Monday, February 7, 2011


I am a firm believer in experimenting with food.  Not every experiment has the desired outcome, but there is always something to be learned in the process, even if it's what not to do.  I say this because 1) it's true and 2) it's my excuse for when I do things I know I'm really not supposed to do (like doubling batches of marmalade).

Dinner last night was a little bit of an experiment.  When I was at the Co-op on Saturday I decided to buy some kale.  I'd never had kale, but have read several times how healthy it is.  The plan was to use it in a lentil soup I really like.  The hubs, however, is not as enthralled with lentils.  Even though he said the soup was fine, I knew he'd rather have something else.  (I mean, seriously, as a woman I know what "fine" really means.)  I kept thinking I had seen a recipe for pasta with sausage and kale but when I looked online, all I could find was soup.  So I decided to wing it.  It didn't seem like anything I could mess up that badly.

The one serious error I made was underestimating how long it would take for my pasta water to come to a boil.  I'm still learning that some of the burners on our stove are hotter than others.  It all came together in the end, but not without having to take the sausage, kale and beans off the stove for awhile until the pasta was cooked.  C'est la guerre.

It all worked out in the end and the hubs thought it was pretty good.  The spicy sausage wasn't quite as spicy as I thought it should be, so I had added a little ground chile to it; but I think it would be really awesome with bacon, too.  And I discovered that kale is pretty tasty.

Today I decided to try my hand at making the sweetened condensed goat milk to use in some caramels I'll probably make tomorrow.  If this works out, I will definitely come up with a new method for making the sweetened condensed milk.  In my mind, the heated liquid should have dissolved the lumps in the powdered goat milk.  Not really.  I thought heating it over a double boiler while whisking would help.  Nope.  In the end, to achieve the smooth consistency I was looking for, I had to pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  It worked, but I don't recommend it.  It was a time consuming pain the posterior.  But it's done and in the refrigerator, taunting me with visions of future success or failure.

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