Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Bites #10 Making lemonade

Making lemonade? What does lemonade have to do with the holidays? Well, we had a few "lemons" this morning and grabbed the oppportunity to make some lemonade, figuratively that is. This has been a productive morning. In fact, a little more productive than I had originally planned. I am several years away from being a "senior" but I am sure having enough "senior moments" creeping into my daily life lately. My short term memory has been shorting out and I get so easily distracted that I find I don't even finish my
Well, the plan on our menu for the last few weeks has been to make pepperoni rolls . Each Friday it has been scrapped because I was just too tired or short on time to mess with it. Today was the day to break out the flour cannister and get kneading.
I measured the 6 cups of flour into the mixing bowl and proceeded to measure and add the yeast. As I was mixing it together, my niece (who was reading the recipe --- hmmm what a novel idea) noted that the instructions said to mix the yeast with the water first. "Oh, so does my pizza recipe but I use the fast acting yeast and do the other method of mixing it with the flour and then using slightly hotter water. It'll be fine." I reply.
Then I decide to read the recipe too and the next thing it talks about is that you need to add the flour slowly because it may not use all 6 cups. Oops! Now I have a problem.
"I know what to do. Let's just take this flour and yeast and add what we need to turn it into my pizza dough recipe and we'll freeze it to have on another day in the future. My dough recipe calls for 2 cups and I usually double it to have enough to feed my crew on pizza night. OK, we'll triple the recipe. I'll just add 2 more TBSP of yeast, the salt, 2 cups of flour, the wet ingredients etc. Here, Jenny, why don't you mix it together and I'll prepare the counter."
My niece mixes away and asks me if the dough usually looks this way (it was pretty dry). Did anyone catch what I did wrong in the paragraph above? I added an extra 2 cups of flour, which in effect gave me enough flour for FOUR batches of dough. Oh brother! We quickly heated up some more water, added an extra tbsp of yeast to it along with the oil and honey and mixed it up. Once we got kneading, it started to look better and I now have 2 portions of pizza dough in the freezer, each one the amount I normally use on pizza night. I'll pull them out and let them thaw and rise for pizza night sometime in December. I'd been meaning to work ahead in the kitchen anyway, using some freezer space to store up some timesavers for December meals.
I washed the bowl and we started on today's recipe which is rising as I type. But I was on a "make ahead" roll..... I looked at the two squash sitting on my counter and decided to cut them and cook them up for Thanksgiving. I love winter squash at Thanksgiving but it always takes so long to peel and cut up that it stresses me out. Someone told me I could just cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and bake in an oven or microwave until the flesh is tender. Let it cool and scrape out the cooked squash. This is my plan for this afternoon. I will throw the cooked squash in a freezer bag and then mash and add seasoning on Thanksgiving day when all I have to do is defrost and heat it up. Yeah! Works for me. (hmm, maybe I should have saved this post for Wednesday. )
What can you do today to stock your freezer? Can you double whatever you are preparing for tonight (on purpose)? Oh, and if you are like me, you may have a mishap or two this week ..... be creative and see if there is any way to salvage the thing before throwing in the towel. And remember, as my niece said through her chuckles, this is the thing memories are made of.


Gramma said...

Little hint on the squash - I never bother cutting and peeling - its too labor intensive for me and we love squash. So...I wash them and set them on a cookie sheet - poke a couple of holes in them and bake usually for an hour. When they are done then do whatever you want with them. Has worked for me for years!!