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Saturday, 26 July 2014

O la la! C’est magnifique!

Filed under: equipment and techniques,food & drink — ejm @ 08:53 EDT

Butter DishI’ve been meaning to post about this for eons! Since last summer, actually….

summary: a French butter dish is fabulous (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

In winter, we almost don’t have to keep butter in the fridge. It’s pretty much the same on the counter as in the fridge; the butter is hard. (heh heh, I cannot help but think of Grandpa’s favourite response: it’s harder where there’s none!)
me, blog from OUR kitchen, annual Scrabble clout and cake fest

Butter Dish To stop the furry black fiend from sneaking onto the counter to eat butter, we have to put a hat on it. We put the butter on a saucer with a custard bowl inverted overtop.

For about 10 months of the year, the standard phrase (spoken through chattering teeth) in our house is “The butter’s hard…”. Then, for about 2 weeks or so, when left out on the counter on a butter plate, it softens a little and then stays at exactly the right softness.

But for the rest of the time, when summer hits with a vengeance, it turns into a semi-liquid greasy mess. In the past, we didn’t dare to leave the butter out. Unless we wanted rancid butter…. :stomp: (continue reading…)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mmmm! Tuscan Rosemary Bread – with salt!! (BBB July 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get BakingPanmarino - rosemary bread summary: recipe for Tuscan Rosemary Bread; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) July 2014

Rosemary… j’adore rosemary!


In that blessed climate [of British Columbia] — not unlike its native Provence — rosemary can be left outside year-round. Gardeners in the rest of Canada are not so fortunate and must take their tender rosemary bush indoors when heavy frosts threaten. But the effort is worth it, if for no other reason than the pleasure of running your hand over the needles [...] releasing essence of rosemary into the air. It is an antidote to the weariness with the world.
Turid Forsyth and Merilyn Simonds Mohr, “The Harrowsmith Salad Garden”, p. 61

Cathy (Bread Experience) is this month’s host; she has just come back from a wonderful time in Tuscany and decided that we should make Tuscan bread.

I have to admit I was a bit afraid that we were going to have to tackle saltless bread. Thank goodness, no.

Her choice, a variation of a recipe in Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”, sounded fabulous! Especially that it has a crust that “sparkle[s] with diamonds”. Not to mention the addition of rosemary!

One of my favourite breads that we had when we did a walking tour of Tuscany (in the last century) was a flat crisp rosemary bread. It was the best! (continue reading…)

Monday, 30 June 2014

Wordless Not-Wednesday: Cherries! …sweeeeeet!

Filed under: food & drink,Wordless and/or Black & White Wednesdays — ejm @ 12:45 EDT
<o>cherries !!

sweet cherries


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cherry Season = Cherries Jubilee

Filed under: dessert,food & drink,posts with recipes — ejm @ 19:47 EDT

go directly to the recipe

Not Far From the Tree summary: recipe for Cherries Jubilee; information about Not Far From the Tree and Plated Stories; (click on images for more photos and larger views)

I was reading “Cherries” on Jamie and Ilva’s blog, Plated Stories, surprised that there was no mention of Cherries Jubilee. I came back here and was amazed to see that I too had neglected to post about this ultimate way to serve cherries.

Classic cherries jubilee [...] flambeed with brandy is a great, refreshing dessert especially after a hearty meal., Classic Cherries Jubilee

cherries There’s nothing so thrilling as blue flames for dessert!

We were riding our bikes through the neighbourhood the other day and in one of the front yards, I saw the most beautiful cherry tree, laden with beautiful white and rose coloured cherries! And I suddenly wondered if I would get to pick cherries for NotFarfromtheTree this year.

I hope so!! I hope so!!! (I’m on a waiting list to be chosen for the first cherry picks of the season this Saturday…).

Pick me! Pick me!! (continue reading…)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Eleven Years? Can that be right??

Filed under: food & drink — ejm @ 11:23 EDT

summary: marking anniversaries; commenting; changes to blogging; spice rubs;

Over the past couple of days, I have been tidying broken links and came across the following:

[I]t’s finally come to pass that my time is this space is over. [...] [W]hen it’s clear that no one is listening any longer, it becomes so much harder to think about what to say.

- Kate, Kate in the Kitchen, a bittersweet good-bye

I was already feeling just a little sad and forlorn that it seems as though there are fewer readers and fewer and fewer comments here too. And then I realized that I don’t comment on others’ blogs as much as I used to either.

I blame FaceBook! It has sucked away my time on the internet, getting me to look at pictures, skim with glazed eyes over anything longer than one sentence and blindly click “like” without fully paying attention to what is there.

Then I realized. It’s not too late to make a new year’s resolution to visit favourite blogs and leave comments from time to time. So I began.

One of the blogs I visited was Jeanne’s (Cook Sister) to see that she was celebrating ten years of blogging (continue reading…)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Whine Bread (BBB June 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Grape-cluster Wine Rolls, based on Lionel Vatinet’s Beaujolais Bread; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

This WAS going to be on time. Really it was….

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) June 2014

Beaujolais <whine alert>But I don’t want to put sausage in my bread!!</whine alert>

When I first heard about the bread we would be making this month, I blanched. It wasn’t that it called for red wine directly in the dough. Oh wait, it is that it calls for red wine directly in the dough. I can’t get the picture of that frightening pasta we made out of my head.

But it was Tanna (my kitchen in half cups) who chose the bread. And I trust her judgment. She is passionate about bread making. We all are. But I guess maybe you already knew about that…. :lalala:

So it’s no surprise that Tanna loves Lionel Vatinet’s book, A “Passion for Bread”.

Beginning in my early teens, I discovered a passion for bread making – a passion that has continued to deepen through the years that I’ve worked at the bread oven. [...] There are so many traditions associated with dining in France, and many of them revolve around bread. For instance, the loaf is always placed at the center of the table: directly on it, never on a plate. And never upside down; this would indicate that you didn’t earn your bread. [...]

[T]he lack of [bread] has started revolutions; in the smallest amounts it has kept communities from starvation; religious miracles have sprung from it; and for most people, memories, history, and family traditions center around the table where bread is broken. [...]

I have no secrets. My goal as a baker has been to demystify baking for professional and home bakers, and to mentor as many as I can so everyone can enjoy high-quality, handcrafted breads. I workd with a few basic ingredients and let my passion lead. I still find bread making magical – the feeling of the dough in my hands, the aroma of the yeast, the rise of a few ingredients into a magnificent baked loaf. It’s mysterious and endlessly alluring.

-Lionel Vatinet, A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker, Introduction, p. 1, 2, 12

(continue reading…)

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