K. and I did a deep clean of the kitchen last night (minus the stove top, which is covered in baked-on milk that boiled over while I was making Indian ice cream for a birthday party – the recipe involved boiling 2 quarts of whole milk down to 1 and you know what happens when you walk away from the stove in the middle of something like that, and I’m going to clean that up later when I’m not at the end of a long day or the oven isn’t on full blast, which actually means it’s been on there for weeks but WHATEVER) and I’m in kind of a rare work lull side hustle-wise, so I had a chance to square away a few food-related projects and admire the oddly dust-free surfaces and sunshiney day.
You know what’s awesome? Collaboration. For instance, in the co-op house where we’ll be baking this spring lives a homebrew beer enthusiast, one R. Since baking and brewing often cross paths in the multipurpose ground floor kitchen/basement setup they’ve got (a.k.a the heart of the house) we’ve been passing yeast-related knowledge back and forth. Today I tested out a bread raised by a starter I made using the ongoing yeast culture that R. uses in all his homebrew batches. And maybe down the road we’ll try beer brewed with the yeast out of my sourdough mother.
Which, by the way, I have converted to rye. I like the way it ferments quickly in our cold kitchen and the intense sour flavors it provides. And it’s super easy to switch back to wheat, or to a different hydration, if I need to. Did I mention that I’m pretty far down the road to natural yeast snobbishness? That making bread with instant yeast is starting to feel like cheating? But I’m nowhere near knowledgeable or experienced enough in bread matters (one year of serious baking!) to be a real militant purist, so no worries.
Anyway, the brewing yeast culture is a perfectly adequate leavener! Next stop should be to sub in some beer for water in the recipe because this will be baked mostly for beer lovers and nerds, I think.
Okay, hippie overshare time. Let’s talk about… kombucha. I’d tried to get mine going after a hiatus and had it grow mold twice. So I poured off most of the liquid, added cider vinegar, and when I got a chance (today) poured the mother into a bowl and sanitized the glass bottle it sits in with boiling water and dish soap.
Hopefully this time it will *not* mold and I will reap a batch of delicious jasmine kombucha, great for treating SAD, as if that’s needed given the creepy weather that thinks it’s May around here or something. Maybe I will also remember to check it before it turns into vinegar and I become the only person who will touch it.
One project that did not go according to plan: fixing the busted power cable to my 2004 Powerbook which has been refusing to recharge itself. But you know, nothing counts as a waste of time when you have a chance to hone your soldering and hot glue gun skills!
I’m resigning myself to the fact that something may be wrong with the little laptop that can’t be fixed on the basement workbench. It’s so rugged though – I should know, it took enough dives off the coffee table during my school years – and I hate not to get it fixed.
And this is what we’re storing in the bottom of the kitchen armoire. I did have some suggestions to put linens in there – I wish I had that many tea towels. Sometime I will have to do a tea towel roundup post because they are the best, most useful, and most beautiful category of thing to keep around the kitchen.