tonight i was making 2 things simultaneously: frying some tonkatsu (japanese breaded pork cutlets) and baking a no-knead bread. both things involve some element of risk (hot scalding oil versus hot burning cast iron pot).
i avoid frying whenever possible because it stinks up the house. but sometimes the draw of fried food is just too irresistible, despite the fact that i usually have awful luck with frying. one reason is because i'm afraid of getting burned by the hot oil. but if i can learn to get used to (and love) a gas stove (it's got real fire!) i should be able to overcome my oil anxiety.
while waiting for the canola oil to 350°F, i was dredging the pork cutlets through an egg wash and rolled them in a bowl of panko crumbs. the oil didn't look particularly hot but when i tossed a few crumbs into the pot they sizzled. i took a temperature reading with my broken analog thermometer and the needle keep on going until it reached 400°F - too hot! i dialed back the heat and started frying.
i continued monitoring the temperature with both the analog and digital thermometer. they both couldn't be wrong because they both seemed to be stuck around 280°F, not optimal frying temperature. the tonkatsus were frying nonetheless. the only way i could tell they were done is by judging the darkness of the bread crumb and slicing the cutlets open to check the meat inside.
the tonkatsu turned out okay albeit a little overcooked. i had enough left over for 2 more servings; fortunately i cooked 2 cups of rice so i had plenty to go around. i mixed the rice with some shredded cabbage (actually a package cole slaw cabbage) which made it that much more delicious, the crunch of the tonkatsu mixed with the crunch of the cabbage.
as for the bread, it came out okay. i'm happy i'm still able to get the same result even after a few months of bread making hiatus. the key really seems to be not adding too much water during the initial fermentation stage, otherwise the dough comes out too sticky and has no shape.
marco came home right when i was eating in the living room. i must've been hungrier than i realized because i ate so fast i could feel the food bunch up in my chest. he went out for a night time run; when he came back i had fresh bread waiting. we ate it with some garlic and olive oil. i had 2 slices but marco nearly managed to finish the whole loaf (i told him to help himself). he said he liked the crust the most.
i finished a vertically striped slip stitch pattern today. slip stitch patterns are easy because they only require knitting with one color per row (which slip stitching the other color). what i didn't realize is the slipped stitches are actually longer than normal stitches because they're carried across rows. the striped pattern i made today looks similar to the one i did yesterday, but they're different. the one from yesterday is an alternating knit-purl ribbing, while the one i made today is an alternating slip stitch stockinette stripes. one good thing about ribbings is they don't curl up, unlike the stockinette pattern. later i started a 3-color slip stitch checkerboard pattern but only got as far as 6 rows.