Monday, March 30, 2020

Improvisational cooking

My chickens never turn down leftovers, in this case raw carrots,
which I hate but were included in a bag of packaged salad,
which I rarely buy but was in stock when I ordered groceries last week. 
The grocery supply chain here is still way out of whack,
and the stuff I usually buy isn't available. 
So like everyone else, I'm improvising. 
I'm also pampering the girls at every opportunity because eggs are the new gold.

Mini pizza shells are a staple in my pantry,
and nothing says dinner like breakfast with a face.

I call this one "Emoji, it's what's for dinner."

Since there wasn't a carb in sight at Walmart last week,
I had no choice but to bake bread.
Remember back in the old days when we did that together?
I'm still using the same recipe. 

It may be time to print out another copy. 

I made eight sandwich rolls and two baguettes,
which are safely tucked away in the freezer for now.

The "Home Cooking" sticker is there to:
a) hide the ugly electrical outlet which detracted from the pretty bread
and, more importantly, b) remind me to tell you about the "Home Cooking" podcast. 
The co-hosts are Samin Nosrat (whose Netflix series "Salt Fat Acid Heat" is terrific)
and Hrishikesh Hirway (who co-hosted The West Wing Weekly podcast).
(Have I mentioned that I'm a Wingnut and have binged the entire series three times?) 

Anyway, the "Home Cooking" podcast is meant to help you figure out what to cook
while we're all staying safe at home. It's funny, filled with practical advice,
and Samin has the most infectious laugh.
Alex and I listened to the first episode while out walking,
and I was inspired to run all the way home and start cooking.

This picture was taken before Walmart ran out of bread.
I'm showing it to you because of the wooden stovetop cover I found on Etsy.
I hate this stove with a passion because: a) the surface is impossible to keep clean. Not anymore!
and b) the stinkin' light is so darned bright it keeps me up at night,

but that is what electrical tape is for.


  1. I will have to check out the podcast as I am running out of dinner ideas.
    We have bread but no flour. I bake homemade dog treats that need stone ground wheat flour. Thinking I may grind up some oatmeal in the food processor. The things we do for our fur children! Lisa G in TN

  2. Love, love that stove top cover! Cool find! I am not yet forced to bake, as I have been able to get bread. I went to Walmart during the "senior" hour this morning and they had plenty, and I also scored a 4 pk of TP.....Yay! Weird things out here at the grocery store were most of the frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, and seasoning packets. How weird is that! I think about making some really great drop biscuits that Katie was making on the Kitchen yesterday.........they looked easy enough for my skills!

  3. Back in the day I learned never to name anything you intend to eat!🤓 People, little ones, get upset!

  4. I have that same bread recipe - did I get it here back in the day? In any case my print out looks very much like yours does! :) Also love Salt Fat Acid Heat and Michael Pollan’s Netflix series on food. The Home Cooking podcast sounds like a plan for me to check out this week. Thank you! And interesting that you’re posting about making bread because I just yesterday ordered a bulk flour from a local company to get in the bread-making groove again.

  5. Oh wow that bread looks so good. I will try those podcasts for hopefully some inspiration!

  6. I remember that bread recipe. Looks fantastic. Might try printing. Egg dishes pure 7MSN. Good to see the chickens. I've been making some sourdough bread since daughter brought me starter back before the plague May have pushed my luck too far this time. Let it sit on stove an extra night. More or less poured out of bowl like batter. Waiting to see if it does anything before starting anew.

    We have bread and flour in store. I'm experimenting. Dutch oven is too deep for top to really brown. Going to have to take it out and finish without the pot and see what happens. I like the science of baking, and mystery.

  7. I have your recipe, too. This makes me want to bake it again. I try to stay away from bread because I like it way too much. But these extraordinary times, call for extraordinary measures - maybe not in the traditional sense, but it makes my kind of sense. I'll have to check the expiration date on my yeast. I think I bought some in the recent past in a moment of weakness. I do that occasionally and then toss it when it gets too old to do its job. Then I buy some more. We still get the Sunday newspaper which has coupons, which sometimes include coupons for yeast. I only buy it when I have a coupon because I'll more than likely throw it away. Crusty bread is my kind of comfort food. Eggs are not. But, I do love the faces you've made with yours. Maybe if I had really fresh eggs I'd like them better. Every few years I get a new laptop and transfer recipe files from one to the other. I looked at the properties of my artisan bread recipe on this computer and it shows that it's barely over a year old. So I fired up my last laptop which still contains some things I haven't transferred. The recipe there is from August 2014. I wonder if I have an older copy on the computer I had before that one... I guess I need something to occupy my mind if I can't find anything better to do that look up dates of word files. I think I'll start reading that Jack Reacher book I downloaded to my iPad from the library. Our libraries are closed so we can't even return anything we physically checked out before our lockdown began. I'm thankful for electronic books. I'm getting used to reading your blog again. Keep up the good work! Oh, I saw that you have directions for baking the bread in a Dutch oven instead of on a pizza stone. Do you prefer it one way over the other? It sure takes a lot longer to bake in the Dutch oven.

  8. I just made 2 loaves of chocolate zucchini bread last week. Now I only have 1 egg left...sigh...However, they were SO WORTH IT! Yummy, indeed!

  9. Ha - apparently there are many great minds out there lol. Made carrot mountain bread here yesterday - as my favorite healthy whole grain bread has disappeared from the store. Actually almost all bread was missing the day I went. Also feeling the egg wealth - enough for me and the family plus I sell the extras. Loving the egg-moji pic. Have you tried Kim-Kim hot sauce yet? Korean style sweet + hot. It made me set the sriracha aside... super yummy!

  10. So of course I clicked on the link back to when you were making the bread before, and then I clicked on Newer Post to see how it turned out the next day and then one thing led to another and I read quite a few posts from back in 2010 and 2009 (following links). That was a lot more fun than actually working! :-) /Gretchen

  11. Ha ha! That recipe reminds me of my mom's old Erma Rombauer cookbook. The favorite pages looked like that. She used to say that if ever food became scarce, just put the book in a pot of water and boil it for a while!!! Instant soup!

  12. Who knew when I asked for a sourdough starter for Christmas that it would end up being one of our lifelines now. As long as I keep Sourdough Sam fed and happy, he'll keep us fed. I was lucky to snag a 25 pound bag of flour the last time I was able to get to Costco. Haven't been to a store for weeks, but we're doing fine, as I routinely keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer, and the hens are doing their part, too. Glad you're safe and doing well out there!

  13. I still use that same bread recipe which I got from this site. It is fantastic. Love the eggs, reminds me of when Breaking Bad was still on and you did your birthday dish with the bacon. Love to see you back blogging.
    Anna Galentine

  14. Yes, I remember that bread recipe and I first made it after following your video here! So thanks for that! I've made it twice since this whole lockdown thing started, and the other day I made my other favorite, KitchenAid Mixer Honey Oatmeal Bread recipe, which is a whole other kind of delicious (although my new oven seemed to overcook it, so adjustments will have to be made). I'm glad you're back, Carson, I've missed you and I do check to see if you're back from time to time. Imagine my surprise! Mindy from Indy, (originally from Ohio).