Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ginger Cake, Chicken Soup & Soda Bread

Going to the grocery to buy ingredients for all that was an adventure.  Getting out of the driveway was the real adventure because no one ever told me not to put regular gas in the snowblower, to only put premium gasoline in it (lawnmower too) because the regular makes the engine surge and cut out.  I started it and it stuttered and nearly stopped, then surged, then stopped, so I started it again and it rrrRRRRrrrRRR-ed a bunch, and I was standing there in the gassy exhaust, frustrated and gritting my teeth, waiting for it to settle down.  If I lowered the choke too soon it died, then when I started it again it went back to surging.  Gah!  I have some stuff from the small engine mechanic to put in (fuel conditioner or something) and now I have premium gas for it, but I'm afraid that the alcohol has degraded the fuel line and there's little pieces of stuff clogging up the carbetator, uh, carbonator, oh, carbullator, dang it, you know what I mean.  (I know just enough about engines to sound like I know something and then, boom, I forget the word and I'm back to being the "little woman" in the mechanic's shop.)  The snow was too wet and packy to just drive over it and let it melt and too heavy to shovel so I stuck with it and finally got it running smoothly so I could clear off the snow and GO.  Of course my coat was so exhaust smelly that I had to take it off and leave it in the car while I shopped then I hung it on the front door to air out.  Stinky.

I had to go to 3 grocery stores to finish my list but once I got home I dug right in and made the Ginger cake.  I had to buy a bottle of Guinness, just one, and used about half of it in the cake so, oh dear, I had to drink the rest.  Even I, a non-beer-drinker, know better than to pour perfectly good Guinness down the drain.  (It's not bad, for beer, but some of DS's beer is better.)  It took for-freakin'-ever to grate a tablespoon of fresh ginger that, added to the 2 tablespoons of ground ginger, makes the cake very gingery, but with brown sugar, white sugar, and molasses too I think it's a good balance of sweet and spicy/hot.  Durwood thinks it's too ginger-y so more for me.  I put half of it into the freezer so I don't eat it all up in a week.  It's pretty darned delicious with powdered sugar sprinkled over it.

Then after supper I made a vat of curried chicken soup with chickpeas and cauliflower for work lunches the next couple weeks.  The recipe suggests adding a can of light coconut milk but I think that makes it not freeze well and go bad fast, so I'm taking a little Tupperware of Greek yogurt to stir into the soup once it's heated up.  That should be good.

This morning I got up around 7 o'clock and by 7:30 I had all my ingredients measured out for Irish Soda Bread.  Since Durwood's not a fan of caraway seeds I split the batch into two loaves, although I can't imagine having an iron skillet big enough to make it all into one like the recipe says.  (Holy jebus, I don't think I could lift a pan like that.)  It took quite a bit longer to bake than I was led to believe by the commenter who said she made 2 pans' worth but I stuck with it and kept adding 5 minutes, poking it for doneness, and then adding more until finally, after twice as long as that woman said, they were done.  (Maybe she has a fancier oven?)  I'm looking forward to slicing into it in a couple hours or so.  Mm, maybe I'll have soda bread with a bit of corned beef on the side instead of the other way around.  No matter, just be assured that the house has smelled awesome since yesterday.  Plus Durwood made some delicious chicken in hoisin sauce for supper last night; that added to the enticing aromas.  We are definitely a foodie family.

March 17--Lewis Hine, Icarus, Empire State Building.  He hung there in midair.  Gale held her breath as he let go of the cable so calmly as if he'd hold his position.  His hair rose as he fell straight down and he had the sweetest look on his face.  Her fingers hovered over the typewriter keys and her eyes locked on his as he seemed to float for a moment before gravity claimed him.  She refused to get up and look.  She tried to type loudly enough to cover the sound of sirens and the shouts and cries from the people on the ground.

Eesh.  Sorry about that.  Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day even if you're not really Irish, like me.  They say we're all Irish today, even us hardheaded Germans.  Erin go bragh!


1 comment:

Aunt B said...

All that work with the snow blower, then shopping, measuring, baking, testing!!! Whew!!! I'm worn out just reading about it. But that bread looks delicious.