A little stir-crazy here, I can feel it coming on. Funny, when you have the right to lie around and be lazy, it’s not that much fun anymore… Hopefully that means I’m feeling better, at least this morning. I’m thinking, yeah! I can do it! I could head to the store, I could cook something today! I’m not counting on actually pulling that off, but we’ll see. I will certainly bake, with what I have available, just to achieve something. I don’t really need to bake bread – I still have challah rolls in the freezer, which have sustained me through the last few days. Pop one in the microwave until just warm – ahhhh, yeasty heaven. Thank goodness there is no Hope Creamery butter in this house or I’d be a yeasty, buttery, coughing mess. OMG, a soft, warm challah roll with a cold slice of HC…prrrrr… Snap back to reality, Stephanie! That’s not moderate! Perhaps I can make garlic soup, that would be good for me. Delicious too. I think I have some gruyere to grate on top. Could use some crusty bread with that, so there’s my baking challenge – dense, crusty bread to float in garlic soup. Very rustic, very restorative – and very doable. Just what the doctor ordered.
I was too sick to record Feminine Hijinxlast night, damn, but it looks like we’re on for this coming Thursday, woo hoo! It’s one thing to listen to us chicks cackling while discussing poop (and wine, food, family, religion, and sex; we cover it all!), quite another to listen to me hacking and sniffling. Cackling = good. Hacking = bad. We’re going to start inviting guests to join us soon…look out! We may call on you! And oh! I got my FH clock, hung it by our downstairs bar. Looks fabulous, I’m so proud of Brian’s logo design, looks great on products. Haven’t received my mug yet, should arrive today. And haven’t ordered the thong underwear yet, which totally crack me up (ouch, bad pun). Soon, soon…
Consider…the matzoh ball. That deceptively-disguised dumpling of deliciousness. They’re not pretty, I admit it, in fact to the degree that I wouldn’t so much as taste them for years. But my god they are good. Tender, salty pillows of yumminess. I’m not Jewish, and I LOVE them. John is Jewish, and he doesn’t. So it has nothing to do with ethnicity – I figure, you’re either a dumpling person, or you’re not. I AM. Oh my, how I am. Matzoh ball soup is the first thing I want when I don’t feel well. And if I’m honest, it has nothing to do with the soup, and everything to do with the mmmmatzoh ball. John picked up said soup for me last night and I loved it so much that I whipped up a few matzoh balls for myself for lunch today. I just happened to have a package of Manischewitz Matzoh Ball mix in my cupboard, which produces an excellent matzoh ball (pictured here). But making your own is a snap and worth trying at least once. If for no other reason than to use schmaltz. Yes, it is an actual thing (ingredient), other than an adjective for sappy. (Recipe is posted in comments, below.)
Garlic soup is a-simmerin’, I found the energy to do it – because it requires boiling garlic in water. I can handle that. (Recipe in comments, below.) This cough! I have the ugliest cough in the whole world – deep and loud, it literally consumes me. Tears and snot run down my face, I choke and can’t breathe, I pull muscles – once I cracked a rib coughing, while I was pregnant with Nathan. It’s this beast that possesses me, I hate it. Be gone! Be gone! (Maybe I subconsciously came up with the garlic idea to rid my body of this demon. Or not. Sorry, a little punchy, bored, and tired. I’m not really a demon-believer kind of person.) Did not bake bread, do not have the energy for that. Am making croutons from bakery cheese bread, nice, dense, serves the purpose. After I eat it, I am going. To. Bed. (And hoping not to cough all night…)
5 cups water
1 head garlic, cloves smashed, trimmed, and peeled
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. gruyere cheese, grated
4 thick slices of Italian or other rustic bread, toasted
freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan, bring water to boil. Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and salt. Simmer for 1 hour. Place a colander in a large bowl and pour garlic broth through colander into bowl. Remove half of the garlic, smash it into a puree, and stir it back into the broth. Discard remaining garlic and herbs. Return broth to the pan and set over medium low heat. In the same large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and oil. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot broth, then whisk egg mixture into broth in the pan. Stir with a wire whisk and cook, over medium low heat, until broth is very hot (but not boiling) and thickened, about 10 minutes. Divide bread and cheese among 4 bowls. Ladle hot soup over bread and cheese. Top with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
Matzoh Ball Soup
4 large eggs
2 tsp. salt
Dash cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. schmaltz (chicken fat, available in the refrigerated Kosher section of most grocery stores), melted
1 c. matzoh meal
1 quart salted water
2 quarts good chicken broth, hot
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, salt, cayenne, and schmaltz. Gently stir in matzoh until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Moisten hands with cold water and roll matzoh mixture into ¾-inch balls, setting them on a plate as you finish them. After all the balls are formed, drop them into gently boiling water. Bring back to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve in bowls of hot chicken broth.
(Leftover matzoh balls keep well in the refrigerator and reheat well in the microwave.)
Yes, you need some tea or hot broth in your Feminine Hijinx mug! Feel better soon, sweetie! I am missing that cackle terribly!!!