Saturday, June 14, 2008
Pizza, Pavlova, and Purling
Yes, we're going back to the kitchen. Gas is depressing, sleeves are progressing, and unless you want to look over my shoulder and see what I'm working on at my computer (hint: it's this time of year again), the kitchen is our blog fodder.
So first, above you see what I did with the egg whites left over from the brick of bread pudding. It's a Pavlova. Did you know this recipe is from Australia (or possibly New Zealand)? It's like lemon meringue pie, except without the lemon, the pie crust, or the consistency. It's kind of hard and crackly on the top and gooey on the inside, and we served it with fresh raspberries and unsweetened whipped cream. The tart berries and bland whipped cream are a nice backdrop for the sweet meringue. Everyone loved it, and it was pretty to look at.
On Thursday I got a wild hair to make my own pizza after seeing this recipe. I'm not sure the dough was particularly successful...I think the yeast might've been older than Mary. You can see for yourself that my pizza doesn't look anything like the one at Smitten Kitchen, but again, the Windansea 5 thought it was delicious and I'm inspired and determined to try again.
Here's something interesting: I went over to look at the "dealbreaker" recipe poll over here. Yeast is one of the things that usually makes me stay away from a recipe. Also dissolving gelatin, deep frying, recipes that call for making yet another recipe within them, and anything that says "hard ball stage". But you know, I do have a mixer with a dough hook, and then I read about how bread shouldn't intimidate you because people have been making bread without any equipment other than their hands and a fire for millennia.
And see, I have these fantasies sometimes about time travel (Yes, that's an innermost thought there, and now you all think I'm crazy, but if you know me in person, I'm pretty sure you'll still tolerate me, and if you don't know me in person, well, then I guess I just became another nut on teh internets.) I imagine that I'm somehow transported back several centuries - how would I survive? What do I know how to do that isn't dependent on technology? Will knitting be enough to ensure my survival, given that I don't know how to spin? Or will I be burned as a witch the minute I say, "Let's google it!"?
Anyway, getting back to dealbreakers...I was thinking about techniques in knitting that will make me walk away from a pattern. Like, say, giant expanses of stockinette on tiny needles. So far, steeking. Cables with vast fields of purling in between. In some cases, if I really love the pattern, I'll bite the bullet. But in most cases, it just isn't worth the effort to me; there are plenty of great patterns and designs that are fun to knit and don't involve swaths of timesucking stitchery. What is it for you? Hemming? I-cord borders? K3tog?