introvert holiday

bananas, with spots and cupboard doors

yarn from Stokurinn in Reykjavik

breakfast--with unseen, just-planted sprouted garlic 

a sweater torso

breakfast again

sprouted ginger root
this will be a lopapeysa

pears, avocado pears (as S. P. would say)

sourdough rye bread

spring spit bubble

to make 100% sourdough rye bread
(adapted after trials and tribulation from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley)

- in a large bowl, mix together:

125 grams rye sourdough starter (at a 2:1 ratio of water to flour)
150 grams dark rye flour
300 grams warm water

- let sit, covered, in a warm spot for 12-16 hours

- remove 125 grams of mixture and return to fridge (your starter for the next batch)

- add to the remaining sponge:

350 grams dark rye flour
10 grams salt 
200 grams warm water
caraway seeds (optional)

- mix with a wooden spoon or spatula--dough will be extremely wet and sloppy (not knead-able)

- scrape into buttered 9x5 loaf pan, sprinkle with 

more caraway seeds

- let rise, covered loosely, until risen to top of pan (2-8 hours)--to avoid cloth or plastic wrap sticking to the top of your loaf, you can slide the whole pan into a large ziploc bag

- preheat oven to 450 or 500 degrees F

- put risen dough in the oven, reduce temperature to 400 degrees F

- bake until inserted fork or thermometer comes out clean (between 30 and 60 minutes)--if crust isn't burnt, err on the side of a longer baking time

- remove loaf from pan and leave in open air (to cool and lose excess moisture) for at least 12 hours 

The bread adventure continues. This is the recipe I came up with after wasting around 10 pounds of rye flour on bread that wouldn't rise. The most major changes I made to Whitley's recipe were to increase the amounts of both starter and salt. If you have a trustworthy, vigorous starter, you may be able to use significantly less (Whitley suggests only 50 grams). In my opinion, this bread needs at least 10 grams of salt. 

And if you're slightly daft (as I am) when it comes to sourdough, make sure you are using (and refreshing) all of the starter in your jar every time you make bread. One of my main problems in the beginning was that my starter's acidity balance had been thrown out of whack by the extra starter that never made it out of my jar. 

like a cinnamon bun and a doughnut and a raisin croissant rolled into one

I came home the other day to find a gigantic plumbing bill and the almost equally gigantic cinnamon roll that Tim had made to console me. I forgot all of my landlording woes as soon as we started eating it, and supper that night consisted of gooey delicious cinnamon roll--and beer. Tim generously took notes and pictures; I am here this morning to share them with you.

The finished product shown below is actually the imitation I attempted yesterday, since I Needed More.

Mine is Very Good, but just barely Not Quite as Good, since I forgot the Egg (all-important).

Cinnamon Raisin Roll

Put two handfuls of raisins in a bowl with boiling water to soften. Set aside.

Combine in a large mixing bowl:
120 g (1/2 cup) warm water
60 g (1/4 cup) milk
4 g (1 tsp) salt 
4 g (1 tsp) dry yeast
20 g (5 tsp) sugar
1 egg

40 g (3 tblsp) salted butter

Add to mixing bowl:
melted butter
320 g (2 and 1/3 cups) white flour

Mix well and knead for ~10 minutes by hand or with a mixer and dough hook.

Let rise, covered, until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out with rolling pin into large rectangle. Brush with more melted butter. Sprinkle generously with brown or white sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.

Roll up lengthwise into cylindrical loaf. Slashing optional.

Bake on cookie sheet covered with silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Loaf is done when lightly browned on top and internal temperature ~180 F. (Or use your usual bread-testing method.)

Banana Bread-Not-Cake (nevermind, it's still cake)

I'm baking today, in between essay-writing sessions (4 pages on the Psalms for English 240--The Bible as Literature). Since school started we haven't been eating nearly as well, and today I'm trying to make meals  for the upcoming week: banana bread, baked beans, borscht . . . there's probably an alliterative poem right there. 

A couple of months ago, since I couldn't find a banana bread recipe that was
a) suitable for semi-regular breakfasting
b) a good keeper
c) comestible, in Tim's opinion
d) composed of cheap ingredients
e) reasonably nutritious
f) easy to make and clean up from
--I took some liberties. The following recipe is an amalgamation of Emily's hardcore banana bread, Alton Brown's banana bread, a couple of random internet recipes, and my desire to turn banana bread into clafoutis.

So. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Get out your big mixing bowl and mash together:

- 4 overripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- scant 1/2 cup olive oil or softened butter
- scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Stir in until just mixed:

- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 and 1/3 cups rolled oats, blended into coarse powder or 1 cup oat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Stir in:

1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or
1 cup whole blueberries

Pour into greased cake/loaf pan or muffin tins.  Bake until middle is no longer gooey. (It may be a long bake.)

Eat plain, or with butter. Store on the counter up to four days.

ETA: 1 banana, 1/4 cup wheat germ. I've changed this recipe slightly since first posting it, to make it a little bit healthier and a little bit more moist.

Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Cake

This is my Oma's recipe.

She always grates her zucchini. My Mum makes the cake cheap, with margarine.

We use up our gargantuan zucchinis this way. The ones Opas and neighborly neighbors press on us. The homesteader in them wants to grow and eat these giants - never mind that they don't taste good past six inches, and spoil quiches and stir-frys at every opportunity. The sheer bulk.

(The homesteader in me wants to make them into something gourmet, and unrecognizable above all. A kind of vegetal mock duck.)

It is always delicious. The first time I tried to serve it to Tim, he was dubious. No longer.

Cream together

1/2 cup butter
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


2 eggs
1/2 cup soured milk

Stir in together

2 and 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


2 cups pureed zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake in a greased 9 x 12-inch pan, or cupcake tins, at 350 degrees F, until a fork comes out clean (40-50 minutes for cake, 15-30 minutes for cupcakes)

a recipe for Glynis

Soup Disclaimer: I do realize that my recipes are not really recipes, but possibly unhelpful vague directions for dishes my readers might like to eat, but can't quite imagine. On the other hand, I realize that my penchant for strong flavors and granola-girl ingredients might make any precise recipe I put together equally unhelpful, since the resulting soup would not be to the cook's taste at all.

To Make Hummus-Leek Soup:

- finely chop the white and light-green portions of three large thoroughly-cleaned leeks (discard dark green, or use in another recipe)

- chop three scrubbed red potatoes, one into very small chunks, and the other two into larger chunks

- heat several tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot

- add leeks and cook until golden and somewhat translucent

- add several cups of water (enough to generously cover the vegetables), the finely-chopped potato, and about a tablespoon of salt to the pot

- simmer uncovered for 30 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally

- puree a large can of chickpeas (including the liquid)

- add chickpeas to the pot, along with the more coarsely-chopped potatoes

- if the soup seems too thick, add more water at this point

- add 2/3 cup peanuts-only peanut butter

- simmer another 15 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

- mince 2 - 6 cloves of garlic

- chop a few ounces of aged cheddar cheese (about the same amount you'd use on a couple of sandwiches)

- add the garlic and cheese to the pot

- get out salt, lemon juice, and black or white pepper (if you have tahini, you could add it too)

- add and adjust to taste (I go heavy on the lemon juice)

- simmer further as needed, adding water as needed, until the potatoes are cooked, and the desired consistency is reached

- freeze what you can't eat, and serve with a handful of chopped parsley

breakfast today

The bowl contains the best concoction I have ever concocted, hands down. Even Tim agrees. It is delicious, healthy, filling, and full of the protein this quasi-vegetarian needs so badly. It's also cheap and fast. I don't have a name for it yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

Mix in a large bowl:

1 small can or 1/2 large can chickpeas, drained
1 can tuna or salmon, drained
2 or 3 eggs
2 cloves garlic
salt,pepper and lemon juice to taste

and any or all of the following, chopped up:

red pepper
green pepper
green onions

Fry half a cup or so in a little olive oil until the egg is cooked and the chickpeas and vegetables are beginning to brown.

Mix dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar in a salad bowl. Chop up some romaine lettuce and toss in the dressing. Throw the fried stuff on.

This is one of my favorite things to eat at the moment. It's also great with some cheddar cheese in a pita. The batter keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Happy Saturday you all! I'm writing my last essay today.