Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...a short departure to the kitchen

I consider myself a slightly aspirational cook, not because I have the urge to make a soufflé never having boiled an egg... it is more to do with the idea that in my mind I make everything from scratch (which is generally possible) but time and tiredness generally result in the pasta we eat in our house being the dreid stuff from Woolworths rather than fresh from the pasta maker.
Pantry 2010
image here
In my mind the cupboards and freezer as so well stocked, should it be necessary, I could feed us good, tasty food for the week. In reality dinner ingredients are usually bought from Woolworths on the way home, and more often than not N does the cooking.
I started young, apricots from our tree circa 1988
In the last few weeks I have been musing more on preserves and the like. Perhaps it is the time of year that the Pick your Own farms are churning out the things I love, peaches, cherries and blueberries. BTW, if you live in Victoria have you seen this site. Very helpful, just make sure you scroll down the page awhile to get to the information.

But in the absence of the need for countless jars of jam (really, I very rarely eat the stuff, and never fast enough to finish a jar) I have tried to think about what would actually be useful for us to preserve. The best way I could think about it really was what non-perishable food we buy now. Canned tomatoes. End of list. I think.
From top to the bottom:
Good Home Preserving, Country Women's Association Preserves, Jam Jelly & Relish, Ball Blue Book, Jamie at Home
Certainly there is a fair bit of bacon, but I am not ready to start curing meat. And the vegies we eat don't come from a can - living in such a temprate climate as Australia fresh stuff really is avaliable most of the time. But still there is something in considering preserving. A feeling of capability perhaps?

Having said that if there was a jar of cherries in the cupboard you could bet I'd eat them. Maybe I would make more pies.

So while I have been considering these things I have started to make some bread using the techniques set out in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I have the other one too but I'm sticking with the basics for now so I don't have to hunt out exotic flour (considered to be anything not already in the cupboard).

For my forst effort from this cookbook I scorned the idea of starting with the basic recipe and went straight for the Brioche dough. We have had two batches of chocolate centre brioche and I also made a Lemon Curd and Blueberry Ring (with the Lemon Curd recipe from the book)

I have made up a batch of the basic bread dough but I'm yet to bake any so we'll see how that goes. For now I think it is going to spend some time chilling in the freezer with the balls of pizza dough.

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