Sunday, April 13, 2008

Recent Cooking Endeavors, Etc.

It's been a hectic week, and the next two are likely to be just as bad, if not worse, as I get ready to take my Irish translation exam and revise and defend my dissertation proposal. But once I leap these two hurdles, I'll officially be ABD.

Anyway, despite the busy-ness, we've eaten well:

Last weekend, J made pizza crust, and so we had pizza several times this week. This one is vegan:

Then, Friday, I made another batch of granola. I've been doing this off and on since I lived at Twin Poplars, where Rowena showed me how. This batch is particularly tasty: in addition to the oats, oil, and honey, I put in raw sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. The trick with making granola, I've discovered, is to make sure to soak the fruit for a little while before toasting the whole thing--otherwise, the fruit gets hard and dry.

Lately, we've gotten some nice wines from the local wine shop, whose name--I'm a little embarrassed to say--I don't think I've ever noticed. It's on 7th Ave between 14th and 15th, and the folks who work there are nice, helpful, and have good senses of humor. But my not remembering the name of the shop is only indicative of the problem I have remembering the names of wines I like, so I'm going to try to begin taking pictures of the labels and posting the pictures here with a little commentary, however minimal.

The one on the left is, I think, my favorite since I've been back in NYC, and it was perfect with the pizza. The one on the right wasn't particularly memorable--nice enough, but nothing stuck in my mind about it. We also had a nice French one, but that bottle got recycled before I thought to take a picture of it.

In other news, I started some parsley and marigold seeds indoors yesterday. Not much to see right now--just wet brown dirt in a container. I haven't ever had much luck starting plants from seeds, probably because I tend not to pay attention to when and how they're to be sown, but I have some hopes for these. I'll be curious to see how the marigolds do--I saved the seeds from last year's, but have no idea whether the seedlings I bought last year were hybrids or what. Possibly they'll do nothing, but we'll see. Next on the list are basil, arugula, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I'll buy rosemary and lavender already started, I think.

And finally, the kitty doesn't want J to go on her next residency:

Bye, J--we'll miss you!


Juice said...

Awwww. I'm gonna miss you guys so much! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

An Briosca Mor said...

Better to be ABD than ADD, which is what I've been on my blog for a while now. Maybe I'll get back to it if they ever quit making me actually do work at work. What a bizarre concept!

Nice looking pizza there. I've been pizza deprived myself (also no-knead bread deprived) for about six months now, because my oven has decided to quit heating up all the way. Can't get those 500 degree temperatures - it maxes out at around 375. I guess I'll need to break down and buy a new stove...

T said...

Yes, John--of all people not to have a fully operational oven, you should *not* be that person! New oven, I say!

Rob said...

Well, keep us posted on the exam and defense. I'm sure it will be great to have those behind you.

What proportions of oats and oil and honey do you use for your granola?

T said...

Yep, I can't wait to be done, though there's a LOT I have to do before that happens.

As for the granola: the short answer is, who knows??? But on reflection, I guess I use as many oats as will fit comfortably in my cookie sheet (which, luckily, has taller sides than most), but not so many as to make rearranging them as they toast impossible. Oil: not a lot. Just enough to hit more or less all the oats. I'd guess that for half a cannister of oats I put in 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil, but I just glug it in there and don't measure anything. Honey: doesn't really matter--it's not strictly necessary unless you want your granola to clump, which I don't, so I'd say honey 'to taste.'

What I don't think I mentioned in the post is that I put a little of the soaking water from the dried fruit in, maybe 1/4 cup or so, to moisten the whole thing so it doesn't get too dry before it toasts. You could also use some kind of sweetened liquid for this in addition to or instead of the honey. Orange juice works well, but I'd imagine that even Coke, if that's all you had on hand, would be fine. Or plain water. Just not milk or motor oil or anything like that :-)