Monday, April 11, 2011

This Sourdough Bear

Aight, check it Rosie O.D., cause this shit just got heavy. Drop da beat – Bom – da’ da-da – Bom Bom -- I RUN THIS CITY, I DON’T DANCE AROUND LIKE DIDDY, NIGGAS IS GIDDY, TILL THEY SMACK SILLY. Oh, oh oh!

The question you might be asking yourself is, is this pastey white chick projecting herself rollin’ like a unibrow’d G? Or is she the frog?

While you’re toiling over that obvious question, relish in the glory of this lopsided piece of shit. Someone might be like, what the fuck happened in that oven, but this is actually pretty standard. Let me illustrate the predictability of a shitty-looking loaf coming out: picture for a moment, if you will, how utterly excited you were about wearing your new prom dress in high school, and then what you thought once you realized, 20 years later looking at a photo of you and your date under the super-imposed gradient of your faces, how horrid it was. Yes, I bet the irony of the prom dumpster baby scare and the reality of your ever-persistent hymen is really hitting home now. (Or, in Guy Version, where did you ever buy corduroy bell-bottoms in the first place?) The hilarity only compounds itself the further into history you delve, until all of a sudden you’re in 1955, your mom is hitting on you hardcore, and the scare of your doomed existence is absolutely nothing to laugh about. Well, maybe just a little.

The point of this being, you throw in a bouncing, happy ball of dough into the oven expecting it to come out looking like Will Smith’s face only to pull out a perfectly-sculpted replica of Seal. But you’d be kidding yourself if you prefer Will Smith’s voice to Seal’s sexy time serenades, so yeah, this thing tasted BOMB. Actually no, it didn’t. It tasted like standard wheat bread. Which tastes exactly like un-standard wheat bread. Which tastes exactly like anything with even a fleck of non-white wheat flour in it. Yum? No. It was whatevs.

The purpose of making this loaf wasn’t to prove my manhood or anything (if it was, I thoroughly exemplified my vaginahood), but to check that the sourdough starter was working.

And indeed it was. IS. I’m still growing Mr. Smelly Pants Starter, except he’s plenty happier and yeastier than before and has outgrown his rancid diaper stench. Now when I open the top, the smell of it hits my face like a fermenting gall wine and I feel positively biblical. Peter would probably give me a high five. Or Paul would write a raving review. Or God would send a flood cause he’s just a fucking asshole like that.

Also, adding some eyes to this thing makes it so goddamn adorable.

I’m the frog for sure.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mr. Smelly Pants Starter

Take a look at this, my few following yeastians, because it is likely the last living portrait ever to be taken of Mr. Smelly Pants Starter.

This creature has been getting grosser and grosser in what I’ve been hoping is ‘progress’ in the baking world, and only has me slightly wondering who the fuck decided to keep anything around that began to rot and smell like Betty White’s crotch. Just kidding, I don’t really know what Betty White’s crotch smells like – I keep tweeting her for deets on her keetch, but she’s apparently too busy being famThat's a mighty horrid stench you got there.ous or old or something. Either way when the cap comes off this pink container I go into auto-stink face mode, much like Clint Eastwood’s desert squint, but far less badass.

Needless to say, by day three I had christened the starter appropriately.

Rancid stench aside, everything else. Which is not much of anything at all. I pretty much dump out half the contents and add new water and flour every day since something like seven days ago and I have to tell you each evening when nothing’s coming out of the oven it begins to feel less like an investment and more like having an actual child. I fear it will decide to grow and leech onto me financially for twenty-some years before I have the chance to flush it down the toilet.

Either way, I forgot to feed Mr. Smelly Pants Starter yesterday as I was out getting my skank on like a real unplanned parenthood mother and decided the best way to solve this problem would be a double feeding in the morning, but only after my cornflakes and six Advil tablets. Even Mr. Smelly Pants’ odor couldn’t penetrate the fog of a Friday morning of no school/ no work/ and my loud vocalization of IT’S FRIDAY, FRIDAY, GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY until the word Friday became weird-like and I almost didn’t understand it anymore. (LEO GET OUT OF MY HEAD. Also, if you see Tom Hardy, you can tell him to stay.)

Well now that I finished my cornflakes and the first 1/3 of the Advil are kicking in while I watch some old skool Babar on television, I’m realizing doubling up at once may have the exact opposite effect as what doubling up in sex ed warned me about, in that I may have just snuffed my disgusting little baby starter.


Well, we’ll see in like, three more days. But until then…


Friday, March 25, 2011

This Wet and Wild Starter…

…looks like vomit. And not just regular vomit, more like baby poop vomit. Like real sick, soft chunks. Like the grossness you find under a lifted log that hasn’t seen the light of day since the Proterozoic era. Like some kind of toe jam infection that I scraped off with a butter knife and let be moistened by the romantic morning dew and is now slightly throbbing like that steak from Poltergeist just before it explodes into a chunky meat volcano. But c’mon, that guy kind of had it coming – I can only hope my own food is as loyal to me as to self-destruct should some stranger go digging through my fridge in the middle of the night.

So, ladies and gents, this is my new wild yeast sourdough starter. I’ve been a little intimidated about starting a starter, even before I went to Disney’s California Adventure and Rosie O’Donnell pretty much said good luck with that sourdough at home, bitch, and I spent the rest of the day intermittently sobbing and laughing on Big Thunder Mountain. ‘Intimidated’ isn’t the right word maybe. My trusty Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book which has failed me many a times has a lovely desem recipe that includes simple ingredients like water and flour. But like, ten pounds of flour. And a box to put it in and bury the starter. Seemed like an okay task until I remembered this one time my brother buried me in a hole at the beach with nothing but my head sticking out and left me there to bake for like, three hours, occasionally stopping by to touch up the sand turrets he had erected on either side of my ears and drop the driftwood bridge onto the back of my head so the sand crabs he collected had a ramp to slide down when they finally found their way out of the matted, greasy nest that was my hair. By six o’clock in the evening with the sun melting majestically on the horizon and the stretch of beach as un-manned as the exact opposite of the start of Saving Private Ryan, I had recruited enough sand crabs to dig little sand crab holes around my shoulders so that when the tide came in half the water drained and I was at least able to breath through my nostrils. The next morning a surfer dug me out but only after I had convinced him I was a mer-person, which wasn’t entirely untrue since my legs had lost all circulation and I could only flop around like a beached whale for about a half hour. I would say it was the worst family vacation, but the sand turrets were pretty cool.

I was determined to do something, though, so I went back to The Fresh Loaf and found a recipe for a starter that began by asking for two tablespoons of flour and two tablespoons of orange juice and I was like, SUCK ON THIS, ROSIE O’DONNELL.

Yes, it is disgusting, but so is every baby when it pops fresh outta the va-jay-jay, so I have high hopes that this will be looking like Suri Cruise in the next few weeks or so. If not, FUCK YOU ROSIE O’DONNELL and I’ll see if my little sand crabs are still looking for a job. It doesn’t help that I keep this ugly ass little shit of a thing in an ugly ass little shit of a hospital container.


Final Scorsese pending.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Pain Aux My Ass

I want you to feast your eyes on these little heavenly beauts while I feast on them with my mouth and spray germy crumbs on my macbook screen as I LOL at you. And I don’t mean that polite, humor-your-floundering-stretch-at-sarcasm-and-or-pun kind of LOL where I really just sit here with no emotional flux whatsoever and pray someone’s sneaking up on me with a blunt object to put me out of my misery. No. Straight up urban dictionary literal Laugh Out Loud at your pastry-deprived face.

I came across this recipe at TheFreshLoaf।com and then promptly came in my pants when I saw the picture. I said myself, I said, Collette, you have two choices here: 1) Get to work on these delectable little treats or 2) be skinny the rest of your life. The choice was a clear one.

Apparently the recipe comes from The Village Baker, which I do not yet own as I am a full time student spending my hard-earned part-time funds on other kinds of yeast and the sexy bartenders in the backdrop. Also, (better excuse here). So yeah.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I baked sweet bread, or anything asking for more than a pinch of sugar and maybe like, half an egg, so needless to say I was pretty much fed up with this bitch of a dough by night one when it was hanging onto my fingers like a sobbing, sexually-molested-by-the-neighbor’s-dog child hanging onto their alcoholic father and Xanax-prescribed mother during the last fight before Dad takes off with that homeless skank who’s been flashing a boob (on accident) at him every time he’s on the way to the bank and Mom finally has HAD IT UP TO HERE and moves back in with her mother like that’s really going to prove anything, c’mon, he’s been hoping you’d clear out the room so there’d be space for Hobo Helen without any awkward questions like, Spare change? Pretty. Fucking. Annoying. I hoped a night in the fridge would chill it out (high five for that one!), but it only made its grip all the more clingy. As I sunk my fingers into the clammy squish-monster, I was transported back to a secret childhood memory of massaging nearly-dead geezer flesh. No, no, just kidding. He was very much alive. But aside from the tears and the occasional groan of, OH GOD WHY, I handled that dough like a master ninja with a little help from my friend Mr. Flour (whom I had completely forgotten about up till that point).

The rest was just details. Not really fun, but kind of sadistically satisfying. Especially when I almost forgot to add fake eggs to the cream cheese filling so my mother wouldn’t die a horrible, throat-bloated death with Collette standing there a little suspiciously, empty plate in hand and a please-try-my-fresh-baked-goods smile. Pastry sans single bite rolls dramatically away à la Snow White apple.

Fade to black.

P.S. Allow my anality for a minute here. Je ne suis pas couramment le français, but I studied that food chapter pretty hard. Like, if I’m stuck in France with nothing but my intellect and a spare pair of underwear and a desperate wantoness for French men, fuck the school vocab and the chapter on time of day, I want to know where le meilleur restaurant en ville is. And also if that shit is made out of snails. When I read Pain Aux Raisins, I was under the impression I needed grapes. I made a special trip to the store. I told the cashier no, I don’t need a bag, these babies is gettin glazed tonight, OH YEAH! Apparently, Frenchlish is the new ‘in’ language of bakers and I’m just getting the update.