My grandfather passed away almost a month ago. It’s been a rough go… driving back and forth to Massachusetts almost every weekend. But, that’s what you do for family, right? You drop everything, and you don’t ask how or when or why – you just go. Family works together through the laughter and the tears – and with my family in particular they come in equal measure.
We’re in that awkward time afterward, where life settles back in. You still ache, you still are reminded all the time, but the world goes on. Quiet reflective weekends help with the healing, and the funky spring weather has been a good excuse to make a cup of tea and stare out the window at the rain. Or, in my case, I’ve taken to kneading. I missed the deadline for Grow It Cook It Can It’s February Challenge. But that wasn’t for lack of bread – there have been plenty of carbs around here. An impromptu white cheddar scallion loaf had great texture thanks to a mix of white and whole wheat flours. Some delicious bourbon cinnamon rolls took about 2 hours to make and lasted all of half an hour this morning. Can’t forget the roasted garlic naan and grilled pizza as the weather warms. I’m particularly proud of learning to braid dough – even though, ahem, its really not that hard. The best part about messing around with dough? It’s not scary anymore.
March’s butter challenge wove in nicely. There are a million ways to make butter – from shaking to churning to hand-mixing to my preferred lazy method in the stand mixer. Any way you agitate your cream, 20ish minutes and you go from lovely whipped cream to a funky ricotta-like mixture.
And then of course, just as you walk away to check something on the computer, you hear the mixer start to splash. Its that magic moment where it finally separates into butter fat and milk. Just dont walk away. Ahem.
A quick knead in some cold water plus a pinch of flaked salt for a nice crunch, and you’ve got something really special. Worth the extra time on occasion – probably not particularly cost-effective for day to day usage – but worth every penny in kitchen therapy.