My Cuisinart loaf panis serving me well. I made the carrot walnut bread from The Joy of Cooking last night (it's easy and tasty and involves pulverizing things in the food processor), and tonight I made a cornbread loaf from The New England Table, which I got for a mere $5 at Border's a few months ago. I love bargain books. I actually bought Cooking at Home on Rue Tatintoday on David Lebowitz's recommendation - I'm excited to Fronchify my kitchen disasters for a little while.
The cornbread loaf is actually from a recipe called "Johnny Cake", which is normally made in pancake-esque form but for whatever reason Lora Brody made it into a loaf. I've used the recipe before and rather liked it so I made it again, this time with bacon bits. I'm not sure why, but my baking time was 15 min under the recommended 45-50 min (and it was 40 min the last time I made it). Dry Arizona heat? Bacon magic? Using a 9 x 5 loaf pan instead of the recommended 8.5 x 4.5 pan? Beats me. I'm glad I like sitting in front of the oven with the light on watching things bake, or there might have been a bad scene here, especially since this is for a Thanksgiving work potluck tomorrow. I'm a little worried about my inability to taste it first, but my experience with work guys is if there's bacon in it, they'll eat it, and if they don't eat it, I'll eat it.
Speaking of bad scenes, I had a semi-brief technological battle with my microwave tonight. Given the quick baking of my cornbread, I wanted to turn the microwave timer off early. Apparently, my GE piece-of-shit rattly microwave goes into control lock mode when you try to turn the timer off. What's control lock mode, you ask? NONE OF THE BUTTONS WORK! So after hitting all the buttons multiple times and growing progressively more panicky, I went with the brute force method of flipping the breaker, which either didn't work or was mislabeled on my breaker box. I hit all the buttons some more, contemplated punching it, then gave up and looked for the manual, which in the FAQ ("how do I get out of control lock mode?") advised me to hold a button down for a while, which got out of control lock mode, but the timer was still running. I just let it run out. It just doesn't work right. Battle lost. Sigh.
Leftovers report: I am still eating peanut soup. For some reason it doesn't taste very peanutty anymore. Maybe I've lost the part of my tastebuds that recognize peanuts. I still have about three more bowls left.
I actually made a side dish of brussels sprouts (since I don't think eating peanut soup over and over is correctly satisfying my nutritional needs) from 101 Cookbooks and they were great, even though I burnt them a little. I might try it again tomorrow, since brussels sprouts at Whole Foods are a dollar a pound right now. My six sprouts were 74 cents today. How's that for a cheap side dish?