Food Friday- we do need to eat around here

Roasted Brussels sprouts make me regret all of my decades of Brussels Sprouts hate. These are cooked in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Herbes de Provence and lots of freshly ground black pepper. There are also some mushrooms tossed in the pan. 

This ugly looking stuff in a bowl is magic in the form of sour dough. My friend Alan is serious about creating an actual sour dough. My version, is as one might expect, a little less exact. When I make a bread dough I leave part of it to hang out in the fridge as a sloppy wet dough. I have been pulling out some to do my weekday baking and adding a bit more water and flour to the bowl that stays in the fridge. It bubbles and grows and has been the leavening agent for three batches of bread this week,

I have been loving the best bread baking flour ever.
We purchased it in the frum market in Boro Park.I love how it is packaged in a plain brown paper bag. it has tons of gluten and creates a nice muscular dough.




I did add a smidge (less than 1/2 a teaspoon) of yeast to this batch of challah dough. Alan, ever the wise teacher reminded me that the oil and the extra sweetening in challah make the rise a bit too much work for just the sour dough starter, so the yeast is necessary.

And from ugly beginnings one gets...

We are eating beef tonight. A coffee and spice rub keeps in the juices.
The charcoal like lumps of flesh are now sliced and warming in a mustard and maple sauce.
Tonight's guest is a cousin from one of the branches of the family we didn't speak to for decades. Emily is moving upstate from Brooklyn.  Last night Emily asked me a question that sent me down the genealogical research rabbit hole. Emily had asked me for the address where her grandmother and my mother lived in Brooklyn so she could visit the ancestral home before she moved.

Emily's question spurred me to look up some documents that I had never seen before. That was a gift because we now know the name of my great grandmother's mother, I also revisited some other documents and some bits of the past are now hanging together with far more clarity.

Emily also helped me to understand how my grandparents could  met, they lived a couple of blocks from one another on the Lower East Side. They also may have been relatives but I am on my way to figuring out exactly how. As always this sort of research always raises more questions than it answers. 

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