Saturday, November 15, 2008

Strange Food of the Week - Kale

Strange Foods

As part of my transition to a pod-person, I’ve been trying new foods or working with foods I’ve ate before but never worked with myself. The list of foods I’ve tried for the first time or worked with for the first time this year includes;

Buckwheat Grouts
Swiss Chard
Spaghetti Squash
Butternut Squash

Tomorrow I will be trying kale, assuming it hasn’t gone bad. I keep forgetting it’s in the refrigerator. I’ve always thought it seemed weird to eat a decorative plant, but hey, the new and improved pod-person me is willing to broaden her horizons and try strange, new foods.

Some Other Recent Culinary Experiences

For whatever reason, I purchased “The Joy of Cooking” last weekend. Once I got home I actually sat down and started reading it like a book. It’s pretty cool to see how easy it is to make things that I would previously have purchased at the store. Ever since then I’ve been feeling the need to bake and cook from scratch.

Earlier this week I made butternut squash ravioli. The butternut squash was fresh and so was the pasta. I learned that pasta dough is a lot easier to work with than pie dough. It doesn’t stick or rip. It holds together easily and in general is very easy to work with. The only thing I need to work on is getting the pasta rolled out thin enough for the ravioli. I did pretty well but it could have been thinner. It was also a little tough because I couldn’t bring myself to remove the ravioli from the boiling water after just 1.5 minutes. It was just too weird. I’m so used to dry pasta. Next time I’ll know better.

I’ve also been trying to make jellied cranberry sauce just like from the can. My father and I love cranberry sauce that comes out of the can in a solid tube in the shape of the can. I thought it would be funny to make my own and then mold it using a jellied cranberry can. I purchased the can of jellied cranberries as well as a bag of fresh cranberries. I slid the cranberry jelly out of the can and cleaned it to use for my own. I’m on attempt number two to try and get the cranberries to actually gel up enough to hold the shape of the can once it’s been removed. I’m going to try again tomorrow. In the meantime I have an excess of cranberry sauce. I still have part of the original sauce from the can, plus I have my first attempt from two nights ago, which is a little tart but still very good. Finally I have the batch from tonight that is really good but just a little too runny. It did gel up a bit but not as much as I would like. Hopefully third will be the charm.

In the oven right now are clover leaf rolls that I made from scratch. I figure I can freeze them if they turn out alright and use them for Thanksgiving.

O.k. just checked on the rolls, they didn’t turn out like I expected. They tasted kind of yeasty. After reading through the recipe again I realized that I used 2 ¼ tbsp of yeast rather than 2 ¼ tsp. CRAP! Perhaps I shouldn’t bake when I’m tired since I seem to make mistakes. Duh! 2 ¼ tbsp doesn’t even make sense! 2 ¼ tsp is the equivalent of a packet of yeast. 2 ¼ tbsp is the equivalent of like…3 packets. At least I know what happened and can try it again with (hopefully) better success. Damn, I can’t believe I did that! Oh well, live and learn.

And so continues my adventures in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow with an update of my third attempt at jellied cranberry sauce, my second attempt at clover leaf rolls and my first ever taste of kale!

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