black bean sourdough bread







Now I am convinced the black bean dip I had in Mexico had black squid ink in it because all black beans turn out purple or gray and theirs was jet black.

Ordinarily I would use a few tablespoons of leftover bean dip, as a treat for the yeast, but this time they get the whole thing. I have a theory about this, that beans do to live yeast cells what they do to humans, make them gassy, thus the name vulgaris, not really, that was a joke, if they are short on the enzymes that deal with it, I'm guessing here, but those last few bean-enhanced loaves sure were puffy.

One minute in microwave to bring to a boil and that's it, just enough to get the beans started and make it easier to get at. I tasted it. Delicious. Without anything in it. No salt, nothing. Delicious. 

This might be where I killed my sourdough starter, at this moment I am not sure. I am impatient and had to get going, no time to wait around for this bean sludge to cool. I did not dump it into the refreshed starter, but tempered it too quickly. I'll know soon enough if the starter is damaged. And if so, eh, what the heck, it was fun while it lasted. Besides, sourdough pets should be sturdier than that.


I would like to introduce you to a new member of the fambly.

It weighs in at 25 LB. 

I intend to eat it.

It is the third one this year. 

They're all the same.


I'll know in a few hours if you are dead, damaged or just playing possum. I doubt I will need to, in fact I expect you to jump to life, but if I need to I can always kick your butt and infuse you with eager-to-please farty regular yeast while separately in another jar, the starter slowly returns to life.

This is a cliffhanger post.

You see, we baker-types accept that you start things one day and pick up on them later, sometimes several days later. Being a baker takes a bit of planning.


Psych!

It lived, and boy, did it ever live. 

I could make bread out of this right now, one giant loaf that would make large sandwiches and its slices not fit in the toaster, or two loaves, and they would be great, and they would taste like sourdough to you. But if I leave it to cool and then later warm up again, it will be even better than that, more outstanding on top of regular outstanding, and that is impossible to beat.

lamb and corn













The prepared elements go in and out of the pan staged. They are not just thrown in and left to go on their own while the cook turns attention to something else. They are turned while they're in there, wine and water added and covered to cook through at one point, the cover removed and butter added to form a rich sauce and luxuriously thoroughly coat everything and reheat all the things taken out and all bathed and brought up evenly to serving temperature. The sauce makes an excellent dressing for greens. 

aglio e olio





A coffee mug is set in the sink and filled with pasta water when the noodles are drained. The salted water clouded with starch from the pasta forms a sauce with butter and olive oil heated with a short splash of wine in the same pot that cooked the noodles.

A very fast meal for when you come stumbling in. 

From drinking? 

No. Just your regular stumbling, you klutz.

fries and eggs


We photographer-types are ever conscious of how the frame is filled. The food stylist within prefers some break in monochromatic palette and will put something there just for color, and whereas as the cook insists the food is displayed deliciously as possible, the eater that motivates all that wants nothing more than to jab that yolk right open and have at it, so everyone out of the way. 


masa bean chili pancake











The edges are watched. The whole thing loosened to make sure it will slide right out of the pan before any monkey business is tried with fillings, folding and such. That is where people go wrong on t.v., they assume the non-stick pan will not stick. I laugh at their difficulties and shout, "Lose!" 

For I am unsympathetic to their woes. 


chocolate egg


And now for a moment of regression to childhood. Cracker Jacks are no fun anymore their prizes are poo.

We are relaxed. Our bodies are feeling unusually light. We feel as if we might float off. We are sailing away. We are transported.










We are back. The toy worked. That was a good one too, this time. So how was that? Is it what we remember?

Fun, yeah, we must grow up again to real chocolate. 



cannellini beans


It tastes like it has meat in it but it does not. It is only beans, water, bay leaf, white pepper, salt and that is all. Plus butter to serve. It has none of the things that are usually put with it to impart favorite flavors or body, no onion as usual, no garlic, no herbs, and it comes out simply amazing in its own sauce.

This is the last of a small batch ↑ that is so good, so satisfying, It must be made again immediately, so it is ↓ with slight changes this time.





pressure pot, complete overkill, but so what, it makes fast work of dry beans



water ↑
rendered fat from cooking bacon ↓


mustard seeds, white pepper ↓



Now that this is done and gone and the new batch is just now finished, I will fill another bowl and set right to it, the aroma is that irresistible. 


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