I’m addicted to cookbooks. I see a few great recipes on blogs or hear some reviews on NPR and I’m itching to go out and buy it. Unfortunately, this addiction can get expensive…and heavy (for moving). I kept hearing about Make the Bread, Buy the Butter last fall. Dan and I were getting ready to move to Maryland where I would have much more time on my hands. I had been toying with the idea of making everything from scratch (oh how little I understood about maintaining a house back then!)
Since we were about to move I placed a moratorium on buying stuff. Who needs one more thing to pack/unpack. After we got settled into our new place, the pain from the unpacking was still fresh in my mind and so instead of running out to buy the book I decided to test it out at the library. I ambitiously picked up three different cookbooks with high hopes. The first two books I looked at missed the mark, I saw one or two recipes that I would like to replicate but that was it. I opened Make the Bread, Buy the Butter last and loved the book immediately. I’ve been reading Tipsy Baker since I first heard about the book and I really enjoy Jennifer Reese’s voice. Her friendly tone translates nicely through the book. I appreciate the leg work she did to see if it makes budgetary and/or culinary sense to embark on the cooking project.
The first project that I decided to undertake was that of Worcestershire sauce. We ran out of it in Denver and I was planning to make some Caesar's Salad and needed pick some up. I was heading to the store and couldn’t forget how Reese described the Worcestershire:
I'm aware that it sounds obsessive to make your own Worcestershire, a condiment you probably use only occasionally, in minute quantities. But wait until you taste this stuff. It's black and shiny, almost iridescent, with so much umami you'll want to eat it with a spoon. Credit goes to Emeril Lagasse for this knockout recipe.
She begins each recipe with an assessment of whether or not you should make or buy the dish, how much hassle it is to make it and a cost comparison.
Make it or buy it? Make it.
Hassle: You babysit the sauce all day, but it's not a needy baby.
Cost comparison: A pint of homemade costs about $8. Lea & Perrins: $9.50
Some of her assessments surprised me, but once I thought through her arguments I realized that she makes sense. I have since had to return the book to the library but I am planning to go out and buy it the next chance I have.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped, with seeds
2 Tablespoons, garlic minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two 2-ounce cans anchovies, drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon salt
1 lemon, peeled with white pith removed and discarded
2 cups corn syrup
1 cup molasses
1 quart distilled white vinegar
1/4 pound fresh horseradish, peeled and grated
1. Heat the 2 onions, 3 T olive oil, and 2 jalapenos in your largest heavy pot over high heat. Stir the veggies for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the 2 T garlic, 2 cans anchovies, 1/4 t cloves, 1 T salt, 1 lemon, 2 c corn syrup, 1c molasses, 1 quart vinegar, 2 cups water and the 1/4 pound horseradish. Bring the mixture to a boil.
2. Once the mixture comes to a boil reduce the heat and simmer. Stir the mixture occasionally (every half hour or so) for about 6 hours. It is ready when the mixture lightly coats a spatula.
3. Strain the Worcestershire , stirring occasionally, until the mixture barely coats a wooden spoon, about 6 hours. Keep refrigerated, keeps indefinitely.