The weekend’s here and we want to send you some Table 1095 love with a cookbook giveaway. This one is for all you food truck lovers out there. When I’m having a bad day at work, shucking it all for a food truck is one of the fantasies I have. Rachel and I have even gone so far as to toss around a few names and ideas.
You can make these yourself. Just tell us why you want the book. We’ll pick two lucky winners and announce them Monday! Happy baking!
So, my plan for today was to wow you all and humble my mother once and for all with my bread baking prowess. The best laid plans never work, though, and so today, instead, it is I who is humbled by my bagillionth bread baking flop.
Last week, I made a bread starter. I meticulously gauged the temperature of my waters as I built it and constantly checked back in with my recipe to make sure my starter met its descriptions. I let it sit in the oven for 72 hours, stirring it daily and mostly remembering to hold my breath while it belched alcoholic gasses in my face. And then I moved it to the fridge and continued my daily stirring until Sunday I pulled out 4 ounces and set to work on a loaf of bread.
Everything was going swimmingly. The first rise was perfect. The dough tripled in size, a swollen belly of impending deliciousness. I even paused in a Skype visit with one of my brothers to go punch it down at the perfect moment. It burst as my fist surged through, sighing in the same way my last dough did and leaving me brimming with excitement. It’s the little stuff in life, right? I sealed the bowl tightly and placed it in the fridge to slowly ferment for another 24 hours. Everything was going great.
So–though she’s got posts appearing–my ma is in Spain for a bit visiting one of my favorite brothers, G. She keeps posting these obnoxiously beautiful pictures on her Facebook page with clever captions like just the view from my bedroom window and such. Needless to say, the view from MY bedroom window doesn’t quite compete. But anyway, I thought you all should know she’s away in case you’ve either emailed her or, more importantly, you want to join me in a collective sigh of envy. Read the rest of this entry »
True statement: I will follow the Sedaris siblings (ok, at least David and Amy) anywhere they lead me. David decides to stop using human characters and to form his tales as animal fables? I mean, I’ll miss the family dirt, but I’m game. Dude could write the alphabet and I’d read it cover to cover. His sister, Amy, decides to shed her fat suit (you’ve seen “Strangers with Candy,” right? RIGHT?) and transform into the hostess with the mostess? Then I guess it’s time to throw a party. There are few people I think could actually take Martha Stewart down, and Amy Sedaris is one of them. And yes, I’d pay to see that fight.
So, I thought I had two disparate post ideas for today, but after thinking them over for a while, I’ve realized that, in fact, they’re deeply connected.
As you may or may not know, last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The goal of the week (helmed by the National Eating Disorder Association) is to increase awareness and, along those lines, this year’s theme was “Everyone Knows Someone.”
Think you don’t?
You do. You know me. Read the rest of this entry »
Apparently I am a bit of a cooking disaster waiting to happen. At least I am according to the experts interviewed by Real Simple.
The January issue has a story called How to Fix Dinner: 17 all-too-common cooking mistakes (plus easy tips to avoid them). I do (or have done) about half of these tips regularly — mostly without any ill effect.
Take number two: using the wrong knife. Been there, done that, do that all the time. I don’t even know which knife in my fairly nice Cutco knife set (Rachel spent a brief foray one summer in this selling cult so we of course now have many Cutco knives purchased before she quit) is supposed to do what. It’s a complete mystery so I just grab the one closest at hand and hack away. Mostly that method works just fine. The Real Simple story, however, suggests that this approach will “damage your food.” If I used the correct knife, I would be more efficient and my dicing would be neater.
Over the holidays, I was invited to a baby shower for the daughter of Susan “Fake It Til You Bake It” fame. The daughter is a childhood friend of Rachel’s and it’s her first baby. A celebration was clearly in order.
Susan was a bit flustered when I called her to see what I could bring. It was the holidays after all. “Call Johanna,” she said. “She’s the one in charge.”
So I dutifully called and while I had hoped to bring one of the 3,000 holiday baked goods/chocolates already made, desserts were not what she needed. Nope, what they needed to go with the four different (and I might now add, fabulous) homemade soups and country ham was biscuits.