Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shattered Dreams

Or at least, shattered blenders. Read on.

So I started early today by preparing the vegetables for the carrot and coriander soup. This involved a lot of peeling, for which I wore my zesting protection glove. If I don't use it while zesting something soon, it will begin to have identity crises much like my roasting pan.

The mixture needed to go into the slow cooker with boiling vegetable stock. I attempted to boil it in the microwave, but it stubbornly hovered just below bubbling ... and then I realized that it was starting to evaporate, so I decided that extremely hot would have to be good enough. Then I wandered away to occupy myself with aspects of my life that are not relevant here, but involved a great deal of nothing worthwhile.

Next step was to get the pistachio poppy bread in the oven. Surprisingly, I didn't have enough poppy seeds, so spontaneously went light on this. No great loss - it popped plenty after it popped out, later on. When pasting this recipe into my blog yesterday, I had noticed some reviewers stated it was dry, but decided to make it as-is this first time around.

I find pistachio meal mesmerizing. Honestly, I could have just inhaled the entire bowl of ground pistachios, but then I would have a rather small, flavorless loaf of poppy bread.

However, the Foodnetwork.com reviews did point me in one good direction: several noted that the bread baked for far less than an hour and ten minutes. If I may hazard a guess, it may be because these intrepid reviewers did not use a glass loaf pan ... but not having one, either, I decided to start 45 minutes. I had it out a little shy of that, perfectly cooked and maybe just beginning to edge towards brown at the ... edges.

Final verdict (bread): This is a very dense and slightly dry bread, but it's tasty, with that distinctive snap of pistachios. I will probably try it again with more liquid, as suggested.

Onwards to the Ladies' Thighs. Not sure whether it was the recipe or if it was me - though I followed what was printed verbatim - but after it was fried up, this mixture refused to stay in a single, cohesive ball (or rather, multiple, cohesive balls, singularly) long enough to apply the flour coating. I finally managed to mash them into submission, but it was a messy experience.

Speaking of messy experiences, I learned the hard way that you cannot pour liquid into the bowl of a food processor while it is detached. After sending a cascade of vegetable broth across my counter, I got the processor resituated ... and it was still leaking. I swapped hastily to the blender. (Remember I mentioned the blender above? Well ... wait for it.)

Anyhow, the soup pureed very easily for all that buildup. I tossed it in the pan with the celery tops and chopped coriander, then added the milk. I went to "gently heat" it to "piping hot," only to discover it was already in that state. So it sat with the burner at off while I wrassled with frying the Ladies' Thighs.

The dog, by the way, long ago saw me with frying pans and ran to hide.

I decided that the kitchen was so messy I had to clean up a bit before attempting to eat,so I delved into my sink. The blender was sitting upright in the sink. At a bump, it tipped over and ... a large triangle-shaped section broke away. Given the temperature of the soup mixture when I pureed it, I believe the glass got too hot. Alternate theories are the age of the blender or just the universe being obnoxious.

Finally decided that the rest of the cleaning would have to wait and dug in.
Final verdict (soup): A very hearty, flavorful soup with a thick texture - fun to eat and easy to make (pureeing adventures notwithstanding). Definitely would make again.
Final verdict (ladies' thighs): After all the effort ... not worth it. Virtually flavorless.

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