Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cooking for Minnesota friends

This is the summer that I only got one day of vacation. And this is the weekend that I'm helping 2 sets of kids move. Friday I was mostly in Milwaukee, moving my foster daughter in at UW-M. Her girlfriend is a freshman at MIAD, and we used the girlfriend's family's van to move my foster daughter - so I got to pull up outside the MIAD dorms and drop stuff off, just like when John lived there. I have to say the 2009 freshman look significantly more clean cut than the 2005 ones. I got home about 10:30, after driving through a thunderstorm. I watched vampires and drank makers mark and finished a jar of peanuts and, after I went to bed, got waked up by kid and cats a few times.

Sunday I'm heading to Minnesota to help Al move from one house to another in Minneapolis. I am staying with two different sets of friends, so I spent Saturday plotting what food to make to take up there to give them, and making it.

I got up and biked to the west side farmers market and got Farmer John's good provolone, that he's not allowed to sell on the square. It was a cold windy threatening rainy day, so I was happy to spend the rest of it indoors.

I made two long-rise, no-knead baguettes, from this new King Arthur recipe - they came out chewy rather than crusty, and good. I harvested our basil, that Mark grew in the pots on the back deck, and bought two bunches more at the west side farmers market, and made 2 batches of pesto, one with pine nuts and one with cashews. All so I could take the baguettes to MN for sandwiches with pesto & cheese & salami - and I even stuck in a red pepper to roast.

On the way back, I realized I could turn the zucchini stuffed with roasted peppers & feta, that I made that no one except me ate, into quiche, so I walked over to Joe's and bought half & half. I made crust for the quiche, and an apple pie, because I got early apples at the market. The quiche crust handled like normal, but the pie crust was really short - it clumped from just combining the fat (unsalted butter and vegan shortening) and the flour - before I added any water. Later when I made the pie, which turned out to be plum & apple pie, the dough handled like all the recipes say pie crust is like - very fragile and soft. This morning the cat poked her head under the tupperware I had covering the pie, and nibbled a little out right in the middle. I blanched and peeled and froze the dozen or so tomatoes I got in my CSA box, though that didn't have much to do with food to Minnesota - except that they would have gone bad by the time I got home.

101 Cookbooks Heidi twittered a blueberry cake sweetened with only molasses, no sugar, so I made that, too, although I just used the Grandma's molasses I had in the pantry - no special trip to the co-op for something more organic.

I paid bills somewhere in there, too, and did some other chores. By 10:00 p.m. I was starting to feel falling down tired, so I lay on the couch and watched TV while getting held down by cats. I went to bed at 11:45, Al called at midnight to say he wouldn't be in, and then cats and kids let me sleep all the way to 5:30 - mercifully, since I had to get up at 6:00, so's I could go volunteer at the Ride the Drive thing - it was fun, but they made us first shift volunteers show up too early (7:00 a.m.) - most of the events were just getting going when I left at 10:00. I was a bike ambassador, riding a segment and and making sure all was well - when I did my first cruise up State St. at 7:30, the only people there were the ones who had slept there.

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