Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cheesy Breadsticks

Here's our basic bread recipe:

In a large bowl:
6 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
And set aside

In a measuring jug:
2 cups tap-hot water
4 teaspoons traditional active dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar

When the yeast water froths (about ten minutes) mix it into the flour blend.

Knead well. 5 minutes in an electric mixer, or 20 minutes by hand. It should feel smooth and elastic. Add a tad more flour if too sticky.

To this basic recipe, for the breadsticks, add 1 tablespoon garlic powder along with the flour.

Cover kneaded dough with cling flim or a damp tea towel, and leave to rise until double in size. Depending on room temperature this could take several hours so allow time. Don't be tempted to use it before it has doubled! Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Now roll it out to fill a large parchment lined baking sheet, and cover with cheese (we used parmesan and cheddar, you can use others) and any herbs you feel like.  Doesn't need a second rise. Cut into strips with a pizza wheel then bake about 20 minutes. Cut through again before serving.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Eat What You Like

I've touched on this many times, but it's part of a whole area of thought that bugs me, and while I'm talking specifically about food here, believe me, this extends to every other aspect of life.

I enjoy my food. I enjoy talking about it. I enjoy cooking. I declare myself a foodie. However, there are those who say I don't qualify, because a) I don't eat everything (some of the things I don't like are widely popular, making me appear picky), and b) I don't over-indulge. I don't think it's funny or clever to eat until I groan or feel ill. YMMV.

There are several ways in which people take it upon themselves to criticize what other people eat. I think this is complete bollocks. Sure, there are things I wouldn't eat, so I don't eat them. End of problem. If somebody else wants to eat it, not my problem.

It's fun to joke about these things sometimes. There are the same basic rules in these discussions as in all discussions. Teasing should be kept under a certain level so that nobody is hurt. Know who you are joking with. Preaching is not acceptable, ever.

I am so done with food preachers. They are no different to any other preacher. I have no time for preachers.

If I like cheap supermarket yellow mustard, I shall eat it. I don't give a shit if it's not gourmet. I also occasionally buy expensive fancy mustards, and I like those too. But for my ham sandwich at lunch, I'm perfectly content with the yellow stuff.

But I am a person with a certain attitude. I'm not affected by the opinions of others. Most importantly, I never have been. I was born with that attitude, and encouraged by a mother who believed in the right of people to have opinions of their own. Yes, she was a radical for her day.

However, I still come across those who try to sway my opinion. After 5 decades, I think I know what I like.

I'm not worried about me. I can look after myself. I do get annoyed when I see others being picked on.

In a world where we already have enough of this nonsense going on, do this, don't do that, be this, don't wear that....we don't need food bullies. That's what they are.

"You shouldn't eat that"

Says who?

"It's not good for you."

Maybe not. And? Mind your own damn business.

"That doesn't go with that."

Nope, but I like them together, so bugger off.

"That's not authentic."

So? I like it. Get over yourself.

"You should try this."

Why? You should try shutting up.

"You're not going to eat that, are you?"

Yep. And it's mine, and you can't have any.

"I didn't want any."

So what's the problem?

And let's not forget:

"You shouldn't eay animals."

Oh really? I have canine teeth and a digestive system that can process it. There are clues there.

And so on.

You've all seen it, maybe you've been a victim of it. Maybe you've been guilty of it. Well, it's bollocks.

Eat what you like. So long as you are not forcing your tastes on others, it's all good.

I have made a conscious decision to call processed food just that. Not junk food. If I refer to what somebody eats as junk food, simply because it's not something I eat, I am being judgemental, and it's wrong. So long as they don't make ME eat it, where is the problem?

"Oh, but I'm concerned about their health."

I doubt it. You are just saying "What I eat is better than what you eat, ner ner ner ner ner."

Bullying. It's bullying.

No, I don't want to eat it. And I will say so. And that's fine. That's me. But I will not tell another person what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do. Should is a very ugly word.