Okay, so I know the title of this post might not be the most P.C. way to start, given the racial controversy surrounding Paula Deen a few years back. But I can’t so easily do away with her legacy as a cook. This morning particularly, Paula Deen was very relevant to me. So much so that I just had to blog about it.
Yesterday, I made a Rafia version of turkey chili. Right then and there, you should know that the final product did not resemble your typical chili recipe. That’s fine. I was improvising, as I always do, because hey, isn’t that what cooking is all about? Though it ended up having the consistency of a soup more than chili, it was edible… and I didn’t absolutely hate it.
But, I was pressed for time and didn’t make anything else to accompany the Frankenchili. Normally, my husband would be cool with this. He’s very easy going, especially when it comes to my cooking – and he better be, because if he ain’t, it’ll be peanut butter and sriracha for him! But he is human, after all. And a soupy chili with no accompaniment really is asking too much from him.
Sure, I could have taken the car and bought a loaf of bread from the grocery store this morning like a normal person would. But you know me (well, I guess you don’t), buying bread is a nightmare! If I see an ingredients list, I’ll be up in the bakery aisle reading the ingredients of all the breads they have. And if you’ve ever been to a grocery store recently, you’ll know that there’s not just one or two different types of bread – there’s literally hundreds to choose from. I like to choose breads with the least amount of ingredients and no refined sugar. This is an oxymoron, I’m well aware. Just this past Sunday I ordered a strawberry cheesecake french toast for brunch and was not satisfied because it wasn’t sweet enough. It’s a weird thing with me and ingredients. If I see it, I read it. If I don’t see a list, it’s like I’ve convinced myself there’s only ingredient: the item I’m ordering.
Anyways, so this morning, I thought to myself: “Let me surprise my sweet little husband and make some bread for him from scratch!” It’s not that I don’t have work today. I actually have a lot. We have our fundraising dinner this Saturday and I’m going to be speaking and it’s finally hit me what I’ve agreed to and I’m having a mini nervous breakdown. But I figure that I need this distraction, maybe baking will ease my nerves a bit.
If anything, it displaced my nerves.
Of course, I didn’t have all the ingredients needed to make bread. And even with the no-yeast recipe I did find, I didn’t follow the exact instructions, substituting whole wheat for all-purpose flour, eyeballing the ingredients (something I’ve been told one should never do when baking), and then I kept on adding water because the dough was crumbly and wasn’t kneading nicely.
But I didn’t give up. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe in the Oven Fairy.
Unfortunately, I think the Oven Fairy was also under a bit of stress today. Because this is what I ended up with.
Pictures are deceiving. Though this may look like a pita, that’s not the look I was going for. The outside was tough and when I had a taste (come on, it’s me we’re talking about, I can’t resist!), I realized then that the recipe didn’t call for salt! It was like I was biting into solid whole wheat flour.
Then, I remembered last week when I got sick, I convinced my husband to let us buy salted spreadable butter. And I am so glad I did. Because I Paula Deened the life out of that bread with butter while it was still warm. Calories be damned, Rafia is cooking here!
And then I cut it up into smaller pieces – something I think disguises failure to some extent.
You can’t tell, but 1/8 of the bread is gone.
I’m not sure if the butter did the trick or if it was because I hadn’t eaten anything or because it’s me and carbs. But honestly, not bad.
I’ll probably cut these pieces into smaller ones and tell my husband I made croutons for the chilisoup! :)