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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.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
Boy, I wish I lived near you! I'm so tired and hurt so much right now that I just put a frozen meal in the microwave. I'm pretty sure I can't stand up long enough to make a sandwich.
Jul. 15th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
My dear, I wish I could walk in your door with some surprise bread right now! I know, from living with BB, how chronic pain and fatigue can wreck a day, or many days in a row. Hugs.
Jul. 15th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jul. 16th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
I cooked dinner for 43 tonight. Does that count?
Jul. 16th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
Dear sweet weeping Christ on a crutch, woman, that nominates you for fucking saintdom.

What was on the menu?
Jul. 17th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Spaghetti and meatballs, pear and walnut salad, and cheese bread. Ice cream bars for dessert.

My Dad and I did all the prep and cooking. We rule.
Jul. 17th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, you do, in fact, rule - you rule and rock absolutely! (My biggest meal to date has been a Christmas dinner with 11 people, one turkey, one goose and one porkloin. cooked in one oven. I am never, ever going to do that again.)

(The cheese bread sounds intriguing.)
Jul. 17th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
But see, all that meat is complicated timing-wise. We did the easy-route. Saute garlic, onion, bell peppers, zucchini & squash, add the jar tomato sauce, simmer. Cheese bread was just bakery loaves sliced length-wise, buttered with mozzarella sprinkled on it and broiled. Each family grouping has been in charge of dinner one night so we've also had enchiladas, chop suy, and tacos. Easy to expand for 43 eaters!
Jul. 18th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
OOh...I like the cheese bread idea, all right, especially now that you've given me the recipe.

It sounds as if your family visit is going well, and I hope you're having a fantastic time!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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