Friday, July 24, 2009

Turkish bread

For some reason I've been on a real flatbread kick lately, so when I found this super-easy recipe, I had to try it.

Turkish bread

2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup plain yogurt

Stir all the ingredients together, then knead until an elastic dough is formed. Place in a bowl, cover, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Divide into 8 rounds and let rest briefly. On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8" thickness and dry fry in a cast iron skillet or cook on a grill, allowing both sides to develop some dark brown spots.

NOTES: If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour. If it is too dry, add a little more yogurt.

Results: Excellent! The bread actually keeps well, stored in plastic, for a couple of days. It's not quite as pliable the second day, but I think a little experimenting on reheating methods would fix that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ellie May's spy cam

For my birthday, Spork gave me a really cool present: a Moultrie game camera. The camera is made to be mounted outside and can capture both still pictures and short video clips. In daylight, the images are color, while the nighttime ones use an infrared flash, yielding black and white images.

The camera is intended to be left in place for months at a time, but I can't stand to let it go for more than a day or two before I have to grab the images and see who has passed through. I've had it set up pointing at the bird baths, the bird feeders (thanks to the nifty clamp that Spork made) and at various places in the woods.

So far we've had lots of birds, raccoons and foxes. I'm hoping to add opossums, skunks and deer in the future. I've even set up a bribery station in the woods with a feeder block and a salt block. When I have some intriguing fruit leftovers, such as melon rinds, I put those out near the feeder block, for extra enticement.

Bathing cardinal family


Enthusiastic blue jay


Baby cardinal and wren

The camera makes a slight shutter sound. There were about 20 pictures of this baby cardinal giving the camera a suspicious stare.

Male red-bellied woodpecker

Downy woodpecker and wren

Firefox looking for some din-din

Firefox pounces

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Gazpacho with Mark Bittman's Spicy Broiled Shrimp

I discovered today that I cannot say gazpacho. I can make gazpacho. I can spell the word. I can "hear" it in my head. Alas, what comes out of my mouth is a different word all together. Perhaps my proficiency at industrial grade swearing has taken a toll on my pronunciation skills.

We have an abundance of tomatoes right now, so I decided it was time to try Pioneer Woman's Gazpacho (gaz-PAW-choe, gauze-paw-choe, gauze-paw-CHOE, gauze-pawch-OH... ARGH!) , since Spork had sent it to me asking why I'd never made it. In my defense, the recipe was only published a month ago - hardly a sign of slacking, in my opinion. Of course, being chastized hurts my little feelers and probably means I should bake something. Or buy some ice cream. Or both. Ice cream is Spork's Achilles' heel. It is my best weapon in the battle of the wills. (Did that sound evil?)

One of the suggestions in the PW recipe was to add a grilled shrimp to each bowl of gazpacho. That's 'a' as in one. One shrimp. Who eats one shrimp? That's just crazy talk, that is. I suppose I finally found a fault with the glorious and wonderful PW. I won't hold it against her though, because I went ahead and prepared two pounds of Mark Bittman's Spicy Grilled or Broiled Shrimp. Two pounds for two people. That's more like it! Normally I (or Spork) would grill it, but because of The Incident, the grill is temporarily out of commission. I went with the broiled version.

Results: Yum! I was worried that it would be too salty with the tomato juice, but it's very light and fresh tasting. I didn't have any celery, so I substituted 3 serrano chiles (What? Doesn't everyone substitute serranos for celery?). I also used some diced jalapenos in the reserved chopped veggies. With both of those chiles, there was a little bite to the soup, but nothing overpowering. I will definitely make it again.