busy in the kitchen

timpano

Kitchens. Oh how I love them.

I really do. It’s where wonderful things are created and made. Once again, I’ve been having frequent day dreams of what my dream kitchen would look like. No detail is too small to think on. Bench space, natural light, decent storage, bench space, a cookbook shelf, tall stools so people can still talk to you and interact while I’m cooking, (I don’t want to be shut away)…bench space, did I mention that one?

So with all that kitchen thinking, what has actually been happening in my kitchen lately?

Well, I’ve tried Tania’s hot water pastry and loved it to bits. I hadn’t done pastry like that before, loving that it was incredibly easy to make and versatile to roll and shape. (Just how I like my pastry to be.) I had my sights on a Timpano. After watching the movie Big Night seventeen years ago, I still had that one dish on my mind. So finally it was Timpano time. I looked at a few google images and decided there weren’t any particularly flattering shots of the mother of all pasta dishes, I wondered why that was?

timpano

Because it’s a complete and utter mess to photograph! Well mine was anyway. It tasted good though, so have vowed to make it again, and see if I can possibly find a flattering side to Signor Timpano.

cityhippyfarmgirl

Renewed love for my rosette bread stamp. I hadn’t used it for a while, so have been happily rediscovering it.

fair trade chocolate

Discoveries of new fair trade chocolate. Made in Madagascar, now that’s a little bit exciting.

DSC_0027 copy

And after my last post on a simple every day sourdough recipe, I played with this fella. Max and Becs were asking about no knead bread baked in a cast iron pot and would it work for sourdough. I hadn’t done this method before so I wanted to give it a go. Now I don’t have a cast iron pot but I did it with as little handling as possible, and baked it in a souffle bowl. Did it work? Yes, I think it did. I didn’t get those bubbles and air pockets in there, so it’s a much tighter crumb. But maybe a wetter dough would be more forgiving with the lack of folding/ handling that would normally trap a few more holes.

This is how I did mine.

Mix ingredients together, (I use a mixer) wait for about 40 minutes then add the salt. Mix again and put dough in a really well oiled souffle bowl. Stick a plastic bag over the top and put in the fridge for about 12 hours (over night). Back out on the bench, and bring it back to room temperature. (It’s cold here at the moment so this took about 4 ish hours.)

Baked in the oven with steam at 230C on the top shelf for 20 minutes and ten minutes on the bottom shelf. It stuck a tiny bit round the sides when I went to get it out as it had been nestled in the souffle bowl for 16 plus hours, a little loosening with a knife and it popped out though. If you didn’t want to do that you could line it with bakers paper as well, (or cast iron pot if you have one.)

I would definitely play around with a slightly wetter dough next time, just to see what the crumb structure would be like. It also shows that once again, sourdough, you are a forgiving beast and I love you to bits.

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How about you? Have you been busy in the kitchen?

Linking in with Celia this month.

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Chocolate cards

(I’m going to stick with the gift theme for another post.)

This is a household that consumes rather a lot of chocolate. Not any old chocolate, but still vast quantities of the dark and luscious food of the gods. With that large consumption, comes wrappers. A lot of them.

So with all those wrappers accumulating, I started to collect them and turn them into things. The chocolate of choice that we generally buy is Whittakers, and the wrapping of it really is lovely to begin with, dark and gold with a lovely picture. First came the birthday card and then came the wrapping paper.

For the birthday cards, most people haven’t even realised it was once a chocolate wrapper. I match it with a couple of other coloured papers and card, then stick it down. For the wrappers, they are all just stuck together to make whatever size I need.

I really love beautiful wrapping paper, but hate to see it being ripped and torn as a present is opened. I either see it as part of the present itself or like to see it as something that can be more easily discarded. I was always one of those annoying kids who carefully peeled back the tape on a present, not ripping and then gently refolding the paper for another use. People would go to sleep while waiting to see their gift unwrapped.

I hope people don’t think I’m just being cheap when I give it. As I really do think it looks good and it’s something to do with all those wrappers….I could cut back a bit I guess on the buying and consumption…but nah, that’s not going to happen any time soon.