Monday, October 10, 2011

Sleeping With The Dishes

      Being the new girl is something that I am no stranger to. In fact, I do and can play the role very well. Funny when you become an adult, people rarely shed their defense mechanisms, those barriers that protect the real person that you are. We all could learn valuable lessons from going back to kindergarten.

     Walking into a new kitchen always has its pros and cons and this past week, I remained grateful to have a job and tried to only focus on that aspect. I am not going to say that it was all wine and roses and I am not going to say it was all a bad dream. It is a new chapter in my book and I welcome the blessings and challenges that it may bring.

     Change is scary, but fear is just that energy in motion, don't give it the fuel to move. Sometimes it is easier said than done. My fortitude has been tested these past two months, and at times it has been hard to see the silver lining. I knew going into a new kitchen, I would be on the outside looking in. It kind of feels like you are the last person being picked for a game of kickball. Been there, done that. Being a military brat I stood alone many times. It will just take some time.

     So now on to more exciting news than my popularity.  The Putney Co op is like a chef's Disney World, like Christmas everyday from a gastronomic standpoint. Sometimes, I can hardly contain my need to giggle and clap my hands like a hyper four year old on a sugar bender. I walked by a case of Maytag blue cheese and I just wanted to hug it.That is only the cheese. The possibilities are endless, and it seems my silver lining has just passed over like Haley's Comet.

     So I did tell you that is was not all wine and roses right? Here is the part that was like the customer that doesn't get the hint that it is time to go home. Gluten free!!! Many patrons of the Co op are, 1. very food conscious, 2. very food conscious and finally 3. don't mess with it. Lots of gluten free, and vegans. Yikes I feel that fear in motion. I have been working with all fat, added fat and a side of fat for so many years that gluten free never passed my lips.

     It will be a humbling learning experience. That being said, this is not the challenging part, the challenging part is baking a good product, in a wildly erratic oven, that only has one shelf reserved for you, and throw in a couple of people continuously opening and closing the said oven and right there folks is the "recipe for disaster". Yes ma'am that stings like salt in a wound. This little dynamic only gives those that are further up on the food chain than myself, fodder to run with. Murphy's Law should have been overruled.

Farewell to Fat Pepperoni Rolls

2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Fleischmann's Dry Active Yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water(110F to 115F)
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound pepperoni, sliced or unsliced
1 cup mozzarella or parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon EVOO (like Rachel Ray says)

In a mixing bowl fashioned with a dough hook, add all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Combine the warm water and olive oil and pour into mixing bowl.  Turn the machine on low and mix until the dough pulls cleanly from the sides.  At this point you might have to add more flour, just add a little at a time, like 1 or 2 tbs at a time. When the dough is elastic and no longer is sticky to the touch, oil the same bowl that you mixed the dough in, cover with a towel and set in a warm place, until doubled in size.  Punch down and your ready for cheese and your favorite toppings.  Good hot oven is the key to getting a good rise and browning, anything over 400F is a good starting point.

Now portion the dough into the size pepperoni rolls that suit you. Roll out your dough and brush with the olive oil lightly and sprinkle with cheese, layer with pepperoni. Wrap like a burrito and seal edges, and place on a cookie sheet seam side down. Repeat until all dough and ingredients are used up. Bake in a 400F oven until golden brown and serve with your favorite marinara sauce .

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.  ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995


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