Bread

Today I was going to start making sourdough bread. Or profiteroles.

My sourdough starter had gone bad after sitting in a jar in the fridge the last few years, it was rock hard. A friend offered me his and I’ve been feeding it every day. Last night it finally took off. Overflowing down a shelf where I shouldn’t have put it. But it was close to a heating vent and I though the heat could only help, and it did.

There is a problem with me making sourdough. Theoretically you should only keep around half a cup and feed that, throw the rest away. If you know me you would realize I throw nothing away and that includes sourdough. Something could happen to it and then I’m left begging again.

Last night I had 5 or 6 jars of starter and thought it was time to bake. It was too late and I put it off until this morning.

I make no-knead bread all the time but this was going to be my first try with sourdough. And all no-knead sourdough bread recipes start with a sentence about overnight. Start in the evening and let sit for 8 to 10 hours. Ok, that would have to wait until this evening.

Profiteroles it will be. That’s when I realize we have no milk. We are vegans now and milk is nothing we keep around. But heavy cream is since it’s an ingredient in my truffle making. And I can make milk out of cream. Problem solved.

But I had problems with my piping bag last week when I made profiteroles. The tip I use for filling the profiteroles exploded out of the bag. The opening was cut a bit wide. I didn’t want to repeat that performance that ended in a second shower that day. Amazon to the rescue?

There are packages of 100 plastic piping bags, all getting several bad reviews because they burst. I didn’t want plastic anyway. So I look for the cloth ones. Then it hits me that we have a kitchen store and I could call and see if they sell them.

But do I really want to go out in the damp and rain and ask Stephen to drive me, since I don’t? Not really. And how important are profiteroles today? Can that be put off for a couple of days?

I’m a pretty I-want-it-now type person and this would require a little patience, waiting. Back to the bread. I decided to start the dough after all, it can’t hurt if it sits there longer, like double the time recommended. And why did I forget to put some rye flour into the mix? I will start another loaf tonight.

I know that malt gives bread a little extra crust, or a lot if you overdo it with the malt. So instead I had bought malted bread flour to see how that turns out. I love playing with food.

For graphic content I’ll give you the profiteroles I made for Toby’s birthday party last week.

P.S. Don’t forget to order some pastry bags!

Puzzles

There’s been a bit of a puzzle-mania at our house. 6 weeks off my feet and then 4 weeks recovery leaves lots of time for getting caught up with reading, getting tired of streaming movies, and doing nothing. Since I was able to sit, puzzles became the big thing. First my friend Ginna dropped off a bunch of puzzles and then our friend Dawn did the same. And if that wasn’t enough, our friend Mike was the latest to leave a stack of puzzles in front of the house.

And ok, I’ll admit it, I bought myself one, too. As it turns out, I bought myself two puzzles. How can that happen? One was meant as a present but that friend said she’s set with enough puzzles before I even presented the puzzle. Immediately it was mine. But, I already wrapped it and I hate destroying my stellar job.

My favorite puzzle ever by far is one of birds. Though it was 1,000 pieces it felt like several mini-puzzles instead. I like working on areas and this one was perfect for my approach.

Mostly I do 1,000 piece puzzles but at times I will indulge in a 500 piece one. Stephen calls them palate cleansers. It seems an apt description. They give my head a break, probably should be called head cleanser, and give me new energy to go to bigger ones.

I now have a connection to the artist of this puzzle. A friend of ours who moved to New Mexico bought their house from this artist. In other news, I’m enjoying my 75% weight on my leg. Doing my new exercises. I want to be compliant with my rehab. The doctor did a good job and deserves my cooperation.

My heart. Doing very little and putting very little stress on my heart did it some good, I hope. At least it felt good in all that time. Instead of giving my heart a workout to get stronger, I need to give it a rest so it can live longer. A new theory of mine.

I have been so lucky with our neighbors and it has been a good relationship during my recovery. They love my food and especially chocolates I make and I love their flowers and eggs from their chickens. A very good trade. Though we’re now vegan, I still like playing around with baking, but would hate to buy eggs from a store. Now I have new flowers on the tables every week. It cheers me up. I sure come a long way from hating to cut flowers, essentially killing them in my opinion, to appreciating them.

I want to plant some flowers come spring, especially zinnias. How does one grow them? From seeds? And when do I start them? There is always the internet for these kinds of questions. I do know now how to save the 2 geranium plants I have for over-wintering. Soon, perhaps when I get to 100% weight on my foot again it will be the perfect first job outside.

Have you heard of FODMAP? I assumed it was a way of eating. But no, it’s a compound found in foods that can cause intestinal distress. Wheat has FODMAPs. But, if the dough rests for 4 or more hours, the FODMAPs disappear. Most commercial bread nowadays rests perhaps for 10 minutes. Is that why so many people are gluten/bread sensitive? Find a baker who rests their doughs or bake it yourself. Of course you can also go with wheat free bread.

Arnold got into the habit of pushing his face into mine while I am asleep. I guess in order to wake me up. But why? He wants my spot on the couch or bed. But he does keep me warmer at nights now that it’s getting cold. Perhaps I should shove my face into his.

A Good Day

This should go down in history as a good day. The day started a little rudely with Arnold jumping on the bed and pawing me. He wanted to go for his morning walk for which Stephen is the designated walker. I don’t do mornings very well. But I did sing him his morning song.

That’s the first song I learned in English class. It goes like this: Good morning, good morning, good morning to you. Good morning Mister Arnold and how do you do? Of course we sang Mrs. Miller as she was the English teacher. Her name was Steinm├╝ller but she translated and abbreviated it.

Then I indulge myself in my German cooking competition watching German TV online. What a treat! Like the Great British Baking Show it is very civilized and everyone is nice to each other. No shouting.

You’re always able to download any recipe that was cooked that day and I did just that. Cooking it now. I changed a few things and will take a photo to show you. It will be at the end together with the recipe. There were some changes to this blogging program and I don’t have total control yet.

I’m also cooking a sweet potato that is one of 4 ingredients for a chocolate pudding. Let’s see if it’s worth a try. The ingredients are a nut milk, sweet potatoes, chocolate powder, and dates.

The other good news is my leg. Starting today I get to put 75% weight on it. As exercise I get to use our living room bike, stand and sit with the help of both legs and hands free, spin myself some yarn. I love my physical therapist. We come up with the same ideas. He suggested I use a bar stool when cooking. I was already doing that.

Breaking a femur is bad news. No walking or weight on the leg for 6 weeks and then 25% weight on the leg after that and after another week another 25%, up to 50% now, and so on. Total recuperation is over 10 weeks.

With the help of friends I had all the tools necessary to survive. From wheelchair in the beginning to a walker nowadays, a fancy shower seat, a high rise toilet, you name it, I had it. And let’s not forget the steady supply of puzzles.

This is a cold salad with red bell pepper stripes, snowpea stripes, green onions, rice noodles, ginger, a little toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime zest and 6 tablespoons lime juice, tamari, a little vegan fish sauce, maple syrup, hot peppers, and topped with peaches because i had no mango. add roasted cashews, cilantro, hot pepper, and sesame seeds.

And the success story of the vegan pudding recipe. It would need raspberries on top to make it perfect.

4 ingredients: coconut milk, but almond milk or oat milk, any milk really, would do, 6 pitted dates, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and 2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes. Put in the blender and you get this: