If you read my post yesterday, you might remember it was about the weather. Now just to clarify, I wasn't talking about the weather only because I had nothing else to say. I have a lot to say, but some of it I'm not ready for the whole world (or six or seven of you anyway) to read.
Today I'm continuing on with the weather, but only for this paragraph, I promise. It's another sunny day, will get up to the mid-70s again but right now it's a bit cool. With that in mind, I threw together a pot of ham and potato soup. I had some habanero peppers from my garden that I tossed in just for fun, along with random spices, onion, garlic, and celery. From my initial taste test I think I have a winner.
By the way, these peppers are so hot that when I sliced them to take the seeds out, my eyes watered, my throat started burning just from the smell I guess, and I had to back away to stop coughing and sneezing. That was with running water too. I find it odd that as hot as they are when I first handle them, they mellow so much in the dishes I put them in. There is only a slight kick to the soup, and not identifiable.
Of course, what's soup without some nice crusty french bread? Well, it's still soup, but what will you use to wipe the bowl when you're almost done?
I love to make bread. I use my KitchenAid mixer (I splurged and upgraded to one with a bigger motor) and it does the kneading for me. Although I do love the texture of dough in my hands, and the almost meditative feeling of working it into a soft, smooth ball, it's a lot of work and time-consuming. So I usually take a short cut.
This bread is just now going through rising number one. Soon I will split it into long baguette loaves and let it rise again, brushing with a little egg wash to give it a crusty golden top.
The best part is baking it. The smell just about does me in, especially if I'm outside at the beginning and step back inside just before it's ready to pull from the oven. It's so hard not to sample right away. I think the only time I can hold off is when company comes for dinner and we are going to eat within a few minutes.
How can I resist? With the crunchy crust and soft, chewy middle...and the aroma! And of course I have to use real butter on my bread. No fake stuff for me. I do have some homemade plum jam some friends gave me – they had a lot of fruit on their tree this year. I might add that to a steaming hot slice.
Anyone want to come over for dinner tonight?