So far, I have only a couple of cooking goals for the year. One, I want to learn to cook dried beans in my slow cooker. Two, I want to learn to make pizzas. Neither of these will seem like major challenges to most of you, I’m sure, but they are things that I’ve had a block on that I want to get past. To this end, I am soaking my first batch of dried (Great Northern) beans overnight tonight and will be making them in the slow cooker tomorrow. The inaugural cooked-white-beans dish will be Marcella Hazan’s white bean soup, which is essentially white beans, garlic, and parsley. (I finally scored a copy of the original The Classic Italian Cookbook at a local thrift store this weekend and already have about a dozen recipes marked to try; rather than spring for the new version, I’ll now keep an eye out for the equally out of print and well-regarded More Classic Italian Cooking!)
On the second point, we’ve set a date for the 31st of January to make our first homemade pizza (yes, that’s the next weekend day we will have free together after today). Between now and then I’ll be assembling whatever it is we need for pizzas, and polishing up the as-yet-unused pizza stone we received as a wedding gift. (We did request the pizza stone, we just haven’t broken the barrier of actually making a pizza yet.)
In general, I want to branch out into making bread, but I am not yet ready to set a specific goal. I have a strong suspicion that the pizza hump is actually just a foothill of the yeasted-dough mountain by which I remain completely daunted. It’s not even the prospect of either a bread brick or a pot of runny goop that is the specific problem, I am just disproportionately stressed by the whole idea. So, after January 31st, the goal is to make some bread. Sometime. Before 2011. Or maybe not. No pressure!