Monday, March 21, 2011


Books, food, bread

A rainy weekend meant that I had the luxury of standing still and reading a couple of library books. First, I inhaled The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love. It's one woman's memoir her bumpy transformation from Manhattanite to farmer over the course of a couple years. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to learn more about what it takes to roll up your sleeves and run a farm the old-fashioned way.

The second book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, got a lot of press a few months ago from an unfairly edited article that ran in the Wall Street Journal titled "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior." My poor mom got calls and emails days after that article ran from concerned friends asking if she raised my brother and I like Amy Chua, the tiger mom. Ha ha! I'm halfway through the book, and every few pages I start laughing out loud because some of her observations and beliefs are so funny and familiar to me. And for the record, Chua's book shows humility that was lacking from the WSJ article; she doesn't always think that her way of parenting was the best way now. Hoopla aside, it's a funny book and an easy read.

I made another paella this weekend, this time with asparagus, chorizo, chicken, and some lamb stock I made in the pressure cooker. (Meat stocks in the pressure cooker are a beautiful thing! If you haven't tried it yet, it's a huge time saver. You can actually make a stock after work that tastes as if you simmered it all day long.)

I haven't made a slow rise bread in ages, so I warmed back into it with a recipe for Cheddar-Stuffed Crusty Loaves from King Arthur Flour. This recipe is similar to the one found on the back of the bread flour bag. It's not that much work, but it does take a long time since the starter is made the night before, and then there are two risings about 2 hours apiece. Rolling up the cheese bread was fun!

Next time, I think I'll cut the loaves crosswise into smaller loaves.

I think making smaller, cross-cut loaves would have prevented this cheese barf from happening. Funny how I call it cheese barf, yet I scraped it all off and ate it... I guess having 4 pets makes me used to barf.

Regardless, this was fantastic; cheesy and crusty as promised. It went well with the simple chard, potato, and farro soup I made for dinner.

I finished my Aidez, save for a few ends to weave in. Hopefully, I can get a good picture of it before the sky opens up again.


  1. That farm book sounds right up my alley. I'm off to the library to put both books on hold. Thanks for the reviews.

    HA ha. It does look like a bread barf. And yeah, pets and barf and pets eating other pets barf goes hand in hand.

    Delish (the bread, not the barf).

  2. 1. Cheese barf = anytime anywhere for me please. :o)
    2. Thanks for the truthful review of Tiger Mom Book. Bc i was curious about it but wasn't sure whether i should read it. but now i'm wanting to read it bc you said it made you laugh. that is what i like to hear. :o)
    3. please give the furballs a snorgle for me. xoxo.

  3. I think you both will love the books! Rani, since you are a parent, I'm curious what you'll think of Chau's parenting technique.

    Kimchi, xoxo! I'll definitely snorgle all the furballs in your honor.



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