desperance: (Default)
Being interesting and innovative at lunchtime is much more of a challenge to me than dinner ever is. Few of my fallbacks are Karen-friendly, and if I've been working all morning then my mind is kinda numb to new ideas. Still: when Karen suggested gently that I might stop fondling my new-to-me vintage mixer and think about actually, y'know, preparing food, I found half a red cabbage sitting on the board, like an open invitation. And the weather is hot, and salads are approved - and I have never been much for salads, so they're inherently interesting and challenging both - so I poked around among m'new vegetarian cookbooks, and oh look. A warm red cabbage salad, with apples and walnuts and cheese! Sounds yummy! All it lacks is something meaty...

So lunch today was one of those well-it-started-as-a-recipe meals, a chicken and red cabbage salad, with the veggie elements fried as it were in the dressing. I'm not sure I've ever quite done that before, with oil and vinegar both in the pan. Works very nicely, I am here to tell you - tho' I did splash a little fresh balsamic into the finished dish, just to brighten it up a bit.

So that was lunch. Dinner is a mystery; I guess we'll be eating in the city. Meantime, though, I've started a loaf of bread. With no fixed notion of when I'll be baking it, let alone when we'll be eating it. I do love my sourdough recipe: you can work it all day and bake it in the evening, or leave it overnight and let it work itself and bake it in the morning, or hold it back a day or two and it'll just keep getting more and more sour and flavourful.

And now I have the mixer, a whole new range of doughs falls available to my repertoire: not the stiff hard-work ones, so much as the soft & slimy. A few years back I invented/developed/adapted a sourdough ciabatta recipe, which was quite the most revolting dough I had ever wanted not to handle at all, thank you very much. But all was well, because I had my old Kenwood Chef to do the handling for me. I haven't made it since, but I do very much want to recover it, because I love ciabatta and haven't found a source here for the good stuff. (There's this smart cafe in Newcastle that sells fabulous artisanal bread from a solo baker - no bread on Mondays, he gets to sleep in - which was always my fallback, and his ciabatta was my default. Also his chocolate-and-sour-cherry loaf was to die for - oh, the bread-and-butter puddings, my humanity! - but only on Saturdays. That is the kind of baker I would be, if I could be a baker.)

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desperance

June 2017

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