Becoming Tabitha

Bake the Bread

It is the summer of making things from scratch!

Instead of spreading the cheese, (wink wink to my running buddies) I decided to bake the bread. Soft and fluffy asian milk bread no less.

 

It’s 3am. One loaf of bread, by hand, is 5 hours. But the house smells delicious. And my ladies will hopefully love it or at the very least, say they love me.

Cooking amplifies, joy. Slows it down, sharpens it, allows you to taste it.

Whatever it is I’m making, the entire process of cooking, from start to finish, provides me with exactly what I need to remember that everything is just fine, just as it is. Instead of choosing to doubt, worry, or wither, I choose to mix, knead, and rise. 

The Recipes:  Tangzhong and Milk Bread.

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Curry

Cambodian Inspiration

This was the inspiration.

Danee sent me a picture of all the ingredients her mom uses to make pork curry and I was just taken by it. When her mom left Thailand, the one thing she decided to carry with her, was her mortar and pestle. She uses it to pound and grind and release all of the above into what I imagine to be, the most heavenly, aromatic, pungent, delicious combination of curry – ever. I regretted for days, that I couldn’t make it over to her house to have some. What on earth was that important? I don’t know. All I know is, I made, a mistake.

For dinner last night with Chin Chuan, Joe, Danee and her friend’s Olga and Diana – I attempted making some semblance of a curry – a Thai Green Curry. I found the most important thing I needed …

Molcajete

but you actually need to season it before you can use it. No wonder Danee’s mom couldn’t leave it behind – it’s a weighty and tangible reminder of home. I love the idea of it and I’ll be seasoning mine, next week.

So I made the best of what I could find – Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, Serrano chili, Thai chili, Thai eggplants, sweet basil, mushrooms, bell peppers, and chicken.

I can’t wait to use my molcajete – to make it all from scratch and to spend some time getting to know my new favorite grass this summer – lemongrass. 

Eating Nectarines

Sugar runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is nothing sweeter than this.
I have been eating nectarines.

My fiancé does not believe what he sees.
His eyes are wide
and he walks with his hands in his pockets.

The nectarines are gone.
The wine bottles are empty.
The guests are standing by the door and coming in.

Their eyes search,
their legs shake like branches.
Our poor friends begin to stamp their feet and weep.

They do not understand.
He gets on his knees and begins to lick my hand,
I scream.

I am a new woman.
I purr at them and meow.
I carry the pitcher to them, dripping with joy.

Inspired by: Eating Poetry by Mark Strand

Nectarine Sangria

NectarineSangria

This, of all things, is my first post – a sangria recipe. It captures what my summer is shaping up to be – one recipe after another, one ingredient after another, completely taking over my senses.

Nectarines must be in season because they’ve been appearing everywhere – on a roadtrip from San Francisco back to L.A. and at Trader Joe’s while shopping for a camping trip to Manker Flats. I wanted to make a white wine Sangria with peaches but all I wanted were nectarines, so after reading through a couple of recipes, I created this. I Can’t. Get. Enough.

Some cool nectar for a hot summer night, with friends.

Ingredients

Two 750-ml Bottles of Sauvignon Blanc

2 cups Grand Marnier

Two 12-ounce cans Peach Nectar

4 Fresh Nectarines

3 cups of Fresh Strawberries

Method

Sitr the white wine, Grand Marnier, and peach nectar in a pitcher. Then add the chopped nectarines and strawberries. Refrigerate overnight. Serve over ice.