Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We just finished our leftovers and with the last serving we swore; never again to turkey. I don't care how good you are at cooking turkey the fact is, if you weren't hyped to death to eat or serve this bird to fill out the Norman Rockwell "way it's supposed to be" image of Thanksgiving, you would never eat it. When was the last time you ate turkey other than a holiday? The sides are fabulous. Serve them around a great pic of a turkey that you can stand up as a centerpiece and let that satisfy the photo op.

Below are two leftovers, a food thought and a re-post of a current outrage. I include the latter as food for thought. Mine was not the only table around which political discussions got heated. In tens of thousands of households around the country, newly matriculated freshmen were home from their first semester of, say, social studies 101. Heretofore in these families the opinions of the "heads" of the table were for the most part the orientation of the family. In this particularly heady times, hot on the heels of an election, one can imagine that some opinion was served with the slice of turkey. You can also assume that it was met with a disagreement. Headstrong in their new found contrary perspective, the recent initiate into the "liberalizing" experience of higher ed shot back his/her countervailing point of view. See this summary of research that supports the proposition that attending college has the effect of increasing; tolerance of diversity, the desire to do public service, and identifying oneself as "liberal". The impact of this interruption of the tradition of "father knows best" is only getting larger as more and more students join the ranks. Despite the pundits' acceptance of the lie that we are a center right nation, the trend seems to be in place for a meaningful shift to the left. It will require lots of truth telling. Some of which got left on the table.

Carrie posted a pic of a rye bread I baked for Thanksgiving. Her readers wanted the recipe.

The preamble to making this bread the proper way is to be acquainted with Jim Lahey's method of making yeast breads. It is a no knead bread, with an overnight fermentation(24 hr) and the bread, when baked is placed in a cast iron dutch oven (your crueset will work fine) which has been preheated in a very hot (500degree) oven.

The size of the dutch oven determines the size of the loaf. I use a very large Staub.You will more likely have a Lodge or Crueset or lookalike. If yours is 6 quart stick with the following proportions. If you have a larger dutch oven, 9+ quarts, you can double the recipe. The water ratio is key. It is not fixed. Start with the following amounts and if you have loose flour add another 1/2 cup. What you want is a moist dough. Incorporate the caraway with the other dry ingredients and use another tablespoon to sprinkle over the loaf after it lands in the dutch oven. I don't double the yeast and don't quite double the salt. After your initial rising you are going to turn out a really moist dough. Use a dough scrapper to fold it over on itself, cover and allow a second rising ( an hour). I do this on a pizza peal, or use a cookie sheet, so that I can transfer it to my now very hot dutch oven without burning myself. It will flop. It will look wrong. It is ok. The loaf will form out to fit the oven. Sprinkle the surface with the rest of the caraway seeds. bake for 1/2 hour then remove the lid and reduce the heat to 400 for another 20-40 minutes. Don't burn the bread but don't remove too soon. This is a judgment call. The loaf is easy to remove from the oven using tongs. Hold the loaf in a tea towel, thunk the bottom listening for that hollow sound that says all is well. It usually requires more time or there will be moist spots in the center. You can slide the bread directly back into the oven for another 10 mins to finish. I often turn off heat and let it the bread cool therein. Pumpernickel raisin is next. Lehey goes nuts in his book knocking off amy's semolina raisin bread. I have a better recipe I will share with you later.

2 1/4 c Bread Fl
3/4 c rye fl
1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t yeast
1 1/3 c warm water
2 T caraway seeds
Rye for dusting

(The bread pictured was double the above recipe)
This is the link to see the original posting which changed so many peoples minds about kneading. I kneaded for YEARS and was known for the second best bread around in my territory. All those wasted hours!! This is BETTER.

If you need any further encouragement Google Jim Lahey no knead bread and read some of the entries. End of Carrie's e-mail

In the spirit of calling out the liars the following is an excerpt from the blog Lynnrockets' Blast-Off
I would have posted the whole entry but the use of a cartoon of Newt in Nazi gear is a practice I don't support. The posting however goes into detail re. the German health care system and is worth reading.

"Gingrich vomited a diatribe on what a truly great nation Germany is and why the United States should emulate its policies. How’s that for “American exceptionalism” and patriotism? What would Gingrich and the Republicans have to say if a Democrat expressed that opinion? When one of the show’s hosts agreed with him and then questioned if whether Germany’s universal health care system should also be applauded, Gingrich started with the lies and misinformation.
To begin, he claimed that Germany has a private health care system which is run by over 350 private insurance companies with minimal government funding, supervision or regulatory authority. He then lied by saying that German citizens privately purchase their own health care insurance policies from these private insurers and that they can change their plans and providers whenever they choose. In essence, Gingrich stated that Germany’s health care system is even more privatized than the American system was prior to this year’s health care reform legislation. In the words of Stephen Colbert, Gingrich’s characterization of Germany’s health care system was devoid of “truthiness”.
The truth is, that Germany has Europe’s oldest universal health care system which dates back to 1883 with changes made thereafter. Currently 85% of the population is covered by a basic health insurance plan provided by statute, which provides a standard level of coverage. The remainder opt for private health insurance, which frequently offers additional benefits. According to the World Health Organization, Germany’s health care system is 77% government-funded and 23% privately funded. Additionally, the government partially reimburses the costs for low-wage workers, whose premiums are capped at a predetermined value. Higher wage earners pay a premium based on their salary. Those higher earners may also opt for private insurance, which is generally more expensive, but whose price may vary based on the individual’s health status.
Germany has a universal multi-payer system with two main types of health insurance, public and private."

No comments:

Post a Comment