Baking · Uncategorized

In our kitchen at night.

Friday night while many reasonable people slept, I crowded the countertops with shredded coconut, rolled oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts for an evening of cookie delight.  Daphne Oz includes a rather lengthy chocolate chip cookie recipe in her book Relish, and in a fit of inspiration / madness / hunger I thought to give it a go.  Out came the coffee grinder from its black abyss (otherwise known as the lower cabinets).  I used the handy machine to pulse a cup of oats into a crumbly flour, which along with some whole wheat and all purpose flour made up the basis for my dry ingredients.  For the wet ingredients I broke out the hand mixer, creaming together coconut oil, Earth Balance butter, regular and brown sugar, two eggs and an entire tablespoon of vanilla!  How decadent — by this time I believe I started to coo.  In thirds, I incorporated the dry ingredients into the wet until I was left with a thick, heavenly scented cookie dough.  Fold in aforementioned chocolate chips (a whole cup), shredded coconut, the rest of the whole oats, chopped walnuts and I’m finally done — at least with the dough.  Daphne then calls for rolling bits of it into 2 inch balls and placing them on a parchment lined baking tray, which must then go into the freezer for at least two hours or overnight.  I chose the latter.  The next afternoon I baked a dozen of them (the recipe makes enough cookie dough for 3 dozen).  Around the halfway mark Daphne instructs us to remove the tray, thwack it on a flat surface to deflate the cookies, and then return the tray to the oven the opposite way we took it out.  I’m fascinated by the detail she takes with her recipe.  In 14 or so minutes we have 12 large, chewy, golden brown chocolate chip cookies.  They come out of the oven soft but left to cool they firm up just right.  If you have any leftovers the next day, the flavor begins to develop and you can taste the coconut in them even more.  I love that I have another two dozen cookies (give or take) left in the freezer which I can bake off any time I’m hungry or have company.

While puttering around in the freezer I noticed my lonely ball of sourdough starter wrapped up in a double layer of cling.  Looking at it filled me with an odd mix of both longing and dread.  Taking it down would mean I’d have to feed it, and maybe after the four or five months in the freezer it wouldn’t even be alive anymore.  Yet, I miss watching the bubbles form within my starter, the process of baking bread, the dark brown crust and feeling of accomplishment as a loaf comes out the oven.  Feeling gutsy, I brought my starter down and back up to room temperature.  By the sweet heavy smell of it, I could immediately tell the yeasts were still alive and active.  I discarded about 80 percent and fed it a mixture of 50 grams whole wheat and 50 grams all purpose flour with about 100 grams of water, per Michael Pollan’s instructions in Cooked.  We shall see how my loaf turns out later in the week.  I’m excited, and a bit nervous!  I bet Piper will enjoy kneading the dough now that she’s quite a bit older and more interested in kitchen activities.  In a book by Bri. Maya Tiwari titled The Path of Practice, Tiwari recounts a story of little ones with freshly cleaned feet stomping bread dough — what a thought! I’m not sure I know many people who would eat such a bread thereafter, though I imagine it’s not unlike the stomping of grapes — if that even still goes on?  I keep picturing that episode of I Love Lucy

Well, I will be sure to post within the week and let you all know how things are progressing.  Until the next time — have a beautiful day.

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2 thoughts on “In our kitchen at night.

  1. U are so funny. Loved the article. Now, we’ve been thinking. Because of the bad weather coming this week and the baby bed – how about us coming to you and taking piper for a “three hour tour” so you two can do whatever you please. Tell us what you think about that. Love mom

    Sent from my iPhone

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