Saturday, May 31, 2008

deep fried heaven

For the little dude's birthday we fired up our deep fryer. It had only been a year since I got the thing at my mom's neighbor's garage sale and finally I was brave enough to go buy a gallon of oil. That's right a gallon. We started with fries, but owing to it being a birthday party with guests and much food to bbq and consume, not many photos were happening of the final product. Oh well, well just fire up this artery plugger another time and take more photos later.......

What better way to do it, than with some tater tots? My dear loving wife thought to herself. She got a recipe out, poured in the gallon of yellow gold and turned on the heat. She got down to work with the two kids alone at home while I was doing my volunteering at the Farmers' Market thingy. I was damn impressed to come home to these. Mmmmm, nothing says lovin' like home made tater tots!

Well, except for maybe some doughnuts. Glazed raised ones to be exact. You see, my dear partner had really been dreaming of these the entire year the fryer was in the cabinet. Correction: dreaming of these for her whole life. But, that is another story entirely. What you need to know dear reader, is that at this point in our frying adventures, the next thing just had to be doughnuts. They were hot and now. Super yummy and delicious. We ate them by the half-dozen apiece.

I asked my wife "maybe you could do a guest post? You've got some pictures of killer fried items and I don't have shit for anything to write about."
She laughs. "When would I have the time?"
A few days later she makes another batch of doughnuts. I kid her about doing the guest post again. She says "If I did, it would start something like this:"

Put milk in pan to scald, start to measure the flour, put fussing baby in chair and slice banana, wash hands and resume measuring, holler out "hold on honey, I'm in the middle of something" then go see what she's hollering about, threaten her with no doughnuts if she doesn't get dressed, take burning and overflowing milk off the stove, read down the recipe again to see where I was, google "bulk yeast equivalent for 1 packet",
get the fussing baby some blueberries, start to measure yeast, pour cereal for big girl who got dressed, wash hands again, finish measuring yeast"... You get the picture.

So, now I'm off to go get some restful sleep before a really long walk tomorrow morning. Perhaps to work on some recent pudge around the love handles, or maybe just work on pulling it together and posting something else in the near future.......

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

out of focus

Man, I've been dragging lately on this bloggy thingy. Whatever I have worked on this month just hasn't been finished. For one reason or another my last couple of posts have failed to get to the "publish" stage and right about now it's really driving me bonkers.

Take this dish for example. I was attempting to make a pink rice torte but it just wasn't working out. My working title was "pretty pink princess torte: the case of the missing betacyanin" but the nerdiness involved in explaining it was just all wrong.

It was a lovely color before going in the oven. I had diced my beets and steamed them. The water was a vivid hue that I wanted for my rice. I spooned some into my rice and milk and began cooking it, but ten minutes in all of the pink was gone and I still had brownish rice. I added some of the beet chunks and cooked it more, but this just resulted in pink horizons of rice around the chunks. Hmmm, what to do? I added more beets to the whole mess and stirred it all together and threw it in the oven. It looked great before, but based on the rice experience I had my doubts......

Doubts confirmed. The torte was yummy, but only had those damn pink spots and none throughout. It looked like princess torte with pink bits and was nowhere near what I had intended when I started off. Somehow the beet stain would cook away in each process except the steaming and I was left with a muted color. I had a Belgian ale and tried to forget about it but the question nagged me. Are the red colors in beets (hence the betacyanin reference) deactivated by cooking them?

I tried to forge ahead, even taking a few pictures along the way.

I've really been digging the grain products we started getting from Windborne farms a few months back. The flours are all super fresh, and the pancake mix absolutely superb, but the rye, well, I can't get enough of. I made some pretzels with it for a Berkeley Farmers' Market committee meeting with great results, so I bumped up the whole grain aspect and tried my hand at a sourdough whole wheat and rye baguette.

Sourdough: check
Whole wheat and rye: check
Fluffy: no check
Tasty: check
Flash for the dark conditions: no check
Use of brain: no check

Yep. Like I said before: out of focus. I stopped right there and haven't done shit for the blog since.........there you have it!

With some luck and better focus, maybe I'll get to another post before the month is out. I sure hope so, because the stone fruits are coming into the market and the first summer squashes are here. At the very least I can rant on and on about eating fruit and steaming something besides winter root veggies.

Later taters!