Wednesday, June 8, 2011

30 Days of Creativity - Day 8 In the Kitchen with Ghee, Congee, & Apple Cinnamon Cake

I signed up for a course in culinary herbalism about month or two ago and am slightly embarrassed to admit that I haven't really started it yet.  I figured that these 30 Days of Creativity might be a good time to get going with some cooking for the course!  So, today I hit the kitchen with three recipes: ghee, trinity roots rice, and congee grain gruel.  Unfortunately, I didn't have all of the ingredients that I needed for the trinity roots rice, so that one had to be put off (until tomorrow, maybe).  I'm pretty sure that I mentioned this before, but I'm not the world's best cook.  I'm not the worst either.  I guess the best way of putting it is that I'm more interested in putting food in my mouth than I am preparing it.  Even though I'm pretty inexperienced, I keep trying though since I do love to eat.  =)

The congee takes a couple hours to cook, so I got started on that first.  Seemed simple enough: it's basically a breakfast porridge made with rice, broth, and whatever vegetables you want to put in it.  I kept it pretty basic since it's the first time I'm making it.  Here's the thing: I have to have breakfast before I have lunch even if it's lunchtime when I'm having my first meal.  All I had in house was chicken broth... which of course made the congee really... chicken-y.  Here's the other thing: I think I did something wrong because it's more the consistency of oatmeal than porridge (I did try adding some water).  {shrug}  I'm going to try it for breakfast tomorrow and see how it goes...

While the congee was cooking, I made ghee which is one of the ingredients that I knew I had to make for the trinity roots rice.  Again, pretty straightforward: melt a pound of butter, let it sputter a bit until it separates (residue on the top and bottom, the ghee is in between), when it becomes a pretty golden color that's clear enough to see the bottom of the pan, take it off the heat, and strain (I removed the icky looking floating residue first, but you probably don't have to since you're straining it) into a jar with a tight fitting lid.  The ghee went pretty much according to plan.  Yay!

ghee mosaic
1. Ghee, 2. Ghee, 3. Ghee, 4. Ghee, 5. Ghee, 6. Ghee

And last, I still had some time to kill while I was waiting for the congee (had to stick around for the constant stirring) so I decided to make an apple cinnamon cake.  This is the second time that I made this recipe and it's sooooooo yummy.  Really, you can't go wrong when cinnamon is involved.

Apple Cinnamon Cake


pasqueflower said...

You are certainly an AMBITIOUS cook! The ghee process was fascinating (great photos), but when I scrolled down to the cinnamon apple cake -- well, let me tell you, my mouth is still watering!! Yummo!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Athena's Armoury said...

awwww... Thanks, LeAnn! We cut into the cake last night: so yummy!