Saturday, October 17, 2009

a bun in the oven

Did I give you a heart attack, Mom?

No buns in my figurative "oven" - let me get that out of the way immediately.

I made my first ever vegan biscuits and I'm still high off of how well they came out. I ended up doing a kind of hybrid between Isa's Herbed Whole Wheat Biscuits from Vegan Brunch and Sarah's Easy Biscuits from How It All Vegan. By the way, I still think that is one of the most clever names for a book ever. There were three things about this recipe that amazed me:

1. watching the cider vinegar turn soymilk into buttermilk was simultaneously awesome and stomach-turning.

2. with just the right amount of ingredients, a dough formed and separated itself from the bowl, as well as the spatula, quite easily!

3. they really, really tasted like (whole wheat) buttermilk biscuits! It blew my mind. They were fun looking, don't get me wrong, but I really did not expect them to be this good - perfectly crisp and crunchy on the outside and light, puffy, and soft inside.
They kind of look like rocks, since they were drop biscuits, not cut. When I broke my first one open, there was a fabulous little puff of good. Another neat thing was that it seemed like the whole wheat flour made the biscuits a little sweeter, even though there was no sweetener - just thyme. By the way - I don't know if I just got lucky with my whole wheat flour, but it's very hard to sift because flakes of wheat stay on top of the little grindy-wheels. Irritating, but wholesome, I guess.

Anyway, I served my happy little biscuits with chunky, steamy, savory bowls of French Lentil Soup with Thyme and Tarragon from Veganomicon.
I still love this soup! It smells so good while it's simmering, and the length of time it takes to simmer is about the length of time it takes me to babble about some mundane but amusing parts of my day to Mister, make biscuits, and clean up. If you'd like to read more of my raving about just how good this soup is, and how you should make it and eat it and never eat anything else ever again because there's just no need click here or here.

There was one thing that was different and special about tonight's making of this heavenly soup: I used up a sprig of genuine home-grown lemon thyme, given to me by my previously mentioned generous colleague. It added a neat flavor to the soup, though I must admit it didn't really stand out against the generous helping of tarragon (my new favorite herb) and the savory smokiness of Hungarian paprika. I could definitely taste the difference, though. Surprisingly, this was also my first time cooking with fresh thyme.

In case you were wondering, once I got absorbed in my chopping and sauteing and sifting and plopping, I was able to ignore the utter disaster that someone else might refer to as my living room. Hopefully, this will get fixed tomorrow, because I won't be able to live like this for very long...

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