Saturday, August 31, 2013

when life gives you heirlooms...

When one of our sweet, yet particular, Polish customers praised the farm of the work, told me that she too was from Peoria, and then asked me to bake her zucchini bread this could I say no?

'You know, a crispy crust. Not soft. Baked well, o-k, yes?'

'I don't bake much, but for you, I will try my best!' I replied, as I questioned what I was committing too, especially with Christa, the baker of our household, out of town this weekend.

I knew it had to be just right, so I dedicated my entire Friday to cooking. I found 4 recipes online that looked normal and easy enough, 1 from an Iowa church cookbook, and 1 from my mom. I decided to merge the recipes to find the most middle ground, and what I thought would be the safest route.

It's not that I mind cooking, but I think it depends on who I'm cooking for, and who I'm cooking with. If I don't know what I'm doing, per usual, I'm usually moving back and forth aimlessly in the kitchen, so having others around seems intimidating. Either they want to help me and I don't know how to delegate when I myself don't know what to do, or they are distracting my limited attention span or making my mess even messier. I know I'll eat whatever I fix, but don't like making others my guinea pigs for new recipes (which is pretty frequent unless it's sautéed...which is how I cook everything these days really).

So Friday rolled around and I was ready for the challenge. I just dropped my roommates off at the airport, cranked up the speaker system, and away I went.

Let me tell you, it was fun! Everything looked pretty good, and once the first batch was in the oven, I realized I'd have no way of knowing if I had cooked it right unless I had a sample batch, so I started another round.

And after sampling the first batch, and not properly waiting for the 2nd batch to cool...I quickly realized I needed a third batch. Pressure was on at this point. A quick bike ride to the store helped clear my thoughts as I restocked on ingredients. Round 3 was perfect. I applaud the glass dishes for making the bread look all the more professional!

While I was in the kitchen, I was getting hungry for dinner, so decided to do something about all our picked-over tomatoes. Which reminds me of a perfect comic I found yesterday too:

The tomatoes were so ripe that the skins just peeled right off. I added farm fresh onion and basil. And simmered.


proof that i actually was cooking

I also started a sourdough starter, and finished it tonight. 

Looking at it through the lens again, I see the full beauty of it. Tasting it makes me appreciate the flavors beyond everything I've sauteed this summer. And heck, when there's wine and music, I can appreciate the romance of it all. 

I think I'm at capacity for the month :)