nice to be heard. And before I sign off I will include some more food porn. Happy eating!
Of course I have to include pictures of yesterday’s breakfast that my cat seemed to think was actually his breakfast.
Also! My husband and I bought patio furniture and we have taken to dining al fresca on occasion.
And more pictures because I cannot resist.