I went out and, indeed, the rest of the Brussels sprouts are frozen. We’ll eat them anyway, but I wish I’d saved them from the freeze by harvesting them last night. Not sure how I missed the memo!
Especially since this week I’ve been getting back to my “inside” routine. It’s the equivalent of putting away the summer clothes and taking out the sweaters. We’ve “eaten down” all the peppers and other must-eat-fresh produce and the refrigerator suddenly looks empty. Not to mention the countertop!
I moved the harvest cookbooks to the back of the shelf and took out my copy of Jerusalem.
But first, there was one more project I wanted to get from the garden: kimchi. Yes, making kimchi is a winter activity, but one of my garden goals was to grow enough carrots, daikon, garlic and michili cabbage to make at least one batch of homegrown kimchi.
I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the michili cabbage. In fact, I was reading (in some greenhouse book) that michili is unusual in that it bolts in cold, not hot weather. It is a warm/hot weather green. That is very good to know for next year, but this year, it means planting them spring and fall was not the way to go.
I did go to the last outdoor Farmers’ Market last Friday and one of the farmers had little boxes of small cabbages. So I bought those for my project instead. I had the daikon and carrot and garlic, mixed my paste and put it in the fermenter. Success!
But back to Yotam Ottolenghi… I had pulled out some ground beef and lamb, so of course there had to be kofta. I love the little torpedo-shaped meatballs bursting with flavor, drizzled with tahini sauce and sprinkled with pine nuts. But the real find was his recipe for roasted butternut squash and red onion wedges, doused with the same tahini sauce. Here is a link to the recipe. Use the za’atar liberally! And really, this would be a good side dish for Thanksgiving and is very easy.
But I couldn’t stop there. When I took out the cookbook, there was one bright pink flag in it. It was on the page for chocolate krantz cakes. The first time I saw the recipe I knew immediately that this was babka. Chocolate babka!! I’d been wanting to make this (although I’m not much of a baker) since I saw it on Seinfeld back in the ’90s. If you’ve never seen the episode, here is a not very good copy. I put the pink flag on the page because, well, it takes two days to make! It is more of a bread, a yeasted cake, that has to rise overnight, and rise another 1-2 hours before it goes in the oven. So it’s definitely an “inside time” recipe.
But I had another incentive, because the local Sam’s Club has again started carrying Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips in a giant bag for about $8.00. What joy. My sister-in-law is a member and she picks them up for me when they’re in stock. With a giant bag of those chips, I can say that it is going to be a good winter.
I had time to be around yesterday, so Wednesday night I made the dough and yesterday had the rest of the fun.
I followed the directions closely, but at the proposed rolled out size, the first “loaf” didn’t fit in the pan. I made the second one more squat, and I think it turned out better. One blogger said she rolls the dough out thin and trims it and managed to get three loaves out of the recipe (with high ratio of chocolate to dough), which sounds even better.
But no matter, the babka is delicious. I highly recommend. And on this last day of October, first freeze, it feels good to be inside with some leftover meatballs and a slice of babka…