Friday, September 9, 2011

Yoga? Me?

We've been making out like bandits on our farm share this summer. Every week, we drop by the farms booth at the farmer's market and get a huge amount of local produce (as above). We've been eating a lot of bruschetta and cucumber salads (though we don't have a good use for bell peppers, as neither of us are really excited about them). I am especially partial to the adorable fingerling potatoes we get in three colors. It's actually rare for the strawberries to make it home from the market, so you can tell we were restrained this week. We have been trying to use our produce in different ways, like this onion/tomato focaccia:

I bought a groupon for a local yoga studio this summer, and just started going this week. Previously, I've always dismissed yoga as being too touchy-feely. Then again, I didn't think much of stretching or cooling down after a workout either. Here in Boulder it seems like half the people you meet are yoga enthusiasts. Yes, this town is full of hippies. But it's also full of phenomenal athletes, many of whom do yoga to keep up their core strength and flexibility. I did my first session of hot (100F) yoga this afternoon, and despite feeling a little ill at times, I got some unbelievably good stretches. Though I probably won't dish out the $160 a month for a membership to this studio, I hope to make the most of my month of yoga and to incorporate some poses into what has become my regular stretching routine.

Fall has set in for real here. The students are back, the temperatures have dropped, and soon enough we'll be getting those crazy chinook winds out of the mountains. Even though I'm not taking classes this semester, my schedule is a lot more structured than in the summer. I started tutoring at the engineering student center, and I really enjoy going through problems with students. Maybe I miss have a concrete answer to a problem and then being able to move on the the next problem. Or maybe I just miss math and physics. They seemed so magical when I studied them in college.

Matt and I have been watching old episodes of Good Eats. If you've never seen it, you should. It's cooking for nerdy people who wonder why things happen the way they do in the kitchen. In an episode about cinnamon buns, he makes this ginger ring bread that I couldn't resist trying on my own.

Citrus-Ginger Ring
from Good Eats

For the dough:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6Tbsp melted butter
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) buttermilk or yogurt
  • approx. 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
For filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • zest from 2 medium lemons
  • 2 Tbsp candied ginger , finely chopper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces apricot or other jam
  • 2 Tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp water
  1. For the dough, combine yolks and egg (should be at room temperature) and sugar, butter and buttermilk. Whisk in 2 cups of the flour, yeast and salt until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups more flour and knead for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes on high and 5 minutes on low in a mixture. Add more flour if the dough is sticky. It should be soft, but not sticky. If mixed in a mixer, knead by hand for 30 seconds. Oil a large bowl, place dough in it and let rise until double (2-2.5 hours)
  2. For the filling, mix sugar, flour, gingers, and zest until combined, and set aside
  3. When the dough is risen, roll into a 12x24 inch rectangle. Brush the 2 Tbsp melted butter on the dough and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving one inch along one of the long edges. Press it in lightly. Roll the dough and seal using the inch you left free of filling. Pinch it together real good. Place on greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Place the ring in an unheated oven with a pan of boiling water and let it proof there for 30 minutes. Remove from over
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. When ready, put ring in middle rack and bake 30 minutes.
  6. While ring bakes, combine jam, ginger, and water in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 1-minute intervals on high, stirring each time. Brush over the warm ring when it comes out of the oven.
  7. Serve as soon as possible.

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