Tuesday, September 4, 2007

eat local challenge - culinary update

Today has been mildly busy. I turned the sliced tomatoes into spaghetti sauce (note: do not attempt to puree them *before* cooking, it makes it kind of wonky) and received a present of an immersion blender right after I finished. So it looks like there will be more tomatoes in my future, now that I have a new toy. I also got a bean frencher and a french rolling pin. Let the good times roll.

Next I managed to turn a chicken breastbone into stock (with the help of other veggie scraps) which will become chicken soup very soon.

Then I made my second attempt at yogurt. It should be ready between 8 and 10 PM - I used a mixture of 2% and skim milk, so it's anybody's guess how long it will take. I have hung the grainy yogurt in cheesecloth in an attempt to make labneh (yogurt cheese.) It probably won't help the texture, but it was worth a try.

Lunch was a leftover pancake and a hard-boiled egg (made from these directions by The Foodist.) The egg was quite perfect, and the yoke remained beautifully yellow.

For dinner I made creamy polenta with Gouda from scratch (and in doing so learned how NOT to make polenta - add the cornmeal carefully or you will face indelible lumps) and Italian sausage with grapes. For a side dish I steamed pole beans and tossed them with shallots and butter. I've noticed that the more tired I get of a vegetable, the more butter I add. The shallots were a nice touch though.

The only non-local ingredients were seasonings.

I must confess that I am terrible about using recipes. I tend to look at them as guidelines, and often don't read the ingredients or the directions thoroughly before starting. I will also cook from two recipes at once, merging them as I go. So while I could attempt to record my cooking process, it would be less than informative for the average person. I imagine that I cook the same way my grandmother did, but she was much better at it (and made less mistakes.) The school of "learned it the hard way" is an excellent teacher in the kitchen. Just remember to keep a fire extinguisher handy.

1 comment:

The Foodist said...

So glad the egg came out well using the method!