Friday, September 18, 2009

"Julia, Julia" . . .Food

The theme for the Brenda's Photo Challenge is "'Julia, Julia'. . .Food." Pop over here to see the other photos in the challenge.

I love a good laugh on myself and I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do. I am not the most consistent cook. Some things come out just perfect on the first try and then other things come off the stove or out of the oven not so good. As a first time gardener, I might say the same about what I've raised.

I harvested a total of four eggplants, and I think these look pretty good.

Eggplant is one of those vegetables I'm trying to learn to like as well as cook. This is sort of the recipe; I had to improvise. Slice the eggplant; salt and pepper; mix up olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil; let it rest for an hour or so then brush on both sides of the eggplant. Broil it for ?? and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese a minute or so before removing from the oven. Well, I think I was suppose to peel the eggplant and perhaps salt both sides about 30 minutes before I brushed on the mixture. I'll try that next time.

My tomato harvest from five bushes.

A little background: my old breadmaker died and so I bought a new one. When I went to purchase the mix, the price was $3.59. It was $2.00 last year. I decided to make my own. All one had to do with the old breadmaker was put the ingredients in the pan, lock it down, punch one button and voila the machine started immediately. There was one more button controlling whether or not the bread was light, medium or dark. The new breadmaker has 16 different programs and so many other buttons that my eyes crossed. After carefully examining all bread recipes that came with the machine, I bought ingredients for a whole wheat loaf including Vital Wheat Gluten with Vitamin C, which also increases the protein value.

I read the instructions, followed them to a T, and performed Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, i.e., the start button. Stepped back with anticipation of hearing the machine begin the process. I waited, waited, waited - 20 minutes passed. Pulled out the instructions, performed the steps again. Then waited, waited, waited - 25 minutes passed. I read the instructions again, unplugged the machine, waited 15 minutes, plugged it back in the socket. Performed Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and pushed the start button. Nothing happened. I called the company. The male tech decided the machine was defective. But just before I dumped the ingredients, I chose the first program for white bread, pushed the start button and it started doing its thing. I called the company again and this time made contact with a female tech. She asked what program I using and told her the one for whole wheat at which time she mentioned a chart in the recipe book. We found the chart and the whole wheat program does not start for 30 minutes since it warms the ingredients before cranking up. Go figure. Now to give the male tech a break, the female tech said she had the machine over a weekend and happened to find the chart when she was trying out the breadmaker.

So what was I to do? Stay with the white bread program which has a much shorter time for mixing, kneading, and rising, etc.; was there any way I could start over again on the correct program; or should I take it out and do it manually? I opted to do it manually. It was noticeably dry for some reason and did not punch down like it should. Nevertheless, I pressed on. This is what came out of the oven. A floor tile would have broken if the loaf had been dropped. It looks like a moon rock - tasted pretty good if you had good teeth to chew, which I do. One piece and you did not feel hungry for hours. In fact, one piece for breakfast and no hunger pains until about 5 PM.

This loaf reminds me of a cake my youngest baked for a Cub Scout contest. It came out in chunks. He patched it together the best he could and smeared some frosting on it. It was so unique that the Cub Scout leader made up a special category after we quit laughing -- out of his sight and hearing I might add. Wooden spoons were the award designation and his read something like "most unusual cake" as opposed to most creative, most beautiful and whatever. This loaf of bread fits in his special category. lol

It has been two weeks since the whole wheat bread attempt, but I think this weekend is up for another try.

Until next time, God bless.


Nita Jo said...

Thanks for the laugh! That bread reminded me of some of my unfortunate cooking moments! Great job on the photos!

Nita Jo

Annie said...

Oh, it is so nice to hear someone who has the same problems with cooking as I do...!! Love that loaf of bread. Glad you are eating it, and it isn't going to waste!

Also love that tomato harvest...that is so funny, but also so like what would happen here...occasionally I can grow one tomato too!

Sally said...

Your food looks great!! Good job!! You're a better cook than I am, that's for sure!! :)

Donna said...

HAHAHAHAhahahaaaa.....OMGGGGG!!! Oh My Word Girl! You're the first of my visits this morning and I Swear Hubby and I haven't laughed so hard in a Week!!!
I would have done the SAME thing You did with the machine!! Who knew there was a difference in the wheat and white settings??!!!
And I didn't get zip out of the garden either!
Thanks!! These were FUN!!hughugs

Donna said...

Goodness, that has to be the ugliest loaf of bread ever! LOL! And your tomato crop?! hahahaha!!!!!! Thanks for a good chuckle this morning!

Jeanne said...

What a cool post Lynn. I'm not an eggplant fan myself but it is a very interesting vegetable. Sad about your tomatoes, many folks around here found the same problem.

DJan said...

I used to bake my own bread and thought the kneading part was the most fun. I never used a bread making machine, but I certainly enjoyed hearing about yours. (BTW, the word verification has me type in "cussight" which seems to fit).

Brenda said...

Great pictures and a totally awesome post! I'm still laughing, that bread looks a little dangerous.

AL said...

I am an eggplant fan, we can do lots of dishes with eggplants? Have you heard of eggplant omelet? Grill eggplant, peel it then mash it in beaten eggs...fry it. Topped it with your favorite tomato catsup and that's it!


Lynn said...

DJan, I use to make bread before the machine and liked the kneading part.
However, I opted for convenience with the machine. :D BTW, cussight verification does seem appropriate since several such words were going through my head as I was deciphering the instructions.

Brenda, the loaf was dangerous. lol

AL, hmmm, I might try the fried eggplant dish. Broccoli, squash and carrots are about the only veggies I like so I'm really trying to expand to include more veggies in my diet.

chicamom85 said...

I love eggplant, it can be so tricky to work with though. I was at our farmers market today and there were so many kinds I didn't even know excisted.


WR said...

If I am inspired to cook over the holidays...the eggplant recipe is on the list! :)

SquirrelQueen said...

OMG, I haven't laughed that hard in ages. I have always resisted the urge to get one of the bread machines and now I know why.

Eggplant is a pretty vegetable but one I have never tried to cook. My parents loved it however and it was prepared often at our house. I remember it as ok but not a favorite food.

Splendid Little Stars said...

I'm sure most can relate to your culinary escapades! Thanks for the wonderful laughs!
The eggplant recipe sounds good. (I never peel eggplants.)