Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tasty treats and headless skiers

I've been knitting, but I've also been experimenting in the kitchen, and I've had a spectrum of failures and successes there.

  1. I made a chocolate banana bread, but I had to go get Elaine from school just in that crucial 10 minutes, and took it out too early and it was uncooked mush in the middle. Not the fault of anything but bad timing.
  2. The bread machine came with some recipes, but the plain white loaf recipe is for a slightly different model. We've had moderate success with that, but another recipe -- written for my model but on the "rapid rise" setting -- turned out to be a lump of tasty, pasty half-baked dough. It also was supposed to be ready for the next day's breakfast, but one must press the buttons in just the right order, which apparently we failed to do, so it was done at 10 pm. I think there might also have been a shortage of yeast in that loaf.
  1. I followed the recipe on the bread machine for Cheesy Cheese loaf, which uses cottage cheese, Swiss (we used cheddar) and a bit of Parmesan cheese. This was to show off at my birthday party, and it worked perfectly! Phew.
  2. You may remember that I started to read the Julie/Julia project blog. A few of the recipes really intrigued me, so I put the book on hold at the library. (One can also find it here!) Unfortunately another hundred or so people also had the same bright idea, so I haven't seen it yet. However, I knew that a friend had it, so I got her to read me the recipe for Roquefort crackers over the phone. She read it correctly and I wrote it down correctly, but when it came time to actually make it, I used 1/4 cup of butter instead of 1/4 pound. They were fine, if not truly artery-clogging. I discovered my mistake and made them again, but couldn't handle more 35% cream, so used 18%. And now I present you with my delicious interpretation of Julia Child's Roquefort Galettes:

Mash up with a fork in a 2 quart bowl, 1/4 pound of Roquefort or blue cheese (I made it once with an $8 piece of cheese, and the second time with a $4 piece of cheese, and both were fine. Guess which I would use again).

Beat in 1/4 pound of softened butter (1/4 cup of butter will make you decent biscuits, but they will be much drier and more biscuit-like than crackery, if you know what I mean), 2 tablespoons of whipping cream (I even toyed with the idea of using milk and think it would be fine, but I had good success with 18% cream) and an egg yolk. Must get your daily dose of fat somehow.

Knead in 3/4 cup of flour.

Form the dough in to a ball and chill until firm. Roll it out very thin, cut with the rim of a small drinking glass (Julia says, 1/4 inch thick and 1.5 inch rounds) and bake at 425F for 10-15 minutes.

They are super good. As one might expect -- stinky cheese, tons of fat, and a bit of flour to hold it all together. Yummers! These were also served at my party on the weekend.

I must include one more thing in the culinary adventures chapter here. Arthur found a book at the library called A Field Guide to Candy. So we had to try to make caramels. All went well; we boiled cream and sugar at enormous temperatures, and then we poured the mixture into a pan to set. They said to line the pan with parchment paper, but we didn't have that, so used tinfoil. Ikes! The delicious candy goo stuck to the foil like crazy, and now one truly has to work to defoil the treats. Next time, parchment paper!

And now for knitting!

I have done the back, both fronts and a sleeve of the Skiers sweater, up to the underarms. One more sleeve to go, and then a ton of decreasing around the yoke and all will be well.

It's been perfect weather for this sweater the last couple of days. The gloom has gone and we have a few days of sun and warm temperatures. I even saw some snowdrops the other day.

I also saw on the streets of Toronto a Mary Maxim curling sweater! I take full credit for the new fashion trend of Mary Maxim picture sweaters, though perhaps the Olympics had something to do with the popularity of curling! I saw that some totally smitten person paid $26 for a curling sweater pattern on Ebay the other day!

Today, more March Break fun -- perhaps I'll take the kids to the grocery store to stock up on provisions! We're out of cream!


  1. Oh you southerners have flowers already. Sigh. Happy Birthday. Crackers sound fab. Fat? Good. More fat? Better.

  2. You Southerners! I live in ohio and we still don't have flowers.


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