Akin to a 24-hour flu, I was hit with a cooking bug yesterday. Days of pulling chili verde and soups out of the freezer finally got to me. I've got a very small crockpot, perfect for just a couple of boneless beef short ribs, and got them started early on. Not exactly cooking, but it works for me. Thinking of possible side dishes, it dawned on me that I'd not used the pasta machine in quite awhile. Using the food processor, mixing the dough took only a matter of minutes. Old-school pasta makers would probably cringe, but I'm perfectly willing to let the machine do the work instead of making a well in a mound of flour and mixing eggs and a touch of oil in by hand, and the cleanup is so much easier. The dough needed to rest. Still in the grip of the bug, baking cookies seemed the next step. Oatmeal cookies with walnuts and dried cranberries are my favorite. The house was perfumed with the aroma of braising short ribs, and the first batch of cookies had just come out of the oven when my milk customer arrived. Not taking his eyes from the cooling goodies, and definitely not subtle, he asked, "Umm, what kind are they?" I told him, waited a half-second (I'm mean that way), and asked if he'd like to try one. "Well, I wouldn't say no." As we talked, he hovered near the tray. "Help yourself." Reminding me very much of the squirrels, he packed cookies in and crumbs were falling from his lips. I didn't blame him. Who could resist fresh, warm cookies? After he left, the rest of my afternoon was spent in a cloud of flour as I rolled out the pasta dough and cut it into fettuccini. Being no saint, I also indulged in cookies. Remember when your mother said, "Not now, you'll spoil your appetite"? That's exactly what I did. The short ribs were ready and the pasta ready to pop into a pot and I was full. Well, I won't have to cook tonight.
The Silkie rooster, last of the little ones, died yesterday. The Taj, the wonderful coop Craig and Deb built, is empty now. I just loved the Silkies, fluffy and so unusual, but I don't think I'll add more. However, the Taj and the reinforced pen won't go to waste. The flock of layers is down to 13 now and I will undoubtedly get more chicks to raise next spring. The reinforced Silkie pen will be perfect to transition the chicks when they're old enough to be put outside, and much, much easier on me than creeping into the dog run as I did last year.
I'm doing a systems check and find no urge to spend another day in the kitchen. I do believe the cooking bug has passed.
It was a good day.