Sometimes I just NEED to cook.
Well, yes, like when I NEED to eat.
I'm talking about satisfying another part of my being. My soul.
Sometimes I need to cook to get out ideas stuck in my head. Other times I need to cook to calm myself down.
The kitchen is where I can center myself, slow down, let my mind focus on something simple, and just ......be.
Then, I get to eat (which is my favorite).
Something else good for soul - bacon. Bacon jam.
This recipe has been floating around, and I've seen bacon jam for sale in various hipster places. All of these clearly have more sugar than I'd like. I decided that bacon jam with it's abundance of onion is probably nice and sweet on it's and only needs a small dose of help with some more of my preferred sweeteners.
I was right. While I didn't want to take away that this is in fact a jam, I didn't want to hide the onions melty sweetness.
I still used maple syrup, but instead of brown sugar I added a couple dates.
One ingredient I'm glad I did not change is the coffee. It lends a richness and is only slightly discernible in the jam, but I think it's absence would be noticed right off.
Unfortunately those crackers aren't as worthy of a post. Those are another piece to my kitchen therapy, but not all sessions are break throughs.
I've been tinkering with grain free crackers for some time now. I have one caveat that has me a bit frustrated. You see I've been looking for ways to reuse the pulp from my cashew milk and have convinced myself the answer lies in a cracker. Batch after batch I keep using the pulp, and keep expecting a different outcome but it never occurs. Yes, that is the definition of insanity isn't it?
I've decided to free myself from this crazy since I've discovered a paleo type coffee creamer. It's pretty much coconut mayonnaise if you think about it, but you don't think about it, you eat it.
I only use my cashew milk for my coffee or tea on occasion. I've decided to get over wasting cashews and try this coconut mayo. So no more insanity crackers, it's just about the jam.
1 pound bacon cut into peices
3 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
6-8 medium dates, pitted and chopped
black pepper, lots of it
In a large pot brown the bacon. Remove from the pot and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onions and garlic and let soften for a couple of minutes. In a small bowl mix together the coffee, vinegar, syrup dates and pepper. Pour liquid over the softened onions and bring to a boil. Add the bacon back in and reduce heat to a low simmer. I placed a lid over the top slightly left open. Let simmer for about 2 hours, you want the onions to fall apart, most of the liquid is gone and thicker. Pulse in your food processor until it's in very small bits. Keep in the fridge and be sure to share with friends!
The jam made my mediocre crackers infinitely better. Tomorrow we are giving it a try on boiled eggs, but straight out the jar works too.
Do you cook for therapy? If not, how do you turn your mind down and soul up?