Honestly, 2021 needs all the luck it can get, so for our New Years meal, two traditional foods:
Pork and Sauerkraut a tradition in Pennsylvania where my wife and I grew up, and Hopping John, a Southeastern tradition.
The pork in this case is an end loin roast I slow-cooked on the smoker.
Modern recipes for Hopping John use black-eyed peas, but the 19th century recipe I use calls for red cowpeas.
Hopping John recipe:
My wife got me a subscription to the "Mantry" (Man's Pantry) this year. And in the first crate was a bottle of Hot Honey (Chile-infused)
Now, like me, I'm sure the first reaction you had was "what the heck do you do with THAT?"
And about 30 seconds later, I thought, ooohh, honey-glazed carrots! Which I tried, and they were awesome.
My next idea was to brush down a batch of cornbread with it. Oh yeah, that's good eats.
Made a batch of sweet potato custards from this recipe:
I posted an article on my website today:
The sieve, the old-school food processor.
Had an excellent roast beef for dinner tonight. 2-bone standing rib, salted and peppered, then coated with a mixture of equal parts dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and finely chopped fresh thyme.
Then did a simple Yorkshire pudding in the roasting pan when it came out of the oven.
Simple, old-fashioned comfort food.
This is the recipe my 2yo Greyhound loves so much. It is slightly modified from a recipe in "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook". It was adjusted for a 1 pound machine, and for using unbolted whole wheat flour.
In milling terms, "bolting" is the sifting of flour after grinding. This means unbolted flour has a good bit of coarser material left, which gives the bread a lot more character.
The loaves are soft, with great crumb, slices beautifully. Awesome with fresh butter.
Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread (One Pound Loaf)
3/4 Cup buttermilk
1.5 Tablespoons Canola Oil
4 Teaspoons Maple Syrup
1 cup Unbolted Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp Bread Flour
1 Tbsp Gluten
1 Tsp Salt
1.5 Tsp Yeast
In a bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, bread flour, gluten and salt.
Add, buttermilk, oil, and syrup to the pan.
Add the flour mixture to the pan.
Make a small well in the flour, and add the yeast to it.
Set bread machine for whole wheat setting and run.
Well, the third loaf of bread in as many days, is now cooling in one of my ovens.
Hoping that my hound won't be able to get that open. 🙄
On the plus side, doing it three times in a row allowed me to tweak the flour amounts. The first loaf was a little wet, the second was a little dry, this one is juuuussst right. 😋
Made a loaf of bread Saturday.
Dog pulled it off the counter and ate it before I even got a taste.
Made another load Sunday. Had a slice with lunch. Wrapped bread and put it well into the center of the island. While in the garage, dog took bread and ate it.
The dog in question is a _small_ (50 pound) 2yo greyhound who, apparently, the second time jumped all the way up on the island, as there's really no other way she could have reached it.
Guess I need to make bread again tomorrow. 🙄
Today is about slower food.
Finishing off a batch of cultured butter. Have to finish washing it, then mold it.
A batch of yogurt will be done fermenting in a couple hours, then need to drain it a bit.
Got a brisket on the smoker. That will be smoking all day.
Thinking I may start a pot of beans.
When I finish pulling stuff out of storage, including my canning jars, I need to start doing sourkraut and such again.
Finished another task on the kitchen list.
Installed hanging pot racks in the end cabinet opposite the range. These cabinets do not have doors, and are only 18" deep.
The pot racks are 24" long, and intended for use in kitchens with lower ceilings. I bolted them directly into the underside of the butcher-block countertop.
The island countertop was delivered on Tuesday. But, it's going to be a little while longer before it can be anchored down.
Apparently, when you take a big piece of wood from somewhere (Tennessee) that has this mystical thing called humidity, to a place (Arizona) that does not believe in humidity, wood does "interesting" things.
Currently, it's got a concave warp across the width, with about 15mm of deflection, due to the top shedding moisture faster than the bottom.
It's gorgeous though.
OK, it's probably a bit weird for me to squeee. 'Cause, 50+ years old, male, and regarding a cook book.
I just got a package from English Heritage with a copy of "How to Cook the Victorian Way with Mrs. Crocombe" that I pre-ordered ages ago. It even has a signed card in it from the actress who plays Mrs. Crocombe at Audley End, Kathy Hipperson. It's a gorgeous book, lots of photos, etc.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you MUST check out their videos on YouTube!
For the past couple years, I've been using a Zojirushi water boiler for my coffee and tea. It's extremely convenient, since I have hot water at the touch of a button all day long.
However, with the new high-power induction elements on my new range, I will probably no longer use it. The new range can bring two cups of water to a full boil in under 90 seconds at full power. At that speed, the convenience factor is very minimal compared to the counter space used, and keeping the boiler on all day.
After it's done, you can do like I do, and add lots of butter and grated cheese. 😋
I made this frequently while the kitchen was out of order, and I'm never going back to the old way.
Rice Cooker Polenta (grits)
One rice cooker cup of grits.
pinch of salt
Add grits and salt to rice cooker, add water (or stock) to fill up to the brown rice 1 cup line, stirring to wet the grits.
Set the cooker for the white rice setting, set timer for 15 min.
After 15 min, stir (it will still be liquid), then close the lid for another 15 min.
Open the lid, stir, and it's done.
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