Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Manageable Life

Once again, I find myself going through the papers and knick-knacks that have accumulated over the course of a year, tossing what I think I can do without, and zipping the rest of my life neatly into a few suitcases and bags. This has been my routine at least once a year since I left home at 18 and in some ways, it's really therapeutic, the fleeting feeling that yes, life is manageable, because, look, I packed it up and put it in that corner of my room there, and I will be moving it to another place just as I have decided to do.

Irish Soda Bread - recipe below

And then, of course, life moves on, sometimes with you running to catch up with it, but for a small moment, when the bags are stacked in a corner, you feel in control.

A part of this process is a little game I play where I try to find uses for all of the food I have left. The past few weeks, I've made some (sometimes) interesting dishes in this pursuit. Mushroom and rocket risotto. Spinach and brussel sprout couscous pilaf. Tomato-tofu lasagna with garlic, chickpeas, and white wine blended together for the white sauce. Yesterday, in a (successful) attempt to use up my various types of flour, I made an irish soda bread, something like a mix between scones and wheat bread and real easy to make. It turned out unbelievably good! I think I'll be munching on it right up until I leave tomorrow.

Irish Soda Bread

Original recipe found here.

300 ml white flour
300 ml whole wheat flour
100 ml rolled oats
1 ts baking soda
1 ts salt
5 Ts butter
500 ml buttermilk (or whole milk with a bit of lemon/vinegar to thicken)

Mix together dry ingredients. Rub in butter with your fingers, add milk, mix lightly, then get your hands in there to finish the job. Add more flour or liquid if need be, but don't overwork the dough. Form into a round disc and place on a floured baking sheet. Cut an "x' on the top and pop into the oven at 180 degrees celsius for about 35-45 minutes, take it out when slightly browning on top. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into wedges and devour.

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