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Archive for the ‘Food and…’ Category

It’s lunchtime and I’m snacky, so for today’s post I bring you an excerpt from my European travel journal, featuring the delicious and mysterious (not really) zalmforel!*

I like the map, too.

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Bron: OTRES. Licentie: Publiek domein

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* It is a trout that looks something like salmon, but isn’t (despite what the nice lady told me at the time) an actual cross. Still very good, and isn’t it nice to learn new things?

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Sun Tea

Today is one of the first really warm days this year, and we just came back in from a longish walk. I’m hot and thinking a big glass of my grandmother’s sun tea would be just the thing. I don’t actually have that tea because I did not think that far ahead, but if anyone else is in a similar mood, here’s the recipe (not that you really need it):

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Grandma’s Sun Tea

(Dorothea Johnson)

6-8 tea bags

Water

Sunshine

  1. Add water and tea bags to half-gallon bottle (old milk jars work well). Set outside in full sun for the afternoon, preferably between the driveway and marigold border in full view of any approaching grandchildren. Enjoy with sugar or maple syrup and a slice of something tangy.

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Photo by @thiszun (follow me on IG, FB) on Pexels.com

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Happy Easter!

What with no travel or outside family, this isn’t a great year for giant eight-layer cakes, so today I’m revisiting my one and only Easter dessert, the Bunny Cake.

It was fun to make. Will I do it again someday? Maybe, maybe not, but techniques like the meringue mushrooms, grass, and fondant were interesting to do.

Also, chocolate and bunnies are delicious:)

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Yesterday’s post has me thinking of Spring.

Maybe I should be thinking about new projects and ways to be productive, but I’m about to go get a Covid test and I’ve got work to do and it’s lunchtime, so instead I’m thinking about food.

Today that means I’m thinking about stuffed grape leaves. Our neighbor has a grapevine that has reached out to us and now covers a significant part of the fencing in the back. The vine is starting to bud and soon we’ll have new growth. 

My culinarily-talented brother gave me this recipe years ago. I love citrus so I serve these with egg-lemon sauce, but adjust as you like.


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Stuffed Grape Leaves

2 lb. ground lamb
1 large onion
⅓ cup tomato paste
½ tsp. each thyme, basil, garlic powder
1 tsp. each oregano, dillweed, salt
1 cup cooked rice
1½ oz. Pernod
Grape leaves (canned or bottled)

  1. Dice onion and sauté in a little butter until tender. Add tomato paste, then lamb, stirring constantly as it cooks.
  2. When lamb is almost cooked through, remove from heat, add spices, then stir in rice and Pernod.
  3. Drain excess fat and refrigerate until use.
  4. To assemble, lay out a grape leaf with the stem pointing toward you. Place a spoonful of stuffing at the bottom of the leaf, and roll leaf around it, working away from you. Tuck in the sides of the leaf as you go.
  5. Heat in microwave for a minute or two just prior to serving. May be dressed with fresh lemon juice or egg-lemon sauce.


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Photo by David on Pexels.com

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Everyone and their uncle will be talking pi/e today, so I’m just going to leave it at a wish for a happy day, and pie. 

It’s cold again today, with gusty winds and a bright clear sky that feels like winter will never leave. Still, Spring is near, I just picked up the first Travis McGee book again and my reader mind is in Florida with lemon and lime trees around every corner. Today I’m thinking of warmth and lemon meringue.

Will I make it? Maybe, but taxes are calling. Either way, it is a delightfully sweet, citrus-scented dream.

Whether you’re in it for the math or the sugar, here’s hoping you have a very Happy Pi Day, folks!

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Photo by an_vision on Unsplash

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I like Rube Goldberg machines. They are ridiculous and entertaining and look like something I might actually be able to make (even if that’s not always true). They also help me pay attention to the everyday objects and systems around me in new and more interesting ways, always helpful for creativity!

Here’s a fun one for all you cake lovers out there.

I especially love the butter bit. (TBH, though, after all that, I’d want chocolate:)

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And don’t even get me started on some of the lockdown creations people have come up with, like this family of awesome in Toronto. 

Well done!

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I lost my biscuit recipe the other day. You know how it goes, you dig through your cookbooks, go online, pick a selection of recipes that looks promising, triangulate ingredients and techniques, make adjustments, then test and sample and retest until you come up with a recipe that works for you. Then you lose the piece of paper you scribbled it all on.

So there I was on Valentine’s Day, all ready to make chicken pot pie with biscuits (one of Mr. Man’s favorites) but I was short one biscuit recipe. I cobbled together a replacement but it was an imperfect substitute. Good news? Mr. Man was still happy. More good news? I found my original recipe!

I like this one because it’s quick, easy, uses the kefir we always have, and the melted butter with cold milk trick results in a lot of well-distributed butter bits without all the hassle of cubing and cutting in.

I am hereby committing it to these pages for posterity, and for Valentine’s Days to come.

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Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

  • 283g [2 C.] flour
  • 9g [2 t.] baking powder
  • 2.3g [½ t.] baking soda
  • 5g [1 t.] sugar
  • 3g [½ t.] salt
  • 113g [½ C.] butter, melted
  • 245g [1 C.] kefir or buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 475F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. 
  3. Melt butter (I used the microwave for this), add kefir or buttermilk, whisk together.
  4. Pour butter mixture into dry mix and stir until just incorporated.*
  5. Scoop and drop large, rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a lined tray or on top of hot pot pie filling.
  6. Bake until just golden and cooked through, 12-14 minutes for biscuits alone, or 24 minutes on pot pie.**

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* It’s easy to overwork biscuit dough. Ask me how I know!

** I’m experimenting with dropping the temperature to 425–450F for the last ten minutes of the pot pie to keep the edges from scorching, but that’s still in the trial phase. And I might add a bit more salt and sugar. And baste the top with butter when done, but only if they aren’t on top of the already buttery pot pie. And this is how I roll in the kitchen.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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I’m baking today. I made a double batch of Sammich Bread so we would have two loaves of actual sandwich bread, and two loaves for experimentation. The extra loaves are a cinnamon walnut twist and a raisin bread with pear, cardamom, cinnamon and lemon syrup.*

The bread is currently in its second rise. I’m posting now because 

1) isn’t it nice to be on top of things? 

and 

2) I’m pretty sure the raisin bread (at least) is going to go Not Entirely As Planned. Also, there’s no way I can get them all in the oven at the same time, which means rise times are probably going to be Not Ideal. Ah well! These things happen.

And if I post now I have a perfectly reasonable excuse not to include photos of said bread. Which may or may not look at all like I hoped:)

Me this morning. Only, not a dude.
Photo by Vaibhav Jadhav on Pexels.com

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* I cheated a little, as I made poached pears the other day and that sauce is so delicious. The pears went into a jar and the extra syrup is going into… everything else:) This flavor combination is highly recommended! In fact, here’s a photo of the pears. Which are delicious. Have I mentioned?

seriously good flavor combination

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Soothing Pain

I’m fortunate enough not to get headaches much, but last night I had a doozy. So headache plus poor sleep plus Tuesday (my least favorite day, you may recall) means that today is a bit of a slog.

Most of my time will be spent working, but I thought I’d take a few minutes for something soothing. And since I’m an English speaker with a penchant for bad Franglish jokes (sorry, French Canadian half of the family!), this bread-making video caught my attention.

Pain for pain, get it?

Told you my jokes were terrible!

In this episode, baker Mahmoud M’seddi welcomes us into his bakery in Paris’ 14th district where his award-winning baguettes come to life…

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