Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eaten Too Fast

I made Mom's apple pastry a couple of months ago. I just found the pictures I took for it, but there are no pictures of the final product. I remember I had to leave for ultimate while it was still in the oven, but I have no recollection of what happened next. Either somebody already ate a piece, or I was really hungry when I came back and ate it without thinking twice about a picture for this blog.

All the apples were cut while I was sitting at the computer watching a House episode. No cutting board (a la Mama G).

(These were also the apples from Costco I was carrying when I ate shit on my board.)

It was noted in the previous post's comments that "food" label has surpassed everything else (by a wide margin). Even JT. GASP!

JT and I made ice-cream sandwiches a while ago.


I have two midterms next week. Algorithms is on Tuesday and Computer Architecture is on Wednesday. Summer school is hard and I certainly didn't get the easiest professors. (I did get one REALLY good TA.)

Check this. Multi-cycle implementation of a processor has been omitted from the newest edition of our textbook. We were forced to buy the new edition, of course. Professor Tamir thinks multi-cycle is so important that he is emphasizing it on the midterm. Last homework on multi-cycle was so hard, I nearly cried. I'm sure he has his reasons. He is extremely smart and is a really interesting person to talk to during breaks. But I can't help it but be upset because multi-cycle implementation is the only material that I don't fully understand and now have to study.

It is study time. Only break this weekend = making Pasta e Fajioli!

My fourth most-played song on iTunes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Miss Russia (Not)

What I really miss is mom and grandma's cooking, mama, papa, gammmmma and grandfather. (Although I would miss them even more if they had a kitty-cat. Hint.)

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like a hearty pot roast with rice and thin gravy compliments of Sue to make me go "Mmmmm". That's something I can only get at the Bakalor's household. I don't know of anyone else who slow-cooks meat drowned in Coca-Cola. My point is, you can't really win. When I'm in Russia, I miss the US; when I'm in the US, I miss being in Russia.

I've been craving Russian dishes lately. Last week I made borscht. (It's really "borsch". No "t". I don't know why Americans stick "t"s where they are not needed.) Mom sent me two pages of instructions that I followed the best I could considering she doesn't use any measuring devices. I was really skeptical as to how it would turn out, but it was awesome. I mean, it was really good. The picture does it no justice.

That satisfied my craving for something Russian. But only for a week. I got the recipe for cabbage pie from mom a couple of days ago and made it today. It's still in the oven. I tasted the filling though. It's so good. Here is the recipe:

Cabbage Pie

1 1/2 cup of milk
1 egg
2 tbsp yeast
2 sticks of butter (cut up a little)
750g of flour (4-5 cups, I'm just guessing. I weighed mine.)
1 tbsp sugar

1. Dissolve yeast in half of the milk heated to about body temperature. Add a little sugar to the milk/yeast mixture. Give it a stir.
2. Sift flour into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse. (You can also just sift the flour in a bowl, add the putter and cut it up with a knife.
3. Add egg, sugar, the rest of milk and the milk/yeast mixture. Mix until a dough forms. Cover with a towel and get started on the filling.

4 hard-boiled eggs (I used 5 because I looove 'em)
1/4 head of cabbage (I used 1/2 because I love cabbage)
1 onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter

1. Cut and saute onion in 1 tbsp of oil. Cut cabbage and boil it for 3 minutes.

2. Drain the hot water. Now we need to squeeze water out of the cabbage and put it in the pan with the onions. Pour a little cold water over the cabbage so as not to burn yourself. Saute cabbage and onions together.

3. Add 2 tbsp of butter and a little bit of milk. Cover and let the milk evaporate.

4. Peel the eggs and cut them into the pan with cabbage and onions. (My mom and I always try to dirty as few dishes and counter surfaces as humanly possible. I've always been conscious of that, so you will always see me cut things in my hands right over the pan. Mom can even cut potatoes really thin like. I don't do that unless it's just to quarter them.)

5. Mix everything together and salt. The filling should be a little over-salted so that some of the salt gets absorbed by the dough. Filling is done.

Putting it All Together
1. Once you're done with filling, punch down the dough and divide the dough almost in half. (That's confusing. We want the dough on the bottom to be slightly thicker. So, make one "half" a little more than half. 5/8 to 3/8 maybe.)

2. Butter a 9''x11'' pan. Put the slightly bigger "half" into the pan and start stretching it to fill the bottom. Spread the filling on top of the bottom layer leaving the thickness of your finger on all sides uncovered.

3. Roll out the rest of the dough and transfer to cover the filling. (Hopefully yours will work out better than mine. Press the two dough layers together. Make incisions in the pie so it doesn't explode.

4a. Put the pie in the oven at 110F (40C) for an hour. (Sue's oven has this really cool setting called "Proof". I didn't know it existed in the 5(?) years that I've been around. Today was the day. After it's done "proofing" turn the oven to 375F (200C) keep checking on it until it's golden brown.

4b. (optional) I looked at it after about 20 minutes in the oven. It looked a little dried out so I did a basic egg wash just in case. I don't really know if it was necessary.

5. Take it out, cover with wax paper and a towel. Leave for a while.

Egg wash much?

After I finished I took two pictures of my excited self. I got a haircut, but you can't really see my hair. It's pretty neat.

Woooooooolf Parade is awesome.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cake and Two Pies

I have a 4th of July tradition. I make cake. I did my research ahead of time and decided on the cake. It was so awesome. I could hardly wait to make it. Because I don't really like cake (to eat) all the much, I decided to also make a cherry pie. I didn't have a good experience with a cherry pie the last time I made one. I wanted to try two recipes: one that used fresh cherries, and one that used canned cherries. Here are the results:

The canned "sour cherry" pie.

The fresh "bing cheery" pie.

I really wanted the fresh cherry pie to taste better. (Hence lattice pattern on it and burn edges on the other one. If only good looks equaled good taste.) It turned out way too sweet. I did put about two times the amount of sugar the recipe called for. Sigh. I really need to stop doing that. The sour cherry, although didn't look as good, tasted better and also required almost no work. The crust is really all the work that a cherry pie requires.

We decided to skip the overrated fireworks hoopla and stayed in to eat cake, pit cherries and watch The Majestic. (Which is, by the way, one of the best movies I've seen.) I love that picture of Grandpa-J.
And finally, I give you the 2010 Independence Day Cake!

(All pictures were taken with an iPhone 4 and Ms. Shaky Hands.)