Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just can't believe it's been almost two weeks

I don't know what happened. I really didn't intend this to happen. I wanted to create a blog that I would use, all the time, since it is about something that I enjoy doing daily. But those last two weeks things just were to much I guess. Work has been kind of very very busy. And last weekend we had a wonderful break from everything, and went south to see my family. We didn't see them at all during the Christmas season, not at all actually since last summer, so it was really about time. My parents had even had time to move house since I was there. Anyway, my not writing does not mean that I haven't been cooking of course. I'll just have to get better at reporting it :)

So, right now I made real homemade vegetable stock for the first time in my life today. Can't say anything about the results yet, since I haven't cooked anything with it (but I'm planning to use it for some polenta with shiitake and fava beans tonight). Right now I can just say that maybe the taste of soy sauce is a bit to much (I followed a recipe, but maybe I shouldn't have?). But we'll see what happens when it's put to use.
Second thing is that I'm working out a method to keep us with fresh bread throughout the weeks. Usually I do this by making a lot and putting what's not going to be used for a day or so into the freezer, and even though it works fine, it's not the same as really fresh bread.
(If anyone is wondering, this part of the world isn't for bread snobs like me, that is, people who don't like the bread at the supermarket, if you don't bake your own. Unless you were living right in the middle of town here there is no way to get fresh bread daily without going quite far to obtain it. And besides, I like baking, and I certainly like the taste of my own bread. )

My latest idea was to try out leaving some of the dough for one of our favourite bread in the fridge a bit longer than it usually stays there. See, usually it goes into the fridge overnight for a long and slow proofing. This time, I made a full batch, but I only put one bread into the oven. The other two (or the dough for two more planned got to stay in a plastic box in the fridge. Today I took out enough dough to make another loaf and put it into the oven. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks as good as the loaf made at the time prescribed by the recipe. If this thing seems to work I might write down the plan.

I've also been thinking a bit. About the time I spend on cooking, and how and why I do that. I mean, most people don't. Most of the people I meet daily certainly also cook daily (maybe not all of the old professors at work, they might rely on wife's cooking, or maybe I'm just prejudiced :) ). There's not much choice, you need to eat to live, and to eat you need to cook, right? But most people wouldn't spend an hour on Friday night planning what to buy when buying groceries on Saturday, in order to have a number of nice meals to choose from when wanting to cook throughout the week. We had a quite nice Friday night in the sofa, with a glass of port wine, doing exactly that. Does this make me obsessed? We just had no other plans, and it's so much easier to get things to make sense while shopping with a list than when you're just trying to come up with some ideas while at the supermarket...
On the other hand, cooking has lately turned into one of my most time consuming hobbies. And why not? I have the time, I also have the money I spend on it (most of which I would have spent anyway, since, like I said, you need to eat to live). And at least sometimes the results is delicious enough to justify the effort... :)

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