I pulled some of the first batch of kombucha out to taste test this evening. I left 2 cups & split both that and the SCOBY between two half-gallon jars and now I’ve got a gallon of kombucha in progress.
About 18 months ago, I got a Cosori CP267-FD food dehydrator. I’ve used it a few times to make mushroom jerky, and a few times to preserve fresh herbs … but, in the past few weeks, we’ve started using it a lot to dehydrate fruits. Recently, we came across a great deal on pineapples at Costco — and we picked up fifteen of them! So we’ve been chopping three pineapples a day, setting the pieces on the dehydrator trays, and dehydrating them at 135F for 10-12 hours. Thicker cuts get a great chewy texture, thinner cuts get crunchy.
We’ve got a lot of duck eggs, so I’ve been trying to find recipes where the extra rich egg … and I thought of challah because most recipes I’ve seen call for an extra yolk or two. Using duck eggs instead of the chicken eggs produced a really delicious, buttery loaf of bread.
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
3/4 cups warm water
6 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp maple syrup
3 duck eggs (one was a double yolk)
Put the yeast in the warm water and let it sit until it becomes frothy.
Mix the dry ingredients, add the oil, maple, and yeast water and knead until a smooth dough ball forms.
Allow to raise until doubled in size, gently punch down. Shape and allow to raise again until doubled. Mix one egg with a tablespoon or two of water and brush over the dough.
I was making rolls for some fancy sausages we got from the farmers market — so I formed them into oval rolls and baked them at 375F for about 20 minutes. You can make ropes and braid a normal challah loaf — that would bake at 350F for about 35 minutes.
We spent a lot of time smoking a pork shoulder yesterday — and now have a rule about smoking food … if it’s after noon? Don’t bother starting — it’s pretty reliably a ten hour undertaking and having food finish up at 1AM sucks.
The maple butterscotch topping I made for Scott’s cake was quite simple — 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 Tbsp butter, and 1 cup of maple syrup. Melt the butter in a pan, then mix in the whipping cream. Add maple and boil until it’s really bubbly — sauce will thicken on the back of a spoon when it cools.
Scott wanted oatmeal raisin cookies, so Anya and I found a cake made with oatmeal raisin cookie ingredients. It’s incredibly dense, but moist and delicious. I topped it with maple butterscotch, and Anya decorated it with raisins.
Whirl mixed nuts in food processor so some chunks remain.
Combine boiling water and oats and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars. Add vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well to combine.
Add in oatmeal, breaking up any chunks. Then add in yogurt and stir to combine.
Add flour mixture, a third at a time, and stir to combine.
Add nuts and raisins, then stir to combine.
Pour into a bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes (add more time, in five minute intervals, if knife inserted into deepest part of cake pan does not come out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool before frosting.
A few weeks ago, we watched an episode of Test Kitchen on PBS where they made Greek lasagna — pastitsio. It looked really good (and the idea of adding cinnamon to the sauce intrigued me). I finally got around to making it today — very tasty, although I’d prefer if the top had been less browned.