With the crazy storms hitting Northern California, I left work early on Friday, for fear of getting stuck in Berkeley if the Bay Bridge was closed. Instead of pulling out the laptop and writing the reviews that are already overdue, I ran to the store to buy fixin’s for pea soup.
I always intend to make soups and stews, but never get around to it. During my trip to my parents’ house over the holidays, I hopped into the kitchen with my mom and made a bucket of pea soup and a tub of vegetarian chili. Cooking with her was the highlight of my time with them. (A close second was devouring EZ’s Knitting Without Tearswho wants to make a hybrid sweater with a shirt yoke?)
And what better to go with warm bowls of love? Fresh-baked bread! Because the pea soup was going to be ready that night, I couldn’t rely on the tried and true no-knead loaves. So, I tried my hand at baking my own pita bread. (Pictured are the leftovers on Saturday, with the two no-knead loaves I mixed up to sit that night.)
Now, I’m all for process and the meditative quality of kneading, but rolling out individual circles takes forever, when you’re used to barely touching your dough. Also, by baking them in the oven, instead of a on a griddle, they puffed up tremendously. More like whole wheat turnovers filled with air than warm, soft blankets. Still, ’twas delicious.
This morning we cut into the loaf on the right, made with steel-cut oats. I found a bunch of recipes for no-knead variations at Breadtopia.com. Much denser and moister than plain, old boules. It will taste great tonight with the chili tonight. The kidney beans are already soaking.
Thank you, Mom, for being my inspiration in the kitchen. I wish we had more time to cook (and knit) together. You don’t look a day out of Girl Scouts! (more gorgeous photos of her from the ’60s, scanned into my flickr account, along with some embarrassingly blond baby pictures of me)
And, a (belated) happy birthday here on the blog! (Yes, I called her yesterday, day-of her birthday!)
If any of y’all want to send her a greetings: momannh [at] aol [dot] com.