Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm Perfectly Normal

Normal 17-year-olds do make savory crepes for dinner when there is nothing to eat, therefore, there is nothing abnormal about me and my habits.

So the fact that I was hungry has been established, but you really don't understand the full circumstances. There was really nothing to eat. My mother suggested oatmeal, which I hate after a month of eating a cup and a half of it every morning at 5am and no I will not give it another chance it's disgusting. My father had eaten already, and therefore disenfranchised himself from my problems. In the end, it was up to me, my pantry, and the vegetable drawer in the fridge. So naturally, because I can't eat oatmeal, had eggs for breakfast, and didn't want cereal, I made mushroom crepes. Perfectly rational, you see??

I just made a regular crepe batter, the recipe to which I'm not offering because seriously there was nothing special about it, sauteed some mushrooms, and went to work. The mushrooms were the real star of the show. I cut them finely, and sauteed them in a little bit of butter and some sliced garlic forever. Then I added some cream, maybe a spoon of it. So this really wasn't that light, but I was starving, okay??
The real tragedy was that there was no Parmesan cheese to add to the mushrooms, which would have made them 14810 times better. Really 14810 times.

It was the assembly which maybe makes this look unusual, if there was, which it is not, an atypical meal. I just laid out a crepe, spooned on mushroom stuff, folded and repeated.

It was good, but my family is still making fun of me.

Thanksgiving 2010: Part 1 out of ?

Above, Top to Bottom: Azerbaijanian knot bread, roasted carrots, stuffing,
gravy and cranberry sauce, turkey (number 1 of 2), garlic mashed potatoes, and the-best-rolls-ever.

Yes, it's 2011. Happy new year, everyone. In other news, I've finally gotten around to my Thanksgiving post. Once again, I started Tuesday night when I got out of school, by going grocery shopping and elbowing people out of the way to get a good turkey. People get vicious in the season of giving-thanks :)). This year, though, I made several improvements, one of them being not losing my favorite t-shirt to sloshed turkey-brine.

There was, regrettably, no theme this year. After Jamaican-themed dinner a few years ago, and Pennsylvania Dutch last year, I found I had run out of plausible ideas. So my "motif" of this year was .... myself. Yes, inflated ego, blah blah blah, but it was delicious, wasn't it?? I didn't really use recipes this year, the breads not included because someone who can make bread without a recipe is just a culinary genius in my opinion. I really don't think it was that hard not to use recipes, considering most of these foods are pretty common-sense-y.

My handy-dandy white board.

I approached this meal unusually methodically. I plotted out the menu and the tasks. Why, you may ask, would I be so intense about this? For a few reasons:
-I love Thanksgiving. Yes, it's nice to give thanks and see my family and all those things, but it is the one time a year I have three days to make whatever meal I like and test my (skeelz) skills.
-When I told my sisters what I wanted to make, and then my mom, and then my dad, they all expressed the same skepticism of you really think you can make all this? Well I showed them, didn't I?? DIDN'T I?? But they may have sort of won by eating the meal without having to cook anything.

Blurry picture of coconut caramel custard. Blurry because everyone was ready to eat, so I was in a bit of a rush.

I had a few things to prove with this menu :)). One, I was, and still am, really tired of sweet-pumpkin-pie-spice butternut squash soups. Really tired. Another, I defeated another enemy of mine from way-back-when: custard. Custard (and if you've been following you know about mygeneral fear of anything that is supposed to thicken) is not a friend of mine. The first and last time I tried to make flan, I was frightened. When placing the pan inside the oven, water sloshed from the water bath into the custard. I thought, what harm can it do? An hour later I had sweetened scrambled eggs in little ramekins, and a complex that followed me for a few years. Just kidding about the complex.

I used coconut milk (really light, healthy stuff...) instead of milk in the recipe, which made the custard soooo rich. Also, because I can't leave anything alone, I made caramel for the first time (bubbling sugar also frightens me) and placed that in the bottom of the large ramekin. It was a success!

Noon Rogani/Azerbaijanian Knot Bread. And no, I am not usually manicured,
but somehow almost always manage to be when I am taking pictures for the blog.

My real pride and joy though....was the bread. Adapted from this recipe off of King Arthur Flour's Baking Banter blog (which is completely addictive and awesome), I was ready to dedicate hours to this bread (also not a first). The recipe wasn't difficult because of the ingredients so much as for the manual labor involved. You are supposed to take a rectangle, maybe a foot and a half wide, roll it, and stretch it to five feet. I got to four feet before I felt my resolve (and the dough) tear, and the bread was really no worse for wear.

In the end, I was really pleased with the meal. However, I can also say I haven't really cooked for more than an hour since November. I guess I tired myself out?
Next Thanksgiving, then!