Tuesday, September 25, 2007


so, rina had her baby boy! i don't think there's a name yet so jane and i decided to call him walnut. i told kristin and, thinking the baby is really named walnut, began to rant about how people name their kids such weird names and that just because someone is a celebrity or thinks they're a celebrity doesn't mean that they can name their kid after a fruit. heh..

on a different note, the entire state of south dakota only has one area code??!!!!?????

oh, and i'm moving to new york on the 7th. there's a chance i'm planning something. or packing like mad. i haven't really decided yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm feeling itchy

i'm feeling itchy. i want to go off and do something fun and exciting. or do something really drastic. like drive across the country and accidentally live there. or live in europe for a year. or go to baking school. NOT culinary school. baking. bread. or maybe i can learn how to be a sushi chef. or ship myself to argentina and learn to tango from a nice argentinian. anyways, i just want to do something fun and exciting. anyone want to do something fun and exciting with me?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Adventures in the kitchen

Since baking the lovely ricotta loaf, I have made a few other things in the kitchen. Two not sour sourdough loaves, a chocolate cake, jam, and stuffed zucchini.
I've decided that the two not sour sourdough breads are not sour because I didn't follow the recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum. The sourdough starter was sort of like hers except that I used whole wheat flour instead of white flour, the starter never really started, and I baked the loaf according to a recipe I found in the No Salt, Low-Sodium cookbook. The loaves of bread were bread but they weren't sour. I guess I'll have to try again. Except this time, I'll make it the way Rose would make it. The first loaf was made early in the sourdough starter making process so I attributed it to the starter not being ready yet. Then I made the second one after it had enough time to start and at one point, Kristin said that the starter smelled sour. That comment made me very happy. But the bread just is not sour. Which means I have to throw out my starter and make a new one. Ah well...
The chocolate cake tasted really good but looked ugly. I filled the pan almost to the top instead of the normal 2/3 full. so the sides of the cake overflowed and it took a bit longer for the middle to set. It probably should have stayed in the oven longer but the overflowed edges were burning and I was running late (I was getting Jane for the pub trivia night). When I got home, I tasted the cake and it wasn't bad. A lot like fudge and not a lot like cake. But that could be because the recipe called for 700 g of dark chocolate and 700 g of butter. Being American and not having every cooking gadget imaginable, I couldn't weigh them. Instead, I bought as close to 700 grams of chocolate and butter as I could and worked with it. I probably should have compensated for the added chocolate and butter by adding more flour but I didn't. Oh well. It still tasted fine to me.
But really, I'm the most proud of my jam. I'd never made jam before. I'd thought about it when we lived in our old house and had the apricot tree. But really, apricots are good by themselves. There were five old and wrinkly peaches that had managed not to get eaten so I looked up jam recipes and made peach-banana jam. Mostly because we have way too many bananas that turning it into jam wouldn't have been too horrible. Last night I tasted the jam. I'm a bit disappointed that the jam wasn't more solid. It was more runny than what I'm used to. But it's still nice and jam-y. I'm also a little sad that the bananas overpowered the peach taste. And that the jam is very sweet. But I guess that's to be expected when the recipe calls for six cups of sugar. I left out a cup and it was still too sugary. Ah well. Next time. I even have a fruit picked out for my next jam adventure: Grapes. My family isn't too into grapes but we always end up with grapes in our fridge. Go figure...
Ever since Alice brought home a zucchini that is longer and thicker than my forearm, it had been sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for its purpose in life. And it looked at me with sadness as I tried to think of different things I could make out of the gigantic thing. At first I thought of fried zucchini knowing that Asher would probably let me fry them at his place and "accidentally" forget to take any home. Then I looked up recipes online and found one for a zucchini frittata which led me to zucchini quiche to stuffed zucchinis. When I found the stuffed zucchini recipe, I was excited because it uses the entire zucchini, seemed simple enough, and USED THE ENTIRE ZUCCHINI! The zucchini had a purpose. All I had to do was make it. I modified the recipe a bit because I didn't have ground turkey that it called for. Instead I cut up frozen shrimp and cubes of beef and it satisfied the carnivore in me. Of course, once the meal was fully prepared, it turned out that just my mom and I were going to eat at home. We both decided that the stuffing was good but the outside of the zucchini was tough. We solved this problem by carving the skin off the zucchini and eating the rest. Now we have an entire half plus a little bit of stuffed zucchini left. Anyone want to try it? You can try it with toasted not sour sourdough bread with some peach-banana jam on top. Sorry, no cake for dessert. But we do have bananas. My next project will probably include bananas and grapes. Probably separately.