It is once again bread day, so the sourdough is souring and doughing on its way to becoming tasty. Which is a very good thing, given that commercial bakeries are totally unconcerned about the fact that what they’re selling doesn’t qualify as bread and is usually poison. I’ve never even thought to use azodicarbonamide (“ADA”) or Fix-A-Flat in my bread. Or diacetyl, which goes by many names in much the same way criminals use aliases and is what gives microwave popcorn its buttery flavor. All that I ever use in my everyday bread is flour, water, and salt. Oh, and usually olive oil brushed on for the final proof, but only because we’re high (in elevation) and dry (in atmospheric humidity) and without something to prevent dehydration of the final proof the dough will skin over and become what is technically known as yucky.
There are some microorganisms in there, too, but only those that came already on the grain from the field and without which it would be just wet flour and not bread. Probably some diesel exhaust and a few random radionuclides that fell from the sky, too, but it’s best not to think of such things. Just shut up and eat.
I’ve always been curious to know how factories can so consistently produce such pathetic corn tortillas so I conducted a little experiment recently. My goal was to determine how minimally I could change the recipe to create something with the commercial tortilla lack of yummy nixtamalized corn flavor. It was surprisingly easy and I nailed it on the first go: Add xanthan gum, which is used to make the commercial product stay soft and flexible after any decent tortilla would be stale and usable only for chilaquiles. The result was a tortilla warmer full of suck. I had to eat the mistakes — Amethyst refused to eat them. She got about halfway into one and then delivered it to the garbage pail where, truth be told, it rightfully belonged. So, friends and neighbors, now you know.
Amethyst and I are once again and hopefully permanently completely avoiding processed foods. The impetus this time around is the ADA (azodicarbonamide) debacle, coming right on the heels of our discovery that our local meat processor’s sausage is doused with MSG. Whether MSG is perfectly safe or deadly poison I don’t really even care. I don’t want to eat anything that contains an ingredient I wouldn’t put into it, and I don’t use monosodium glutamate, soy protein isolate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or anything I’m so ashamed of that I’d hide it behind the label “natural flavors”. In my kitchen, a natural flavor is what comes in the ingredient itself — you know, a chicken, or a bay leaf, or salt. Whatever. I’ve got so many herbs and spices that they occupy all of two shelves in my cupboard, and there are more in the pantry because I don’t have cupboard space enough. I got yer natural flavors right here! 😀
I foolishly got to thinking I’d save some money by buying canola oil instead of my usual corn oil… Gawdamity but that shit is nasty! I made some mayonnaise with it and we ended up throwing it away. I’ve been using it a little bit here and there, but only in very limited quantities in dishes that I expect to have enough flavor to swamp out the canola. But I can still taste it. Though I have no way and never will have a way of knowing, I figure the flavor is what I’d expect from performing cunnilingus on a dolphin.
If we were supposed to eat rapeseed they wouldn’t have named it after a violent fucking you didn’t want.
It’s now time for the third stage, so I’m going to go play with flour, water, salt, and tiny little life forms I’m going to burn to death later. Be well, friends and neighbors!