Monday, May 25, 2009

and by "New" (REMIX)

Hehehe (awkward laughter)

I totally did not check out any cd’s from the library and burn them to my home computer . . . that would be illegal . . . don’t do it, kids!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When it Comes to Getting Bread I Lost the Keys to the Bakery

Sadly, I am not a Bread Wizard (I don’t even think I’m a half-blood). Sunday was my 2nd attempt at bread baking, and, well, you’ll have to see for yourself . . .

Last year, the LOML and I came back from visiting the Bridgers in Chicago (where Stephen grew up) all psyched about baking bread from a Sourdough Starter. I did a bunch of research online and found multiple websites/instructions for making your own bread starter (obviously, I was too proud to get my starter from someone else). I “fed” my starter according to plans and after a week, tried to bake a loaf. I was pretty excited . . . except the bread didn’t rise and the finished product looked (and tasted) like a bagel brick . . .

A month ago, I looked up Mark Bittman’s recipe after JCCVI said I could impress my friends and become a Bread Wizard. This recipe sound good. I already pictured us getting a larger Le Creuset as obviously, this recipe seemed fail-proof, and we’d soon be baking artisanal bread semi-regularly and supplying Chris Hastings with our home-baked goods.

The recipe starts easy enough: Bread, Water, Salt, and Yeast. After combining, covering and leaving alone for 18 hours, the dough was dotted with bubbles. Sweet!! That meant the yeast worked!!

Next the receipt called for folding over the dough once or twice on a floured work surface and then covering with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. I’m not sure how you can fold over really runny dough, but I did my best. As you can see, the dough ran pretty flat, but I still had hope for our bread.

Since this recipe was supposed to fit in a 6-8 quart Le Creuset (and we were working with a 2 qt) I tried to divide the dough in half and let rise separately. After two hours, I saw no noticeable rise. Oh well, I pulled my dough from the cloth towel (WHY could this not have been something else?? parchment paper, plastic wrap, etc.), poured it in the pre-heated dish, and put it in the 450 degree oven.

I will say it had a good crust. I’ll give it that. But it was small. And it was dense. And it kind of tasted like a bagel. As you can see, there were some pockets of air in the bread, but still dense. Very dense.

What did I do wrong?

Will I try this again?

Will any blog-stalkers out there give me bread-baking tips?

** Unbeknownst to me, there is an on-line Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge that just started over at Pinch my Salt. While I don’t have the book, I’ll be following along and may (or probably not) try a loaf or two along the way????

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I can’t say I was that familiar with their music before the show (I burned a couple cd’s from Stephen and D, and saw them on SNL and the Colbert Report earlier this year), but TV on the Radio put on a ROCKING good time Wednesday night.* This band oozes New York City cool and makes you want to move to Brooklyn and participate in a literary collective or slow food co-op. Kyp Malone also makes you want to grow a very, very large beard.

Any blog post re: this show wouldn't be complete without mentioning the fact that TVOTR played before an intimate crowd of 300 at Bottletree (tickets sold out back in February) whereas they've been accustomed to playing shows to audiences of hundreds (thousands?) more! The sign on the door said no photography or video equipment allowed, so you’ll have to settle for this really blurry/crappy camera pict!

* If you’ve got an extra $.99 on an old iTunes gift card, go ahead and download "Staring at the Sun," last night’s closer!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fried Oysters and Remoulade

So a few months ago I stumbled upon this post on Friday Oysters. The LOML and I always enjoy a good Fried Oyster appetizer if we’re at a “nice” (Little Savannah, etc.) restaurant, and since reading that post, I’ve been itching to fry up some ourselves (Note: we fried these up about 3 weeks ago)

First, I have to say that the Fish Monger at Whole Foods was very friendly/helpful when I went to buy these oysters, but he didn’t know about how many were in a Pint. I told him, they’d be for about 10 folks, and he said there were “probably a dozen (12) or two (24)” in a pint??? I think in the future, I’m going to double quantities if I’m not sure.

How much time do you need to finish up the audit?

Oh, probably 5 or 10 days.

But I digest. Being overly ambitious, I thought I’d make my own breadcrumbs from a loaf of French bread . . . except when we got back from Publix, I picked up a whole wheat loaf!! I threw in a little corn meal as well, and you could definitely see it in the batter, but I agree with C&L that breadcrumbs were a good choice (and the whole wheat tasted pretty good, too). The blending Wondra flour was worth the investment, and I’m looking forward to battering and frying something else in the near future (Mmmmmm, CFS). I had not heard of this kind of super-fine flour before, but I think it helped with the Crispiness.

To go along with these ambitious oyster appetizers, I also wanted to make my own remoulade. I couldn’t really find a recipe on the interweb I liked, so I winged it and threw this little beauty together. I would have loved to throw in some chopped capers, but didn’t have any in the fridge :( All in all, I thought it was pretty authentic and tasted good with the Oysters.

TMF’H Remoulade
1.25 C Mayo
.5 C Sour Cream
Lemon Juice (.5)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
.25 C Ketchup
10 shakes Tabasco/Texas Pete’s

Directions: Combine/Mix, Chill, Serve

We took these to our church’s Small Group as an appetizer and I thought they turned out well . . . BUT, our kitchen/house smelled like Captain D’s for a solid 36 hours afterwards!!!

I Will Possess Your Blog

Catching up on the ole blog (blah, blah, blah) . . .

Went to Death Cab for Cutie last Tuesday night. Scored a photo pass and took some close-up picts. Still waiting for Zooey Deschanel to confirm my Facebook friendship request . . . You know the drill . . . head over to BHAM.FM for more

PS – In case you were wondering what else I do besides cook, go to concerts, and take pictures of both, I’ve got two more shows to look forward to (this month):

Wednesday (5/13/09) – TV ON THE RADIO
Monday (5/18/09) – COLDLPAY (with the LOML)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pork Barrel Spending

The LOML and I met our friends for drinks (don’t we sound so cosmopolitan?) Friday Night at the new Dram Whiskey Bar in Mountain Brook Village. The Menu/Drink list was pretty impressive (pricey, but impressive) and I ordered the Smokehouse (Bacon-infused Early Times, Honey, and a Bacon Garnish) . . .

Although I couldn’t taste any sweetness/honey, you could definitely detect a smokey bacon scent in the bourbon. Looks like someone in Mountain Brook has been watching Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives????

Check out Bhamsandwich
for some other thoughts/photos on Dram/AVO.