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Thursday, November 12, 2009

amish paradise

okay, so do you remember the amish friendship bread starter i got from my boss a couple of months ago? every batch of the stuff yields four new starters, meant to be given away to friends. while i typically despise chain letters, i like the kind i can eat. shocker, i know.

anyway, i'd kept one of the starters for myself, which i massaged and mushed as directed for the ten day process. and the timing was such that i was able to give away three of the starters to the girls on my
high school reunion committee. after doing a little internet research, i learned that i could freeze starters, treating the day i took it out of the freezer as day 1. so, being a little tired of the stuff for the moment, that's what i did.

but i liked having something quick and easy to put in a baggie and take to work for breakfast. so i pulled that starter out (and i found that even after a couple of weeks in the freezer, it wasn't exactly frozen solid. it was a little squishy - weird) and started the process. yesterday was day 10, and while the bean played on the floor, i got to bakin'.

i'd looked up some
recipe variations and found a box of chocolate pudding mix in the pantry, so i was excited to switch it up a little and try something new. i poured the starter into my bowl, added flour, sugar, and milk, and stirred it up.

after i measured and poured out the new starters into dated ziploc bags, i continued with the recipe. for some reason, i have no issues with using sticks of butter in recipes, but the thought of a full cup of oil grosses me out. and so i replaced half of it with some applesauce. pretty, huh?

here's where the magic began.

one of the recipe variations mentioned mixing in a bit of peanut butter. that sounded good until i opened a cupboard and found my most favorite thing in the world (next to bacon, of course):

i mixed some in, as well as something else i found in the pantry - peanut butter chips. fantastic!

i poured half the batter into my loaf pan - i only have one, and i was baking in the mini-me oven anyway, so i could only do so much - and stuck it in the preheated oven.

in the meantime, the bean was clamoring for a snack. when we opened the fridge, she pulled out a package of lunchables and that was that. she's kind of been on an eating strike for the last few days, so i was glad to get something of substance in her aside from milk and juice.

but the joke was on me. she'd found one of those rare lunchables that not only had slices of turkey and cheese and crackers in it, but two oreo cookies. score for her! and as i watched her, i realized that she was setting a pattern that may very well carry her through the rest of her life - she's a twist-it-open-and-eat-them-separately kinda girl. now, you know this is important stuff -
studies have been done on how you eat an oreo dictates certain aspects of your personality. heh.

but then again, she's two. i'd gone to check on the bread and when i came back, this is what i found on her tray.

ha! little stinker. "up!" she said. "done." well, of course you are, sweetie.

anyway, by then the bread was done. it looked and smelled pretty damn good.

i sliced into it and pulled a hunk of the still-warm bread for the bean and me to test. i knew it was a success when she didn't complain that it was "hot!" (which it wasn't), but instead chewed, swallowed, and mumbled "more? peeese?" good times.

and now i have more bread starter baggies than you can shake a stick at. i stuck 'em in the freezer next to the three others i have and started sending e-mails out to folks i haven't yet saddled with the stuff. so far, i've got one taker - thanks, mom.

oh, and remember the taste test i signed up for using the cookin' with coolio cookbook? while i waited for that second loaf of bread to bake, i pulled it out and flipped through the pages. and i can't even tell you how hilarious that book is. it's filled with f-bombs and all sorts of ghetto gangsta references, but oh em gee - i couldn't stop laughing. while this week is pretty much shot cooking-wise (the hub is out late tonight, tomorrow is rehearsal dinner and then saturday is wedding), i've picked out a couple of recipes that i'm going to try. i get to report on it next week, and i can't wait to see how these dishes turn out.
"1 large onion, julienned. that means cut into thin strips, bitches."
oh, man. so awesome.


  1. I have not received an email regarding friendship bread :( I am sad! and I probably live the closest to you!

  2. Along the lines of "for dummies" and "idiot's guide to" I'm sensing a whole line of Coolio books. "A Gangsta's guide to home improvement." "Painting for Gangstas" "Gangsta's guide to training wild falcons."

  3. Thank you for not sending me any emails about Amish friendship bread.

    (however, feel free to save me a piece of the finished product)

  4. My roommate in college made us Amish friendship bread, and it was sooo yummy!! Is the only way to make the bread with a starter? Too bad you dont live closer, I would totally hit you up for one.


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