Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pita and Potter

Let me steer you to what I think is the very best site to learn how to make pita bread. Not only that, I think you'll like the whole tone of the place and want to bookmark it for future reference. I did.

It's called Farm Girl Fare and is the brain-and-heart child of a woman named Susan. By the time I'd perused the text and pictures of her pita project, I was well and truly hooked. I'm not even going to put the recipe here because she does the job so well at her place.

Yes, I whupped up a batch of pita bread according to her instructions just this afternoon. Mind you, that was even after I had picked up my copy of Harry Potter from the post office. In the past, once the new Potter book arrived, I had always been adamantly incommunicado until I'd read every word. The world could have crashed around my ears -- I wouldn't have noticed.

This time, however, I'm teasing myself, drawing out the pleasure and savoring each delicious chapter. So I got the book home and slid it out of its box. I stroked the cover. I sniffed the pages, which we are assured are made of 30% recycled fiber and over 65% certified as coming from "forests that are managed to insure the protection of the people and wildlife dependent on them." Whatever that means. They do not say what constitutes the remaining more-or-less 5%, which leaves room for speculation. For all we know, that could be recycled panty hose or dehydrated Jelly Bellies.

Anyway, I set Harry Potter and a mug of coffee at one end of the table and laid out my pita tools and ingredients at the other end. (I should mention that I varied Susan's recipe just a tiny bit by using 2 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I also put in 1/2 a cup of dry milk.) It took practically no time at all to mix up the dough, knead it and divide it into eight portions, then form those portions into tidy little balls. Then I draped a damp paper towel over them, set the timer for 30 minutes and sat down with Harry Potter.

I read the dedication page. Then I realized I hadn't put the oven on preheat. Took care of that. Sat back down and read the Table of Contents and the Aeschylus and William Penn quotations. Remembered I was going to try Susan's suggestion to bake the pita on foil placed directly on the oven rack. Got up and spread a couple sheets of foil over the rack, closed the oven door and sat back down with Harry.

The timing was uncanny. Just as I read the last sentence of the first chapter, the buzzer went off and it was time to roll out the pita rounds. I can't say J.K. Rowling planned it that way but you can't completely disregard the possibility.

The dough rolled out easy-peasy and went in the oven, four pitas at a time. And they puffed up fine. And I figured out the best way to get out of making a proper meal was to take Susan's suggestion and turn a couple of the finished, butter-brushed pitas into a pan of pita chips. And it was unbelievably easy to do. Half the chips were sprinkled with kosher salt and a bit of cayenne, the other half were sprinkled with salt and shredded cheddar and a bit of cayenne. In the oven for 5 minutes at 400 degrees fairyheight and SHAZZAM! I had me a nifty platter of semi-crispy chips to munch while I curled up with Harry and settled in for a proper read.

I'm taking this break to get the post up before I get completely distracted. Aren't you proud of my self-discipline? As soon as I send out the notify, I'll check my email one last time and then make another pot of coffee. One should always have a good pot of coffee when one is facing an all-night session of anything. Well -- anything but sleep, that is. I sincerely doubt there will be any sleep tonight.

Bliss. Oh bliss.


John Bailey said...

We decided this time to buy only one copy of the book, so it's over at the holiday camp with Graham now, being read a couple of chapters a day. I'm going to be one of the last people in the world to read it at this rate! Happy wizardry, Dee... :-)

Bex said...

No John (see above) I will be the last person in the world to read it (Harry Potter) because I don't buy the book, have never read the books, and don't plan to ever read the books. The world's gone mad about Harry, but I prefer to keep what little sanity I have of my own individualism and not get crushed in the crowd.

Those pita chips sound fabulous.

Dee said...

(Yaaawwn...blink, blink...)Well! *That* was fun!

Thanks, John -- I was smiling when I finished the book at 7:00 this morning. Needless to say, I slept half the day away and am only now regaining consciousness.

Bex, the pita chips *are* fabulous. I foresee many more in my future. Along with mini-pizzas...a thing I've done with the tortillas, to good effect.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I loved all the Harry Potter books, spent the entire weekend just finishing off Dealthy Hallows and I was smiling too when I finished it. We had to buy 2 copies because my boyfriend didn't want to wait until I finished mine not that he would have had to wait very long
I'm just sorry the series has ended

Kate said...

Oh bliss indeed! I can't wait to get my hands on Deathly Hallows, but I'm busy Saturday & Sunday & tonight (Friday), so am holding off until maybe later on Sunday -- then I'm gonna let 'er rip!

Mage said...

We just went on our first ever cruise, and we did it with Harry in hand. I finished Harry the first day, and G picked it up and read through the cruise. :)