I don't know what it is with my family lately, but we're having a tough time keeping ourselves out of the hospital. So far one sister and I have escaped anything serious, but after two (scheduled) cancer surgeries, one case of food poisoning, one almost-tonsillectomy, and one emergency appendectomy in the family, Sister #1 and I are wondering which of the two of us is next. Meanwhile, I'm making up for my avoidance of the emergency room with a series of mild-to-moderate illnesses. They're not awful, but they're keeping me home from work--and keeping Ricola and Vicks in business, not to mention the flower vendors at the farmer's market.
Now, for me, the thing that I most love to do when I'm home ill, aside from reading old favorites and watching the BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice*, is bake. Something about being too ill to go to work but not so ill that I'm completely bed- or couch-ridden gives me a stronger-than-usual urge to bake things. That, and the fact that baked goods make for wonderful comfort food. It's probably not the best of ideas for me to be making food when I'm feeling under the weather, but there's lots of hand-washing in hot, soapy water, and in any case, I'm usually the only one who eats the things I bake at home.
This morning I made yogurt, which doesn't really count as baking, but is a new and interesting bit of kitchen science. I've just placed it in the fridge after its four hours of resting in the oven with the light on, and it seems to have set as advertised. I plan to taste it tomorrow morning, mixed with a bit of the apricot jam I received in my CSA boxes during the winter.
I also made some of Homesick Texan's scrumptious hot cross buns. I love breads studded with dried fruit, whether sweet or savory breads, and these sweet rolls made for some wonderful comfort food. The crosses didn't turn out very distinct, but they sure taste good. I second Homesick Texan's recommendation to put some lemon zest and vanilla in the icing.
And finally, a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies with a dry, crackly outside and a moist, chewy interior. They have an intense chocolate flavor and happen to be gluten-free. Jump below the fold for the recipe.
* and by "watching" I mean "shamelessly reciting virtually all the lines along with it."
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Monday, April 27, 2009