Because every piece of news coming out of the states right now is super bleak and people are trying to get justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless folks being (metaphorically) choked out by the system, I’m going to rest my heart for a while and talk about bread. The homemade variety.
I’m probably not telling you anything new when I say that I have an unhealthy obsession with bread. It’s entirely possible for me to have entire meals consisting of various types of breads – enhanced with olive oil, cream cheese, butter, bitter orange marmalade, etc. – and be very happy indeed.
Years ago, a writer friend shared a recipe for a “no knead” olive loaf that I’ve happily made a few times as well as shared with friends. When I couldn’t find the email sent to me years and years ago, I searched online and found it here. Behold, Jim Lahey’s No Knead Olive Bread. I’ve made a few versions of it, one which substitutes the olives for walnuts and raisins, another that adds Italian seasoning (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme) to the original recipe. All versions need two teaspoons of salt added.
If you’re like me, and want to eat the fruit of your bread labor the same day you start to make it, I recommend trying this “cornmeal-less cornbread” recipe from www.chocolateandcarrots.com. I actually found this when I wanted to make cornbread but had, you guessed it, not a speck of cornbread left in the kitchen. It’s quick and simple and texture-y.
I’ve made the regular version and then adapted it to make a ridiculously tasty olive bread. Substitute chopped black olives and Italian seasoning for the corn and sugar. I also used sunflower oil instead of butter. It’s a simple enough recipe ripe for alterations. I wholeheartedly agree with my friend, Asmara, who says “recipes are mainly for moral support.”
I’m also really enjoying Spanish bizcocho, which is just a super easy and not too-sweet cake with yogurt as an essential ingredient. My future mother-in-law shared it with me and I’ve been making it way too often. Here’s the rough breakdown on how to make it, although I prefer to use coconut flavored yogurt and also add crushed walnuts/almonds because texture is essential. One main reason this recipe is so awesome (aside from the splendiferous taste) is, because the yogurt container is used as the measuring cup, there’s minimum kitchen cleanup at the end. Also, what’s easier than just throwing together 3 eggs, 1 small container of Chobani coconut yogurt, 1 yogurt container of sunflower oil, 2 (or less) yogurt containers of sugar, 3 yogurt containers of flour, plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder? Bake for about 30 minutes and prepare to eat your way to the end of that loaf in less than 24 hours.
While bread has been the obsession of this quarantine, I’ve also made a few main meals, but nothing worth writing in depth about. If you eat chicken, however, I recommend giving this Balsamic Basil Chicken recipe a try. I subbed the cherry tomatoes out for sliced carrots though. Squishy, hot tomatoes give me the icks.
That’s all I have right now. If you have any easy and yummy (bread) recipes you love, do share.
Also, be kind to each other. Be just. Allow everyone else the same joys, freedoms, and prosperity you want for yourself.