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Learn-How Halfway(-ish)

It’s just after half-past 2012, so let’s look at those start-of-year Foodin’ Challenges I set myself, shall we?

Wins

  • Raisin bread: Holy hell, I nailed it. Got it right, then made it better.
  • Crumpets: zang.
  • Polenta: Yo, did it, but I don’t think I posted about it. Does it still count, or do I need to make it again and post about it for confirmation? Suffice to say it was magnificent. I laughed, I cried, I learned, I loved.

Misses

  • Pain aux raisins: curse you, elusive snails.
  • Fresh plain pasta: I don’t remember this. Who put this on the list?
  • Bread rolls: hey, that’s a good idea.
  • Wholegrain bread: another good thought.
  • Eggplant: Given recent developments, it makes sense to remove the item “Eggplants” from the Learn-How list. As much as I love their plump purple bottoms, they are a nightshade and therefore no longer welcome in the tum of bethini. Au revoir, eggplants, it’s been a slice.

So where are we? I still want to make pasta from scratch, wholegrain bread, bread rolls and pain aux raisins. There’s some challenges right there. I’ll also cook some cheesy polenta and blog about how easy-peasy-snap-pants it is, so you can all stop whining about that. And there’s still the “recipes to try” list I had in the original 2012 Foodin’ Challenge post:

  • Quince paste — probably not going to happen, given this year’s smallish quince harvest. Also I’ve already eaten this year’s quince harvest and there won’t be any until 2013 now.
  • Yoghurt cheesecake — I keep talkin’ the game, but not workin’ the same.
  • Baked felafels — now there’s an idea. Dinner, perhaps?
  • Cornbread — BAM. Easy as, dudes.
  • Stromboli!
  • Pickled carrots — ooh, I did these! Unfortunately, I put chilli flakes in there. And chillies are nightshades. And nightshades are No-Go. So now I have a whopper jar of carrots that I can’t eat. Boo!

So I’ve done 2 out of the 6 on the list as it was…meanwhile, my Pinterest To-Cook list grows ever longer. But there’s a lot on there that I need to give the boot, because they’re nightshade-heavy and I just can’t eat them anymore. So long, homemade sriracha. Arrivederci, vegetarian baked beans. Thanks for being…pins.

If I were to refocus my cookery plans (and frankly, that doesn’t sound like me: I’m more your kind of “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME” kitchen extraordinaire), my upcoming to-cook list might look a little like this:

  • Learn to make fresh pasta.
  • Make polenta AGAIN to post on the blog so I can tick that box.
  • Make wholegrain bread.
  • Bake a stromboli!

Life is short and I am but one bethini, so this is just “immediate food plans”. As for the rest of the Learn-How List, I’ll do what I can. It’s so easy to be lured away by the siren serenades of mushroom stir fries, hummingbird cakes and lavosh crackers. All of which, I would just like to point out thankyouverymuch, I made this past week with exceptional results. Mushroom/tofu/omelette/rocket stir fry from my own head; hummingbird cake (OH GOD YES MORE CAKE PLEASE NOW) from here; lavosh crackers from Richard Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.

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