I swear, this happens every year--something about my birthday throws me off kilter, and April vanishes before I've even finished making my to-do list for the month. Okay, now that I've typed it out, that actually sounds like what happens to me every month. But in April it feels more drastic, perhaps because on May 1 we begin the second third of the year. Gracious.
Thanks to my not-so-trusty system of scribbling things on post-it notes, I know there are three things I've been meaning to tell you (and also that I want to make posole and see The Young Victoria):
- I finally tried the overnight method of making steel-cut oats, and I love it. Marion Cunningham recommends a double boiler, which sounded far too fussy for me. Instead, I put 1 cup oats in a small saucepan with 1 quart water and a big pinch of salt, bring to a simmer, and hold at a very bare simmer for 3-5 minutes (time depending on how hard the bubble has gotten--often I accidentally let the pot boil over, in which case I stop at 3 minutes, but if I've watched carefully and held it low, I go 5). Then I turn off the heat, cover, and leave overnight (stirring once or twice before climbing into bed, if possible). In the morning, the oats are ready to eat. I don't find that they need to be cooked any longer, just reheated. The porridge ends up a bit softer than usual, but I actually prefer it to oatmeal al dente. The best part of this new habit is that it takes about the same amount of time it takes me to tidy up the kitchen, so on the nights that I need to make a new pot, I have no excuse to leave any mess for the morning (which I'm afraid I sometimes do).
- I recently took care of bathroom sink clog with baking soda, boiling water, and vinegar. Well, it isn't completely unclogged...but it's much better, and I've never seen Drano truly solve a clog, either.
- I hate to throw away beloved socks when they get holes in the toes or heels, and I just read somewhere that I should use them for dusting. So far, so good.
Since I haven't been blogging, I have no idea what we've eaten this month. I can tell you that we did not eat delicious pork and beet green enchiladas, because my large Pyrex dish exploded as they cooked:
I would have taken this as the universe's not-so-gentle suggestion that I clean my oven had I not done so the week before, when I inverted a hot rhubarb upside down cake onto the inside of the oven door. I didn't have the heart to take a picture of the mess, but here it is scraped into a bowl, still surprisingly good:
The worst part about the enchiladas was that I had made my own chili powder for the first time ever, and it smelled amazing. Then I made a scrumptious sauce. Then I rolled an extra-large batch of enchiladas. Much later, I picked up a pizza for dinner and spent the evening cleaning glass out of the oven.
Notes towards future enchiladas:
CHILI POWDER Toast 3 California and 3 Arbol chiles in a skillet. Pull off caps, dump out seeds, tear into pieces, put into blender. Toast 1 tablespoon cumin seeds and put into blender. Add 1 teaspoon oregano and blend into a powder.
ENCHILADA SAUCE/CHILI GRAVY Adapted from Homesick Texan: 1/4 cup fat (I use butter), 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup milk. Mixed up like a bechamel, can't remember if I used the oregano and cumin since they were already in the chili powder.