Tag Archives: Bread

Middle of the night breakfast burrito

It’s not often that I can’t sleep, but wow did I have a horrible night last night. I woke up in the small hours of the night feeling sick, anxious, and sorry for myself, and after reading every single comment on my friends’ Facebook statuses, I decided some hearty food was just what I needed to clear my head of the crazy. I got up and rummaged through the fridge and store cabinet. There was no bread (no bread!!) because Joe (my boyfriend) had burnt the one I made last night (I was passed out on the couch), but I found some tortillas that I thought would do the job. In an effort to use up cheeses, meats, wilting vegetables, and too many varieties of frozen foods, I hadn’t been food shopping in ages, so my filling choices were limited. I found 2 eggs, some bacon lardons, a chunk of smelly French cheese, a sad looking courgette, half a red chilli, and a leftover sachet of enchilada sauce that I knew I hadn’t used before for a very good reason. I fried the bacon on a low heat to melt some of the fat off, and threw a chopped onion in with it, then added all the other ingredients, all the while feeling very cheffy and thinking about the quirky piece I would write for the blog to go with this “recipe”. I couldn’t be bothered using a second pan for the egg so I pushed the fried stuff to one side and fried the egg in there too, keeping it classy as usual, then arranged it all on the tortilla. Big cuppa tea – sorted!

Looks ... delicious, right?

Looks … delicious, right?

Well it turns out I’m no Nigella Lawson. My burrito was verging on the gross thanks to the enchilada sauce, and the smoky bacon flavour was too strong for all the other ingredients. It was a bit like the breakfast you get at a friend’s house after a mad night, when everyone is either still drunk or too hungover to see straight, taste much, or even care what they eat. I rinsed the enchilada sauce off, gave the leftovers to the dog (he doesn’t usually get human food but he was around, and he was nice to me), and went back to bed feeling defeated.

 But today! Today is a new day, and I will cook and bake the bejaysus out of it, starting with a new loaf of bread, some cinnamon rolls for breakfast, followed by a Sunday roast, and some cake for late afternoon sugar cravings. We’re going to a Halloween party tonight – all hail the bank holiday! – so we’ll need all the soakage we can get.

Today’s cooking:

  • Bread – this is the basic bread recipe I already have up in the baking section but I’ve gotten my hands on some rye flour, so I’m going to experiment with that.
  • Stuffed lemon and garlic roast chicken with garden vegetables, loosely based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
  • Cinnamon rolls, from Joy of Baking.
  • Clodagh McKenna’s Moroccan spiced orange cake (the recipe has disappeared off her website but I found it elsewhere).
  • And last but not least I’m going to start my second batch of crab apple jelly, this time adding some Christmas spices.

I’ll write out the recipes in the recipe section once I’m done cooking, and let you know how I got on. And yes, I will eventually get around to adding some pictures, too.

Advertisements

Bread.

People get awfully romantic about bread, don’t they? All this artisan this that or the other seems a bit inflated given that baking bread is a skill that our grannies mastered (seemingly!) in their sleep, and that really anyone can acquire provided they’re willing to put in the time. And it does take time; there is no way around that.

But before I get accused of dissing bread bakers all around the globe, I’d like to clarify: I believe that everyone who took the time and put themselves through the frustrations of learning to do something really well deserves all the recognition they can get. What I’m saying though is that through generations women simply “made bread”, not for the fun or the satisfaction of it, but purely to feed their families, and nobody thought there was anything particularly artisanal about it. Surely our grandmothers were every bit as skilled as the next artisan baker at a present day (oh so earthy) farmer’s market, but they got none of the fame. I wonder if the very word artisan isn’t, at its root, exclusive: Our grannies, making bread. The artisan baker, drawing from some divine inspiration: creating a piece of art that is only half human-made. This is obviously a hyperbole, no need to tell me I’m exaggerating. And yet the suspicion remains that “artisanal” somehow looks down on just “making”, and excludes those that weren’t fortunate enough to live in its catchment area. We don’t go back over old photographs where our granny sits in her kitchen and say, “Oh my, her bread was so artisanal”, do we? We say, “She made lovely bread”. It doesn’t work retrospectively, and it breaks the line of tradition of simply “making bread”, the line that honours the unseen work done by women for thousands of years.

(By the by, “artisanal” also carries a hilarious connotation for me: Artisan paninis of the Celtic Tiger. Remember them? Those sad, only half-baked, limp baguettes with goats cheese and pesto? Ha! Those were the days!)

So: I don’t make artisan bread. I just make bread.

(Head over to the Food section for an actual recipe.)