It’s been awhile since I’ve done yeast baking. With sourdough starter to use on the regular and cookie baking, yeast baking hasn’t been where it’s at for me. I’ll admit that Mom loads up on bakery stuff from the grocery store markdown, so my home-baked stuff (particularly experimental stuff) doesn’t always get eaten before it goes over. I’m not willing to go to the trouble of multiple risings only to throw it out later.
I mentioned that I’m taking Thomas Keller’s MasterClass on Kitchen Techniques, and that I made this for a potluck. This is the second of his techniques I tried. A couple of weeks ago, I made blanched asparagus. I like my asparagus roasted, but it’s asparagus season, and he suggested it, so I tried it. I still like my asparagus roasted better, but the technique is a good one, and it goes well with an approach I’ve been reading about in Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal. She’s a big advocate for boiling things, and although I’m not totally sold on her approach, I do like the way she makes the most of every ingredient. I’m for a low-waste kitchen.
Can I just say that I don’t even understand how long it took me to make a savory shortbread? This one was a no-brainer for me. I love sweet shortbreads and have made variations on shortbread the centerpiece of my holiday baking for years, now. I’ve made my own crackers before— this cheesy corn cracker from a newspaper recipe back in the day, and I love it, but it’s a little fussy (if I have to roll out and cut a cookie [let alone pierce it several times to keep it from inflating, which is necessary with this because it’s notsomuch a cookie], it goes in the fussy pile. I like a slice and bake, which you should know about me if you’ve read any little thing about my cookie process.)
I was eating this salad with dinner last night. I made it kind of awhile ago, with some blanched asparagus and my garden tomatoes, and if we don’t get more serious about eating it, it will go over. It’s got a mustard vinaigrette dressing and some feta and fresh basil. I think it’s delicious. It was not as big of a hit with Mom. You win some…
I had some success growing rosemary, this summer, in a patch of ground that is otherwise weedy and awful.
I was thinking about doing another batch of pickled collards with my harvested collards, last weekend, but I thought it might be interesting to try collard kraut, instead. I have an interest in the probiotic opportunity with fermented foods, but, aside from sourdough, I haven’t ventured deeply into it. I tried my own cider vinegar made of apple scraps, but after a promising start, didn’t get anywhere. I also tried to make my own ginger soda, without success.
The way I stumble on recipes is a patented blend of idle curiosity, what I have in my pantry, and “oh crap, what am I going to make for dinner?!” I remember seeing something about smashed potatoes, and reading about it, at one point, but then I was jammed for a side dish a few weeks ago and thought seriously about making them. I ended up being saved by instant polenta in that moment, but the idea was still in my head.