Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Please pardon the mess...

What do you expect from someone who decided to start a new blog just days before Elf Hunting season begins?? So the house is a minor catastrophe. How the heck did my knitting crap get all over the freaking place and how come last week I couldn't find a single yarn needle and today there's a colony of them that have taken the coasters as hostages??

I can explain. I've been making 'Happy Birthday Jesus!' gifts all weekend. This year it's brittle. Partly because I love brittle and so if I love it then everybody else loves its. Dems the rules. Also because I had pretty much all the ingredients and my bank account is a bit barren.

I made pumpkin & sesame seed molasses brittle, plain ole peanut brittle, spicy pecan brittle and an almond toffee. Miracles of miracles, there's actually some left for gifts.

So the kitchen got a bit messy and then I had to bake bread yesterday. It was supposed to only be a bread morning but it ended up being a bread day. All day and into the night. I made 3 loaves of walnut-kamut, 3 loaves of seed & multigrain, 2 loaves of fruit-anise seed bread and a patridge in a pear tree. But it was neccessary. We were completely out of bread. Nada, not a crumb. I didn't know what to sop my soup up with. I mean, I make soup just so I can sop it up with bread. We cannot soup without sopping!

Somehow a relaxed morning of making a few loaves of bread ended up turning the house into a Atkin's Dieter's nightmare. Not that I'm complaining. It's just that by the time I pulled the last of the bread out of the oven, my DH called and said he was on his way home and I realized that a whole day had already risen and baked! I hadn't even had a shower yet!

I pampered myself with half a loaf of walnut-kamut bread accompanied with a good couple knobs of butter and a thick slice of real Derbyshire cheese.

Dinner was a spicy pork & eggplant Thai-sort-of soup and walnut bread. I just browned a pound of lean ground pork, then threw in the last of a batch of roasted eggplant, a few sliced mushrooms, carrots, onions, a smacked loonie of ginger, a couple of cloves of garlic . A couple glugs of chinese cooking wine, a couple healthy jizzes of fish sauce, a spoonful of sambal oelek, a few szechuan peppercorns were added once everything was cooked up. I added enough boiling water into the pot to cover the ingredients plus and inch and let it simmer for 10 mins. If I had them, I would've added some scallions and some lemongrass. Cilantro wouldn've been nice too.

I also had a bag of brussel sprouts and a few stalks of gai lan than were close to their due date. Those I cut up and sauteed with some chopped garlic. Upon serving, I just added the greens ontop of the soup.

This morning I breakfasted on the seed and multigrain bread and a couple slices of parmigiano reggiano. There's something so satisfying about bread and cheese. Especially if the bread is homemade and the cheese is good, honest cheese. I buy my parmigiano in chunks no bigger than my fist. If you only enjoy parmigiano in the grated form then do yourself a favor and cut yourself a slice. It's the only way you can get the full-mouth experience of parmigiano reggiano. A good chunk will have these amazing naturally formed salt crystals that crackle as you bite into them. The taste is earthy and sexy. Like the unadulterated sweat of a Roman slave boy...oh, sorry, got carried away. Anyways, it's really good.

I supposed this makes me a parmigiano snob. If you want to use that dessicated cat puke in those green containers that is being sold as 'Grated Parmesan Cheese' on your jarred pasta sauce, go right ahead. I mean that chunky ketchup backwash could probably be improved by the horse musk aroma of that processed lactose atrocity. But if you're going to go through the trouble of making a homemade sauce then why do you want to slap it across the face and spit into it's mouth? I know, it's expensive but think of it this way: You've gone through the expense and time of making a homemade sauce, a good couple shavings of parmigiano regianno will help your sauce bloom into a savoury blessing. Well at least it won't make it taste like cat puke!

So today I'll clean up. I'll even put up a couple of curtains and sequester my knitting crap to only one corner of the living room. Maybe I'll even have time to take a shower before the DH comes home. A girl can dream can't she?

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