Monthly Archives: July 2018

Delving into the Archives… Black Rice

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summary: recipe for perfect rice every time; Basement of St. Lawrence Market; local asparagus is way better than imported; is expensive black rice really better? Yes, if there are shrimps in Pernod;

black rice

Back in the middle of June, at the height of asparagus season, we rode our bikes to St. Lawrence Market. I can’t remember now exactly why we HAD to go to St. Lawrence Market. It wouldn’t have been for the asparagus. We get terrific asparagus in June at our favourite vegetable store just down the street from our house.

But. Could it have been Placeware’s kitchen supply to look at pullman bread tins and find out they are quite expensive and rather large? (How many times really would we want square bread?) Or were we looking for Asian gold mustard seeds at Kozlik’s? Or perhaps it was for the bacon at Witteveen Meats….

Whatever the reason, we decided to wander around the lower level. Once there, we couldn’t help but stop to gaze at all the dried lentils, beans, grains and rice at Rube’s Rice. Who knew there were so many different kinds of rice!

We asked the vendor what her favourite rice was. Without hesitation, she pointed to the organic black rice; she loves its nutty flavour. (continue reading )

Biscuit Making Traditions – South vs North

summary: Vivian Howard’s biscuits from her cookbook, Deep Run Roots; using lard instead of butter; flat vs lofty;

I didn’t learn to make biscuits and elaborate Sunday lunches at my mother’s knee. Nope; growing up, I was busy plotting my grand exit from the middle of nowhere, Deep Run. -Vivian Howard, Deep Run Roots, Introduction | Roots, p5

Unlike Vivian Howard, I did learn to make biscuits and elaborate Sunday lunches at my mother’s knee. But, I wasn’t exactly a willing student…. However, I was obedient.

lofty Biscuits

lofty Northern-style biscuits made using Mum’s recipe calling for flour, baking powder, butter (or vegetable shortening), milk, and salt

And Mum’s biscuit making lessons have stood us in good stead. I used to make really good biscuits, until I showed T Mum’s recipe and he took over the biscuit-making. Now he makes GREAT biscuits.

While I may not have been Mum’s best student, I always did (and still do) love to eat good food. Both of us do. Not to mention T is constantly striving to improve his already stellar cooking.

So when we were reading “Deep Run Roots” and got to the section on biscuits (calling for flour, baking powder, lard, buttermilk, and salt), T announced that as there was excellent lard in the fridge and we had some really good ham from our favourite butcher, he was going to make Vivian Howard’s biscuits.

Lillie [Hardy] gave me a lesson on biscuit making, and beforehand I thought she was going to show me something I already knew-how to measure, gently knead, roll out, and cut big fluffy biscuits. Instead, she showed me how to fashion the biscuits that I had thought only a scowling magician toiling hunchbacked behind a swinging kitchen door could craft.
    Because these are flat, they don’t make great bookends for stout combinations like bacon, egg, and cheese […] This is a one-stuffing kind of biscuit, a happy home for a link of sausage split lengthewise or a naturally slight slice of country ham. Lillie and most people around, though, eat them just as often right out of the oven with molasses.
-Vivian Howard, Deep Run Roots, Chapter 16: Sausage | ENC-Style Buttermilk Biscuits, p366

ENC-Style Buttermilk Biscuits (continue reading )

Singed Hinnies (BBB July 2018)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Singing Hinnies; shaping fun; straying from “tried and true”; following instructions; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Singing Hinnies

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

It has been poisonously hot this month. The horrible heat broke last week. But it has geared up again – just in time for the annual Indy race that took place this weekend about 2 km south of us. It was loud here. I can’t imagine what it must have been like in the grand stands….

Because July is a traditionally hot month, this month’s recipe does not require an oven or yeast. The leavener is baking powder. This month the BBBabes are making “Singing Hinnies”.

What a delightful name this little griddle cake has. The origins of the traditional scone-like griddle cake called a Singin’ Hinny is easily identified. Hinney is the pronunciation of ” honey ” in the north east of England around Sunderland, Newcastle and through to Northumberland. It is a term of endearment used usually to and about women and children. With the singing part of the name from when the cakes are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan, as they hit the pan, the butter and lard starts to sizzle and ‘sing’. Delightful all round.
– Elaine Limm, The Spruce Eats | Traditional Singing Hinny Recipe
The use of the griddle goes back through the ages, when ovens were not part of many coal-fired ranges. […] SINGING HINNIES […] have been a favourite teacake in Northumberland for decades. The rather strange name is because the teacakes give a singing sound as they cool and the word ‘hinnie’ is a term of endearment in the north of England […] [T]he oven is not used. The griddle must be preheated well
– Marguerite Patten OBE, The Basic Basics Baking Handbook, p169

Singed Hinnies

(continue reading )

Memories and Reminiscences

summary: Gevrey-Chambertin “Combe aux Moines” 1er Cru 1990; Summer Dining; Feasting in the Garden; recalling Gevrey-Chambertin 1996;

Man. Ain’t that the life?
Yeah, it sure is.

dinner time
vintage wine

The other night, T really pulled out all the stops to make grilled chicken (Iraqi yellow spice rub), cherry sauce (using dried tart cherries we got last fall at SuperTehran, the Iranian supermarket), oven roasted potatoes, grilled eggplant, stir-fried Swiss chard (from OUR garden!), various herbs and flowers from the garden, and Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 1990 wine that has been in the basement since early winter 1991 or so, (continue reading )