Get Baked

Breakfast is the best shift to have time to practice baking. My circadian rhythm has me waking up at 2 AM at the latest. The mornings are quiet and our satellite internet is up, so it's rather peaceful. Start the morning off with a glass of Nannie's Summertime Sweet Iced Tea.

While sipping the tea, thinking of sunshine, I check out the evil oil spill news. Then rummage through the coolers to see what I can use. Hmm fresh mators from the greenhouse.

Works well in a roasted fresh tomato and black olive quiche.

I began making snickerdoodles for the cookie tray a couple weeks ago. I make 15 each day and within 15 minutes they are gone. Folks say they can smell them down the hall thus know when to make the grab. Bad news is that they refuse to eat chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and any other cookie for that matter. I've created a cookie monster.

Southern Beignet Dough.

Fried and dusted.

Milk bread. Aka Godzilla bread. This bread blows up much bigger than I want it to, always.



Homegrown cinnamon rolls.

Baked and lathered.

Homemade bagels.

Blanched in molasses and water.


Lemon and poppy seed muffins.

You know, baked.

Mid-winter dinner is next week and this is perhaps our finest dinner of all. Chef suggested I do a vegetarian dish that mimics filet, which is what the carnivores will be having as a second main entree... the other entree for the carnivores is lobster. I then began researching and playing around with cakes... rice cakes, bean cakes, layered terraines, etc. My final product sucked. It didn't look like a filet of steak, nor taste like it, and there was too much going on with it. I needed something simple, yet tasty. This dish is REJECTED.

The cool thing about being a cook at Pole is that you spend 90% of your life here thinking of food. This means that when I go to bed, I dream of food. There's something primal about the thought of food that reaches deep into the brain. I sometimes awake knowing exactly what I'm going to cook, what's going to go into it, and how I'm going to make it. Culinary telepathy or something. So, this morning I woke up at 1 AM with a lightbulb in my head. I staggered out of my cave and drifted to the kitchen where I reverse engineered the dish I saw in my dream. First, I got some butter, garlic, chopped onion, sundried tomato, olives, mushrooms, and bell peppers simmering. After a half hour throw a few cups of fancy mushrooms in.

Place the mushroom medley ontop 8 sheets of buttered puff pastry. 8 is a lucky number.

Butter the outside and roll in toasted sesame seeds. Through trial and error I found that if you cut the roll cold and place the slice in a bakable steel circle, like a cookie cutter and mold, it stops the outside pastry from flaking off.

Bingo. Looks kind of like filet, and tastes better.

After all that experimenting I got on with breakfast. Every morning this lad comes by and asks for a 4-meat, 2-egg, and 2-cheese bagelwiche on a fresh bagel. It weighs about 2 kilos. And... I think he's still losing weight.

After breakfast I made my first ever batch of granola and I'm hooked.