Southwestern mac and cheese

This is macaroni sold in small packages for 99¢ in the import aisle that I've not seen anywhere else. They are cute. 

Plus a tin of diced tomato with jalapeño and another tin of corn with jalapeño and those two things are still very weak with jalapeño so three types of chile powders are added, along with garlic powder, traces of cumin and coriander, so a kind of Southwestern curry.

The cheese is bits of odds and ends in plastic bags. 

I'm at the point of cleaning out the refrigerator again. Everything is being scrubbed and bleached. It helps a lot for it to be empty. So all this is scrounging around in the pantry. And it turned out delicious beyond expectation. And that is without getting to the diced onion or the powdered masa harina for additional old-world maize flavor.  

Fried chicken nuggets

I learned something that is useful. As you go piece by piece the flour becomes more contaminated with drips of buttermilk and clumps form in the otherwise smooth flour. This is good for texture and the coating improves as you go. Therefore, pre-contaminated the flour with drips from the milk or the light batter or buttermilk. Clumps are good.

egg over easy with sourdough whole wheat toast

That will be $50.00, please.

Because where else are you going to get this? Nowhere, that's where. So simple, and yet singular.

And if you think this small meal is not fully satisfying and beyond then you just don't fully appreciate nuclear fission. 

And as the grain that is milled here at home bubbles in its jar by just adding water and waiting four days, I wonder why this all seems so difficult when in fact it is so easy that cave men did it. Or at least early mud hut people did it, all occurring quite naturally.

It seems difficult because we approach it from behind and backward engineer something that took no engineering to start with. The ancients smashed grain on flat stones, made the resulting powder wet, formed a ball, it foamed, the foamy flattened wad was baked on a stone and they ate it. By and by they got better at this. So much better, so specialized in their activities over millennia the original process is gladly forgotten and the original product unrecognizable: a thick coarse heavy brick-like loaf of exceedingly rough bread verging on an overcooked unsweetened unhappy unwelcoming pancake. 

Whole wheat sourdough bread

I'm surprised it did this well. It gave no promise at all. 

This is 50% whole wheat milled here at home. That is a lot of whole wheat. Usually loaves will not lift with that high a ratio of authentic whole wheat flour. 100% whole wheat is impossible to deal with using natural leavening. It results in bricks. Delicious otherworldly addictive alluring and mysterious tasting acidic and full flavored bricks. The very thin slices from them are impossible for sandwiches. It must be mixed with all purpose or with bread flour. Usually to 75% white flour. This is twice the usual amount of whole wheat. And it is real 100% of the grain, not the marketing concept of whole wheat which is different. There too the ratio is tilted to include more white. It does have 100% of the grain but not in the ratio of straight grain milled at home. Millers divide it out by types and parts and combine it back in a different ratio and call it 100% whole wheat because it does contain all parts, but not all of all of the parts. 

Further, the sourdough starter jacks with the dough making it feel like a different substance entirely. Whereas the intermediary stage takes regular loaf 20 minutes, it takes this dough 12 hours. It tends to resist forming a skin. The dough stays sticky until it has enough flour to become stiff. It has everything going against it so far as lifting to nice airy loaves in the oven useful for sandwiches go.

Having said all that, the experience is quite incredible. This is too powerful to market. Children would not like this. Too challenging.

Whole wheat sourdough pancakes

Corn soufflé

A few decades ago, for about a year or more, this orange clay dish was water bowl for my Belgian Sheepdog. 

Don't worry, it was run through the dishwasher a million times. Maybe three times. 

I must think of that magnificent creature whenever I use it. I don't mind at all sharing it with her. 

Denver sourdough started rejuvenated

Steady bubble streams emanating from specific areas ↑. 

 Reduced, then fed fresh water and fresh flour ↓. 

12 hours later bubbles emanating throughout ↓. 

Reduced again and fed again fresh water and flour.

This is its 3rd feeding and refreshing. It's time to bust a move.

Bread dough in sponge form started, 1/2 white flour ↓. 

It appears the Denver starter has died. This took as long to rejuvenate as it does to start new from raw flour. This might all be from organisms carried on the wheat used to feed the Denver starter. I don't know. There is no way for me to know for certain. 

I do know the Denver sourdough collected from afternoon storms was particularly powerful and fast. More so than the volunteer starters, and those are hearty as well. We'll see.

I used half white flour for the sponge, usually it is at least 3/4, because I do want its gluten quality that straight whole wheat cannot develop for a variety of reasons. 

Beans and egg breakfast

Sometimes cued by hunger I'll ponder, as we do, what do I want to shove in my pie hole this time? 

I would ingest a few leaves from the Tree of Life. 

Not possible, you loon. Stop being silly. That has to wait.

Fine. Then I'll have beans with an egg and a slice of real bread.

Shrimp and bacon with rice

I don't know why this rice tasted so good but it was perfect steamed with nothing but a little salt.

And the shrimp doesn't deserve to be this good, it languished in the freezer forever. Cooked in shell so a bit of a mess to eat, and the sauce is delicious although experimental. The only thing added was one teaspoon brown sugar. 

Chocolate peanut butter cookies

I ran out of peanut butter so supplemented with almond butter

Flavor powders of extraordinary complexity sourced from remote and exotic lands.

And nobody ever said coco is off limits. 

Tomato and red bell pepper bisque, homemade bread croutons

Officially bisque is a shellfish broth and sometimes extended to include soup made of fruit or vegetable puree on account of French sounding better than  "soup" that sounds plain. 

Poached chicken sandwich

Misnomer, nothing is actually sandwiched between anything.

Poached in this thermos. It is superfluous.

The King said he really likes your apples and he wants to shake your tree but he doesn't much care for the whole propellers thing.


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