Chiseling mortar off of a 35 foot chimney…

This is what happens when you do labor on Labor day weekend! You make things to eat afterwards, duh!

Thanks to my lovely course schedule and a little national holiday, I had a four day weekend (hoooorayyy!). I decided to take advantage of the lack of work and lack of homework (what thesis??) to take a trip up to Govy to see Carl and Suz! YAY! Little did I know going in that I would, over the course of the weekend: wash 3 cars, watch the Ducks lose to LSU (We’re just going to pretend this didn’t happen, ok? ok… moving ON!), pick a quart of huckleberries, and chisel mortar off of a 35 foot chimney, after climbing said 35 feet of scaffolding to get up there. Can you say BALLER? Yes. I thought so. Anyway, it was a super fun and relaxing (yes, you read right) weekend… ideally I’ll be repeating it in the near future. (Although if there’s snow, the chimney might be a tad out of the question. ha.) Carl and Suz are probs the best people to stay with… and Whomp kitty is suuuuper cute.

Lookin' fierce with my chisel and Carl! Working hard? Or hardly working?

 

Working hard, obvi!

So.

Let me get back to the food, which is undoubtedly the reason you put up with my blather in the first place (and the whole reason for this blog’s existence… right. anyway.)

After all the exertions of the day, I wanted dessert! And food. But I have to prioritize, right?? Suz had a bunch of Hood River peaches (aww yeeee, locovore!) waiting to be sliced and eaten, so we turned them into a rustic peach galette. It was excellent on its own, but even better with a blob of ice cream! Duh. Like when would I EVER recommend that you eat anything WITHOUT ice cream?! I’m an a la mode girl, obvi. And apparently that’s an inherited trait, since my paternal grandfather is perpetually asking for a la mode. See? It’s in the genes, I’d like to see YOU try to alter your genetics! Ha. So there!

I’m not entirely sure where Suz got the recipe, and I’m adapting it loosely here. It’s insanely flexible—use whatever fruit you have on hand that’s seasonal, or I’m sure frozen would be fine too.

Rustic style

Rustic Peach Galette

For the dough:

2.5 c whole wheat flour (in this case NOT ww pastry flour, but it makes little difference which one you use here)

1 c butter (salted)

3 tbsp brown sugar

2/3 c ice water

scant 1/2 tsp salt

Filling:

A lot of peaches. Essentially however many will fit into your tart.

Sliced almonds are nice.

Vanilla extract.

Brown sugar. Flour.

Combine flour, sugar, and butter. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand (I find that your fingers are most effective for this). Add egg and ice water, and mold into a ball. Cover and let sit in the fridge while you go pick huckleberries (or something… not to rub it in, heheh).

Slice lots of peaches. Or other fruit. Or whatever is going in the middle of your tart. Galette. Whatever.

All sprinkled

After dough has chilled a bit, roll/flatten/rustically stretch your dough out so that it’s big enough to contain your filling. I crimped the edges on mine to hold it all in, but you can make a more traditional galette and pull the edges up and over the filling if you like.

Pile your peaches in a tasty-looking heap in the center of the dough, and sprinkle with almonds, brown sugar, vanilla, and a bit of flour. Toss your filling just a bit and then sprinkle the top with more sugar and a few more almonds/vanilla. I’m not giving measurements for these because a) this tart is supposed to be RUSTIC, and b) I actually didn’t measure when Suz and I made these, and c) if I told you how to do everything it would be boring! Anyway. Sprinkle away, to your heart’s content. When you’re done sprinkling…

Place galette (s) on a lightly greased/oiled cookie sheet, and bake until juices are bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Ours were probably somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes (Sorry for the inexactness, I was off doing other fun things and not really paying all that much attention). Still. They’re delicious! Not too sweet, and perfect for breakfast or a late afternoon snack. The flavor of the peaches really comes out, so make sure whatever fruit you use is super fresh and ripe!

Enjoy your rustic galette, in all of its lovely rusticness. It’s so rustic, the recipe is unspecific. Rather nice, don’t you think? Definitely a forgiving recipe—it would be easy to play around with it.

Happy 4 day work week, YAYY!

Pancakes for my new apartment!

 

Woah.

Let’s hope I’m not really this much of a blogging slacker… I’ve been busy! I promise. No more long hiatuses (or would that be hiati-i?) between posts. That means you, thesis. No interrupting when I’m doing something fun!

So.

I have a new apartment! Which means… I HAVE MY OWN KITCHEN that is NOT in a sorority, wheee!! (Of course I do love sharing a kitchen with my Mutti back at home, that’s the best!) This also means I have NO EXCUSE not to blog. Because I have to feed myself, and preferably tastily. Also. Cooking is WAAY more fun than doing theoretical art history readings… (No offense, Ricardo, if you’re reading this: I love your class!!) and thesising. Not that I procrastinate… at all. Psh.

Anyway.

Even though this isn’t my first meal in my own apartment (and I am NOT counting the few days of PB&J that happened whilst moving in), I think it’s the most important. This is MY place now, now that I’ve made and eaten pancakes here, hehe. I do miss my pancake eating buddies though (you know who you are, and you know I LOVE YOU!)…pancakes aren’t quite as good without gossiping whilst eating them. But whatever. I had a lovely night with my instant netflix and my pfankuchen.

This is a recipe adapted-ish from The Breakfast Book (again, psh what else??), and it makes the BEST buttermilk pancakes ever. I wanted something a little different though, so I added cornmeal. It’s up to you, whatever your heart (or tastebuds, I suppose) desires!

Pancakes for the win!

Cornmeal-Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 2 (or one, with leftovers for breakfast, yessss!)

1/2 c whole wheat pastry or whole wheat flour (either works, I’ve used both)

1/4 c cornmeal

very scant 1/2 tsp of salt (I’ve reduced it to 1/4 tsp and it’s been fine)

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 c buttermilk, well shaken

3 tbsp butter or earth balance, melted (I’ve left this out on occasion or put in less and been fine—I usually use whatever happens to be on hand. This time it was a spoonful of Earth Balance)

MY STOVE! (it's electric, psh. but whatever, I can have a gas one later in life)

These also had fresh blueberry and banana additions… I like fruit in my pancakes! They’re good with chocolate chips, too, if you MUST have chocolate disguised as dinner (and trust me, I’ve been there).

And look at this. I am PRO, clearly because I have a moose on my microwave. Do YOU have a moose? Yeah. I didn't think so!

Do your usual pancake shtick! Mix dry. Mix wet, without getting egg everywhere. Combine. Stir. Grease (coconut oil!). Pour. Dollop. Cook. EAT!

Three-day weekends call for PIE!

Patriotic-ish Pie
Star spangled? hehe.

I’m not exactly one for making a huge deal out of the 4th. However. This is amended if it gives me an excuse to bake. (Despite the fact that it’s around a hundred degrees in the shade, which is a quarter of how hot the oven is. ew.)

Since I get to go skiing this weekend (and go swimming at a high elevation, teehee), thanks to abnormally ridiculous amounts of snow this winter, I thought I should make something slightly patriotic. Or whatever. I really just wanted pie. With peaches, because a) I love them and b) why would I even need another reason? Pie is excellent. Especially for breakfast. Or following a day of summer skiing. With ice cream. Yessss. (I can see you drooling, you know.)

That being said, I don’t make a lot of pies, which is why I’m so proud of this one.  It looks downright professional despite coming from a pie-newbie. Thanks to Mutti for getting in a bicep workout rolling out the dough :) I think I’ll add  pie to my repertoire. It has fruit. Fruit=healthy. Never mind the sugar and butter… It even has a whole wheat crust! See? Healthy. Breakfast.

Peach Pie (For the 4th of July! Ha. It  rhymes. Ewww. sorry.)

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, here: http://annies-eats.net/2007/06/17/a-slice-or-two-of-heaven/

3 cups whole wheat pastry
½ tsp. salt
6 oz. unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and diced
5-6 Tbs. cold water  (Mine took more like 8 tbsp to come together)

6 peaches, peeled and pitted, and 2 nectarines
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter. Cut the butter into the flour or rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumb-like. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons of water over the mixture. With a fork, toss gently to mix and moisten it. Press the dough into a ball. If it is too dry to form a dough, add the remaining water. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling, place the peaches in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add to the peaches and toss to combine.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let warm up a bit. Preheat oven to 425°.

Cut the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out one half into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Try to keep the dough as round as possible. Transfer the rolled-out pastry to a 9-inch pie dish. Flute the edges by poking the dough outward with your fingers, and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork (to prevent a soggy crust). Roll out the pastry for the top crust and use star shaped (or any shape, really) cookie cutters to cut out bits of dough. Pile the fruit mixture into the pastry-lined pan and dot with bits of butter. Lay the stars over the top in a circular pattern, leaving space for the steam to escape.

 Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake until the juices are bubbling and the top is browned, about 25 minutes more. If the top is browning too fast, make a foil tent to cover it. I covered mine with about 9 minutes to go on the total baking time. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Ad astra per aspera!