Monthly Archives: October 2018

Say ‘no’ to plastic bags… really

summary: Say ‘No’ to plastic; tips for what to do with some of the plastics you have; make your own grocery and produce bags;

The ‘throw it away’ age has passed. There is no away anymore. Plastic rubbish builds up on roadsides, in hedgerows and on fences and trees near careless supermarkets. – Pip Richards, The Sustainable Trust (U.K.)

We’ve been bringing our own cloth grocery bags to the store for eons. The bags hang by on the kitchen door so that it’s easy to grab them just as we head out. We’ve been doing this for so long that it surprises us when people comment on the bags, saying, “I should do that.”

Yes, they should. :lalala:

grocery bags

However, aside from the 5 lovely little mesh bags (that are starting to fall apart) my sister gave to us some years ago, we have not made it a habit to bring our own small bags for vegetables.

We try to remember to wash the small plastic bags that the stores provide, and reuse (and re-reuse) them. But, until recently, we were not always remembering to put those bags in with the cloth grocery bags.

Shame on us! (continue reading )

Steaming Up the Kitchen (BBB October 2018)

go directly to the recipe

feed the hungrysummary: recipe for Steamed Bao Buns; remember about final colour when making substitutions; to go wild or not to go wild; following instructions; World Food Day; World Bread Day; information about Bread Baking Babes;

BBB: Let's Get BakingGet steamed up! Because it is possible to resolve things in order to satisfy everyone’s hunger….

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Steamed Bao Buns

From a poisonously hot summer, including most of September and even the early part of October, the temperatures have plunged. Of course they have. It is October, after all. The leaves are turning red and gold; the insanely hot chilis (unwanted by anyone but us) in our wonderful neighbour’s garden have ripened beautifully; standing over the stove is a joy because it’s warm and toasty inside.

BBB Steamed Buns

For the BBBabes’ October project, Karen (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) chose Steamed Bao Buns. She told us the recipe she was using is Taiwanese. But steamed buns appear to be made all over Asia. And Karen’s photo looked very much like Banh Mi we’ve had.

As far as weaknesses go, this is a big one for me. Asian steamed buns. They are light, slightly sweet conveyors of all types of fillings. Also known as Bao, these buns are a blank canvas for whatever you’d like to fill them with… Preferably something savory, sweet and spicy all at the same time.
– Lisa, Garlic and Zest | Asian Steamed Buns

(continue reading )

What? No Pictures?? – Thanksgiving Fare

summary: nope, no pictures; bread for sandwiches; how to tell if your wild starter is ready; bubbles are NOT the key; float test is essential; substitutions in “punkin pie”; who says you can’t have pie for breakfast?

Before we had the camera, I didn’t let lack of images stop me from droning on. So, now that we have the camera, why should that change? So. Images or not, drone on, I will – me, blog from OUR kitchen, 15 December 2009

Late last night, I built up our Jane Mason whole wheat starter to mix Tartine bread today. Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving Dinner. Which means that the Monday is (yay my favourite!!) Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Sandwich Day.

J’adore Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner sandwiches (almost exactly the same as Leftover Christmas Dinner sandwiches), with their filling of roast chicken (not turkey – ew!), dressing, oven-roasted parsnips, cranberry sauce, and curly kale salad (if there’s any left over). Oh, yes, and don’t forget to add a little mustard mayonnaise on the buttered bread….

But, I’m losing track of why I’m at the keyboard. This morning, I pulled the leaven out of the oven with only the light turned on to see that it was bubbly. And a little bit concave on the surface.

I was pretty sure that it would NOT float.

I finally understood that I needed to do the Float Test. This was really brought home to me a couple of weeks ago when one of my sisters was visiting. I was showing off to her about how essential the Float Test is. After we admired the starter wildly bubbling, I filled a small bowl with water and proudly said, “watch!” as I dropped a bit from a fork into the water. Being the expert that I am, I was positive it was going to float. The starter immediately sank like a stone. I couldn’t have been more surprised! […]
All this time, because of relying on my eyes and looking for bubbles galore, it turns out that I was letting the starter overfeed.
– me, blog from OUR kitchen | Wild Bread Notes (or… KISS)
[It] might be the case that your starter is rising, but you’re not there to see it. If you feed at night, it might be rising up while you’re asleep, and by morning it has fallen again, so it looks the same.
– Donna Currie, Serious Eats | Sourdough Starter Frequently Asked Questions

This cannot be reiterated enough in our kitchen. (continue reading )

Delving into the Archives… baked ricotta (bookmarked)

summary: delving into the archives; baked ricotta from April 2013(!); cool weather at last; information about Bookmarked Recipes;

Bookmarked Recipes - every MondayBookmarked Recipes

This morning it’s raining and chilly – too chilly to sit out on the front porch to have coffee. At last the horrible humidity and extreme heat of summer has finally shifted. As chilly as it is, it’s not quite time to turn the furnace on. I really don’t mind having to wear a sweater inside. The weather is perfect.

I was looking through the photo folders and came across this beautiful dinner. According to the date stamp, it was taken way back in April 2013.

Baked Ricotta

I know this was at our house; I recognize the dishes and the oven mitts. Yet I have NO recollection of it. How can that be?

It looks fabulous! (continue reading )