Today was a bit hectic... we debuted a brand new noon newscast at the station. Yes, I am directing it. In addition to the 5am show. Now I start and end my work days directing newscasts! It went pretty well, technically. The content still needs a lot of work, but that's not up to me -- I'm a techie, remember? Of course, there was a post mortem meeting to discuss what the station GM liked and didn't like, so, of course, I got out of work late. Then (yay) it was laundry time. Now it's 5:30, and I don't really feel like cooking! Supper was a piece of pita bread (made Saturday) with hummus (storebought) and cucumber slices. Exciting, no? It was good, anyway.
I don't have much to report on the sourdough front, either. My starter looks just like it did at this time yesterday. I will try to get up a few minutes early tomorrow and proceed with steps 7 & 8. Then, by the time I get home tomorrow, I should be able to start the actual bread making, which is another few days worth of working and waiting! This better be worth it in the end. =)
I never mastered the art of making perfect melon balls, but isnít this gorgeous (heh hehÖ I said melon balls!)?
Please excuse my Beavis & Butthead moment. Iím better now.
This is the orange-fleshed watermelon I got at the Farmerís Market a week ago. I just cracked into it. Itís organic, not seedless (the seeds are white, and I picked out the biggest ones), and a beautiful color. I had such high hopes for it. My hopes were dashed. Itís seriously lacking in flavor. It tastes just like the red seedless hybridized-to-death melons I refuse to buy at the grocery store! Why is it so hard to find a good watermelon these days?
7:00 Sunday morning -- I peeled off the crust and found this:
I mixed it with flour and water to make "a stiff (but sticky!) dough," and had to move it to a bigger bowl. This ball is about the size of a navel orange:
I was supposed to add twice as much flour as the original started with, but now that I think about it, I may have only added 1/3 cup instead of 2/3. It was early. What can I say? But anyway. At 5:30 Sunday evening, here's what how much it changed:
No, I remember now -- I added 2/3 cup of flour, and 1/3 cup water, and then had to add a bit more flour. I may be able to set my sponge tomorrow morning!
They talked about spareribs, and turkey with dressing, and baked beans, and other good things. But Almanzo said that what he liked most in the world was fried apples'n'onions.
When, at last, they went in to dinner, there on the table was a big dish of them! Mother knew what he liked best, and she had cooked it for him.
~ Farmer Boy
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Last year, during my annual reading of Laura's "Little House" series, I became obsessed with the food that was cooked in those times... I was especially obsessed with the idea of "fried apples'n'onions." I love apples. I love onions. How could I not love them fried together? I got so obsessed that I bought "The Little House Cookbook" by Barbara M. Walker, hoping the recipe would be there. It is. And what a great book! If you're into Laura's stories, and into food, like I am, it's really some fascinating reading. But I'll write more about the book in general another time.
It's apple season here. I bought some early Paula Reds at the grocery store the other day, and realized that it was time to finally try this recipe.
This is a "country" dish, seldom mentioned in cookbooks but recalled by many oldtimers. Some feel the sugar essential; others call it "a sin." If you share Almanzo's enthusiasm you might also like to try fried apples'n'onions with fried potatoes for breakfast sometime.
For six servings you will need:
bacon or salt pork, 1/2 pound, sliced
yellow onions, 6 (2 pounds)
tart apples, 6 (2 pounds)
brown sugar, 2 tablespoons
skillet, 12-inch, with cover; apple corer
Fry bacon or salt pork slices in the skillet until brown and crisp. Set them aside on a warm serving platter.
While the meat is frying, peel the onions, leaving the stems to hold for slicing. To prevent eyes from watering hold a slice of bread in your teeth while you slice the onions as thin as possible. Discard stems.
Core the apples and cut them crosswise in circles about 1/4 inch thick. Apple skins help the slices keep their shape and add color to the dish, so don't peel unless skins are tough or scarred.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet, then add the onion slices. Cook them over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Cover with apple slices in an even layer. Sprinkle brown sugar over all, cover the skillet, and cook until tender, a few minutes more. Stir only to prevent scorching. Remove to the warm plate with bacon or salt pork slices.
Now, since I'm a vegetarian and all, I don't have a lot of bacon or salt pork hanging around the house. I just melted a little butter in the pan before I put in the onions. And I opted to use sugar on the apples, since these early ones are pretty tart.