When you can’t get off the couch, when anything but a horizontal position sends shooting pains to your feet and knees, when you are so angry about the pain that you get up, sure that you are better, and proven wrong, need to be carried back to bed by your boyfriend, when this happens, there’s not much do to.
You could start up your laptop and check and re-check all your favorite food blogs, hoping beyond reason that they will all create new posts every hour upon the hour so that you have something new to read. You could have your boyfriend bring you all your cookbooks, surround yourself with them on the couch, drop glistening tears on the shiny pages which tease and taunt you with their lovely recipes that require standing, and good health, and therefore you cannot make. You could watch the Food Network and “Guy’s Big Bite” until you want to pluck every bleached blond hair from his ridiculous head. Then perhaps Barefoot Contessa will come on, and your boyfriend could walk in on you in the living room, your face tear-streaked and a whimpering smile on your face, and you could explain to him that the love between Ina and Jeffrey holds no bounds. You could go uninhibitedly mad.
Or, you could cook something that involves no more than a quick detour into the kitchen during those few bathroom breaks that involve you getting off the couch. You could make Dulce de Leche!
I’ve been wanting to make dulce de leche for some time now, but put it off for being too time-consuming. Time-consuming, now, is exactly what I want. So the other day I got up, poured some milk and sugar into a pot, brought it up to a quick boil, and then down to a low-simmer, and sat back down. The hours that passed after that were just a tad less annoying and a bit happier because I knew I had a pot of milk and sugar that would soon become velvety, warm, buttery caramel. Even though it’s really pathetic that a pot of milk on the stove was the funnest activity I’ve had in days, at least my hurting back was good for something—now I have a big jar of dulce de leche and Jim bought us a spiced apple tart to go with it. And I’m going to eat as much as I please.
Dulce de Leche
makes almost a pint
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extractMethodPour milk, vanilla, and sugar into a pot over medium-high heat (make sure the pot is big enough so that milk won’t spill over the sides when it boils). Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.Turn heat down and slightly simmer over very low heat for about 2.5 to 3 hours. Check the mixture every once in a while to make sure it isn’t simmering too much. (I jarred mine at about 2.5 hours.) When done, stir until smooth and pour dulce de leche into jars. Refrigerate any leftovers.