Sunday, March 23, 2008

Miso, PB Rolls, and Tamarind Trees

Before I started this blog I chronicled my adventures in cooking on my MySpace page. In January 2007 I had just finished reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and was fermenting everything (Part One and Part Two). I've been fermenting a big crock of soy miso in my basement since then. It was supposed to be an 18 month ferment, but the miso smell in the basement is getting to be a bit much. So when we were cleaning the basement today, I decided to pack it away into jars to refrigerate.

Now I've got 4 pints of miso. That should last a while. (Don't worry, Sarah, I'm saving some for you!)

Today I tried out Bryanna Clark Grogan's version of "No Knead Bread". Except I used all whole wheat flour. And I experimented a little.

This is a free form crusty whole wheat loaf with thyme, basil, and coarse ground sea salt on top. It went perfectly with some chili marinated olives!

I wanted to make rolls with the rest of the dough, but then got an idea. Since I'd probably give the kids peanut butter on the rolls anyways, why not put peanut butter inside the rolls?
I greased the muffin tin really well and put a blob of dough in the bottom. Then I added about a teaspoon of peanut butter and topped it with a flattened disk of dough. I pressed it down all around the edges to make sure it sealed. Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. I also filled some with Tofutti cream cheeze and apricot jam.

These are just screaming to be served at a tea party. Or in my lunch box tomorrow. Or both.

This next picture is of one of my favorite things that I rarely make, even though it's insanely easy.

This is a Chocolate Soda. If you've never had this old-fashioned soda shop treat, you just have to try it. My mom used to take us to the Old Orchard Pharmacy in Garland, TX to get ice cream treats and I loved getting chocolate sodas. You just mix up a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup and soda water in the bottom of a glass. Then you add 2-3 scoops of chocolate ice cream. Top it off with more soda water to fill the glass and then stir. It gets really foamy and fizzy and chocolatey. It's like a fizzy milkshake. Except that sounds kinda gross, and this most definitely is not.

Here's a great photo of Mike and I at the Como Park Conservatory. The whole family went for my birthday. It was so great to be in the balmy tropical greenhouses while it was snowy outside! The conservatory has a whole greenhouse devoted to food-related plants. There are tamarind trees, orange trees, cinnamon trees, black pepper plants, mango trees, cacao trees, and basically every tropical food plant you can think of. Needless to say, this is my favorite room and always a treat to visit. If only I had a greenhouse like that in my backyard...


Sarah said...

When I started reading this post I was seriously getting worried that I would miss out on that miso goodness. I'll have to get out there soon!

That bread looks seriously awesome and those rolls are such a good idea. Plus you two look so cute together, what a fun day.

Jennifer said...

That homemade bread looks wonderful. And I'd take a roll with peanut butter in it!

I want that chocolate soda! YUM!

That picture of you and Mike is so cute!