Baking Neophyte

So, I am really a fan of watching those baking shows all over tv. I have been dreaming of being so professional in baking that I can even start up my own Pastry Shop. I have always been lazy in doing house chores and even frying my own food for lunch, but when it comes to tasks(For me) Like, Baking? Argh, this is different. Aside from my love for sweets and everything bread, I see myself getting extra creative in designing my own layers of cake or yes, even cupcakes!

My next plan is to ask my hubby if he can be extra sweet to look for an oven. Luckily, he did love me that much to support my ineterests. I was very excited then when he called that he has a surprise for me, I hurried opening our house gate and check his car right away. When I saw there’s a big box right there, I gave him a kiss and there, took the oven right away.

The next day as I researched the things I needed for baking, I came up with these basic baking equipments:

  1. Oven – there are lots of type of ovens. Mine is conventional oven.
  2. Baking Pans/trays – usually there are already included with the oven but if not, you can look for trays and baking tins in shops.
  3. Food Mixer – Whether hand mixer or stand mixer, it basically functions the same.
  4. Mixing Bowls – You need this for all your ingredients.
  5. Pastry Brush – this is used to spread the butter on to the tray for the cake to not stick. Also you can use this brush to add flavors to what you are baking while cooking.
  6. Rolling Pin – Needed is you want to create dough. Those dough are for pizzas, pies, bread and a whole lot more!
  7. Measuring Cups/Spoons – Yes!! THIS IS ESSENTIAL. You don’t want  to be just estimating measurements and ending up seeing your finish product very unpleasant.
  8. Spatula – I personally bought this one because, I have seen those baking shows with this, it made me feel like a pro. Haha
  9. Whisk – another pro-feeler. Haha, this is very useful for all those pastry you wanted to try.
  10. Greaseproof Paper – Those covers and papers will make the food moist and you can use them in straining off extra fat from your food.
  11. Toothpick!! – This will tell you if the product is cooked or not. REALLY USEFUL WHEN BAKING.

There! You have all the basic equipments needed. As for me, when I got all these, I had confidence that I could do baking now. My advise for those who just started baking is to look for those instant cake mix and just simply follow the instructions given outside the box and surely, you can have your first masterpiece, extra extra wonderful. I practiced baking for one week, yes, I baked everyday for one whole week, to learn and see the basics for myself. I guess I am now 3/5 in baking. What I am preparing now is baking a cake for my moms birthday this coming week. So, wish me luck! <3

Bullzeye

Nothing says shabbat shalom like an extra large challah that’s sure to have leftovers.

I’ve been getting really into having shabbat dinners, and my friends are digging it. Remember how I talked about Sandra and the landscaper guy she visited? Well, he came with her to shabbat dinner on friday. It was super special. I somehow tricked this very good looking person into thinking I’m a catch, and so they came to the dinner too. I really am a catch though, at least for half a month (more on that after).

Well, I make a turkey chili as the entree. It was loved all around. I did up all the little sides, to: chredded sheddar (get it), chopped up peppers, chopped up onion, cilantro, and even crispy tortilla strips. I baked broccoli in the oven (if you’ve never done this, you have to. That slightly charred floret is a completely different delicious animal than the old steamed cousin.

The main even wasn’t the chili- it was the singing.

Last week, I tracked down the cantor who sang at my temple when I was growing up. Some of those old time songs were floating back to me. Even now, I feel as if I can smell the pews and the classrooms in the building. It felt so huge at the time. So many different rooms, different floors, different vibes depending on if it was Sunday school, a friday night service, a bar mitzvah, or your parents taking you along when they have to have “an important, private chat” with the white haired rabbi.

I learned the songs and I played them on the guitar for my guest. They were moved, and, believe it or not, they were moved to hug me, not to grab my voice box out with bare hands and feed it to squirrels.

The landscaping guy, Trent, hit it off with Dylan, my date. It was fun to watch. The whole thing felt good, and right. the lawn guy got a little tipsy and then went out and pruned the tree in my front yard. Weird, but definitely well-meaning. I’m happy for the tree.

Dylan stayed over. I made us bullzeyes this morning. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you are in for a great treat akin to rebirth:

  • cut a thick slice of challah
  • rip out a little bit in the middle so that there is a hole
  • brush either side of the bread with butter or olive oil
  • let the break brown
  • turn it over. after a couple of minutes, crack egg into the whole!
  • Let it cook just a bit, so its still runny.
  • Season to taste; serve with fresh fruit and perhaps a touch of ketchup (homemake is best: tomato paste, paprika, a bit of cayenne, and a few drops of apple cider vinegar with some honey or maple syrup to taste- yum)

Ta da! So he’s definitely in love with me.

Life is good.

Oh, and back to the thing I brought up earlier: I’m researching what med I can take for my period cramps, because I’ve decided not to put myself through that pain again, if I can help it. Its just makes me a a bad partner.

Drrty Rice

"i am not a vision board"

“i am not a vision board”

My neighbor Sandra with hook ups for beauty, food, and stellar lawn care came by over the holidays with a huge  pyrex full of the most delicious rice. It was so simple, but I had to restrain myself from immediately replacing my second helping with a heaping third. Like, physically. I made the crew of my ship tie me to the mast so I wouldn’t hear the siren song of “arroz con pollo” singing sweetly and saltily in my ear while I tried to work on my 2016 vision board (see above).

Well, I asked her for the recipe, but it probably sounded more like “fsdhfdskjaglhalskgd” because my mouth was full.

Here it is:

Ingredients

Chicken legs (skin on, bone in)

Beer

White Rice

Cilantro

Salt and Pepper

Peas and Carrots

Stock (chicken or vegetable)

Boil the chicken in beer and stock. Add the rice, the peas, the carrots and the cilantro. Let cook.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Ta da!

Simple, Yummy goodness.

She said she just got back from visiting family in Texas where she made TEN TIMES the amount for her family. They just moved into a big new house there, and its GORGEOUS. I saw pictures. An old-fashioned mansion, but lots of unique details. Nooks and crannies. I’m invited to visit. They even have one of those “former gardens” you hear about in old english literature. Bushes shaped like animals and shit. I totally hit her up for the landscaper digits. Might as well see if they have peeps in my neck of the woods, because I could get dow with an uber impressive entry way. Might keep out creepy guys, because they know better than to mess with a princess with unicorn shaped foliage. We’ll see.

Peace.

 

The CSA Box

I just got my CSA box in the mail!

Join me as I pour a glass of reisling and peruse.

I see beets. (drumroll) Red. (symbol) Sweet. (Beat) Beet.

-An Original Rachel Golem Poem

Beets are a win. I have loved beets with a passion for years, thanks to Tom Robbins. In Jitterbug Perfume, there is a magic perfume that unites lovers across centuries. Millennia! And the secret ingredient is beet pollen. For years, I looked for signs that beet pollen was real. I hoped that

There is squash, too. And onions. And  And- but first, some more wine.

The Real Things

Hi, guys. Rachel here.

I’m sorry for taking so long to post, but I have been very busy eating my weight in Chanukah gelt. It’s been a busy week! I went to visit my friend Carol from college. Carol is a very interesting woman. She converted to Judaism for her girlfriend while we were still college freshman. You think you’re the kind of person who jumps into things and makes commitments until you meet someone like Carol. She really takes the potato pancake.

She converted from Protestantism a la Charlotte from SATC. Come to think of it, she and Charlotte would be best friends. Or maybe worst enemies as they passive-agressively fought for the crown of “Premier Princess of the Upper East Side.”

Carol went to Nightingale, so you would think she had plenty of opportunities to express her Sapphic tendencies at the high school parties where everyone made out with everyone. But I guess fear that anything would get back to her father was enough to dissuade her.

Carol’s dad was a sweet man. He held onto his cowboy accent and conservatism even though he moved to the city years before we were born. The story goes that Carol’s mom was on tour performing “Crazy For You” and that when he saw her tap-dancing in the chorus, he fell head over boots and stirrups in love with the East Coaster.

Have you ever seen “Bus Stop,” with Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray? If you haven’t, do it. Now. It’s free on Netflix and she is oh-so charming. It’s fun to feel the prickle of feminist indigence and be reminded of why its so much better to live today than back then. Even if they were free from the tyranny of low-rise jeans.

This was basically the opposite of that: the cowboy went back to the city with the worldly damsel.

Lovely!

Lovely!

That corset!

That corset!

Free on Netflix!

Free on Netflix!

Sorry. Pictures of Miss Norma Jean are like schnecken from Zabars: you can’t have just one. Or two. Or three. Ok, maybe three. If you want to be a masochist.

Anyway, yadda yadda yadda I’m getting into the whole backstory here where basically I was trying to tell you about last weekend. What happened with Carol was she converted to Judasim for her first-ever lesbian lover long before gay marriage was legal.

Luckily for Carol, her impulsive commitment went much better than mine, and while my ex-husband is now halfway across the world eating macaroons with Marco in Morocco, I am going to Coda meetings and getting that “why-don’t-you-have-kids-yet” look from my family.

It was a pleasure to visit them. Carol and her wife, Jessie, live in P-Town. Carol inherited her mother’s musical theater talents, and now leads a congregation of LGBTQJs as the lead cantor. I wish I could sing like that! Maybe I’ll take up some lessons in 2016.

I went to a service and heard her sing. It was amazing. My heart felt so full to ring in Chanukah with old friends, especially surrounded by so much music.

I’ll pop off before I bore you. It’s time to roast a chicken.

 

In Food, I Trust. And God.

Always remember the source.

Always remember the source.

Not necessarily in that order.

Hello. I am Rachel Golem, and I care about food. The only thing I care more about than food is spirituality. I was raised in one religion- Please don’t pretend you need to ask which one- and have explored others. I find in my spiritual studies that sometimes I get overwhelmed, and the only thing to bring my whisky spirit back into my sturdy and gorgeous body is a nice, big meal.

I think you will enjoy following my journey as I cook, study and document it for you in all the juicy details.

Come back soon for more!

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