Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Put a Damper on Things!

I made beer bread!! Pretty cool. Thanks to S. who brought Sprecher's Special Amber (not a sessionable beer, although maybe it is, what do I know)(I learned a new word yesterday!)(I think I saw it on "Yeah, That Vegan Shit", but now I can't find the post) I had beer on hand and I've been wanting to try this for a while. It was pretty good, I didn't opt for the 1/2! C of butter (read: Earth Balance) over the top, call me crazy, but it was still good. Fun for a quick bread to go with soup. I could definately see this with a pea soup in the future. The recipe I followed was here, but I decided to go with a reversal on the whole wheat/regular flour ratio. Oh, and I nuked the beer for 45 seconds (as per I read somewhere on the internet) because I didn't have time to wait for it to get to room temperature- the beer should be at room temperature, something about interfering with the yeast and the baking soda, schmana-nana.

I read of a possible variation using coconut milk and shredded coconut, here, and found out about damper, which sounds intriguing for camping...

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

2 C all purpose flour (16)
1 C whole wheat flour (4)
1 T sugar (1)
1 t salt
1 T baking powder
12 oz beer, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan.
Sift together dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in beer and mix until just combined.
Pour into pan and bake 45m or until it tests done.
Cool in pan 10m, then out of pan 10m.
24 points total, 16 slices = 1.5 points a slice

The soup was okay, pretty quick and easy and used up some of that cilantro. It could have been worse. Of course, later I read this quote; "anything with too much ground cumin in it is just gross." from here and immediately got paranoid.

Black Bean Soup

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (7) (reserve 1/4 C)
1 can light coconut milk (7)
1 T cumin
1 T soy sauce
1/2 C coriander leaves, packed
1 clove garlic
few drops of liquid smoke

Blend everything except the 1/4 C beans.
Heat on low.
Garnish with cilantro.
Makes approximately 3 C, 5 points a cup.

Okay, here's the deal with "A Meeting at Corvallis"- I get the feeling that the author is drawing out this book so that he can write another one afterward. This really irritates me. I know there is this whole movement where tonnes and tonnes of novels are written and people breathlessly wait for the next one, so maybe I should just get with the program, but really. Please don't waste my time. There's a difference between being drawn into a book and being drawn out over it. I'm reminded of that torture where they tie up your wrists and ankles and streeetch you out.

I am over halfway through this book that has drawn out and drawn out and drawn out this battle, and while reading about all the strategy etc. etcetera is cool, I know you, Mr. Stirling, were sitting there rubbing your hands together thinking 'I can milk this for another book's worth!'. Maybe I am bored enought to actually finish this, we'll see.

No knitting, although I did work up (in my mind) a little baby blanket pattern to try. We'll see if I get the time to go out and put away the yarn for the baby sweater and pull out a bunch of different yarn.


tanaudel said...

Heheh - I was trying so hard not to make a pun on "damper", so I'm very glad you did and got it out of the way!

I always forget to bring the beer to room temperature. I'll have to try it and see if that makes a difference :)

elizabeth said...

Well, I don't know what that says about me (the inability to pass up a pun), but I am glad to have gotten it out of the way anyhow! It was too good to resist!

Thanks for your post on beer bread and the further info on damper- I always like to learn new things!! We don't usually camp with a campfire, but I'll tuck damper away in a corner of my mind until the right moment presents itself... wonder if it would work with a wood stove?

Anyway, thanks! I like your blog!

tanaudel said...

It will work with *anything*. Wood stove, electric stove, dodgy gas stove with no known temperatures, campfire etc. You can put it in a tin, on a pan, in a pie dish, in muffin tins (nice for individual ones), in foil, in a can in the coals. It's almost infinitely adaptable.

Wrecks you for french baking, though :)

elizabeth said...

Hey! Good to know damper's so adaptable, we use a propane two burner stove lately while camping, I'll have to give it a go! It would be nice to have some bread to eat with our one pot meals... but now I have to ask, what's French baking?!?

tanaudel said...

Very precise and elegant baking - French pastries, etc. Anything that won't work terribly well on a propane stove :)

elizabeth said...

Ah yes, well, I haven't even attempted pastry like items even with a regular stove, so damper is right up my alley!!