I have started several posts here and then abandoned them in draft. There is just something a little awkward about posting for the first time in awhile, especially when you were intending to post fairly regularly.
I made Rice Pilaf for dinner last week, which I admit is not a terribly exciting subject to talk about. I am pleased because it is something that I have been wanting to make for many years. We picked up a little book from a discount bin many years back (I think we'd only been married a couple of years at the time). I had this notion in my head that I would try my hand at some international cooking, and possibly find a use for the tagine that a co-worker gave to me some time earlier.
Once I got a good look at the fiddly nature, and odd ingredients required in the cooking, I quickly set it aside on my bed stand where it has gathered an appreciable layer of dust over the years. We were both working at the time, and had not really gotten into a good habit of taking time to cook. Ain't nobody got time for fiddly recipes like that.
One of the recipes in it that had especially caught my eye though was for rice pilaf
. I've had it a few times over the years, and I've always liked it. Last week I decided to roast a cauliflower for dinner on Monday, and while I was bandying about ideas for side dishes, rice pilaf
popped unbidden into my brain. Now that I am retired, I have more time to muck about with fiddly dishes like that so I decided to give it a try. Rather than hunt down that old cookbook, I had a quick look on-line and found a recipe by Alton Brown that looked fairly approachable.
There were some tense moments when [Unknown LJ tag]
got home from work just in time to catch me wrapping the lid of a pot in a wet towel and preparing to put it in a 350° oven, but I pressed on over her objections and everything worked out. The results were better than I had anticipated, and I have added it to my list of recipes worth repeating. Lately I've had more things turn out good rather than bad, so I daresay I am getting more competent as a cook.
When I tossed together some biscuits on for breakfast on the weekend, atara
commented on how I seem to be getting more adept in the kitchen. I'd screwed up my measurements somewhere in the process and as soon as I started combining the wet and dry ingredients, I knew I'd messed up. We were almost out of flower, so I dumped almost the last of it into the dough until it was close to the texture I needed. While I was adding the flower, I commented on how lucky I was that there had been a bit left for me to fix my mess, but at worst I could have added some bread flour... then I corrected myself without thinking and said, "rather, I'd probably add pastry flour."
She asked why I would have used pastry flour instead of bread flour, and I reasoned that the bread flour would make the biscuits too tough. It probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference, since you don't typically work the dough that much when making biscuits, but I was intrigued that my brain had caught and corrected itself without my active intervention.
Now I have to figure out what to do with a purple cauliflower tonight. I've got a couple of ideas - none of which involve green beans - but we have some of those that I need to use this week as well.
Meal planning. Oy!