Here is an email I sent to my daughter, Greer and my brothers. We are all cooking crazy on all sides of the family. My dad used to send me pictures of beer-can chickens and other things he made.
Living in India is great fun, but does have some challenges. I want to explain a little about how Indians in service address the clients or bosses. You are always called Sir or Madam. My friends are referred to as “Denise Madam” or “Prathibha Madam”. Men are just called “Sir” or “Denise Madam’s Sir” (see who are the really important people!) My son-in-law is referred to as “young Sir”. Another important thing to know is, the service people don’t want you to be unhappy, so they tell you untruths. For example, if the carpenter is supposed to be at your place and isn’t, and you call him, he will say “I’m coming just now Madam”. He will say the same thing a half hour later. If you ask for a time, he or she will say “2:30 Madam,” even if they know they can’t possible make it today. They are being polite and nice to you. Drives me crazy. They also have this really nice accent and ways of turning a phrase that makes you forget how unhappy you are that the guy still hasn’t shown up.
Last night Tom and I successfully made The Bread Bible’s Basic Hearth Loaf on our Gas Weber Grill! Hurray! “Why on earth would anybody want to do that?” you may ask.
The stoves and ovens here use bottled gas. Our little oven was heating up to 600 degrees and burning everything in sight. You couldn’t control the temperature at all. We have only had the stove since September too. Drat and rats.
The stove repair guy finally came and told me we needed a little part, which he could get from Mumbai and install for us in a week or so. “Yes Madam, on Next Friday will I come.” He said. I believed that he really wanted to come, but I did not believe the part would come any time in the next month. Apparently, the rest of the world has running gas with different pressure from the stuff we use in India. If you saw our grill in Germany, that is the same gas used here for all the ovens, even huge ones in restaurants. Our oven was made in Italy or Spain or someplace like that and somehow, they didn’t put that little part in ours!!!
No homemade bread for a month! Of course, I can make nice Indian bread on the stovetop, but we really want lovely, crisp, chewy, soft or hard Western bread. Western bread here is truly horrid. You would all hate it. I have been making bread at least once or twice a week.
I began to think hard. Hmmm, we have our Weber Grill, it uses the same bottled gas, Tom is really good at controlling the temperature, he made a turkey and a goose in it…why not bread? I asked him what he thought and the Grill King said “Let’s try it today.” So, I whipped up a recipe of the easiest hearth bread I know and we cranked up the grill.
It turned out great. I let it rise in a cast iron skillet. We did the same timings and temperature as the BB says. The only thing we didn’t do is heat a cookie sheet and put ice cubes in a hot pan for steam. The grill itself is hot and I just didn’t like the idea of an ice cube falling on the flames. The crust crackled when it came off the grill. Yum.
I just WISH Dad could see this picture. He would have been right out there checking.
Today is Monday. The stove guy was here last Thursday. Well, he came again today WITH the PART!! and now, the oven works again. Musta put that part on a plane. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to try it. I was going to make sour cream coffee cake on the grill, but I don’t think I will now. Maybe I should, just to see if it will work.