Adventures in the Kitchen

We have had quite a few culinary adventures and reasons to blog lately, but just finished a week of French exams and so have had little time to post until now.  So I'll smush together a few topics.

Adventure #1: Chocolate Chip Cookies
First of all, when I came back from my brief sojourn to Dallas, I celebrated being done with my oral boards by going to Target (what else, right?).  I had 50 free pounds of luggage to fill, so packed my bag with all sorts of US goodies...peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit snacks, and a bottle of A&W root beer (among other various stocking stuffers that are hidden away for a few more weeks).  Maggie was especially excited about the chocolate chips, and I promised her that we would make cookies as soon as I found all the proper ingredients.  Along with the chocolate chips, the next most difficult ingredient to find here is, surprisingly, brown sugar.  But lo and behold, I found the appropriate small bag of "specialty sugar" hidden away at a local grocery store.  Commence with the baking.

Mags and I have sort of made cookies together before:

But not really since she was able to actually "help."  So she was REALLY excited to make cookies with me. Along with tasting every single ingredient except the raw egg (including baking soda, flour, and unsalted butter), she did a very good job of helping to measure, stir, and get the dough from the bowl to the cookie sheet (sort of...her one for my other 11, and then she'd stop to lick her fingers).

The cookies were great!  We'll have to pick up some more chocolate chips in the States for more quality mother-daughter bonding.

Adventure #2:  Tartiflette
This story is technically Eric's but since I'm writing, I'll tell it.  We have sort of tried our hand at cooking some French food.  Eric made a killer coq au vin already.  The local region here has a few specialties, once of which is a cheese and potato dish called tartiflette.  There is a cheap canned version of it at our local grocery that tastes like scalloped potatos, not bad.  Well, we got a recipe from some friends and tried our own (better than the canned version).  It includes potatos, white wine, sour cream, lardons (like bacon), and a round chunk of cheese entitled Reblochon.  Actually, our cheese was entitled "fromage pour tartiflette because the Reblochon name is "copyrighted" and our cheese was knock off, but that's a story for another time (French cheeses, that is).  Yummy!  Much better than the canned version.  I vote that Eric cooks more in the future.

Adventure #3:  Thanksgiving Turkey.
We had a nice Thanksgiving here with about 80 other missionary families.  It was potluck style and we all chipped in to buy the turkeys.  But someone had to cook them.  I decided to take the plunge.  Tuesday afternoon, our friend Carlan walked in with our turkey slung over his shoulder.  I had heard 8kg.  Seriously, this thing must have been 20+ pounds.

Problematic when the oven is 1/2 to 2/3 the size of a US version.  I plowed ahead anyway, deciding to remove the legs so the turkey would fit in our oven.  Which it did, sort of.
After 3 hrs in the oven, things seemed to be going well.  The turkey was browning, I was basting, etc.  Then Eric got concerned because although things had always been a little smoky, it was getting a LOT smoky.  We took out the turkey to assess, deciding the smoke was due to grease dripping everywhere.  While we were pondering our next step, the oven caught on fire.  In the end, all was well.  Eric got to try out a fire extinguisher for the first time, we finished cooking the turkey in a neighbor's (larger) oven, and it tasted awesome.  All's well that ends well.


Anonymous said...

Rachel, you are SO adorable with the baby bod! These cooking adventures also ROCK! I am impressed with your turkey surgical and cooking skills. McLs are the best at planning, flexibility, and innovation. You never fail to gold medal in all these areas. love you! - Kim