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2013.02.09: "There's magic going on here, Mulder."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"[...] Only it's being done with silicone, collagen, and a well-placed scalpel.

A summary, some links, and what's cooking.

I. Short Saturday notes:

1. Caught up *mostly* with season 5 of 'Fringe'; 4 episodes to go.

2. Caught up to a great extent with season 3 of 'Haven'; I now have episode number 6 to watch, and things are getting interesting.

3. I have a pound of soaked chickpeas to cook.

4. Before Ms. S. wandered off to a newly-scheduled Saturday shift we watched "Sanguinarium" & "Kingdom Come" ('X-Files' and 'Millennium', respectively), the former really quite bad and the latter evidence of that show starting to find its footing.

5. A stuffed acorn squash (lentils, barley, and grape halves) for me this evening; something more prosaic for Ms. S. when she gets home in a bit.

6. I have an addition V-Day gift figured out for Ms. S. and it rhymes with '-intosh'.

7. We may catch an episode of 'The Taste' over my late-night snack and Ms. S.'s 'dinner'.

II. Links:

- Five Ways to Cook Chickpeas well.blogs.nytimes.com/2

- Cooking Chickpeas from Scratch: Is It Really Worth It? www.thekitchn.com/is-coo

- I always ruin dried chickpeas - any tips? chowhound.chow.com/topic
(If only I had a pressure cooker ...)
- How To Cook Chickpeas In A Slow Cooker thehealthyeatingsite.com
(... but we have three slow cookers)
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas www.steamykitchen.com/10

- 10 Weeknight Dinners with Chickpeas Recipe Roundup www.thekitchn.com/-recip

- 5 Things To Do with a Can of Chickpeas www.bonappetit.com/blogs

... I'll definitely roast some, as I've done that before and they're delicious. But I've got to figure out what I'll do with the rest of the cooked bean.

III. Dough

Watching the most recent 'Top Chef' this last week, which found our cheftestants in Alaska for a bread and salmon bake, led Ms. S. to ask me whether I'd made sourdough.

I used to, several years before Ms. S. met me.

At the time I was living is a nice and somewhat nicely renovated old house, in a rather long but narrow room -- too much space for me but not all my extraneous stuff, and I never really unpacked --, with a great roommate who also acquainted me with Slavoj Zizek's "Pervert's Guide to Cinema", a smart documentary and act of criticism of sorts, and that's when I also got into roasting vegetables. And I made a sourdough starter. I got homebrew from a colleague. I began making pizza for my movie nights. My starter I used for quite a few loaves, though they rarely rose to the occasion, so to speak, and weren't my best breads. Eventually I was gone for a while and couldn't nurture the starter in the fridge, and I got around to dumping it.

But that episode of 'Top Chef' and Ms. S.'s inquiry reawakened my interest, and so this evening around 6:30 I put together a simple starter of 4oz of flour (1 rye, 2 whole wheat, 1 all purpose) and 4oz of water. Once it about doubles I'll discard half (or make two starters) and feed it.

I'm running low on flour and ought to get some more when I go shopping. It's not bothered me much because I don't bake much these days and the flour I have gets used mainly in the occasional waffles I make for Ms. S. But flour is inexpensive and I really ought to experiment more. Plus, making bread just makes everything ... smell better.

See also:
- Peter Reinhart's Weblog: Sourdough Starter Correction for "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" Readers peterreinhart.typepad.co
(I have and love that book)
- Creating your own sourdough starter: the path to great bread www.kingarthurflour.com/
(the folks at King Arthur Flour are almost always a great resource, even if I don't always rely on their product)
- Into the Wild Science Of Sourdough Bread-Making www.npr.org/blogs/thesal
(it's a decent blog post for newbies, but it's also bordering on inaccurate, to be generous ... very generous)

I should have something usable for baking in a week or two.
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