Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm in the Kitchen, Part II

  Yes, I realize there is no 'Part I' to this post, but no matter. The nine followers of this chronicle know about what I am writing.
  Directly after safely tucking away my munchkin tarts into the freezer, I began whipping up the dough for a billion almond thumbprint cookies. I do not use the word 'whipping' lightly. It was a hot morning and I had a stirring sermon blasting through the loudspeakers -perhaps that explains my energy. Seriously, there was dough everywhere! On the toaster, blender, counter, and that small kitchen appliance which no one can really name. Then I noticed my hand mixer was on high with the turbo power switched on. Oh. I did not really miss the dough, however, and continued whipping. The procedure is simple. Dry ingredients sifted in a bowl, cut in butter, whisk eggs separately and add bit by bit to crumbled dry mix (along with almond extract), and form into round little balls with a cute thumbprint in the middle. Layer and freeze. Tada! I felt good. I still had not sat down to lunch and I had already baked 300 items! The tarts were for graduation and the cookies for another event looming after graduation. Then the sermon ended and I checked the time. So, it was not eleven o'clock, after all, but two thirty. Hmmm, lunch.
 The first layer of Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Dough.

The fruit of my labor that morning. It might not look like much, but there are 150 of each, tart and cookie, in those things.

  After the short respite, I was at it again. This time, I was making pastelitos (also for graduation). The first thing to do is to make the dough. Oh, yes. Pastelitos are like the Dominican versions of turnovers. They can be sweet or savoury, usually stuffed with either cheese and jam or picadillo, our ground beef filling. Anyway, to the dough. My lovely Tia Mema and cousin Edlin sent me the recipe via email the evening previous, and I was ready to go. The last time I had made this was with my aunt, on a cold night, wither her strong arms, and my....non-knowledge. This time, I was by myself, on a hot afternoon, with let's-not-talk-about-it arms, and my....non-knowledge. But I was in a crazy mood and, as mentioned above, I was ready to go.
  To make a long story short, flour, eggs, butter, salt, and baking soda can be turned into a lot of things, and, at the moment, it was pastelito dough. After some fine kneading skills on the part of yours truly, and the help of the sultry day, I had a large ball of smooth, shiny, and eeelastic dough. Yay!!! I was thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, I continued right on to making the filling. With the camera.

My ingredients.

I had industriously chopped up the onions and garlic the night before so I would not be crying all over the camera. I know, it looks like a lot of ingredients, but...well...okay, it is a lot. The first thing to do is to saute the veggies in a non-stick skillet. Here I made my first mistake. I chose my handy-dandy, throw-in-what-you-want-and-it-will-fit wok. Of course, everyone knows that to saute aromatics and seasonings -to get that nice, caramelized colour and flavour- you need space. Well, the first thing about this wok is that it does not have space. A small bottom gradually leading to an ever-widening top. Sure, it may have capacity, but not space. So, I ended up with vegetables which became transparent and watery, not browned and plump. Note:
Into the pot you go, dearies! Then...
Translucent. Colourless. Insipid. Alright, maybe I am exaggerating.

  Thankfully, I was still in a good mood. Whatever. Time to chuck in the ground beef! Oh, yeah...It is still partially frozen. Again, whatever. In you go! (Warning: pics of raw animal ahead.)
   After a few minutes of faithful mashing, stirring, grunting, and whatever else came to my mind to do, I got browned and seasoned ground beef. It even smelled like my aunt's did!
  Then I added the chopped olives and raisins....
  And, lastly, the fresh herbs found their way into the simmering pot of who-knows-what.
I was done! After three different types of dough and five pounds of beef filling, I was through. I fridged the filling, froze the dough, and...faced the kitchen sink. That victory won, I settled into the evening. And completely blank out on what happened after that. 

  There. That was my big day in the kitchen. I had pictures of it, so I decided to blog about it. I am trying to catch up with everything that has happened and then start blogging about whatever suits my fancy. At the moment, what suits my fancy is food. Who knows? Next month it may be knitting. Just kidding. Can you imagine me writing posts as long as these on knitting patterns??? Oh, me. 
  Well, God bless 'til next time!


  1. Jenn, you could talk about anything and we would still enjoy it.

    The food looks yummy!


  2. Ah, dearest, I love seeing pictures! You work too hard (have I said this before) but you inspire me! Oh for a day of cooking and baking... ah for a dishwasher!

    Love you!

  3. My brother is a great dishwasher ;)


The lady who here journals strives to keep this domain one pleasing to her Father. She appreciates her readers to remember this as they post. Otherwise, I LOVE COMMENTS!