Spring Forward

by Anchor-Of-My-Eye

It's been a bit of a rough week.  The water service line to the washer and dryer in our building sprung a leak some time on Tuesday or Wednesday---right above our apartment.  I noticed water coming through the ceiling of my closet on Thursday morning and spent the next hour and a half frantically pulling all the wet clothes and shoes out and trying to dry them.  On Friday a plumber ripped out the ceiling of our closet and spotted the leak, in our upstairs neighbors' apartment, and was able to divert the leak to fall neatly into a bucket on the floor.  On Saturday night about 10pm there was a new leak, and this time water was coming down in our laundry closet and behind the wall of the hallway.  Today the plumber was able to get into our neighbor's apartment and fix the leak, and now everything's drying out and then we'll assess how much drywall needs to be replaced and whether or not there's mold.  My pretty yellow paint job in the bedroom closet will need to be completely redone and we may have to rip out and repair areas in the laundry closet and hallway as well.  So it's been a pretty intense week, and now it will be a lot of phone calls, emails, paperwork and elbow grease to get everything back the way it was.  However, given the tragedy in Japan this week, perspective is everything.

This weekend I've been exhausted and following the global events as well as trying to work around all the stuff that was previously neatly stowed away in closets.  The only area of the apartment that looks the same is the kitchen, which worked out well, as I was able to try some new recipes.

Today for brunch we had Leek, Goat Cheese & Lemon Frittata, followed by a piece of Sticky Blood Orange Cake.  For the orange cake, I began with this recipe from Kitchn and then started adapting---wheat flour for regular flour, olive oil for vegetable oil, blood orange juice for orange juice, and blood orange marmalade for marmalade.

I have to say, it's the best vegan cake I've ever had.  The cake batter is really ingenious.  Rather than relying on butter or eggs for 'lift' and fluffing, the combination of vinegar, baking soda, and in this case, citrus, creates a fizzy effervescence.  The batter was very light and airy after simply stirring the ingredients together, and the end result is a cake that manages to be both tremendously moist and yet has that crumb-y cake texture that's so satisfying.

Honestly, both Andrew and I were sort of in love with the cake.  Next time I think I'll try it with applesauce and palm sugar as the sweetener (instead of conventional sugar),then press thin-sliced apples into the top before baking and finish with a glaze with apple juice and sauteed apples.

My final project this morning was more dog treats.  Last week when Andrew and I were eating the bacon/cheddar/chive biscuits, the dogs were kind of insanely jealous.  Maggie, who never begs under any circumstances, was drooling so much it was falling on the floor and occasionally letting out quiet little cries of frustration.  I knew it must have been the bacon (although she also loves cheese so much that sometimes we call her Mouse).  I couldn't let her have even a little bite though, because the biscuits had chive in them.

So this weekend, she got her own biscuits.

I toasted and ground up dried garbanzo beans, then added finely chopped cooked bacon, little bits of cooked sweet potato, a couple teaspoons of virgin coconut oil, and some water.  The base garbanzo bean flour recipe is so forgiving that I always just eyeball the amounts and adjust until it looks and feels right.  I pressed the dough out on a board and then cut with the cookie cutter.  Then they went into a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  As soon as they were cool, I packaged them up and put them right into the freezer, where I can then bring out a week's worth at a time so they don't spoil.  Well, the biscuits don't get spoiled, but the dogs do.