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Author: Rochelle

Self-Isolation Avgolemono

Self-Isolation Avgolemono

Ingredients
8 cups of chicken broth
3 eggs
2 lemons
Dill

Many avgolemono recipes have way more stuff in them, like shredded chicken and rice, and that’s fine. We weren’t in the mood for any of that, and my mother doesn’t like rice in soup, so we stuck to the basics. It was amazing.

My mom has the dregs of a roast chicken in the freezer, so she made broth from that, adding an onion and a little chicken bouillon to boost it up, and then she strained it to get just the broth. We are going to try it without the chicken bones tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure it will work just fine. Fingers crossed!

Directions
Boil the chicken broth in a sauce pan or pot and let it simmer.

Crack one egg into a medium bowl; add two egg yolks. Squeeze the juice from two lemons, about a third to a half a cup. Add the lemon juice to the eggs and whisk until it’s all mixed.

Using a ladle and pouring slowly, add chicken broth to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This is the tempering step, with the goal of heating up the egg mixture without scrambling it. Add 4-5 ladlefuls of simmering broth to the bowl to bring the eggs up to temperature.

Reduce the heat on the rest of the broth, and add the lemon-egg-broth mixture to the pot. Give it a stir; don’t let it boil.

Add dill, and serve!

This recipe is for three; I think it would be fairly easy scale up or down.

Self-Isolation Bread

Self-Isolation Bread

Self-Isolation is the name of the game during a global pandemic, so we’re going out less and staying in more. But you know what what’s nice, pandemic or no? Fresh bread for lunch.

So here’s my self-isolation bread. It’s a french bread recipe that contains no fat at all, so I don’t expect it would keep well. My goal was to make just enough to have it for lunch, with an eye towards not needing to store any of it afterwards. It keeps those clean hands busy! You can see the buns I’m making out of it are pretty huge. I’m feeding three people with this recipe, but you could stretch it to four pretty easily.

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Bread experiment #3: twice the yeast.

A post shared by Rochelle Mazar (@rmazar) on

Ingredients
2 cups of flour
2 tsp salt
2 level tablespoons or two envelopes of rapid rise yeast (the orange package)
1/4 cup (ish) warm water
1 egg
1 cup of water

Directions
Arrange the racks in your oven so that you’ve got one in the middle and another underneath it.

Pour flour into a bowl. Add salt and mix well. Add yeast, and mix that well, too. Add the warm water and stir. Add more water or flour if it seems too wet or dry.

Use your freshly washed hands to mix and knead the dough for at least ten minutes. Given how small this ball of dough is, there’s no need to transfer it to a surface to knead it, you can keep it in the bowl. Dough should smell yeasty and have a springy but not sticky texture.

Rest your dough ball in the bowl. Dampen a dish towel and use it to cover the dough and the bowl itself. Ideally, leave it in a warm place, like in a patch of sunlight. Leave it to rise for about an hour or so. It will at least double in size.

Once your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 405F/205C. Lightly flour a baking sheet and a bit of counter. Move your dough onto a floured surface and shape it into as many buns as you’d like to serve. I have generally formed it into 3 buns, but 4 would be a snap. Put them on the baking sheet.

Crack an egg into a cup and beat it well to create an eggwash. Using a pasty brush, apply the eggwash to your buns. Score your buns with a sharp knife.

Pour a cup of water into a wide pan or casserole dish. Put it on the lowest rack in your oven. (The water in the oven will give your bread a nice crust.) Pop your baking sheet with your buns on it into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they’ve puffed up and look nicely browned on the the top.

Serve with butter, cheese, and, if you’re lucky, Noah Martin summer sausage from St. Jacob’s, Ontario. Or however you like to.

Enjoy self-isolation as best you can!

Troublemakers

Troublemakers

One of the things I’ve come to recognize and embrace over time is my love for the (so-called) troublemakers. I know the issue with them is right there in the name, but I can’t deny my soft spot for them.

It’s not that I think a troublemaker is always right. A troublemaker is someone who is willing to put their necks on the line, risk a hit, or lose status because they believe in something strongly enough to speak out. 

A troublemaker has courage and passion. A troublemaker will push back, question any decision, question your grasp on a situation, question your very values or your sanity, demand better answers, and even foment revolution. When they’ve got the facts sideways or in half-measure, or when they value chaos, domination or revenge, they can cause destruction, woe, and havoc. But let’s be honest: any quality worth having is risky. Every strength is a weakness in some context. We can’t hold that against the troublemaker.  Heroes are villains too, when you tell the story from a different perspective.

One of the fundamental lessons I’ve learned about trying to make change, very big or very small, is that indifference is far more difficult to overcome than hostility is. I know many people disagree with me; if you dislike conflict and avoid it wherever possible, indifference must always be preferable to hostile disagreement. But in order to be hostile, you have to care. A lot. If no one cares about what you’e trying to do or change, you have a much tougher task in front of you, and you’re going to be doing it pretty much alone. If someone is fighting you and your work tooth and nail, they have energy, passion, and commitment. All you need to do is change their mind. You need to be absolutely ready to let them change yours. 

Like most of us, I have a long history of being wrong. I always start out assuming I understand a situation and know enough to have a perspective I can act on. And then I learn more, and realize I was wrong. Once in a while, I learn something that causes one of my core perspectives, one I’ve built a lifetime of decisions and actions on top of, to come tumbling down. Usually, it hurts. We weave our perspectives into ourselves so tightly that losing one of them is like coming unravelled, and it can seriously sting. But all learning is pain, and when you’re facing it, you can either cover over the hole and pretend nothing’s changed, or let that learning change you.

Troublemakers give me the hope that there’s a moment like that coming. Listening to their perspective unravels when I know and gives me the tools to knit together something more complicated and more true. So as often as they throw a spanner in the works, I think we’d all be poorer, and less, without them.

Here’s to the troublemakers among us. Never stop causing trouble.