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Wouldn't have happened with my glasses on... - The Lyorn's Den

Tue Sep. 11th, 2007

01:47 am - Wouldn't have happened with my glasses on...

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...and other news of the weekend.

Saturday I burned one of my kitchen towels in the microwave. Had I had my glasses on, I might have noticed that the towel was in the microwave... Fortunately, there's nothing wrong with my sense of smell.

A visit from the cat shrink

Also Saturday, I had a cat psychologist over to look at Big Cat and Little Cat. Little Cat, far from getting on the couch, disappeared below it and looked very worried, while Big Cat let himself be distracted from his newfound panic disorder by strange! interesting! people!. The psychologist recommended intervening if Big Cat felt threatened, and keeping the two apart during the day when I'm not home. I feel I'm shortchanging Little Cat, who loves company (unless it's strangers, who are not from around here). Le sigh. Also, I activated the cat dope dispenser, which, in theory, spreads the cat equivalent of the smell of freshly baked bread, garlic in hot olive oil, venerable books, or whatever the smell of "home" is.

Sunday I continued my quest for the perfect goulash and any good chocolate cookie. For once, I'm quite pleased with the results.

Goulash

For the goulash: Chop four small-to-medium onions, one red bell pepper, four cloves of garlic, and a finger-sized piece of carrot. Put a tablespoon of goose lard in the pot or pan, fry the onions at medium-high heat until they become slightly transparent. Add 500g of diced beef (not too lean), the garlic and the carrot, fry until the beef isn't red on the outside anymore. Add the bell pepper, a cup of wine, a teaspoon of brown cane sugar, some freshly grounded black pepper, a tablespoon of mild paprika and less then half a teaspoon of hot paprika or chili, some thyme, a whole laurel leaf, and enough strong broth to cover the meat cubes nearly completely. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat to low-medium, and keep barely boiling (stir occasionally) for an hour or ninety minutes. Then taste -- I found it perfect without adding anything, not even salt. Take out the laurel leaf. Put heat to max and dissolve a full teaspoon of starch with a little water (less than 40 ml, I guess) in a cup. Stir the mixture into the boiling pot for ten or fifteen seconds, then take the pot off the heat. Goes with pasta or rice or potatoes, feeds three (two, if they are hungry, or greedy).

Crunchy chocolate cookies

The quantities in this recipe are a little strange. I actually had to use the kitchen scales.

Melt 115g of chopped dark chocolate over hot water. When melted take it off the heat and stir in 115g room-temperature butter. In another bowl, mix one large egg, about a teaspoon real vanilla sugar and 175g brown cane sugar well. Then add the butter-chocolate mix. Finally, add 175g sieved white flour, mixed with one teaspoon of baking powder and one teaspoon of baking soda. The resulting dough is very soft and sticky: put in the fridge for a quarter of an hour, then form it into something like a ball (with a spoon), and leave in the fridge some more. Only when you can rip off small pieces and roll them into walnut-sized balls without half of the dough sticking to your fingers is it cooled well enough. Form said walnut-sized balls, roll in sieved powdered sugar, and set on a baking tray: not too close, the balls melt in the oven and become cookies of roughly 5-6 cm diameter. Bake at 200°C for 10 to 12 minutes. Leave on the baking tray for another minute after taking them out of the oven, then let them cool on a grill.

The cookies are very sweet -- maybe next time I'll use less sugar, or a darker chocolate. (I had used one with 67% cocoa.) Also, very pretty: they look like miniature loaves of dark bread.

K___ and mad_freddy helped with cooking, baking and eating.

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