Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Since I never got back to my neighbor, Rachael, her boyfriend, John, approached me about it, last week. Great, I thought, I just started another sourdough starter because my previous one went bad and now I have a reason to make bread on a more or less regular basis. I've decided to sell each loaf, for now, at $3. $5 for larger loafs. Pictured above is a 3 dollar loaf, however John, nor I had change, so he just gave me a 5-er. Yeah, Rad. I should have another customer coming by tonight and at least 1 more the next day. I am also looking into Farmer's Market as another avenue. It won't turn me into a millionaire just yet, but it's a start!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Once our tanks were filled we rode the rest of the way into Santa Cruz. I've done this ride a couple of times before, on fast bikes even, but this day I just couldn't shake my anxiety. Much of the road was still wet from the storms just a few days ago. I was on a bike that I was not use to, but also had very little tread on the back tire. It wasn't until we rolled into SC on River St. that I finally relaxed a little bit.
We stopped at Caffe Pergolesi for some coffee and then headed down W. Cliff Dr. to Natural Bridges. I remember when Iused to live in Santa Cruz and I would often go to the beaches along this street to relax and have fun. The view and ocean, I think are the best in the state. Now that I think about it, I really do miss being a hop skip and a jump from the ocean. From there we
cruised back down W. Cliff to E. Cliff and rode almost to Capitola. On the way back into SC, we stopped again on Water St. to fill up, then headed over to the Santa Cruz Mission.
We had hoped that our last planned stop in Saratoga, would actually be our last stop. Probably 3 minutes after leaving the 76 Station, Felix started making a horrid noise and died on me. We pulled the head to find that a chunk of the piston was missing. Well that would explain why Andy had noticed that throughout the trip the engine was losing compression. This was something that was gradually happening until finally a big piece broke loose. From here, we sent Andrew on ahead with some phone numbers to call. Luckily I memorize my friends' numbers. I don't have a cell phone, so I have to memorize most people's numbers, otherwise I have a list at home. I wrote down three numbers to possibly call. Most likely, Gabe would be able to pick me up for some gas money. Luckily Gabe's a nice guy and he has a truck. Thanks for the lift Gabe! I was just gonna try to peddle my way down into Los Gatos, but Andy wouldn't leave my side and actually towed me most of the way into town. I don't like to get towed or tow anyone to much cause one time I was towing Andy while he was on my bike and I was on my ped, and we got pulled over. I try to think and ride smart to avoid any un-necessary hassles. However sometimes, you gotta do whatcha gotta do.
About 45 minutes later, Gabe rolled up and I was able to get a ride back downtown. I can't say that I was bummed about not riding the rest of the trip. I was exhausted, hungry and cold and when Gabe rolled up, it had started to rain, again.
Update: So in the beginning of this epic ride, my moped was having some big enough issues that we ended up not taking it. Since then I found out what the problem was, points. My points were worn all the way down. After getting new points, the bike fired right up.
Since taking this trip, Mopedhead has acquired a group campsite at Big Basin and is already well into the planning of our third rally, Stinko de Junio: Return of the MopedHeads.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Most pizza dough calls for sugar. I try not to add sugar whenever possible, however I do know that sugar is supposed to help the yeast work. So instead of using sugar, I put a drop of honey it it. I also added ground black pepper and ground chili to the crust. After I rolled it out, I
Thursday, March 11, 2010
First I made the dough. I would have to let it rest for at least 30 min, so in the meantime I could make the filling. I doubled up on the reciped thinking that it would be enough. Not only was I wrong there, but I also totally messed up the first round of making pasta dough. I forgot to put a whole cup of flour out, so the well I made couldn't hold the 4 eggs I tried to put into it. The egg went everywhere and when I finally got it all together with the cup of flour I was missing, the dough ended up really hard. So hard that I couldn't even knead it. I tried to save it, but in the end I had to toss it. Bummer. Ok so I had to try again. The next time it came together, however I swore that the next time I make more, that I was using the mixer. For the third batch, I did use the mixer. Not only was it MUCH faster, it was much easier. Finally something was coming together.
I got the idea from a Martha Stewart book that my mom emailed me in PDF format. The actual recipe is, I think, somebody else's, but it was a MS book for Thanksgiving recipes. Cool. What it was, was a pumpkin ravioli with a pumpkin veloute. Subsitute persimmons for pumpkin. After making the persimmons insides for the ravioli, I rolled out the dough and began creating raviolis.
After making a bunch of persimmon raviolis, I had to make more dough, for the Italian sausage raviolis, that I was also planning on making. By the time I was done making the meat ones, I was starting to get a method down as to how to press the dough down around the meat to prevent any air bubbles. I haven't made pasta from scratch since I attend "Cooking for Teens" at CCA (SF), when I was 14. I have never made raviolis from scratch, so not only did this seem like a daunting task at first, I also had to develop my own techniques. I actually made quite a few mistakes. Next time, straining the persimmon mixture through cheese cloth, would be ideal, so that the mixture doesn't end up soaking the dough. After making each batch, I lined the raviolis on a sheet tray and put them in the freezer. This way I would be able to put them in a bag, without worrying about them coming apart. The meat ones I made, came out a lot better, both in shape and they were dryer.
Next I had to puree the veloute and strain it, before I could call it quits for this evening. It was almost midnight by this point and my back and feet were really hurting. After straining the veloute, I put it back on the stove to reduce it a little more. I did reduce it a little bit while I was doing dishes, but decided that I would save it and finish it today. Besides, I knew that the flavors would change and intensify over night as the veloute sat in the fridge.
All this work will come to fruition tonight as we host a dinner for our favorite friends and couple, the Mooneyhams. It's really cool that they are coming over. Usually we go to their house and cook dinner. It's cool when they come to our house because we can make the dinners more elaborate, since we have all our tools at hand. For tonights dinner, we will be having Persimmon and Italian Sausage Ravioli with a Persimmon-Curry Veloute, with a side of salad and an Orange Vinegrette and my Peppered Wheat Sourdough. To top it all off, we're all going to see a show afterwards. Boarhunter!
Monday, March 8, 2010
I made this dish a couple of weeks ago. It was a pork loin stuffed with roasted sweet peppers and kale rubbed with salt, pepper and chipotle. The rice was brown and had onions and carrots and was topped with tomatoes. For the salad, just basic stuff with a red wine dijon dressing.
A few days ago I looked up red velvet cake recipes and used one from the food network. I thought it was strange that it called for distilled vinegar, not because I didn't have any (actually I had just ran out), but because it was vinegar in a cake. Later after I made cupcakes, Mel asked me what I put into them and distilled vinegar came up. Mel told me that distilled vinegar actually helps make things rise.
Whenever I make wheat sourdoughs, I put in a little vinegar in the mix, as I noticed that it helped to cut the "wheaty" taste. So now I'm trying distilled vinegar in the hopes that I can kill to birds with one stone. I have to say that it seems to be working. Starting with these to loaves, I going to on and mixed white-wheat kick and try to find the perfect amount of each ingredient to make the best bread.
The picture to the left is a sandwich I made for a snack earlier today. Last night I made cilantro hummus. Today I went shopping for lettuce and ham. All day I've been craving a sandwich with cilantro hummus. So this is what I came up with. Ham and cheese with cilantro hummus and jalepeno celery mayo on wheat bread. Yum! The thing about always making your own bread is that you're always craving a sandwich. I suppose there could be worse things!