Cooking to Clear My Head

My head is just spinning from everything that happened last week. I look at my poor boy (see previous post) and the matted hair on his legs that are tinged red because of the blood. I look at his nose that is clotted with blood and I just feel nothing but pain. The vet told me today that clotting is good so I just keep his nose clear enough to breathe. No big test results back yet; hopefully they will know something tomorrow.

I spoke with my friend who is a nurse and she explained what could be causing his low platelets. While his eating has slowed down (probably from the yucky blood taste in his mouth), his tail still wags and he looks bright in his eyes.

BUT….on to my day.

To get my mind off of things, I decided I needed to clean up my frig and freezer. And what I mean by that is, I needed to get those old bananas baked up; I needed to use the pumpkin that I baked earlier this month; I needed to make something with the fresh corn that I froze. It was going to be a baking/creating day.

I used a base quick bread recipe and then added my mix-ins. The base recipe is as follows:

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oil
  • 4 eggs

Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and any spices; set aside.

Combine the sugar and oil; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients.  Beat for 2 minutes.

Depending on the type of bread you are making, will determine when you add your mix-ins. If you add pumpkin or bananas, add to the wet ingredients before adding your flour mixture. If adding chocolate chips, raisins (dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc…) or nuts, add after the flour mixture.

Your main add-ins should equal 2 cups: 2 cups bananas (6 medium), 2 cups pumpkin, 2 cups, applesauce, or any combination there of. You can then add nuts, chocolate chips, raisins. Your spices should equal 2 teaspoons. (For the pumpkin muffins: add pumpkin pie spice, bananas: cinnamon and ginger) (And yes, I know that I do not have the popular KitchenAid Mixer but this was a Wedding Gift from my grandparents [previous post], so I cherish it)

This recipe made enough to be put in 3 – 10″ greased loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes @ 325 degrees. I have a convection oven so you may have to adjust your baking times.

This recipe is not a sticky topped bread. The top has a nice crust on it which is what I prefer.

I was a busy girl; I made 10 large loaves and 11 small loaves of bread. My types were: Pumpkin, Banana, Banana Nut, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip (I used the peanut butter as the oil and then added a little oil to get the correct consistency), Chocolate Chip – Dried Cherry(I adjusted this recipe and added milk to make the batter more moist since there were no moist additions. With this recipe, grease and flour the loaf pans).

                                                                                        I also made a 10 X 15 pan of Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Chicken Corn Chowder.

I wish I would have done a better job with remembering the recipe for the Chicken Corn Chowder. I know I used 2.5 large chicken breasts that I cooked in water. In the same water I added fresh frozen corn (probably about 3 cups) and then added 5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed. The spices I used were salt, pepper, coriander, dried mustard, minced onion and ground thyme. When the potatoes were cooked, I added 2 T. of butter and milk (1 or 2 cups). The only thing I would have done different is frying the potato cubes in oil so they would have stayed firmer. It was very good, don’t get me wrong but next time, I will get a crisp layer on the potatoes before putting them in the soup.

This all day cooking did help my mood. And while I know it meant nothing to Copper, since he was isolated at the time of my cooking, he does have a bounce in his step that he hasn’t had for a few days. I heard him bark today which hasn’t happened for a while.

My head is definitely getting cleared and my family has a lot of home cooked food to bring them comfort. I hope that this is all good karma and news will come tomorrow from the laboratories. If not, I still have 2 cups of pumpkin and probably 3 cups of bananas that I can create some more …maybe a black bean pumpkin soup or a Cuban black bean banana something; my choices are endless. I hope that I can create out of love instead of stress on my next baking/cooking day.

I will keep you updated.

(View from my kitchen window)