16 November 2009

sewing new drapes

Apart from sewing new drapes for our living room, I tried my hands at two new kinds of bread this weekend. For one, I made another attempt at making baguettes, using Anis Bouabsa's recipe. They turned out much better than last time, and my scoring definitely improves, but I still got way to go.

The other one was Eric Kayser's Tourte de Meule. Those two turned out rather nicely:

Maybe a little dark, but with a nice, crackly crust and a great taste, at least in my eyes. My wife and the rest of the family deemed them 'boring'. But then again, she loves the baguettes, which I found a little uninteresting.
But I'll definitely try the tourte de meule again, maybe I'll even manage to get a more open crumb the next time.

02 November 2009

this time of the year - part five

First weekend of November.
Business as usual.
Another round of pre-emptive Christmas baking.

As the dough has been resting in the larder for four weeks now, I baked the Pfefferkuchen.

The dough was astonishingly dry and crumbly this year, and needed a sizeable glug of water to turn smooth again. But on the other hand, the cookies smelled much better than last year, richer and more buttery.

And of course there were the Stollen, like every year.

Entirely contrary to the Pfefferkuchen dough, though, the Stollen dough turned out very wet, bordering on slimy, making it really hard to get decent shapes out of it. Still, about half of the loaves turned out picture perfect, while the other half somehow exploded into shapes that I cannot begin to descripe without resorting to words entirely unsuitable for a site like this.
What a luck they all were instantly covered in a thick coat of icing sugar, hiding beauties and beasts alike.

Both the Stollen and the Pfefferkuchen will now go back to the larder, carefully wrapped and tinned, to rest for another four weeks. And right on the beginning of December, they should be nice and mature and a perfect addition for any cookie platter.

Just so you know there was something else but christmas sweets on our plates this weekend - this is sunday's green prawn coconut curry on pasta, as pretty as they come:

P.S.: It has taken me a little over a year to reach yet another (tiny) milestone of this blog. This is the 100th post here on Nom-Nomnom, and there's definitely more to come. Thanks to all of you who continue to inspire and encourage me to go on cooking, and thanks to all dropping by and commenting.

01 November 2009

a clear impression

Just like I get better in cooking since I've started this project, I get better at noticing if a plate is gong to make a good picture or not.

I'm just snapping what's on the table and can't really be bothered with an extra setup and lightning, so taking a good picture of a dish sometimes is close to impossible. I don't necessarily mean taking a technically good pixture, I sure don't have enough of a clue to even start talking about that. But I mean a good picture in terms of conveying a clear impression of the dish, of its tastes and textures.

As I said - sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

It didn't work out, for example, with the photograph showing the 'stag bourguinon'. A black puddle next to two yellow triangles definitely isn't my idea of one of my favourite venison dish.

Last night's version of the very same 'stag bourguignon', though, gave me a much, much better opportunity for a good picture:

It's still far from perfect, but so much better already.