For my final (at least for now) project inspired by The Lucky One, I decided to prepare something that Logan often fixes for himself: turkey sandwiches. Except I'm sure Logan doesn't make his own bread. For dessert we have custard-style ice cream, because Beth makes some for Logan one fine evening.
First, the turkey sandwiches; allow me to set the scene: Logan standing in Beth's kitchen watching Beth prepare tacos for dinner. He looks around, notices that her kitchen is much prettier than his own, and admires the way she expertly breezes about, gathering ingredients and dicing vegetables and such like.
"Need a hand?"
She shot him a skeptical look. "Don't tell me that in addition to training dogs, fixing cars, and being a musician, you're an expert chef."
"I wouldn't go that far. But I know my way around the kitchen. I make dinner every night."
"Oh yeah? What did you have last night?"
"Turkey sandwich on wheat. With a pickle."
"And the night before?"
"Turkey sandwich on wheat. No pickle."
She giggled. "What was the last hot meal you cooked?"
He pretended to rack his brains. "Uh...beans and franks. On Monday."
She feigned amazement. "I stand corrected. How are you at grating cheese?"
"In that, I would consider myself an expert."
(The Lucky One, p. 127-128)
I decided to make a loaf of Joe's favorite bread: my mother-in-law's delicious molasses oat bread. I'll give you her version first, and then mine that I adapted for my bread machine.
MOLASSES OAT BREAD
4 3/4 to 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup light molasses
In large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, the oats, brown sugar, yeast and salt. In saucepan, combine milk, water, shortening and molasses. Cook over low heat till warm, stirring to melt shortening. Add molasses mixture with eggs to flour mixture. Beat at low speed on electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead till smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning once, grease surface. Cover and let rise till double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; turn out on lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. brush with a little water. roll in additional rolled oats. Place in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 5/8 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise till double, about 1 hour. Bake in 350 oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Makes two loaves.
MOLASSES OAT BREAD (BREAD MACHINE VERSION)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (I never sift)
1 cup rolled oats (either quick or regular; it doesn't really matter)
1 package (1 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
In saucepan, combine milk, water, shortening, and molasses. Cook over low heat till warm, stirring to melt shortening. Add molasses mixture to bread pan; then add egg, salt, and brown sugar. Add flour and oats; then add yeast last. I like to make a little hollow at the top of my flour/oat pile for the yeast. DO NOT STIR, THE MACHINE DOES THIS FOR YOU. Set machine for white bread, medium crust.
This was the first time I made this using REAL milk and REAL eggs; because of Moe's allergies, I had always made it with Egg Replacer and rice or soy milk. Now that he's allowed to have these things in breads and the like, I was able to use the real stuff, and boy what a difference it makes! Joe says (and unfortunately since I'm on a gluten free diet I wasn't really able to sample it) it was the best loaf I've made yet. Next time I might try substituting butter for the shortening to see if that makes it even better. And someday, I might just try a gluten free version of this...maybe.
We don't normally use this type of bread for sandwiches; we just cut off hunks and eat them with dinner. The bread was a little bit crumbly, but the general consensus was that it made for a fabulous sandwich.
(The supplies. I had thought I would get some fancy-schmancy gourmet turkey, but Moe says that the packaged turkey cold cuts from Costco are his favorite. Not pictured: bacon.)
(Joe's sandwich. The coleslaw is some that my mother-in-law's friend had made and brought to their house on Father's Day when we all had dinner together. I think I want to get the recipe from her...)
One night after work, Logan stops in at Beth's house, and guess what she's preparing for them? Yep--turkey sandwiches. AND, she makes ice cream for dessert. Hand-cranked, of course. Just like Denise in The Rescue.
She dug out an electric mixer and a bowl, along with a measuring cup. From the spice cabinet, she chose sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. She added three cups of sugar and a cup of flour to the bowl and mixed it by hand, then put the bowl on the mixer. Next, she beat in three eggs, [a quart of] half-and-half, and three teaspoons [uh, Nick, that would be one tablespoon, dude] vanilla extract before turning on the mixer. Finally, she splashed in a bit of milk and poured the entire mixture into the cream can, put the can in the ice-cream maker, and surrounded it with crushed ice and rock salt.
(The Lucky One, p. 151-152)
Well, my ice cream maker is a newfangled electric one, complete with a freezable bowl so you don't even have to use ice or rock salt. And normally if someone prepares something a certain way in one of Nick's books, I'll do my best to prepare it just like they do (except for Noah and Allie's crabs--one of these days I'll try that); this time, I opted to find a different recipe, because a. If I put flour in my homemade ice cream, I can't eat it thanks to my gluten sensitivity; and b. Beth doesn't cook the eggs. Even though the eggs we get are from happy free-roaming chickens that live on family farms and the chances of contracting salmonella from them are practically zero, I'm still a little bit squeamish of raw eggs. I found a simple custard ice cream recipe online (and I doubled the recipe and used 2 cups milk, 2 cups cream, etc.):
VANILLA ICE CREAM (BASIC CUSTARD STYLE)
1 cup whole milk
· 1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup whipping cream
· 2 egg yolks
· 1/3 cup sugar
· 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract (not imitation!)
1. Beat eggs very well with a mixer, gradually add sugar beat until thick and lemon colored.
2. Stir in milk and heat, stirring until thickened.
3. Remove from heat and cool mixture.
4. Add cream and vanilla, cover and chill mixture.
5. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufactures(sic) directions.
(It was hard to tell when the egg mixture was thick enough. For a while I was afraid I might have overcooked the yolks.)
(I know it's ready when the ice cream touches the top of the plastic dasher-mixer.)
(A little soft, almost milkshake-y, even after being in the freezer for a few hours; I think it's because my refrigerator coils badly needed cleaning and the freezer wasn't getting cold enough. I cleaned the coils today--finally! I hope that solves the problem...)
The verdict? Delicious. Everyone says I should always make ice cream with eggs. No problem.
I'm not sure what my next project will be; don't be surprised if my next post is a 7 Quick Takes. I've got some more cool stuff to share with you. After that? Perhaps it will be bacon pancakes with ligonberries...or coconut cream cake...or breakfast burritos...and soon I want to make those Brazilian chicken cutlets again, and do it right this time. Stay tuned!!