Tag 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.

An evening out

I call them my circus nephews.  And I recently gave their parents a night off for themselves, while I corralled the boys to San Jose Mexican Restaurant in Webster Groves, then out a far piece on Big Bend to a putt-putt golf place for two rounds, and then to Ted Drewes.  A good time was had by all.

Without my own family nearby, these guys are brilliant stand-ins for nephews.  I get them hopped up on sugar, teach them a few choice words, then push them out of the car back at their parents’ home!

Mini-golfing. After one hole, Dennis (middle) was already one over par.
I ordered my usual, an apple pie concrete.
They really were happy about Ted Drewes.
He ate the whole thing.
After Tex-Mex and Ted Drewes, tummies were full.

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:

Indo Restaurant

I tried out a fairly new restaurant last week.  Indo is at the corner of McRee and Tower Grove, on the edge of the Botanical Heights neighborhood.  The cuisine is Asian and Asian fusion.

And it’s damn fine.

I started with the gyoza, which were simply perfect.  Eight of them should have made a meal; the plate clearly was meant for sharing.  I was solo, so I ate them all myself.

The plate was lovely, too!

I followed that with shrimp toast.  My lord . . . what a joy that was to savor.

At this point I was full, but I wanted to try to lychee ice cream.  Next time.

My drink was a variation on a gin & tonic.  The restaurant called it ‘a plastic chair in the rose garden.’

The chef is Nick Bognar, a semifinalist this year for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year.

There WILL be a next time.

Potato salad

For last evening’s welcome gathering for our new Dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, I made a potato salad.

The recipe comes thanks to Todd Neff; he served this salad at a luncheon a couple of years ago, and I’ve made it ever since when cooking for a crowd or for a table-full of people.

Lemon zest and juice, olive oil, onions, fresh parsley and chives, chopped capers — all combine with new potatoes for yummy goodness!