Sunday, March 04, 2007

Adventures in High Altitude Cooking

Part One: Ye Ole English Muffins

I did it! This weekend I satisfied my cooking urge!

Since I've been here in Peru, I have had most of my meals prepared for me. Considering that I like to cook, it has been a little bit of an adjustment. I cook because I like to experiment and I cook because it's therapeutic in a way. Having someone cook for you is nice I must admit and I believe that I will actually start to get a little spoiled.

But this weekend the adventurous cooking urge arose and I decided to try to make English muffins. There really is no such thing as an English Muffin here. There are lots of types of yummy fresh bread but I have yet to discover a muffin of the english variety! Well, I learned some interesting things in my muffin making. Here are the steps to making English muffins in Peru:

1. Locate yeast and cornmeal at the local grocery store, Dino's. They have something that is a little more powdery than normal cornmeal but you decide to take the chance.

2. Boil milk and add salt, sugar, an egg and a butter substitute (a very yellow margarine which is really the only thing available here!) on your gas stove. Add the yeast and mix in the flour.

3. Knead the flour to a good consistency and let it rise in a warm place (there really isn't a warm place but thankfully I had made pizza so the oven was still hot).

4. After an hour, roll out the dough and cut out circles with some plastic thing that you find in the cupboard. The recipe said to use a tuna can but we didn't have an available tuna can. We really don't have too many canned things come to think of it. That reminds me of a comment that my housekeeper's daughter Anna said. She said that her teacher said that the reason so many North Americans get sick is because they eat too many things out of cans!!

5. Place the muffins on a cookie tray sprinkled with cornmeal and sprinkle more cornmeal on top. Let them rise for another hour!!

6. Here's the interesting part: Heat a griddle and cook the muffins for 8-10 minutes per side. (I always assumed that English muffins were baked!!) Guess the temperature and amount of oil for the pan and make sure you don't forget and get them too brown!

7. Enjoy! Believe it or not, this actually worked and my results are delicious. I especially enjoyed eating a grilled (we don't have a toaster) muffin egg sandwich!!

mmmmm... maybe next time I'll try making bagels! I hear that you have to boil them.

It won't be for a long time, though. Yesterday I made apple pancakes, pizza and English muffins. I'm tired of dough and I've satisfied my cooking urge for a while.

Join me next time for another ADVENTURE IN HIGH ALTITUDE COOKING!!!!!

1 comment:

Renee said...

WOW, Carrie-- I am so impressed! Not surprised, but impressed! I think it is so fun that we now have an international Stillwaters Baking Club!!
Love you :)