Chickpea soup in crockpot
tempeh pate (adapted from Lorna Sass New Soy Cooking)
fabulous salad brought by guest
Isn't this exciting! I have photographs! This is a picture of the Pane Siciliano from The Bread Baker's Apprentice that I decided to make this past week. I need to use up all the different kinds of flour in the house before Pesach. That was my excuse! Doesn't it look great? It's a great recipe. If you have the book, you will recognize it from the back cover. If you don't, I know you are going online to your public library right now and asking them to reserve it!
The recipe calls for a pre-ferment dough, you actually make a full-fledged French bread dough called a paté fermentée the night before you make the full dough. I made my hamantashen dough and the pre-ferment dough with my son on Wednesday evening. He loves to make dough. He stands on a step stool next to the kitchen table where I cook and says "Dough! Dough! Dough!" and wants to help put ingredients in the bowl. On this evening, I set out all the ingredients and the doorbell rang. I went to answer the door because our apartment is small and I figured I could see him down the hallway. During the time I was getting the door, he dumped almost the entire box of baking soda into the (fortunately) empty mixing bowl of the Kitchen-Aid. It was pretty funny! I put the baking soda into a plastic container, cleaned the bowl and we kept going.
Here is a photo of my spinach kugel. It's not very easy to photograph kugel. I empathize with the kugel. I am also more appetizing in real life than I am in photographs. Somehow I'm always curling my upper lip or giving myself a double chin. There is really not much you can do to make the nice crust on a kugel appear to good advantage. I didn't even try to take a photo of the carrot soup, because I knew my picture was going to be less beautiful than the one on the page where I got the recipe. Yes, I actually made a recipe that I found by googling. I admit it was in part to facilitate posting about it. I didn't follow every direction in the linked recipe. I realized that they were assuming that I didn't have a blender and that was why they were saying to remove the solids from the soup, squeeze them, process them and then return them to the soup. I just used my immersion blender that I got for making baby food. Those things are dead useful. (That was a Britishism. The author whose book I am editing lived in London for awhile and we have been exchanging British English expressions, like "knackered" and "bollocks." I know those are somewhat rude things to say, but they sound really cute to the American ear.)
Now I have to complain. Everything in these two meals came out very well except the chickpea soup, that same soup that was so incredible the last time I made it. Like many people, I have trouble getting beans to cook in a slow cooker. This time, I soaked the beans, but not for as many hours as the last time, so they didn't cook fully. I do start the soup cooking on "high" for a few hours before Shabbat, but this was not sufficient. I try to make sure that there is at least one hot thing at my Saturday lunch table, in honor of the principle of having a hot meal on Shabbat. But I can't put out a hot plate because there is no surface my two year old can't reach, and anyway we have very few electrical outlets. Our stove is gas and the burners sometimes spontaneously go out, so I don't put a blech (a metal sheet you stick on top of the stove) on top, and our oven automatically shuts off after a few hours. That leaves the crockpot. Soon it will be too hot for a hot dish to be appetizing, so it won't be an issue. After Shabbat I simmered the beans in a pot on the stove for a long time, and my son and I ate them for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. He is way into chickpeas.
Our Saturday lunch guest brought a salad with lettuce, fennel, parsley and blood oranges, dressed with some special olive oil. She is a wonderful cook and a raconteuse. She's another one of my peeps that I feel like I never see. She brought me some novels to read, which I unfortunately finished by the end of the weekend. One of them was The White by Deborah Larsen. It's a historical novel that was based largely on a single memoir, which I mean to read. I think I have a huge gap in my education because public schools in the United States teach almost nothing about American Indians. I read Lies My Teacher Told Me finally this year and have been confronting the implications of it for some months.
This week I'm going to a wedding in Philadelphia so I won't be cooking. Catch you later!