Things I've Made

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In this first week of 2011 I’ve been cooking a lot. I forget that cooking, like so many other activities, is a habit. Once you get the ball rolling, it doesn’t feel like so much of a momentous task. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was in Toronto over Christmas, and it’s carried over into the new year. (There was a lot of cooking in our household in Greece as well, but it was different – more assembling than cooking, not as much time spent by the stove because it was 35 degrees out already.) I’ve been trying to make new things, and have recently started cooking some of the Filipino recipes my mom made while I was growing up, things that were so every day that it never occurred to me to learn to make myself, like chicken adobo, which is chicken simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and broth with some bay leaves, ginger, whole peppercorns and garlic cloves tossed in for good measure. My mom told me to add a bit of sugar too, and I did. It cuts down on the saltiness.

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I made a loaf of magic no-knead bread at the beginning of the week, which was enough for most of my breakfasts when I went back to work (all whole wheat flour because I’m trying to be a bit more virtuous with my baking, at least for the first week of 2011, anyway.) It’s always a good way to start the day by eating something you’ve made with a little flour and water. Finally, this morning, after forgetting how potent a few garlic scapes can be when stirred with scrambled eggs, tried to counteract the lingering pungent smell with a lemon yogurt cake. As you can guess, our little home has been very, um, fragrant recently.

Speaking of things I’ve made, another review of Bats or Swallows was published recently, this time in the magazine Women’s Post. Have a look; it’s a nice review. Another reminder that I should get back to work on things that aren’t necessarily edible.

7 thoughts on “Things I've Made

  1. What no knead recipe did you use? It looks nice. I did a spelt loaf the other day that I’m kind of proud of but my homemade loaves always get a bit… Meh after 2 days.

  2. Hey Sean! Hope you’re doing well. I added the link to the post – it’s Jim Lahey’s recipe that was in the New York Times about 2 years ago. It makes incredible loaves (except the one time I added 1 1/4 tablespoons of salt instead of teaspoons… oops.) I sub white flour with 100% whole wheat and it still turns out fabulous.

  3. I did not know that you could sub whole wheat for the white flour in that recipe. I must try it. Yesterday I made a French loaf using a Poolish ( starter ) hoping it would have nice holes like your no knead bread. But alas it was quite dense and very few holes. Quite heavy !!!!

  4. I’m always surprised at how airy a loaf of no knead bread turns out, even when I use wholewheat. Science! It would probably be lighter if I used a combination of white/wholewheat, but I like the colour and taste of using all wholewheat. Unfortunately for you, Bonnie, the only time I messed up the recipe was when trying to make it for you in Cape Breton!!

  5. Hooray for making adobo! Funny thing; it was so everyday to me too that, until this post, I never really thought about what adobo *was.* I’m trying to get my dad to teach me to make pancit, which is my absolute favourite thing. He’s bashful about his recipe though, so it might take some convincing.

  6. Samantha – I wanna learn how to make pancit too! Yeah, it’s funny – up until I actually made adobo, I was sure the chicken was eventually cooked in the oven, not simply on the stovetop. Also, there are some foods my mom made that I didn’t even realize were Filipino, like this stewed green beans dish (pinakbet) that I just thought was of ambiguous ethnic origin until I saw it in a Filipino cookbook!

    Caro – It’s soooo ridiculously easy. You barely have to do anything since most of the magic happens when you leave it alone for 12+ hours. A+!

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