Thanks, Aly – you rock!!!
Speaking of Crooked Acres, I’m pleased to announce that the last four jars of habanero jam sold over the weekend, making it – as I told Fred – a successful jam season. Now I’ll rest up from the jam and hot sauce-making, which will resume mid-summer or so, depending on when the habaneros come in again.
This year, Fred is growing Bhut Jolokia (Ghost) Peppers in addition to the habaneros. For those of you who (like me) know nothin’ ’bout no Ghost Peppers, Fred says that Habaneros have a Scoville rating of between 100,000 – 150,000 heat units. The Jolokia is over one million.
Why such a horrific thing needs to exist, I have no idea.
So that I can finally throw away the piece of paper that’s been sitting on my desk for the past few months, I’d like to inform y’all that from the 40 pounds of pecans Fred picked up in the yard this Fall, we ended up with 16 pounds, 9 ounces of shelled pecans. I bagged them up in 2-cup bags, and currently have over 60 cups of pecan halves in the freezer.
Have I mentioned that toasted pecans are particularly tasty?
March came in like a lion yesterday. I woke up to a snowstorm and actual standing snow on the ground. It was cold and gray and dreary out, and I said “I am NOT even going out in that shit. I’m staying in my pajamas all day!” After I took a shower, I put my pink fleece reindeer pants on, and my pink oversized Big Dogs sweatshirt on, and that’s what I wore all day.
The snow stopped by 8, and had melted off by noon, and it was sunny and pretty out, but still way too cold for me, so I never did get dressed. I did go out in the evening to see the dogs and assist Fred in the job of feeding cookies to the pigs, but I didn’t stay out long, because it was COLD.
Since I usually go get groceries on Sunday and didn’t want to leave the house, I had to decide what to make for dinner, and after some deliberation, I decided to make hamburgers. We hadn’t had hamburgers in a while, and I’d seen that Suzanne McMinn posted a recipe for homemade hamburger and hotdog buns, so I thought I’d give that a try.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never made a loaf of bread by hand (what’s a bread machine for, after all?), so I was worried that I’d screw up the hamburger buns. When I started making the buns and I got to the point where I was supposed to slowly add flour until the dough was too hard to stir by hand, and I added all the flour the recipe called for and more, and the dough still looked like cake batter, I was worried.
By the time the dough was kneaded (Fred took over and did that part, since he’s actually made bread before), I’m pretty sure we ended up using close to twice what the recipe called for. I was worried.
When an hour later, there’d been very little rising (the dough was supposed to double) and I wondered if I’d screwed up entirely, Fred turned the oven on warm and put the bowl inside, then cracked the door open so it wouldn’t get too hot, then turned the oven off and told me to leave it for a while. I was worried.
After about another hour, the dough had pretty much doubled, so I sprinkled flour on it and began kneading, and then I added more flour because it was still sticky and then I added MORE flour and then I howled “HOW MUCH FLOUR DO YOU NEED, DAMNIT?!”, and then Fred came in and we made hamburger bun-sized buns, and put them on the cookie sheets and I put them in the warmish oven and let them rise for another half hour. I was pretty sure these were not going to be tasty, tasty hamburger buns, that I’d screwed it up completely and we’d end up feeding them to the pigs.
Half an hour later, they’d clearly risen, so I heated the oven and popped the buns inside to cook, and twenty minutes later, what came out of the oven looked a lot like hamburger buns
Fred came in from doing something outside and said the buns smelled good and that we should split one. I was up for that, so I cut one in half. And I have to say – it was really pretty good. BUT it was pretty dense and heavy and I tend to think of hamburger buns as being not quite so heavy. I ate my hamburger on one of the buns and it was really pretty good, but more filling than I would have liked.
So, bread bakers out there, any words of wisdom on what I could do differently next time?
2008: No entry.
2007: “Yes, they’re AWFUL. They taste like my grandmother’s attic*!”
2006: I call him Bob.
2005: Bouncing like that just can’t be a good thing.
2004: “DAMN it’s cold in here, give me some ass!”
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Let’s just hope she wasn’t preparing him for the slaughter.
2000: No entry.