Oct 4, 2011

Week 1: How to Make Playdough, Bread Rolls and Horchata!

For this week, the very first week of my 'get off my a*s' challenge, I decided to keep it in the kitchen, with three really simple ideas: Green Playdough, Fresh Baked Bread Rolls, and Horchata!

I love all three of these ideas because, the first (playdough) takes me back to my childhood, a time when the most important decision was whether to have chocolate or caramel syrup on my pancakes.

The second (fresh baked bread rolls), reminds me of walking into a quaint bakery in Paris, the wafting aroma of fresh bread, and being surrounded wide-eyed, by unbelievably delicious petit fours and chocolate eclairs.

And, the third (Horchata), takes me straight back to San Diego, California, my first American home, home of real Mexican food, avocado and sour cream on an omelet, and, the Padres!

1: Playdough
While it may seem easier to just buy this amazing multi-colored, finger squishing, monster moulding clay, I decided to give it a shot, just like Grandma (not actually mine) used to make.  Of course, when I asked Michael what color it had to be...Green!

One saucepan, some salt, flour and 10 minutes later, and Michael and I had made a giant ball of preservative free green playdough, that not only smelled just like I remember as a kid, but tasted (yes I licked it) just like it also!

What to do with a huge ball of salty green playdough..get out the safe kitchen tools and be a kid again...sculpt an inchworm and an apple for it to live in, of course!

2: Fresh Baked Bread Rolls
20 Minutes of Kneading!
For me, the smell and taste of warm fresh bread rolls is one of life's little pleasures, and if you agree, then you will appreciate making/baking your own bread rolls.

Not only are they incredibly easy and tasty, but like anything home made, you actually know what's inside!

Preparation is clearly the key here!  Without a bread mixer, I decided to bake 12 dinner rolls using the 20-minute self-kneading process, of course which only after Chad came home and said "you know we have a bread mixer attachment right?".  

Shrunken Head Bread Rolls:  All The Rage!
I also realized that I had no salt (very important for taste), and, that my bread rolls technique resembled shrunken voodoo heads versus perfectly rotund rolls!

I also realized that the 12-minute baking time, doesn't mean, walk away to play with the dogs for 20!

Still, without salt (nothing a slopping of gravy and butter didn't fix), and the fact that I had to microwave the rolls back from the dark side of 'hard as a rock', they were in fact rather delicious!

3: Horchata
Rice mash after soaking overnight
Until I moved to San Diego in 2004, I had never heard of Horchata, or real Mexican food for that matter, so, when I was offered a 'real' burrito washed down with Horchata (rice water and sugar), although skeptical that it wouldn't taste like anything other than stale water, I thought what the heck, and gave it a shot (not literally).

Refreshingly Sweet Horchata
Who would have thought that rice water, cinnamon and sugar could be so perfectly too sweet and deliciously refreshing?  

Until we moved to Spain, where Horchata is non-existent (no, Mexican food and Spanish food are NOT the same), I never even thought to make it...until yesterday!

Far out, this Horchata recipe from David Lebovitz's 'living the sweet life in Paris' (very Mexican I know), was incredibly EASY and unbelievably delicious.

What's happening next week with Crikey mUm?  Perhaps something auto/mechanically related like learning how to change a tyre or the oil...that scares me already!



Crikey!


















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