break fast

a bit late, i fear, but i wanted to put something into my journal about how much fun i had cooking after i got home from shul on yom kippur. i literally spent the entire afternoon hunched over the stove/oven, trying some new things and making good on old failures.

for example, saturday night i successfully made risotto for the SECOND time. this time i made it with red wine and beef, and it was quite tasty (although, as usual, it could do with more salt). i’m, like, afraid of salt. i also, at long last, gave the cannoli ice cream another go--i even walked all the way down to vaccarro’s in union station for cannoli shells--and even though my ice cream mixer pooped out halfway through, it was still completely delicious. i made the wise decision to omit the anise seeds this time.

sunday i fooled around with leftover asian stuff from the freezer--some of the wontons, one of my spring rolls, and made some donburri with a batch of honey mushrooms from the farmers market.

but back to monday. i spent the afternoon experimenting with my first pot of chicken stock. there is a lot of room for improvement, alas, but at least i’ve finally tried it. i had a difficult time skimming it properly, and now that i’ve had it in the frige and freezer, i’ve noticed a layer of fat that’s congealed on the top. ew. i’ve been cooking with it anyway.

the high point of monday HAD to be my new coq au vin recipe from the braises and stews book. much better than my stovetop martha stewart recipe, and completely made by the farm fresh stuff i threw in: baby carrots and potatoes, with the leftover brunelli di montalcino from saturday’s risotto. easy and to-die-for delicious. i even got to use some of the fresh chicken stock. the carrots in particular were heavenly, esepcially the way they blended into the baby yukon gold potatoes.

i also gave the challah another try, this time mixing all of the ingredients in the CORRECT order, and i used my mixer instead of the bread machine. this, i think, was a wise choice. i’ll definitely try a regular challah in the bread machine, but next time i try a special one, i will do it properly with the mixer. it took forever to rise, nearly twice as long as the recipe predicted in some cases, but was sweet and delicious and made, a week later, some of the yummiest french toast ever. i also used it all week with some pear-berry jam from, of course, the farmers market.

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