Category Archives: Food

Great flour explosion of 2019

Ordering online from Costco the other day (online meaning ordering for delivery the next day!), I decided for the 25-pound bag of all-purpose flour.

“I’ll save quite a bit of money,” I thought.

And so arrives the 25-pound bag. And it’s big.

“I’ll do a lot of baking,” I thought.

And so arrives Saturday week later. I’m in the kitchen after sundown, a cup of Earl Grey on the table, and making decisions about what to bake this weekend.

Bread, of course. Specifically peasant bread, my usual early-Sunday-before-church activity. Simple. Relatively fast. Foolproof. And done before I’m out the door to sing God’s praises.

Sunday evening, most likely sourdough, to be baked on Monday or Tuesday morning.

And Saturday evening? Cardamom buns, inspired by Henry on the Great British Baking Show.

All is well. Mise en place is set. And that 25-pound bag of flour is sitting on a bar-height kitchen stool.

I’m mixing away when I hear the bag start to slip. Before I could drop the ingredients in my hands, the bag is on the floor. As is at least two pounds of all-purpose flour.

I couldn’t bear to take a photo; the housekeeper was just here three days ago.

But it looked something like this:

As I write, the dough is on the first proof, and the kitchen is now clean again. Wall to wall. With broom and vacuum and towels and glass cleaner. I could lick this floor and it would be cleaner than my stovetop.

Let’s hope the cardamom buns turn out well.

Here ends the tale of the Great Flour Explosion of 2019.

Rants and raves

If I survive this semester . . . .


New eyeglasses are better than new clothes.


I hope that man who so precipitously and rudely cut me off on Kingshighway on Thursday (in a red van-ish SUV of some indeterminate sort) is proud of the words he made spew from my mouth.


Electronics are made for obsolescence.  I had to replace my 5.1 receiver this week.  These things are ‘spensive!


Even in the midst of such busy days at the office, and full days of teaching voice lessons, finding some time to whip up a meal is a sheer delight.


Quiche makes me happy.


I gave a talk this week about my sabbatical, and provided a nibble of babkas at the conclusion.  The students seemed happy.  So did a few faculty with a sweet tooth.

 


Acquaintances enrich my life in so many ways.  So do students, and the circus kids.


Fall Break and NYC cannot arrive quickly enough.


Teaching the Ernst Toch “Geographical Fugue” to my applied musicianship class may be the death of me, but we are going to lick this thing and have fun along the way!  (You should have seen them rapping this week.)


Is anything more fulfilling than teaching voice lessons?


I’m ramping up my expectations for several of my students, who are showing they are ready for more push.


The current president of the United States of America is one dumbass.  There.  The emperor has no clothes.  Someone said it.


I can’t wait to start cooking out of my new Moroccan cookbook!


Some days I miss having a dog.

Passionfruit curd

Labor Day.  I invite my Webster University voice students over for some Sunday finest home cookin’ — slow-cooked brisket, cheesy potatoes, cheesy corn, green beans, pie.

And passionfruit juice!

I had some passionfruit juice concentrate left over, so I decided this last weekend to make passionfruit curd.

Now anyone who knows me well knows that passionfruit, mango, and pineapple are three of my favorite fruits.  I have loved passionfruit (maracuja, in Portuguese) ever since my first trip to Brazil in 1994.  And on my weeks-long trip in 2001, I couldn’t get enough.

So I searched out a recipe, and used seven egg yolks, 10 tablespoons of butter, a cup of sugar, and a half cup of the passionfruit concentrate.

The result was spectacular.

I made crepes Sunday morning, since I was hosting a guest for brunch, and served with passionfruit curd.  And mango and pineapple on the side.

Heaven. Sheer heaven.

The recipe: https://www.garlicandzest.com/sweet-tart-passion-fruit-curd/

Next time, passionfruit tarts . . . . .

Here’s the Wednesday-morning breakfast plate:

Random musings

. . . that moment when you realize it’s your parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and they only made it 38 years before Mom died, and you just start crying because you forgot the anniversary, and suddenly you miss her more than your father, and years of grief wash over you again . . . .

That was my Friday about 12.45 p.m.


I find it odd.  The optometrist can mail me my prescription, or fax it to me, both of which can be intercepted by others, but because of FERPA laws cannot email a PDF copy, even though that is likely the most secure way to send my scrip to me.


Thank you to students who helped move furniture on Friday as we got some new/used items for Thompson House!


All the best-laid plans of chefs and cooks go out the window during the first week of school.  Other people have been doing my cooking.


And speaking of the first week of school, we exceeded our expected music-major headcount.  Significantly exceeded. My expectations for slippage were inaccurate.  Rejoicing abounds!

Second-highest total number of music majors in two generations of students . . . .


The number of cars driving around Saint Louis with expired temporary tags — some expired for months — astounds me.


I may or may not be making a surprise visit somewhere south of Saint Louis today.


Tornado sirens and green-gray skies on a Friday afternoon make for an eerie end of the week.


love my new office configuration.  And my new desk chair.


And I love teaching voice lessons.  One new Webster student started Friday. The light bulbs popping on above his head were copious and a balm for a weary administrator’s eyes.  I still have my teaching chops.


Beware.  More new eyeglasses are on their way.