Sunday, February 10, 2008

dense food, concentrated flavas

The good news is, the cherries dried perfectly, and they're ready to turn into cake flowers and scone fillings and oatmeal mix-ins, yum!

There's bad news, though. See... I think I have two enemies in the kitchen. Or at least, two things are making themselves apparent as factors I need to watch out for. The first of these is vegetable stock cubes/overly salty broth, which just seems to stomp all over any delicate flavour in it's path (I sincerely don't know why I even have that box in my cupboard!!). And the second is impatience.

Two cases in point: I come home last night to see my innocent little crock of very recently born sourdough starter just LAVA-ing all over the top of the coffee maker. How very exciting, I figured - it was ready! At the very least it was about 3 times the size it used to be and smelling really nice and making a respectable yeasty mess of my kitchen, so I threw together a sponge for rye bread and went to bed. Then this morning I made the rye bread, which rose not at all and came out of the oven as dense as a log (despite smelling great). Completely inedible. I had a piece and I felt like I ate a rock! I hate wasting food so I'm going to have a supply of caraway breadcrumbs pretty soon, but I've never had bread turn out so badly! *sniff*

(note to self: sourdough starter is ready when a white foam shows up. no sooner, silly girl!)

My other enemy, salty broth, reared it's ugly head for what I thought would be a lovely counterpart to fresh caraway-rye bread - the Tomato Dill Lentil soup from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. First off I threw in more broth than the recipe called for, to use it up. Then I had to substitute a bunch of stuff - dried dill for the dill seeds, brown sugar for molasses, dijon mustard for mustard powder, etc - and maybe after all that I was silly to expect perfection, but it came out really heavy. I had to water it down a TON, and the flavour was good, it just didn't have a fresh tomato and dill kind of thing going on, so that was sad.

On the plus side, I made fajita-y type things the other night with refrieds, peppers, onions and sour tofu cream that were really excellent, and I'm closing with that so I don't feel like a total complain-y susan. Yay mexican! At least I know there's no such thing as too much hot sauce. :D


Anonymous said...

Those fajita-y things look killer! Nice touch with the lime.

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

yum, those dried cheries look great! sorry yr bread didn't turn out. i hate when that happens!

Judy said...

That is pretty much why I never make bread.

Wow, those tacos look so good. You are the second or third person to post Mexican food lately and I need to have some soon :)

aTxVegn said...

Cool to dry your own cherries. I love them, but they always seem like a splurge. They'll be great in anything!

I don't really like sourdough, but I love homemade bread. Too bad your loaf didn't turn out. I hate to wsste too. Crumbs are a good idea.

The only broth I love is a powder I get from my Asian market. I have to buy 3 big buckets at the time because sometimes they don't have it and I panic. I do want to make that Tomato Dill soup.

Mexican food - always a winner in my book!

Anonymous said...

I hate it when things go wrong. =( But those fajitas seem to have made up for it!

Veggie broth is my enemy. I never use it. Especially not cubes, they have trans fats, yuck. If there's veggies, they ooze their yumminess into the dish anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz, I see what you mean about broth cubes. Recently I've bought powdered veggie broth from an Estonian grocery close to where we live - it has less salt in it than those cubes, and tastes a lot better.

I'm sure your next soudough starter will be twice as good after your trial and error experimentation!


Vegan_Noodle said...

Looks like your cherries turned out beautifully! Sorry it didn't work so well with the bread... breadcrumbs are a great idea though and I bet they'd be good that way. I usually tend to go easy on the broth (often just sub water) then add salt and pepper at the end to taste. Must say the lentil soup looks really good.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Ooh, send me your salty soup-- I like salty foods hehe.

Yummy-lookin' fajitas!

Carrie said...

Oh man, those fajitas look sooo good...I swear I started salivating when I saw the pic.

Rural Vegan said...

Oh no, don't tell me that you had bad sourdough luck! I'm still working up the nerve to ferment things in the kitchen on purpose!

Ashasarala said...

Sorry the sourdough didn't work this time around. I know how it is-I am more impatient than anyone!

What recipe did you follow? The one I used said that it would be ready on the third day. I didn't really judge by any foam. Hope that helps!

Those fajitas look incredible. They're making my mouth water! I miss re-fried bean. I miss a lot of things. I've just been obsessing with soup and salad so much these days. I need to break away from that! haha

bazu said...

want. dried. cherries.