July 13th, 2008

Hero Trio


Big Red
BB and I went to see Hellboy II tonight. I give it a 7.5 out of 10 - perfectly gorgeous, likeable heroes, even likeable (or sympathetic) "villains" and some amazing imagery. Guillermo Del Toro has amazing visions in that head of his, and it seems as if they dovetail nicely with Mike Mignola's. There was a little too much yuckin' it up, and not enough of the weirdness of the first movie, so saieth BB, and I think he's right. But for a summer movie? Works just fine. And, on a completely shallow note, the first time we see the Prince, doing his magic knifish wire work moves?

Vermeer Girl

Mmmm, calories....

Not quite a bakery

    But I suppose it could be. I certainly was happy in the kitchen today.
    For the legion of my fans who get up of a weekend morning and ask themselves, "What do you suppose Kaffyr's going to bake today?" the answer is:
    1) An eggless applesauce cake from my mother's handwritten cookbook. It looks as if she got it from my grandmother, and it definitely has the feel of war cake, since it works on a very small amount of sugar, no eggs and, for the size of the cake (large loaf) a small amount of shortening. I used butter because I am a butter snob. It involved molasses, raisins, dried other fruit instead of the fruit peel called for (to me, another clue that it's war-era provenance.) I had to fiddle with the time a bit: "cook about an hour" meant, for my oven, "cook about 1.5 hours, plus five or so minutes.) Had a slice, and it is very dark, one half-step to the side of dense, and would work well with a brighter fruit sauce or light vanilla sauce poured over a hot slice, as a dessert.
    2) Four loaves of ... uhm ...surprise bread. Yes, that's what we shall call it. I used a banana bread recipe, but doubled it, put in a few bananas, then made up the doubled amount of bananas necessary with some smashed strawberries and sugar, which son-boy and his buddy made awhile back for some cooking project they'd tried, but didn't use up, and some cooked cranberry sauce which was going to waste. I cut back on the amount of sugar normally called for.
    Yes, folks, it was a "use the stuff in the back of the fridge" operation, one whose concept was born of my grandmother. She never let anything go to waste, and somehow I picked up some of what she did to save leftovers in our house. I will find out whether this particular search and rescue mission ended up in the win column.
    3) Although this isn't baking, I put up a double batch of beef broth-based gazpacho. Lots of cucumber, roma tomatoes, two sweet peppers (one gold, one red), one clove of garlic and one monstrously huge shallot; the latter two take the place of onions, which are almost certain headache inducers for BB. Some lemon juice, some chopped up fresh basil, all that I could salvage from a package I'd somehow forgotten I bought; plus some lemon grass paste. I'm about to go and try some now.

    There. An afternoon and evening in my kitchen, cutting, slicing, whipping, blending, melting, beating (God, cooking's full of violence, isn't it?) adding, estimating, guessing, baking and cooking. I'll have bread to take into work tomorrow, the house smells wonderful. Yeah...it's not heaven, but it might be next door.