Thursday, June 28, 2012
Today I finally baked a loaf of sourdough bread that puffed up out of the loaf pan and had a really nice rise. The only problem was that it split the crust lengthwise from one end to the other, but it did have a nice rise. I'll try slashing the top next time to see if I can make a smoother top; the secret was that I only used a half teaspoon of salt and I didn't let the first rise go to the limit and beyond, so there was some life left when I got the dough in the pan. I want bread to make sandwiches, and I want it to be at least as tall as it is wide.
I also finished a big pot of very thick soup this morning, and finally cut the grass (110 minutes). You couldn't really make hay from the back yard, but it was getting that way. The Skyway bridge is open today, so all the bridges over Tampa Bay are open, and most streets are in service in this area, although one was still closed next to Sweet Tomatoes when we went to lunch today.
The soup was a pound and a half of leftover lentils, most of a bunch of celery, two pounds of carats, three pounds of sweet onions, 2/3 head of garlic, two fair sized sweet potatoes, 20 oz of 93 per cent ground turkey, and smoked turkey leg (1.3 pounds) dried basil, two bay leaves, three beef bullion cubes, two teaspoons of curry powder, and two teaspoons of crushed red pepper. I added a full two quart pitcher of water, and then nearly another to get the water up to where I could see it, and set the pot on the hot burner of the two burner hotplate that I carried around when we were living in a travel trailer. The BW wouldn't let me cook inside because the onions stink up the trailer. Here she won't let me cook inside because the onions stink up the house, so I put the hotplate on the washing machine, plug it in, open the garage window, and stink up the garage. I had a couple of guys show up the first year we lived here asking what smelled so good, but that didn't cut any ice with the BW.
Anyhow, instead of doing that in the daytime, I did it just before I went to bed last night and set the burner on low, without a pot holder on the cover. When I got up this morning, seven hours later, the vegetables were cooked, but the turkey leg was still totally solid, and it was fresh from Sweetbay - never frozen. So I turned it up about 1/8 inch, and within a few minutes it was boiling gently (smiling), just the way I like it. I gave it two more house, dissected the leg, and threw the meat back in. Then I added just one can of tomato paste and stirred it in until it was all dissolved. I didn't add any barley to this batch because it is already thick enough to suit me, and I wait until the end to add the tomato paste because it tends to burn on the bottom if you aren't stirring all the time.
I had two dates and two prunes for breakfast, so I tried a bowl of the soup. It turned out fine this time, and I didn't have to add any liquid smoke. If you don't use any smoked meat it isn't as good.