Autumn, and food - The Lyorn's Den
Mon Sep. 15th, 2008
03:32 pm - Autumn, and food
Autumn has come quickly and energetically, and makes me want to cook autumny food.
Wednesday I was taking four hours off work to go motor biking with some colleagues. In the hills it was raining, so we kept to the south and east, but it was mild and we sat outside and had ice cream in some place on the route.
Friday when I went home from work it was raining heavily, and I was dripping wet when I came home and used up most of the hot water.
And Saturday was perfectly cool and half-cloudy, with a gusty eastern wind. I felt happy and energetic and everything looked and smelled pretty. The farmers market had shiny vegetables and fruits and I had to stop myself from buying more than I could eat, and planned for pumpkin soup and chocolate muffins on Sunday.
Sunday the sun was warm and the air was cool, and the chili plant on my balcony now has four nice, red chili peppers. I'm trying to decide whether to leave them on the plant just a little longer -- the nights are becoming a little cold for tropical plants.
I had got a 2kg Hokkaidokürbis (Hubbard squash?) from the market, and there were some potatoes and sour early apples lying around, and shallots instead of ordinary onions, plus the usual things and spices. So, I put a good chunk of butter in the pot, melted it on medium high and put two finely chopped shallots and a few garlic cloves until they were yellow-brownish. Then added the chopped squash (this kind of squash does not need to be peeled, but you need to cut the squishy part with the seed out), about 7 chopped medium-sized potatoes, two small chopped apples, and filled the whole thing up with chicken broth (1.5 litres, made from instant broth). Vegetable broth would have done, too. Then I chopped some ginger but was impatient and it didn't end up as fine as it should have, and put it in the pot also. Some black pepper (I would have preferred white, but there wasn't any), and then left to slowly boil on medium heat for half an hour or a little more. (While I made the muffins). After half an hour I used a stick blender to smoothen the soup, and added some garlic-chili sauce and apple vinegar. The result was quite satisfying, only the ginger pieces made for the occasional crunchy-hot surprise that I hadn't intended.
For the muffins I used a standard recipe from the book: 260g white flour, 120g sugar (I used brown sugar, maybe should have used a little more than 120g), one egg, two teaspoons baking soda and one teaspoon baking powder (which was a little heavy on the soda side, 50/50 might have worked better), 125g margarine (should have used butter but was too lazy to wait for it to soften -- I'll try oil the next time), and 250g yoghurt. Then I chopped up a 100g bar of dark 70% cocoa Lindt chocolate, put less than half of it in the dough, melted the rest and put it in, too. The dough turned out a little heavy, so I added some milk. Baked for 25 minutes on 180°C. The result was not bad, but could have been better.
Last night I had a nightmare involving the Vashta Nerada, a very scruffy individual that might have been the Ninth Doctor, and a whole lot of running.
And now it's raining again, and I have to drive to the vet to get a refill for the cat's meds.