...being able to pour your own drink at the dinner table...
...being able to recite your address and phone number without hesitation...
...driving without a licensed adult...
I love making my own bread at home.
I'd never liked making bread before because I hate babysitting yeast. You put it all together and let it sit. Play with it, let it sit. Play with it some more, repeat, repeat, repeat. And I don't believe in bread machines. The tooth fairy, Easter bunny and unicorns, yes. Bread machines, no.
My #1 go-to culinary book is Culinary Artistry by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg but my #1 favorite book of all-time (for the next 12 years, at least, I'm sure) is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
I never could have imagined the joy and fulfillment I feel for this book and its contents. I feel as if I've just had a baby or a new puppy brought to me to love, care for and groom.
My heart palpitates, eyes dilate, and palms sweat when I think about this book. I think I'm in love.
I know I've talked about the affairs I've been having lately: biscuits, cornbread and gravy (white bread's cousin by marriage) but nothing, and I mean NOTHING can compare to the beauty that blooms in my kitchen every day with Jeff and Zoe by my side (or at least propped up on the counter between the microwave and spice rack).
I made a bunch of rolls to refrigerate and freeze so that I can thaw or bake as I need them. My apartment is small, it gets hot if you yawn too long; so I try to avoid cutting on the oven as much as possible. I sprinkled each bun with some pretty pink Hawaiian sea salt.
I went to the island of Kauai nearly two years ago. They don't let you bring anything on the plane to the mainland. The only things I could keep were this salt and a bruised up pineapple.
Hawaiian sea salt, also called alaea [pronounced: ah-lie-ah] takes its name from the islands' red volcanic clay. On the island of Kauai, the sediment of iron oxide-rich red volcanic clay, called alaea, seeped into the ocean from the rivers. When the red ocean water became trapped in puddles and pools, evaporation created alaea sea salt. The clay imparts a subtle flavor that is more mellow than regular salt. A traditional seasoning in Hawaiian dishes, it can be used on pork (think pulled pig and luaus), fish and marbled cuts of beef. It's also very pretty on vegetables. And bread.
Don't ever forget the bread.