Random Thoughts from the Punk Kitchen: 3/30/19

I am glad to see the end of this week.

The first few days were spent at a conference where the vendors were far too aggressive and I had to interact with people without significant breaks.  I’m a confirmed introvert. If you rate me on the Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ, which makes me extremely wary of “networking” and small talk, which frankly abound at conferences.   The day I returned from the conference, my son had a non-trivial surgery and his recovery has been rocky.  Thankfully, he has a fantastic girlfriend, who has helped out enormously, but I’m still feeling stressed and burnt out.  A year ago, I would have solved some of the stress with daily running, but my posterior tendon in my left foot decided that I was doomed for an early retirement and that two mile runs were not in my future.

Like the Calgon lady, I decided to take a bath this morning and try to relax.  However, with all the drama in the house, it was visibly apparent that neither my husband or I had cleaned the tub in a while.  So on top of the “I’m dead tired from the week from hell”,  I now had the admonishment of my German forebears ringing clear in my ears: “How the HELL do you let your bathroom get this bad?”

One of the family stories that is told regarding my Great-Grandmother, Nana Brochman, was that a woman came to her complaining about her woes.  My Nana, probably frustrated with the woman’s complaining, told her to go home and scrub her floors; it would make her feel better.   So with that story in mind, I grabbed a can of Ajax, some sponges and gloves and went at the tub with a fury.  For the next hour or so, with NPR radio playing in sotto voce in the background, I scrubbed like my life depended on it.  At the end of the job, my jeans were covered in Ajax powder and my bathroom smelled like a bleach factory.  But the tub was clean and I felt better.

So maybe Nana’s advice wasn’t so much German sarcasm tossed at a whiny friend, but actually good sense.

I’m also going to do some baking today, because it makes me feel happy.  My husband bought a whole half gallon of buttermilk by mistake, so I am going to try this recipe from Bon Appetit and make some biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, frozen 30 minutes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk
Heat oven to 375°. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 4 cups flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate butter into dry ingredients, tossing to coat as you go.

Whisk egg yolks and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mix buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then gently knead a few times just until a shaggy dough comes together.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat out until 1” thick; quarter dough and stack pieces on top of one another and press down to adhere (this will create flaky layers). Roll out dough until 1” thick. Using a 2”-diameter biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits, rerolling scraps as needed.

Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown on the tops and bottoms, 20–25 minutes (a few minutes longer if baking frozen). Serve warm with Burnt Onion Butter.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 1 month ahead. Freeze biscuits on a baking sheet, then transfer to resealable plastic bags. Keep frozen.

And if they turn out well,  yes, you are all invited.  That is if my husband and son leave any after dinner 🙂

Bis bald!

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