I'm coaching girls basketball this season. It's a testament to how great this country is, that someone like me, who barely knows anything about the sport (the ball goes in the hoop, right?) can become a coach. The girls are actually not that bad. We lost our first game last week, but I chalk that up to inexperience. They can only get better, right?
Anyways, with all the late hours I've been putting in at work recently, I haven't had as much time to cook as I normally do. Some of my meals have been downright pitiful (My lunch on Friday was peanut smeared on a bagel, and a handful of "baby" carrots.) since I haven't really made time to think of alternatives.
That changes this week. I'm making a giant (and I do mean GIANT) batch of curried lentil soup for dinner tomorrow. Hopefully, the leftovers will last for lunch and dinner for several days. To go with it, I'm making bread.
My birthday was last week. My parents gave me a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which is the hot cookbook tearing up all the foodie blogs this year. The premise is simple. Make a large amount of bread dough ahead of time, store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Pull off a chunk and bake with it whenever you feel like it. They give you five or six (I didn't really count them) base doughs to work with, and directions on how to turn them into anything from rye, to challah, to focaccia. I made a batch of French "boule" dough this afternoon, that could potentially be pizza dough, french bread, or pita, depending on what I do with the dough. That's pretty cool.
Hopefully, I'll get a chance to blog a bit about how the bread turns out. It seems like a pretty easy system, and the storage in the fridge will bring out a nice, sourdough-ish flavor. The book's authors keep emphasizing how fool proof this recipe is. Indeed, there are a few places where I thought the directions were a bit vague, presumably because they didn't want to limit my inclination to do what feels natural.
And since I probably won't get a chance to blog about it later, here's my recipe for lentil soup.
1 ham bone, preferably with meat still on it.
2 pounds of lentils, sorted and rinsed
All of this will go in my giant Crockpot o' Doom with enough water to fill it two thirds full and will cook until I get home.