Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kitchen Day

Today I spent most of the day in the kitchen.  I started with braising a venison shoulder and cooking up some dried beans.  Then I moved on to masa and tortillas.  Masa is the process of cooking whole dry corn with lime and grinding it.  It makes several vitamins more available to humans to make masa.

After our lunch or tortillas, meat and beans and parsnips and salad. I made mayonnaise.  I like to have mayonnaise to go with asparagus as a dip or drizzle on just before serving.  Mayonnaise is not difficult.  Beat a yolk or two , add some 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of powdered hot pepper, a half teaspoon of honey, and a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.  This is one of the few times I use an electric mixer.  Slowly add oil - I like walnut, sesame, olive - so that it is beaten into the yolks.  If you dump in too much oil it will separate which looks weird, but tastes fine.  I also use room temperature ingredients to avoid separation.  Once the cup or so of oil is blended in, add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.  Voila.

Then I made macaroons with the egg whites.  Ken loves coconut so they are a treat for him.  I started with the recipe in Betty Crocker's Cookbook from my youth, but have continued to reduce the sugar to about 1/3 - 1/4 of the original recipe.  I think one can taste the coconut better and who needs sugar?  I start with a couple egg whites, Mix to frothy  - less than a minute - and add about a half cup sugar, a half teaspoon of vanilla and a quarter to half teaspoon of salt.  Once that is mixed. stir in about two cups of coconut.  Mix and place balls on parchment paper - from a rounded teaspoon to a tablespoon - what size you like.  Teaspoon size take about 15 min at 325 degrees.  Then soak a tea towel.  Wring out and once the macaroons start to brown, remove from oven, slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet and place the tea towel on the cookie sheet and quickly slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto the tea towel.  The heat from the cookie sheet and the wet tea towel form steam and the macaroons come off the parchment paper much more easily.

Finally I tackled odd jobs I have not gotten to do - like filling spice jars.  So, now I am planning a supper for Ken and then ...  well, I have not decided yet

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