It was a do or die kind of moment.
Standing over the garbage chute.
Loaf in hand.
The kind of moment that I'll be able to look back on in ten years. Pinpoint. And say, this is where it all changed.
My New Years Resolution, you see, is to give up bread.
Alright, get it out of your system. All the gasps and moans and sighs of disbelief. Nothing else to see here. Move along, move along.
Maybe I should clarify before someone has a heart attack. Yes, I'm talking to you. In the back. The one who's face is now the color of the Atlantic Ocean. Calm. The F***. Down.
My New Years resolution is to give up storebought bread.
From now until 2011 (and beyond. Hopefully by then all of this baking business will be so ingrained in me that storebought bread will be a mere relic of the past. You can never go home again. That sort of thing) the only bread allowed to enter my kitchen will be that which was molded with my bare hands. No more pre-dinner runs to the Food Emporium or Le Pain Quotidien. Those days are over.
Which brings me back to the beginning of this post.
Step 1. Getting rid of the safety net. (I.e. Throwing out that bag of whole wheat bread from Trader Joe's that's been sitting in your fridge for the better part of the past month.)
It's like a Band Aid. Or a Nike ad. Just. Do. It.
And with one flick of the wrist, it's gone.
You find yourself standing in your kitchen. Alone. With your packets of Fleischman's. A five thousand pound bag of King Arthur's flour. And the HBinFive baking schedule. (Which was put together and is being hosted so graciously by Michelle over at Big Black Dog!)
It's time to get busy.
The first bread on the list was the Master Recipe. It is made up of mostly whole wheat flour with a bit of AP thrown in for posterity. Five minutes of hands on time, two hours of rising, one night of refrigeration, another 90 minutes of rising, and 30 minutes of baking later. The bread was born.
And how was it?
Delicious. It had the consistency of my favorite Italian bread from The Bronx. A mix between a Ciabatta and a Pugliese. Otherwise known as heaven.
A crisp crust.
An open crumb.
What more could a girl ask for?
But such a fine bread calls for some fine toppings. So I did the only sensible the thing possible under such circumstances. I hit up Whole Foods.
Where, lo and behold, avocadoes were on sale. 5 for $5.
How is this possible, I thought to myself as I put ten into my shopping cart. (Which I eventually thought better of. Avocadoes have a pretty finite shelf life, I reminded myself. So I removed five.)
Let me enlighten you. Avocadoes, aside from being nutritional superstars filled with good, healthy omega 3's, are also a winter fruit.
(Let me just say that all of these tropical fruits that are in season during the winter - cough citrus cough - completely baffle me. I don't see how oranges or grapefruits fit in with subzero January temperatures. I just don't.)
This open-faced sandwich of avocado, a sunny-side up egg, and cheddar cheese was a surprisingly delicious combination that I found in MFC (my favorite cookbook - Bon Appetit's Fast/Easy/Fresh). It is so simple to put together and makes for a great, light lunch or dinner. Especially after the debauchery and excess of the holiday season. It is also my submission to this month's mingle (being hosted over at Cook Like A Bong), the theme of which is Winter Fruits and Vegetables.
Fried Eggs on Toast with Cheddar and Avocado
Serves 4, adapted from Bon Appetit's Fast/Easy/Fresh
1 tbsp butter
4 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar (or slices of cheddar)
4 thick slices of delicious homemade bread
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a heavy skillet. Crack eggs into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until egg whites are just set on bottom, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and top each egg with cheese.
2. Arrange the sandwich. Bread on botom. Followed by avocado. Followed by egg.
This bread has been Yeastspotted!
I would just like to conclude with a few thank yous, to VanillaStrawberrySpringfields and Faith over at Thought4Food for giving me the Sugardoll Award, and to Catherine of Living the Gourmet for giving me the Kreativ Blogger Award! All of these bloggers are absolutely amazing and produce tantalizing food that will have you drooling in no time. So you should check out their blogs. Pronto.
As part of these awards, I am supposed to list 10 interesting things about myself. And then give the award to 10 bloggers. (Okay, I am only supposed to do 7 and 7 for the Kreativ Blogger award, but who's counting?)
1. I have played the piano for twelve years. I was classically trained but ended up playing a lot of Broadway during college.
2. I love musicals. My two favorites are Wicked and The Last Five Years.
3. The only foreign country I have ever been to is Italy, when I was eight. But I would love to travel more.
4. I want to name my first daughter Remy.
5. I eat an apple a day.
6. Up until about a year ago, I refused to eat cooked fish - only sushi. I think it was a textural thing.
7. The weirdest thing I've ever eaten is pig intestine. Or chicken feet.
8. I currently have five jars of peanut butter (and one jar of almond butter) sitting in my cupboard.
9. I love Coke Zero. Sorry if that offends anyone, but I do.
10. I don't own a television. And I'm damn proud of it.
I would like to pass these on to...drumroll please...Mari of Namaste, Sophia of Burp and Slurp, Heather of Girlichef, Kim of Stirring the Pot, Kris of Behold the Metatron, Snow White of Finding Joy in My Kitchen, Bob of Cooking Stuff, Amy of Very Culinary, Katy of Food For A Hungry Soul, and Toni of New Veginnings.