Sunday, August 9, 2009
Gardening; Bean burgers; Bay leaf ice cream
After sleeping in and eating breakfast around noon, we spent most of the afternoon in the garden. The beans and sunflowers are doing well, as you can see above. We had walked to the nursery, and came back with a Jasmine and a Thornless Blackberry; hopefully these two will fill in the otherwise somewhat ugly corners of our narrow back yard.
Dinner is always better after a few hours outdoors. This dinner was particularly fun. The night before, soak a mix of black and pinto beans in four times as much water, and boil all day until the beans are falling apart. In the morning or early afternoon, prepare a well-kneaded medium-stiff bread dough with honey, and one part whole wheat per two parts white flour.
When you are ready to begin cooking, preheat the oven, and roll out the bread dough with sesame seeds. Make the rolls reasonably small: they will expand in the oven. Back on an ungreased cookie sheet, 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees.
With the standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mash the beans along with 1/3 of a red onion, minced, some salt, a little each clove and paprika, and a healthy helping of nutritional yeast. With the mixer running, slowly add two serving-spoon-fulls of wheat gluten, so that the dough comes together and dries out a little. Roll the dough out into patties. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan, and cook the patties to brown well on each side.
Harvest a large bowl of beans from out back, trim and de-string, and cut into pieces. Cook over medium-low heat in the wok with salt, olive oil, and two closed garlic, minced.
Serve burgers with tomatoes, red onion, Gruyere chese (the only non-vegan part of dinner), and sweet pickles from last summer.
After a post-dinner walk, we finished the evening with homemade bay leaf ice cream (not pictured).
Heat 1 cup milk in the double boiler with three or four dried bay leaves, and let steep ten minutes or so. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar with the yolks of 2 eggs (save the whites for scrambling in the morning), until the sugar has dissolved and the eggs are paler. Remove the bay leaves from the milk, and spoon a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking immediately. Continue to pour milk into the eggs, slowly at first, whisking, until you've added about half; then put everything into the double boiler, and heat, whisking constantly, to pasteurize the eggs. When the mixture has achieved its beautiful very pale yellow color, and the sugar has dissolved completely into the warm milk, move the mixture to a medium bowl, cover, and allow to cool in the fridge. When the milk-and-egg mixture has cooled completely, add 2 cups cream, and process in an ice cream maker.