July 31, 2005

Peach pie

I completely failed to mention the peach pie I made a few weeks ago. I'm not a big fan of peaches in general. They're fine, but they don't excite me too much, and they verge on the unpleasant qualities of passionfruit. But this pie was not very sweet, and the only additional flavor was almond extract, which was a nice complement.

Posted by chris at 11:43 AM

Spices!

I organized my spices yesterday:

And I suspect it will make all the difference! I was just too frustrated having a zillion little baggies with spice in them. It took forever to find anything. And I like the little plastic square containers much more than any of the traditional round spice jars I saw.

I arranged them by genre -- herbs, Indians spices, baking spices -- although Bryan says it would be more useful to organize them alphabetically. I just think that spices get used in certain combinations more often than others, and I might as well have all the spices I need right next to each other rather then having to look up "cinnamon", "ginger", and "cloves" -- better they should be right there.

I mean, generally I'm all for alphabetization, but this is not such a time.

Posted by chris at 11:39 AM

July 30, 2005

Molasses spice cookies

I made some molasses spice cookies for my friend's birthday party last weekend, and when another friend ate one she burst into childhood nostalgia. Her (great?) aunt made these cookies, and they were her favorites, and she hasn't had one in so long, and when the aunt died she was able to get the recipe card, and how much that meant to her.

Her five year old son was having a cookie as well, and I asked him if it was installing any childhood memories into him. He seemed to like the cookie well enough, although it might have been a little unsweet for him.

Posted by chris at 09:10 AM

Banana yoghurt salad

Another Indian dish. It was a bit hot and I had these bananas and this sounded pleasant. Basically, bananas and coconut and mint mixed into yoghurt, let it chill, and then don't immediately eat it, as I did (it was fine), but rather fry up some black mustard and hot pepper, and add that. Happilly I hadn't eaten the whole thing, so I was able to do that, and it was even better that way, oddly enough. Very pleasant both for dessert and breakfast.

Posted by chris at 09:08 AM

War bread

I've been slack about updating this thing, and it might be because I seem to spend so much time de-spamming it that I don't feel the urge to actually post to it. Bleh.

Anyway, about a week ago I made "war bread", which is bread #thirthysomething I think? It's called "war bread" because I guess it was made in time of war, in New England, when flour was in short supply. So the flour in enhanced with oats and cornmeal. And of course there's molasses is in, since it's from New England. It ended up being a less potent version of the anadama bread.

Posted by chris at 09:05 AM

July 22, 2005

Milk vs. buttermilk

At some point this week I ended up in the unlikely position of having no milk, but plenty of buttermilk. This worked out fine as a substitution when I made johnnycakes (cornbread), but didn't work at all in the baked mac and cheese. Blurgh.

Posted by chris at 10:57 AM

Assorted Indian food

I'm very tardy in bloggin this. This was over a week ago.

I made a bunch of Indian food. Such as:

Gobhi Aloo Sabji: Curried cauliflower and potatoes. I am new to this "frying" business, having avoided it for many years, and I learned the hard way that there's a reason it's called "stir fry": If you don't stir it, it burns. Oops. Well, the bits that didn't burn were good!

Palak Moong Dal: Creamy mung dal soup with spinach. Another tasty dal, made a bit heartier from the spinach swirling in it.

Tamatar Raita: Tomato yoghurt salad. I'm made this before, but it came out even better this time. Refreshing!

And of course some buttery (ghee-y) rice.

Except for the burnt bits it all came out very well!

Posted by chris at 10:56 AM

July 15, 2005

Cold sesame noodles

I've made these a few times, but this time I forgot to add the soy sauce. I tasted it and though, this isn't nearly salty enough! And then I thought, this doesn't have nearly enough liquid in it, let me thin it out with some water.

Water and salt made an adequate substitute for soy sauce.

Posted by chris at 12:53 PM

July 12, 2005

Khara Moong Dal

This is a simple mung dal soup. It is pretty nice! I managed to burn my hand in a fairly ridiculous way testing the heat of the pan that the spices were being roasted in, though. Oof.

Posted by chris at 04:42 PM

July 10, 2005

Rhubarb chutney

The recipe made more rhubarb chutney than anyone could eat ever ever. I have scads of the stuff now. Right now it tastes a bit too vinegar-y, though. Is that supposed to settle down with time, or will it only become more vinegar-y?

Posted by chris at 11:17 PM

Banana coconut bars

These are kinda bland (should have added salt, I guess) but not too bad. More like cake than bars.

Posted by chris at 10:51 PM

Anadama bread

I don't think I've ever had this bread before, despite it apparently being a New England thing. It's pretty delightful, with its cornmeal and its molasses! I've been eating slices without bothering to butter them. Yummers.

Posted by chris at 10:38 PM

Crumpets

These seemed fine but a little off. I am no crumpet expert, but these weren't quite as fluffy or bright as some of the crumpets I've seen. More like English muffins. I will have to hunt down better crumpet recipes.

Posted by chris at 10:30 PM

July 07, 2005

Many things have been made

So I'm in the new house, and I've been here a few weeks, and I have made a few things, but I have been lax in my blogging. So here's a rundown, best as I can remember:

Hearth bread with pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds and raisins: This was the first bread in the new oven, and it came out perfectly fine. It was mostly to test the oven out, and to make PB&Js with. Little rolls. Not bad.

Rhubarb pie: Better than the last rhubarb thing I made, but I'm not happy with this recipe. Not nearly enough fruit, for one thing; it looked very thin. Tasted OK though! Oh, and I accidentally made the crust too wet. Bah!

Pugliese: These came out not that great. The oven burnt the bottoms and the tops were too white and bland. They tasted OK but not fantastic.

Some sort of chocolate molasses rum cookie: These were not so good. Bars, not cookies, and just dense and not terribly pleasant.

Brioche: We had fantastic Canadian poet Christian Bök down to read, and we hosted a brunch for him. Bryan made most of the food, and asked me to make a few things. The brioche ended up toasted, with salmon mousse atop. So I didn't try any. But that's OK, I don't like brioche anyway.

Petits pains au chocolat: I need to get my hands back on the original recipe. This time I made them with brioche dough, which the same author recommended in a later book, and they came out badly, in part because I baked them at 2am and I was exhausted and impatient, so I put too many in my tiny oven at once. Just no good. Very brioche-y and with probably not enough chocolate in them.

Pizza dough: These, however, came out nice. One ended up with lamb and other stuff on it; one had figs and carmelized onions and goat cheese and was just terrific. That ends the list of things I made for the brunch.

Rye bread: I made another rye bread. Had a few slices with butter and radishes and kosher salt. Very nice.

Baked macaroni and cheese: It came out very good. This was from my new copy of Joy of Cooking, which replaced Joanie's copy.

Mola Hora: I also replaced Jake's copy of Lord Krishna's Cuisine, and decided to find a simple recipe to try out. This is just cracked black pepper on basmati rice (with a lot of butter added). It was really tasty even though I ended up overcooking the rice. The rice didn't have any flavor of its own, however; it was all buttery peppery goodness.

The new oven is half-sized and not terribly reliable, it seems, although I am adjusting to it. I leave things plenty of room to allow heat to circulate, and so I can't cook too much at once. Now that I have a proper baking stone things are working a bit better as well.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and some Italian olive oil bread, shaped like claws:

Posted by chris at 04:47 PM