When I make pies, or empanadas, or any crust covered baked thing I like to put an egg wash on it for extra lustrousness. The egg wash is a mixture of egg and cream, in these cases anyway, when I am done I’ve used about a teaspoon of it and I hate to waste it so I decided to microwave it rather than dirty a frying pan. Here are the results of 2 different outings. I am not sure what I did differently, probably just a matter of timing.
The first one was totally luscious. The second was like egg jerky. I ate it but I’ll eat nearly anything that isn’t anchovies or smoked salmon.
Thanksgiving meal was good. Everything went off without a hitch. OK, there were hitches, like this happened when I was trying to make the dough for the rolls.
OK, sure I lost my paddle, (used approximately 4 times) and had to hand knead. Not the end of the world. But these herbed rolls. OMG, so freaking good. Sally, who apparently has a baking addiction, gave me the recipe which you can find here. I took the long way ’round and did a 24 hour rise. I got nothing but time. I baked them the day before and right before dinner I brushed them with butter and flaky salt, and did a quick 15 mins in a hot oven to brown the top. Fabulous.
It’s not just about flavor, but it is about flavor too, it’s about canned, prepared food with preservatives and whatnot. I try not to use too much in the way of already prepared food (don’t worry, I eat my damn fair share of it) but the classic green bean casserole is super easy (not) to recreate without the use of preservatives and cans of already prepared things.
Not that I would’t happily eat the classic: Canned green beans, Campbell’s condensed sodium bomb and the even-saltier French’s french fried onions. In a heart beat. But my version will taste way better.
Food group was going to meet and I’d signed on for dessert duty. The theme was Mexican, Enrique Olivera, specifically, but that got changed to just Mexican in general which worked for me since I did not want to buy his cookbook and most of his recipes are not to be found online and the only dessert recipe from him that I could find required burning corn husks and using the ashes. For dessert. I did read that he made pineapple empanadas, although there was no recipe, I can make them without one, obviously not one of his empanadas which I am sure was deeply weird.
At the last minute the dinner was cancelled and I was stuck with the pineapple since I’d planned to make the pineapple turnovers, or more Mexicali, empanadas, with piña colada ice cream. I had the dough and the pineapple so I just made the damn things. That pineapple filling was sooooo good. Brown sugar, vanilla, spiced rum, butter. I covered some of them with coconut. I could not have them in the house. I’d have eaten them all and in a very short time span, say 20 minutes. I took them to my niece and nephew’s house. They weren’t home, I just left them on the counter. They can deal with them.
To open up shelf (or drawer or whatever) space in my kitchen I’ve been making a vague attempt to use the stuff in my cupboards rather than rush out and buy new mealtime things to eat like Cheetos or Twizzlers. Among other things, I have several bags of oatmeal since I tend to not look, or maybe not look in the right place, before I go out to get ingredients for things, in this case it was cookies, I imagine.
So oatmeal. I like oatmeal well enough, rib sticking and all that razzmatazz. I upped the ante with raisins and a couple three TBs of tahini. (I’ve got a whole panoply of nut butters in my arsenal de cuisine, so in that went). I have to say it was super delicious and really changed the essence of the thing. Two thumbs up. I wish those nut butters weren’t so hard to clean off of surfaces though.
Seems a bit cliché to say that at times like this comfort food is called for. Because in fact, I am always down with comfort food. But I was, in fact, feeling the need for something simple and comforting, I made chicken noodle soup. It was not my mother’s recipe for chicken soup. I never really liked hers (My paternal grandmother’s was worse—hot water into which she put celery and then showed it a picture of a chicken and god forbid she use salt) unlike most of my mother’s cooking most which I always loved (not bunsteads or salmon loaf, though).
I made my own no-recipe chicken soup and promptly burned the skin off my tongue and scalded the roof of my mouth. So much for comfort.
My mom died last Saturday night. Twenty years to the day that my father died. The irony in that is that my father was a non-drinking, non-smoking, healthy-eating runner who died at 73. She left me at 92. Never cared what she ate or drank and hated exercise. There’s a lesson there.
She was not a worrier. My father worried. “I’m not gonna dwell on it.” was her mantra. And she didn’t. I wish I could be like her. Currently I have a laundry list of things I’m worrying about including but not limited to . . . I won’t bore you with it.
But we were alike in a lot of ways. Food for instance. And art. And a fascination with small instances of beauty. A red leaf, a feather. Her house and apartments were filled with the tiny debris of that kind of fascination. I found this in her apartment when she was moving into assisted living. It is a feather that came out of one of her pillows and she put it in this plastic box. I totally get it. I have it hanging in my kitchen now.