If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekend of Cooking

I told b today that when I slow down (as we both know I'll never actually retire) I think I'll spend my spare time cooking and baking. It is what relaxes me. However I think I'm going to need a ton of grandchildren to cook and bake for, as once I get going there is way to much food for either of us to consume. Right now my money is on Pumpkin producing the grandchildren, as Angel is having none of it.

I had a wonderful and stress-free weekend. I had three work items that absolutely needed to be done (class prep, journal review and student paper feedback) and I accomplished each one but did no other work at all. I then cooked the following:
  1. Indian-styled red beans
  2. Curried rice and chickpeas
  3. Curried potatoes
  4. Sauteed spicy cabbage
  5. Roasted veggies with garlic and balsamic vinegar
  6. Roasted eggplant, chickpea and feta cheese dip
I also baked my first No-Knead Bread.

The first three recipes come directly from Bittman's "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian." The cabbage and roasted veggies are regulars for me. The dip recipe actually came off of the yogurt container of my favorite greek yogurt.

I've been ignoring the No-Knead Bread for many years. My in-laws were the first to start (from a recipe in the New York Times), however I am a big fan of kneading (it's what makes baking bread fun in my book) so I didn't think I'd ever need (no pun intended) such a recipe. Then Macheesmo started several post about this method, the man who made it famous and his book. Finally my doctoral student has been baking this bread regularly and brought a loaf over at our Pumpkin Carving Soiree. The bread was delicious and the simplicity convinced me that I could have bread like this every week (SouthLite just doesn't "get" good bread). So I gave it a try. Here's the result:

Personally I think the recipe calls for a tad more salt but I'll be baking it again next week. The other thing I learned this weekend is that home-cooked beans are vastly different from canned. I know, I know....all of you who have learned this lesson years ago are laughing but I think beans and bread are going to be a weekly event at the House of Dirt and Rocks from now on.

The bigger problem I ran into this weekend was a lack of storage containers. I thought our house had an inordinate amount of tupperware but it seems I was mistaken. I either need to invite large quantities for students over for a feast or invest in more tupperware and a larger freezer.


SilverRowan said...

I *love* the no-knead bread. I can't make regular bread because of a wrist problem so I limit strains on them. Anyways, I do a pseudo sourdough by putting the bread in the fridge for two days, and it tastes lovely. Much less hassle than keeping a live starter around too, though I am planning on doing that eventually.

MFA Mama said...

Oh, wow, that sounds DELICIOUS. I'm hungry now. Thanks for that :P

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

And now I want to cook and bake! Thanks for the motivation ;-)

Julie said...

What is it about tupperware? Whenever I need it, I can't find any. When I don't need any, it's falling out of the cupboard on my head. That's probably just because I'm not organized.

It's after one in the morning, and now you have me drooling. Ha! Ha! That's a dangerous thing. I'd better go to bed now. I do love your food posts. What you made sounds (and looks) awesome.