On Saturday we discovered that our oven stopped working. That was unfortunate because I had a bunch of batter sitting there ready too cook. I’ll get to that later.
Monday morning I phone up Ron’s Appliance Services after I was referred to them by another local shop with a good rep. They referred me to Ron’s because they didn’t work on my particular brand. Phoned them at 10:00am and around 1:30pm he was there and had it fixed in short order. Nice. I’d use them again.
Now, why did I have a bunch of batter sitting there on Saturday? I figured I should learn how to bake. I’ve taken up a fair amount of the cooking around here because it turns out I actually like it. It’s not uncommon for Theresa to come home to a ready meal these days, or at least something that’s 90% done.
So, back to Saturday. Theresa went to work and I went shopping. I came home ready to make some cornbread (the right way) and some lemon poppy-seed muffins. I always loved those things.
First, we need to see Steve Graham’s cornbread recipe:
2 cups self-rising WHITE WHITE WHITE cornmeal – I like Martha White.
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup bacon grease – Lard is not as good.
1 tbsp. sugar
Okay, bacon grease isn’t something you just buy off the shelf. I didn’t feel like actually cooking bacon that day so I snagged some salted pork. I could see the fat on it and figured it’d be easy to melt. I came home and sliced off a thick hunk of fat and threw it on my George Foreman rip-off grill with the grease catcher on it.
Not a good idea. The grill seared the fat and left me with a steak-like thing. I cut the thing into pieces, threw it into a measuring cup, and tossed it into the microwave. That worked much better, but I warped the plastic measuring cup. Whoops. I got my grease though. As an added bonus I ended up with bits left over that tasted a lot like really greasy pork rinds. I fed them to the dog as treats. He loves me more than ever before.
So, the cornbread turned out OK. A bit dense, but it’s what I like in cornbread. Theresa informed me that I’m no longer allowed to cook with bacon fat (something about our health) so I did a different batch this evening using butter instead and tossed in an extra egg to fluff it up a bit. She likes that a bit more. I’m not sure I actually made it any healthier.
For the muffins I ran with this recipe but changed out the lemon zest for 1.5 teaspoons of lemon extract, skipped the salt, and used salted butter instead of unsalted. I also threw in 1 teaspoon of mint extract because in my mind lemon and mint go together. I made 18 (left 9 with my parents) and only 3 existed as of today. Somebody must have liked them. I know I did!
After dinner tonight I ran with this recipe for whole-wheat flaxseed muffins but added half a teaspoon of cinnamon because that shit goes well with apples. I threw the whole thing into a breadpan and gave it 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven. It seems to have worked out well. It’s a bit crumbly though. I might try nixing the whole-wheat flour and just doubling the white flour to fix that. The only reason I made them is for the Omega 3 oils in the flaxseed, and so long as I keep that I figure I’m doing OK. My brother that lifts weights with me takes flaxseed Omega 3 oil supplements and I’m thinking he might find them a handy snack. We’ll see.
I figure for the next month or two I’ll make it a regular thing to take some baked goods into the office when I actually head in because there’s no way we can actually eat all the stuff I’m baking here.