Sunday, October 15, 2006

Weekend Cooking

In a feeble attempt to steer this blog away from how much I hate my job, I present to you, A Weekend In Cooking. I'm also going to try to use the image upload doohickey.

Adventures in Homebrewing
For those not familiar with the brewing process, it typically goes a little something like this:
  • brew a proper wort and pitch your yeast
  • wait 1 week
  • rack (transfer) to secondary fermenter
  • wait 2 weeks
  • bottle the beer into, um, bottles
  • wait 3 weeks
  • get really drunk
    Astute readers might notice that there's an awful lot of waiting around. I'd be on that last one right now one week in. Technically I bottled last weekend, not this one, but I also hadn't gotten to update here either.

    Bottling went OK if a little long and messier than anticipated EXCEPT that my triple scale hydrometer decided to make a bid for freedom. Now I get to randomly pick shards of glass out of my feet in my kitchen which is nowhere near as much fun as it sounds (ow).

    (For those wondering why the glass is mostly empty...I'll leave that to your imagination.)

    Things You Shouldn't Do While Watching Tivo
    That, on the right there, is a very burned yet still somehow very tasty pancake. I make these occasionally when I'm not trying to diet like right now. The Tivo, sadly, isn't even hooked up. These would be the 40 odd episodes I've had recorded since I moved here in February of 2005. The Tivo is very not happy with me but I don't have a phone line to hook it up to. (For the nit pickers out there: I also don't have a wireless network nor do I have an Ethernet cable long enough to reach from the den to the TV even discounting the fact that I'd trip on it every time I went downstairs.)

    Right about here is a better one.
    I make these from scratch and, minus the inevitable burning part, they are the tastiest pancakes I've ever had. Yesterday I even splurged on a gut-busting bottle of Grade A Amber maple syrup--a taste from my ever-so-blocked-out-of-memory childhood. If you haven't had maple syrup--real maple syrup--you're totally missing out. Seriously. I'm not just saying that because I grew up in a place where we put spigots in trees.

    Ok, one more.
    Cheesecakes 4tw!
    Probably the first real dessert I could ever make and oddly enough, probably the only thing I can bake consistently and effectively is cheesecake. Those would be attempt #48,123 (roughly) of mocha cheesecakes. I had previously given up on these thinking them to be a culinary oxymoron of some sort but then on Friday night at one
    Hubbard Avenue Diner where I tend to frequent, I had a slice of mocha cheesecake. Oddly enough, it wasn't even that good, but it did convince me to try again. So there on your right is attempt #48,124.

    No clue how it tastes since they're still cooling, but the batter was pretty tasty with just a tiny bit of coffee and a whole huge amount of dark chocolate (Hershey's Special Dark in this case). Two of the bricks of cream cheese was played by a similar amount of Ricotta which I'm told they use in Italy for their cheesecakes--so I figured, what the hell.

    I didn't get to the granola mostly due to laziness. I might just survive this distubring lack of oat-snack, just maybe.
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