Saturday, May 19, 2012

Everlasting? This kitchen (and post) is &*#(% neverending

That's, I don't know, 50 sandwiches?
For relatively small animals, goats and chickens are very productive, and not just of babies. Relentlessly productive. I don't know what I would do if I had a cow except maybe jump off the roof. Quart by quart, the goat's milk accumulates, eventually making it hard to find space in the refrigerator for other things, like half a leftover Subway Veggie Delite sandwich or 5 pounds of Meyer lemons or caprine CDT vaccine or Chardonnay.
goat reblochon? we'll see
The other day, I got my act together and used all our milk to make cheese. High five! I made reblochon and ricotta. That took some time but cleared refrigerator space and eased my conscience. Will the reblochon age into real reblochon in our crawl space? Big laugh. First of all, real reblochon is made with cow's milk. Whatever. The milk is gone.

Now there's just the whey. The cheesemaking left behind a gallon of whey and whey makes the most incredible bread. A few years ago I tested this hunch scientifically by baking two batches of bagels, identical except that one contained whey, the other, water. In a blind tasting, everyone agreed that the whey bagels had more tang and flavor and aroma. You can not just pour whey down the drain.

such a burden
So to use up whey, I opened Bread and Chocolate and made another batch of Fran Gage's country wheat bread. I let the starter sit for 20 hours again and the bread was again fantastic. Since one recipe didn't get rid of much whey, I made her polenta bread (dense, excellent) at the same time, and let that starter sit for 20 hours too.

But there was still a lagoon of whey in the refrigerator. So I made bagels.

It's all about the presentation.
There was now a smaller lagoon of whey, but also three loaves of bread and ten bagels on the counter, plus the tail end of a previous loaf of bread which we hadn't quite finished. And you can't throw staling bread away.

The next day, I made french toast for breakfast, which I think of as a "jackpot" food, because it uses not just staling bread, but eggs.

And eggs, people, eggs are the mightiest challenge of all. We have 17 chickens. It is May. I give my sister a dozen eggs a week and my father takes six and a few weeks ago I gave my neighbor Joan 25 eggs that I discovered in a nest hidden in the ivy. They come from a single Blue Andalusian hen who values her privacy.
 means there aren't rats in the ivy
If you're thinking it was rude of me to foist weird not-so-fresh ivy eggs on Joan, don't. She knew where they came from and knew there was nothing wrong with them. Ivy keeps everything cool. Would a Burgundian housewife have declined unrefrigerated ivy eggs? Non. (This fun interview with Tamar Adler explains Burgundian housewife reference.)

Even though we give away eggs, I still have too many eggs. I judge recipes based on how many eggs they use up. For instance, I was disappointed that Fran Gage's Meyer lemon poundcake only used 2 eggs.
It would have been taller if I'd used a smaller pan.
And even though I don't love chocolate, I'm very stoked to make her chocolate pots de creme, which use 10 eggs. JACKPOT.

As of a day ago, the goat's milk was all gone and the whey was on the wane and we were down to 77 eggs. Maybe we had a bit too much bread and ricotta, but everything was momentarily under control.

Then I went outside and when I came back in I was carrying eleven eggs and a quart of warm goat's milk. Yesterday morning I brought in another quart of goat's milk and by the afternoon, seven more eggs. Last night, a pint of goat's milk. This morning, another quart. And in another week, Sparkles comes on line.

Last night, we had Fran Gage's ricotta gnocchi for dinner, which rid us of half of the goat's milk ricotta and 2 eggs.
dumplings soaked in butter
I also made Gage's salade Beaujolaise which I have always known and loved as frisee aux lardons. You may be familiar with this wonderful salad: curly, crunchy lettuce with cubes of bacon, croutons, vinaigrette, all of it topped with a poached egg, the yolk of which dresses the leaves.
I will make this again.
Jackpot recipe because it used up 2 slices of polenta bread and 3 poached eggs. For dessert, we had Gage's strawberry ice cream, which used 3 eggs and was delicious.

Occasionally I leave the kitchen. The other night, Owen and I went to a restaurant in San Francisco called Volcano that serves Japanese curry,  a genre of food we were unfamiliar with but loved instantly and very, very much. While Volcano had fast-food ambiance and prices, you could see people actually cooking and preparing food from scratch behind the counter and back in the kitchen.  Owen's fried calamari and shrimp were spectacular and I can't explain why except to say that they tasted "fresh," which is a useless adjective, but the only one I can come up with. The seafood was crispy. It wasn't at all oily. It was perfect. It tasted fresh.

Owen wanted me order the spiciest sauce -- "volcano" calibre --  on the pork katsu curry because he thinks that watching people eat spicy food is hilarious. He is 11. I obliged because I love spicy food. He taped me eating without telling me he had the camera on, which he also thinks is hilarious. Almost as hilarious as taking fish-eye photos that make people look bloated.

sidesplitting
I have never watched myself chewing nor wanted to, but I enjoyed this video because I now know that I eat just like my mom did. My grandmother eats that way as does my sister.

video

If it the video doesn't upload, I apologize. You're not missing much. Just the family way of chewing.

The katsu was fabulous but too fiery. If you ever have the opportunity, you should go to Volcano, but order your sauce "medium." After eating about a third of the katsu, sweat was pouring down my nose and I packed the rest of the meal into a box and when we got home I scraped it to the chickens who will convert it into eggs which will be used in Fran Gage's ricotta tartlets later this week.

To be continued. Endlessly.

30 comments:

  1. When I have too many eggs, I have my husband take them to work in half-dozen sized egg cartons. People without chickens are ecstatic to get fresh eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. But how did all those interesting-looking Gage recipes turn out? Tell me more of the pound cake and gnocchi! (Please!) Are all the recipes in this book great so far?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous -- The poundcake was good. Not great, but perhaps because I used too large of a pan and it ended up very flat. I hate saying that something wasn't great when I think it might have been my fault. The gnocchi were good. I'm not sure how I feel about ricotta gnocchi. I've made Mario Batali's and Food52's recipes for ricotta gnocchi and I never love them as much as I expect to.
    So far I've been wowed by the ice cream and the breads and the salad was terrific. Her roasted chicken with mushrooms was very good, as was the escarole with fusilli, but there's not much to say about such basic recipes. I will do a bread post soon and I have a big Fran Gage dinner planned for tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As for Japanese curry, Ando's Washoku has a very simple recipe with chicken that you can put together in no time.
    Oz

    ReplyDelete
  5. after mozzarella making I had so much whey that I had to use some it to fertilize my plants (1:5 whey:water) I wish I lived next door and could help you with your egg and goat milk overload...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those loaves of bread look amazing. The way I cut slices, that would probably only be 20 sandwiches. I've yet to figure out how to cut thin slices without making a mess of the whole thing. If I lived near you, I would take plenty of eggs and milk and bread off of your hands. You know, as a favor to you. haha. Shoot, there are probably people on your block who would jump at the chance to buy eggs and milk from you. I know I would.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love Bread and Chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous here (again). Thanks for your thoughtful response. I've purchased the B&C book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can relate to the egg problem. Quiche! Lots and lots of quiche! I'm converting my flock to purebred Buckeye, so that I have an excuse to let the hens hatch out a few eggs. Hopefully I'll sell a few, but in reality it'll probably lead to more hens and even more eggs . . .

    After reading your post, I'm officially terrified! My first goat is due to give birth any day now, and heaven knows what'll I'll do with the milk. Maybe I can make cheese and use the whey to fortify the chicken feed, so they can make a few more eggs . . .

    ReplyDelete
  10. What Ei said -- sell that excess! Or at least barter. Craigslist may well be your friend here.

    I envy your neighbors; I'd love it if the people next door were trying to foist fresh eggs and goat milk on me regularly. Not to mention the bread. Actually, maybe for the sake of my waistline it's a good thing they don't ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your book, I recommended it to many people, so I hope sales are food! I bought Bread and Chocolate as it wasn't available from our library system, as I like to check out recipes for myself before I buy! Love the blog, no chickens or goats for us, hub has said no because of all the wildlife around us!

    ReplyDelete
  12. macaron with lemon curd filling! egg dilemma solved!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm impressed by the bounty. If you get serious about the cheeses, you might want to buy a small dorm room size or wine fridge. They work well to control temperatures. I've also put my pickle crock in it when our usually chilly circa 1800's basement gets too warm in the summer. I know some foodies would be appalled that I don't let more of nature control the outcome, but I like having a temperature dial.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I never have a problem getting rid of eggs, but I don't keep chickens, so I guess I shouldn't have an opinion. I love custards, quiche, deviled eggs, and yes, egg salad. Have you ever tried pickled eggs? Do you ever make goat milk yogurt, or does cheese use the milk more quickly?

    ReplyDelete
  15. did you know there is a restaurant in thousand oaks, ca. called "The Tipsy Goat"?
    i couldn't help think of you when i made this odd discovery.
    harmonic convergence.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think I have Owen's sense of humor, but my 14 year old son does not. Do you feel like, if you eat in a restaurant, you are not eating the food piling up at home? Plus, I have a suggestion, Egg Salad!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Will the eggs be spicy now after the chickens eat the katsu?

    ReplyDelete
  18. You could probably sell your eggs for $5 a dozen. There is a lady in Palo Alto who used to have a sign out front advertising her backyard chicken eggs. I loved buying her eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm with the dude who said you should sell your eggs/milk.

    Also, have you looked into food swaps in your area? You could trade your zillion eggs and tonnes of milk for other things... http://hipgirlshome.com/foodswaps/

    ReplyDelete
  20. If your ricotta turns out, I have a recipe for ricotta dumplings which is really good. They had a little spinach in them and you served them with red sauce. Let me know if you want the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well, having nothing to do last night I made your pound cake recipe, WOW!!!! So good and moist! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well:
    erin -- the first year wasn't so crazy with the milk. Is this your goat's first baby? Congratulations! SO EXCITING.
    Libby -- we could sell, but I think maybe we should be more aggressive with our giving to the neighbors. They are incredibly tolerant.
    Karen K. -- I don't think the eggs will be spicy, though I've read that when chickens eat too much of something - flaxseed? -- the eggs taste fishy.
    Pans Wife -- I want another refrigerator, but I don't know where to put it. We have a problem in that we have neither basement nor garage.
    Beckster -- the goat yogurt I made was too runny. I think maybe I need to use gelatin? I don't like plain eggs, so pickled would be a stretch.
    Margaret -- ricotta always turns out (reblochon, not). I'd love the recipe for dumplings. My husband eats egg salad almost every day for lunch, but I don't like eggs. Poached, yes, but only the yolks. Scrambled or hard boiled, salad or deviled -- blecch. A childhood aversion I've never been able to overcome.
    upnorth -- I'm so glad!

    ReplyDelete
  23. If you succeed in making yogurt, then you can use it to prepare homemade labneh: http://www.anissas.com/blog1/?p=836

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oz -- what a good writer she is, and what an interesting blog. The testicle photograph! I am going to have to delve.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jen:

    Yes, she is. And a fearless eater. I use her Mediterranean Street Food all the time at home.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Isn't it amazing how our body movements are so strong genetically..i keep finding myself more and more like my sister and my mother..in walking, talking, laughing, eating etc etc

    ReplyDelete
  27. replica tiffany jewelry dchbzx iyrezk tiffany jewelry outlet vbxvbe vlzejn tiffany jewelry outlet ketcdt http://www.saclouisvuittonoutlet.com
    isabel marant pas cher kkcxfb hqqskd chaussures isabel marant zjmtxv owoznw isabel marant tmrpeb http://www.2013saclongchamp.net

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello. And Bye.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello. And Bye.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello. And Bye.

    ReplyDelete