I cooked a lot this weekend, in addition to going to the farmer's market and talking to Jenny and Rebecca (the sheep farmer and her daughter from my spinning class) about their peacocks, carving some awesome pumpkins with Steve and Jeanne, buying a nice new yarn storage unit at the new Wal-Mart Supercenter, and spinning for hours and hours--I thought I just wasn't skilled enough to spin the fine, silky merino I had bought, and then Robin drastically loosened the Scotch tension on the wheel to reduce the takeup and I was suddenly able to spin laceweight merino! Suzanne was nice enough to let me borrow the wheel indefinitely. Sue from my class said she's going to Sheep Street next weekend for another class and to try out wheels, and will email me with the details.
- Made a Middle Eastern-ish eggplant dip:
Wash, trim, and roast 3 small eggplants at about 400 degrees until soft and dark(I used the white kind with purple streaks). Let cool and peel off the skin.
Fry some chopped ripe tomatoes and garlic, then puree the eggplant flesh with these vegetables, salt, pepper, cumin, and a little bit of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
- Roasted a butternut squash: 1h at 400 degrees, cut in half, face-down in water
- Roasted a bunch of green tomatoes from the farmer's market with salt, pepper, EVOO, garlic, and oregano
- Made chuda and the dressing for bhel puri for a potluck that never happened. The chuda needs to have the recipe Rahul's mom gave us quadrupled before it tastes right.
- Made some hard-boiled eggs
- Rahul made manicotti stuffed with ricotta, egg, and fresh basil, topped with tomato sauce
- Made scrambled eggs and home-fried new potatoes for breakfast
- Made a panna cotta that just didn't come out right. I boiled 2 cups slightly hard cider with 1 1/2 Tbsp agar-agar (this made a very firm gel) and let it set. I wanted to add a layer of yogurt, but was afraid it would curdle if I heated it, so I heated a small amount of yogurt with water and 2 Tbsp agar-agar, then stirred it into the other 3 cups yogurt and seasoned it with honey and vanilla. The main part of the yogurt was too cold and set the agar instantly, so now I have a slightly set yogurt with lots of tiny granules of hard gelatin in it... gross.
- Made a Southern breakfast: white corn grits with cheddar cheese melted into them, served with absolutely delicious fried green tomatoes that I made by slicing green tomatoes and then shaking them up in some Andy's Spicy Fish Fry and frying them in olive oil
- Cooked a fake chicken stew with wild Chicken of the Woods (sulfur shelf) mushrooms from the farmer's market--these are very chickeny indeed, but very much like dry, massively overcooked chicken unless you cook them in sauce. We braised them first around lunchtime (saute in oil or butter, then add water and braise for 20 minutes) but they came out dry and disappointing, and so for dinner I made a stew out of them. I chopped up an onion, a few carrots, and a few stalks of celery and sauteed them, then braised for a while (we had a few scraps of mushroom left over that we had forgotten to cook earlier) and cooked some whole-wheat penne in the meantime in a separate pot. When the pasta was done, I drained it, then returned it to the same pot with a can of Amy's Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup and some extra water. I added the vegetables from the other pan, seasoned it with thyme, salt, pepper, and soy sauce, and we enjoyed it with some wheat toast and hummus (Rahul) and eggplant spread (me).
These mushrooms are apparently quite risky--Wikipedia says half of the population is allergic to them! We had to sign a waiver at the farmer's market saying we wouldn't sue if the forager turned out to have gathered the wrong thing and poisoned us. He reassured us that there's a mushroom inspector who comes around the market every morning and checks them, and they're only allowed to sell six common types of wild mushrooms: morels, chanterelles, chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, and I forget the last two--one might have been puffballs. Then he handed us a paper telling us that if we didn't braise the mushrooms for at least 20 minutes, we would probably end up with nausea, vomiting, or other nasty side effects.