Ah, Valentine’s Day. One of those things that can turn a dark day bright when you’ve got someone to share it with. For our part, M. got a cuddly hippo (adopted through WWF) and a chocolate teddy bear (since devoured), I got a new linen tablecloth and the driveway shovelled (by someone not-me), and we reached the end of the day with all errands successfully run and two magnificent fluffy loaves of fresh-baked Anadama bread ready and waiting to be pounced on the next morning. Not bad for a recovering-from-the-ick day.
Patience, it turns out, is the key to many doors – good home-made bread being one of them. Especially when it comes to using the sponge method. Yesterday’s adventures with baked goods saw a re-acquaintance with an old favourite (if you have the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook and haven’t tried the Anadama bread yet, do – it’s worth all the careful measuring, multiple stages and long waits in between). Normally I’m too impatient to make yeast bread, but I’ve been rediscovering the concept of patience lately, and the culinary milieu of Hippo Corner has vastly improved as a result. So it seems there are some advantages to having to constantly experiment and plan in order to stock the house with food that is (a) safe for both of us to eat, (b) nutritious enough for someone with an (involuntary) less-than-normal-calorie-intake, and (3) still yummy enough to inspire immediate consumption. (See what I did there? Take that, list sticklers!)
Another check-mark on the plus side, is that making your own food is way cheaper than buying the pre-fab grocery store variety. Today was a pancake morning, followed by an afternoon of soup making, and baking in the evening. Hearty, home-made blended veggie soup with good thick bread to dip in it has been my salvation these last couple of weeks. Feels even better knowing that most of the ingredients involved are organic and locally sourced. Although let’s face it, yumminess and the full-belly factor are serious rivals for top tier where priorities are concerned these days. (Did I mention that the cake experiments have begun? Tonight’s gold medal goes to a mouth-watering and ridiculously easy orange-almond-Kahlua vegan sponge cake.)