Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How is it afternoon already!?

posted by Melissa
Poblano chile tart
Like I said yesterday, today was my kid's first day of school.  I was excited for them, but mostly I was excited to start getting my house in order today.  And to get back into homesteading.  Those first two days were divine.

My plan was to walk to the Co-op, make bread, make a cleaning spray to use to clean my house, prepare a delicious dinner and enjoy it all with my family at home.

I made my list and walked to the store with Amy.  There I bought a sourdough starter with a recipe included inside for my bread making.  Although a friend offered me her bread recipe book, I still have not made my way over to get it and I have no bread recipes.  I also gathered ingredients for tonight's dinner, taken from a recipe in a book I picked up once at Elliot Bay Book Company, Chefs on the Farm.  It is from a Farm School in eastern Washington, which I would love to someday attend.

When I got home, I started here and there, and kept getting distracted.  I was all over the place.  I made the cleaning spray and quickly washed my bathroom sink and dusted my living room with it.  I did this, while groceries were barely put away and dinner was still an open cookbook that I had barely read enough to know if I would be able to accomplish the recipe in one afternoon.  Yes, it was afternoon by this point.  My kids started school at 8:50 am, how was it now afternoon?
My guacamole.

I opened the sourdough package I had bought to make my bread, excited that I would get to work on my commitment to three loaves of bread a week.  (What was I thinking?)  Turns out you need to create the sourdough starter and feed it everyday for  7 days! before you can even use it.  Not only that, but the temperature conditions are strict and the whole thing sounded very complicated and severe in its rules (even for a Virgo).  See ya later sourdough.

So, I was going to start on dinner, but then Amy stopped down to talk about the big birthday dinner we are planning for this Friday.  We went from planning a clam bake requiring 16 live lobsters and costing over $300 just for the lobsters alone,  to a Spanish paella feast.  Much more economical, and we can cook it outside on the grill.  Yes, that took a while to talk out.  And I had to order a paella pan, which meant reading reviews online (yes, somehow this fell under the rules of only essential computer use) and finding the best deal.

fresh salsa
By now it was time to go and get the kids from school.  Really?  Where had the day gone?  We walked back to school and then I rushed/ran home to go and get Lily from her Middle School.  You know, the one she hates.  I seem to be really good at helping her find just the right school for hating.  Then I ran home again to grab Tallulah and get her to soccer practice.

It was already 5pm.  And still the only thing I really got done that I set out to do was make the cleaning spray.  (1cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 Tablespoon citrus Dr. Bronner's soap...very nice, if it looks chunky at first, it will smooth out)

Now to start dinner, and hope I had time to finish it!  I did, barely.  We sat down to dinner at 7:30pm.  We had a Roasted Chile with a Cornmeal Crust Tart (recipe below), Fresh Salsa, Guacamole, and Rice and Beans.  It was all so flavorful.

And now to say good night, and wake up to see if tomorrow's homesteading is any more successful.

Roasted Chile and Cornmeal Tart
makes 8 servings
Need: one 8-inch tart pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (used half whole what pastry and half spelt)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (1/2 of a stick) but into pieces
2 cups fresh corn kernels (Co-op was out of fresh, so I used frozen)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3 Tablespoons sour cream
Kosher salt

Marinated chiles:
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I also minced them)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 roasted poblano peppers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

2 lbs. ripe Heirloom tomatoes, sliced, salted, and drained (reserve juice for another use, I put it in my rice and beans)
3 Cups (12 oz.) shredded smoked Curado cheese (I couldn't get this and used a smoke goat cheese from Cowgirl Creamery)

To prepare crust, mix together the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter, mixing by hand, until the mixture resembles white peas.

In a blender, purée the corn kernels, lemon juice and sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Combine with the dry mixture until a dough forms.  (Dough may be sticky, and I had to do this part by hand)

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Prepare the marinade for the chiles by mixing together the garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, salt and oil in a glass dish.  Add the chiles and marinate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°

Get the dough and roll it out on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch, to about 10 inches in diameter.  Press into tart pan.  (There will be dough hanging over edges)

To prepare the filling, layer the tomatoes, marinate chiles, and shredded cheese in the dough-lined pan, alternating until all are used.  Fold the hanging edges over the filling, leaving it open in the center.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and the crust is set.  I baked for about 50 minutes, and then browned it under the broiler for 3 minutes to get the cheese bubbly.

Hope you enjoy!!


Loretta said...

Melissa I am so in awe of you. You have so much energy and It seems like you enjoy every bit of it. Wish I had as much love of life as you do!

Melissa said...

Thanks, Loretta. I enjoy most of it, but truth be told, as I was struggling to "get into it" today, I said to my neighbors...'"This homesteading, I loved it for 2 days. And now I am done." Somedays are always easier than other!