Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bread and others

Urgh, what a horrible start to the holidays, the whole family sick, with a range of ailments, and the weather in true autumn fashion coming up with a taste of winter! Wet and cold.

In the past days I have had some successes, disasters and near misses on the food front.

My Camembert, which I had done successfully previously, turned into something slimey and stinky! Admittedly, I didn't follow instructions, in fact I was all over the place so I'm not really surprised.
But my first attempt at Goat Fetta come up alright despite not having exactly the right culture. But I will have to experiment with the brine concentration: the recommended 15%  is WAY TOO salty for my liking. I used it in the evening as a base for a mushroom and ham pasta sauce and it melted, just like the bought one.
While waxing the last batch of Havartis I nearly caused fire, but fortunately had a wet tea towel at hand. Lesson learned: never do this task at the end of a long and hard day. Full attention required.

Next up: Pretzels. my lovely daughter and in-house food critic had demolished my supply of bought ones. So I decided to try making them myself, and as a first effort they were VERY edible. Even though, as they were a bit chunkier than the store ones, my daughter could only eat half of one, and declared the store ones were better. Got to try a few more recipes and I feel confident that I will find one that will get her full approval.

And then, as if I didn't have enough on my plate, I thought I'd try starting a sour dough starter! Did it, and was reasonably casual following the recipe, but did end up having some kind of a starter after 3 days. So yesterday I thought Right, let's try this and got the Dean Brettschneider baking book out and started.

GordonBennett, this took forever and a day!
And in the end I had forgotten the kneaded dough in the cold oven. When I remembered it had risen nicely and tripled in size! But, upon consulting the book, I realized unless I wanted to make this a night in the kitchen, I wouldn't be able to do it properly.
To not waste a bowl full of dough I just shaped two kinds of loaf, one plain and one with seeds and plonked them in the oven for 30 mins. This morning we tasted them, me the seed version, her the plain and she was thoroughly happy munching away on it for breakfast!

And last, but not least, I had made guacomole out of some free avocados and frozen them. This time in smaller packets, so once defrosted it won't go off faster than we can eat it.

Feeling utterly exhausted at the range of activities, but very happy and satisfied about it too!

Next? Nothing new. Indeed, this week I'm intending of not making any cheese and just reaping the rewards for a little.

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