Author Archives: ejm

About ejm

I am a freelance musician in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What I really love is good food, books, movies, gardening (even though I have a black thumb) and bicycle travel. My foodblog is at adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Ah! Comfort Food – Coffee Crusted Pork

summary: rereading past issues of SAVEUR Magazine; discovering missed recipes like coffee crusted beef tenderloin; taking comfort; cats are funny creatures;

SAVEUR No.97 detail Oh for the good old days!!

I do miss getting SAVEUR magazine….

Seeing pictures of comfort food actually comforts people. A study from McGill University found that men who looked at photos of meat on a dinner table became calm
– Alex Palmer, Weird-o-Pedia: The Ultimate Book of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts About (Supposedly) Ordinary Things
[W]e just found our new favorite way to relax: Meat-staring. Just stare at an image of meat, and feel the calm wash over you.
– Caroline Sloan, alloy, Well Being | Feeling Stressed? Stare at Some Meat
I usually read Saveur on the subway, usually at rush hour. I love Saveur Magazine and generally read it cover to cover, slowly savouring (no pun intended – well, not much anyway) every word and photograph. It’s not always easy to turn the pages when I’m standing crushed up against 4 or 5 commuters. Dog-earing pages with interesting recipes is even more difficult. But somehow I manage. And after thoroughly embarrassing myself by openly salivating about various dishes in that issue, I finally brought the magazine into the kitchen, opened to True’s “Cafe Annie” article.
– me, enchiladas from Saveur Magazine, February 2007

At least that’s how things used to be with SAVEUR magazine. Alas, when Adam Sachs took over as editor-in-chief, they lost me.

[I]t became increasingly difficult to distinguish between actual content and advertisements. Except the advertisement images were often better quality than the magazine’s photos. […] In the past, it would take me several days to savour every page of a SAVEUR issue. Yes, I used to read every page. Even the ads. “Moment” was the place I would reach with a little sigh, gaze at the usually evocative image from days gone by and then riffle back through the magazine to reread favourite parts.
me, Are we really saying goodbye? | blog from OUR kitchen, March 2015

So now, instead of reading new issues of SAVEUR, we are randomly choosing a magazine from the large stack on the shelf, and re-reading the often brilliant contents. Sometimes, we are reminded of recipes we tried and loved and for some bizarre reason forgot about. And sometimes, we see something new (for us) to try and wonder how it is that we had missed it the first time round. (continue reading )

Lost in Translation with Tutmanik and Sirene (BBB August 2017)

Bread Baking Babes August 2017 summary: тутманик с Готово Тесто (Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo – Tutmanik with Ready-made Dough); attempting the impossible; experiment with wild yeast; over-rising; hazards of adjusting the recipe too much; fun with shaping; a Bread Baking Babes project;

Bulgarian Cheese Bread (BBB) Bread Baking Babes (BBB) August 2017: Tootmanik

F is for Fail. Although, perhaps this is a Conditional Pass….

тутманик с Готово Тесто (Tutmanik s Gotovo Testo): Depending on which Bulgarian words follow it, the meaning in Google Translate for “Tutmanik” is alternately “Tartman”, “Tutankhaman” or “Toutman” (whatever that is!)
Сирене (Sirene): Google Translate seems to have less difficulty with this and simply suggests “cheese”

A few years ago when I was wandering around the world in my other life as a strategy consultant, the team and I kept getting taken out for Italian food. […] In Bulgaria, much to our delight, we were taken out for Bulgarian food and it was memorably delicious. Especially the bread. Cheese, bakey yum yums. Need I say more.
– Jane Mason, The Book of Buns

Well. What can I say (aside from “Fail”) about the Bulgarian Cheese bread I made by not quite following Jane Mason’s instructions?

Except that… it smells good….

(continue reading )

2nd Try at Jane Mason Sourdough: Sudden Change of Direction

summary: second try at making Jane Mason Sourdough Bread: Fail!; new pet refuses to play; learning patience; getting inspired by “Taste of Persia” by Naomi Duguid; there’s a reason for eating by candlelight; khinkali stuffed with mushrooms to the rescue; great new condiment: ajika; reminiscing about “Anything Can Happen” by Papashvily;

khinkali Now that the major disappointments with our Jane Mason starter are finished (I hope) and we have decent wild yeast bread at last, I feel strong enough to recount the woeful tale of what happened with my 2nd Try to make significantly less sour bread, playing with our new pet given to us by Jane Mason.

I think I know where I went wrong and why the bread became so sour. It had to be those 24 hour periods of resting for “8-12 hours”. We’ll try again soon and report back.
– me, blog from OUR kitchen, ISO not-sour Sourdough: We’re getting closer…,
Chalk it up to experience and be a bit more patient next time.
– Jane Mason, All You Knead is Bread, p23

Excited about making bread with the bubbling starter, I eagerly mixed more dough, this time making enough for just one loaf.

Ha. By afternoon, it was clear that nothing was happening with the dough I had put together that morning. Not even close. It just sat like a murky glob. No bubbles. No motion. Its most significant trait was to smell sour. Clearly, this turbid sludge was NOT going to turn into anything that would create bread.

Aside from filling our kitchen green bin with the sticky mess, what could be done with it? We racked our brains. (continue reading )

Tartine Bread: 3rd time’s the charm (and 4th and…)

go directly to the recipe

Tartine Bread summary: recipe for Tartine Bread; 3rd try is the charm; only major change was to use Jane Mason’s starter; how freeing it is to not have anything to toss away; too many pictures to choose from; joys of having happy pets;

After the recent successes with natural yeast (it turns out that even I, a repeat offender of saccharomycicide (2008, 2012), can be remediated!), I decided to try Tartine Bread again. But with Jane Mason’s starter.

Tartine Bread Success

(continue reading )