Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Giant picture test


Monday, February 27, 2012


Today was the day my chicks were supposed to come in. Today I was to be a mother. A mother chicken, but still. I have a box with wood shavings and a heat lamp. I have feeders and waterers and a gallon of chick gatorade in my fridge with yogurt ready to be mixed in. I was going to colonize their digestive tracts with good bacteria!!! They did not come in today, and it's all your fault. If you would have just forgotten about this post on the stinkin' sourdough starter, we could have moved on to posts full of cute chick pictures. You could be basking in their downy fluff right now, but instead you're going to read about bad sourdough starter and YOU'RE GOING TO ENJOY IT!

I was not kind to this starter. I was gone for 5 days in the middle of it's life and I only fed it once. But at the end of 2 weeks, it was not moldy or smelly. In fact, it smelled kind of good. Not as yeasty as starter that I used real yeast with, but still fragrant.

I used the entire jar of starter. To that I mixed 2 cups of flour,

about 2 tablespoons of olive oil,

and about this much salt and garlic powder.

I plopped it on the lightly floured table and gently kneeded for a few minutes.

I formed it into a ball and greased the bowl. This is the size of the dough before rising.

After a 2 hour covered rest in a sunny spot, it rose this much.

So not at all.

But I was not to be swayed easily. I was 2 weeks down this trail and I was trekking on! I rolled out the dough and transferred it to a pizza pan. (I sooo, wish I had a pizza stone.) (I sooo just added a pizza stone to my Amazon wish list.)

This was prebaked at 350 (350 for a chewier crust. 450 for 4 or 5 minutes for a crispy one.) for about 8 minutes before adding the toppings.

We had leftover roasted chicken, so this is a chicken, mushroom, and caramelized onion pizza.

And the pizza was AMAZING! But the crust was eh. It was bland and the texture was fine. But the chicken and onions were delicious. Even my husband said so. Without me pestering him to complement me on my food. I pester him a lot.

I so wish I had chicks right now. I'm going to go make mac and cheese.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For now

I don't have it in me right now to write a long post, but I promise info on the yeast-less sourdough starter soon.

Right now I have stock simmering away in the stove, split pea soup for dinner tomorrow in the crock pot, and I just pulled a loaf of bread out of the oven. This week I'm working until 7pm Monday-Thursday. So I need meals that I can get ready ahead of time because there's no way I'll be able to whip something together when I get home at 7.

Friday night hubs helped me can more caramel apple jam. This stuff is amazing. You can find the recipe here. Another win from Suzanne over at Chickens in the Road.

Caramel apple jam with butter on bread that had been out of the oven for less than 5 minutes.
To the victor goes the spoils.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's happening in my kitchen today

It has been snowing all day. By all day, I mean since midnight. Remember this picture?

My bird feeders today.

One of my front trees this fall.

Same tree today.

I keep seeing a black junko flying in and out of my birdhouse gourd. The gourd is hanging on our back deck right in front of our sliding glass doors. I think it's snowing too hard for him to get back to his nest, so he's staying in our hotel today.

I have some soup defrosting in the sink. It's a chicken and alphabet noodle soup that I made back in October and froze for such a blizzard as today.

I'm also trying my hand at making sourdough by catching yeast. I recently read a cookbook, which I'm not going to name here because I HATED it, that stated in so many words a sourdough bread can only be made by catching yeasts in nature. Sourdough starters that are made with yeast from the store do not exist. I'd beg to differ as I've made many a sourdough loaf or pizza crust with sourdough starter I started with store bought yeast, but this got me thinking. So I'm starting some sourdough starter. This is 3/4 cup ap flour and 1 cup of water. The fabric on top is just a left over cotton quilt square that I pierced with a cooking knife in a few places to let the yeasts in. The book (from hell) stated that after 3 days if it doesn't smell yeasty or look frothy and smells or looks moldy instead, throw it out. I have a feeling I'll be throwing this out.

I also have some loaves of bread rising. I made a loaf of sandwich bread with a 1/2 cup extra flour. I mixed the dry ingredients, and then removed 1/2 cup of the mix to a smaller bowl and added lots of garlic powder. I split an egg, some olive oil, and the yeast/ water mixture between the two bowls. Now I have a loaf of sandwich bread and a mini loaf of garlic bread that is going to be wonderful with the soup. Because you need a hearty bread when it's blizzarding outside.

After getting the bread going I went out to shovel the drive. My neighbor came over, told me the snow was too heavy to shovel, and used his snow blower to clear our drive, the street in front of the house, and our patio. I think he enjoys snow blowing. I'm going to bring over the big loaf of bread when it's done.

It's still snowing. In fact it's snowing harder than before. Big, wet, white flakes. And I'm happy to be right here, curled up with my quilt.