Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have 3 different homemade soups in my fridge right now: butternut squash, minestrone, and split pea. I don't know whether to admit that I have an addiction, or just to enjoy it. It's cold, I vote for the latter. :)

And speaking of voting...I did! And while I'm sure that most of you know who I voted for, I'll offer a hint to those who don't. It's my awesome roommate's awesome pumpkin:

It's been an awesome week of vacation, with lots of time for eating and knitting and hanging out. I start rotations again on Monday...I'm already dreading the exhaustion but looking forward to being useful again :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I am a scatterbrain. I almost never have a working pen in my pocket (despite having to write stuff down all day long), it's a superhuman effort for me to be on time for things, and I've forgotten my car at school a few times. (One of the few downsides of taking public transportation most of the time -- when you do drive somewhere, you usually take the bus home out of habit.) But today, I've reached a new level. We've got a test tomorrow (I knew about that thankfully!) and a few of us students were discussing our weekend plans. (Free weekends are few and far between and WONDERFUL.) One of the girls rattled off a long list of things and I mentioned that it was a lot to cram into a weekend. She said that it wasn't just a weekend, and I said that I was jealous that she was brave enough to take time off of rotations. She looked at me like I was crazy. "You know we have next week off, right?"

Well, actually I didn't. Score one for the calendar.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This song makes me happy.

And happy is good.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Carbs of the 70s

I've written about 70s vegetarian food before. (For the record, I wasn't there, but I've read the cookbooks.) I forgot to mention 70s bread in that entry -- the hearty, heavy whole grain loaves that can be either amazing or inedible. And while I rarely bake (changing a recipe has far more serious consequences for a cake than for a stir-fry) when I do, I make bread. It almost requires modifications (based on kitchen temperature, humidity, measurement techniques) so I feel far more comfortable throwing the recipe out the window :)

I got the recipe from my mom (in the spirit of full disclosure, the original actually came from a 1984 Good Housekeeping magazine, but we can pretend) and changed it to use ingredients that I had on hand. I may be the only person in America to have all these things in my kitchen, so here are some thoughts on substitutions. You're basically going for a dense-yet-tender bread with little bits of yumminess throughout.

Atta (can be found at Indian grocery stores): half whole-wheat flour, half white flour

Toasted flaxseed: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, finely chopped walnuts

Wheat germ: additional flaxseed (or substitute) or oats

Graham flour: whole wheat flour with a little brown sugar

Molasses: brown sugar mixed with water to a syrupy consistency

Here's my recipe. It's mostly for my own reference -- because I don't follow recipes well, sadly I don't write them well. But if you've got a fair amount of breadbaking experience (and the need to use up some atta, graham flour, wheat germ, and flaxseed) go for it.
3 water
1/3 cup molasses
6 T oil
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) yeast
1/2 cups toasted flaxseed
1 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup graham flour
3 1/2 cups atta
Mix water, molasses, and oil, and heat until hot but not boiling -- about 2 minutes in the microwave should do it. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, and slowly add liquids. Mix, adding flour as needed -- dough will be sticky. Knead 5 minutes until dough is elastic or until you get tired, then place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Rise one hour until doubled in size. Punch dough down, shape into 2 long loaves, place onto a greased cookie sheet, and rise again until doubled -- about 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Moisten top of loaves (I run my hands under water than rub them along the bread, but you can use a pastry brush or spray mister) and sprinkle with salt. Slash tops of loaves with a sharp knife or razor blade, and bake until loaf sounds hollow, about 35 minutes. (I turned the oven up to 400F for the last 5 minutes of baking for a crunchier crust.)
I got about 24 thick slices of bread -- it freezes very well, and is amazing when toasted. Great with soup!