Sunday, October 2, 2016

- How I cook

Retrospective (10/14)

Patch #276 Where in the world

Unmentioned in my original post was the behind-the-scenes reality of rebuilding the Kindred Spirits list that disappeared at the end of September. In so doing, I realized how far-flung my blog contacts were/are. At the same time, I read this article, 
which explained how large Texas is compared to entire countries in Europe. So I made my own map with A=Amsterdam, B=Berlin, V=Vienna, R=Rome, and P=Paris based on this ...

Original Post 

First off, I never follow recipes exactly. So after G helped me cut up strawberries last night (a fork was added to the task right after this picture was taken) ...

I put them in a pan, threw some sugar at them, cooked them awhile, mashed them a bit, then cooked them a little longer. Consequently, we had some wonderfully fresh strawberry jam to put on our French toast this morning.

Late this afternoon, I realized I hadn't defrosted anything for dinner. I did have some leftover grilled veggies (onion, poblano pepper and potato), perfect for an omelet. But there was no bread left in the house for toast, said bread having given its all for breakfast.

So. English muffins? I love English muffins. But I didn't want to drive to the store. How hard could they be to make?

I trolled the Internet for recipes and came up with this one by Alton Brown (interesting side note: did you know you can't copyright recipes?) ...

found in its entirety here:

Except I didn't exactly follow it. Because I didn't want ten muffins and I didn't have non-fat powdered milk and there was at least one other recipe that called for bread flour, which made more sense to me.

Instead, I nuked half a cup of milk, stirred in a shy tablespoon of butter, eyeballed a half teaspoon of salt and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Then I put a half tablespoon of yeast in some warm water with a sprinkling of sugar and let it work for ten minutes. By then, the milk mixture was cooled down enough to stir it, the yeast, and one cup of bread flour together. 

I did follow Alton's instructions to leave the dough alone for thirty minutes. After which I fired up a griddle pan with some butter, put an assortment of biscuit cutters in the middle, sprayed them with Baker's Joy, plopped in the dough, and covered the whole thing with a cookie sheet. Here's what they looked like after five minutes ...

I sprinkled a little semolina on top, flipped them, and cooked them another five minutes, resulting in this ...

Split in half with a fork and toasted it wasn't bad. Although next time (oh yes, there will be a next time) I'll probably add a bit more flour and cook the muffins six minutes to a side to make them a bit less doughy.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, if you're still with me at this point, it's mostly so I don't forget what I learned by doing. Which is pretty much my MO. Tomorrow I'll show you the linen dye I cooked up this weekend. I didn't follow that recipe either.