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....

Sneak Peek at BBB recipe for April 2018

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BBB Wonder Toastsummary: early announcement for the April 2018 BBB recipe; dottiness; Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors; Toasting;

We recently went to Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” exhibit at the AGO in Toronto. At the end of the exhibit, just before entering the Obliteration Room, we were handed a card with dots.

Kusama Obliteration Room (CBC News)

By the time we were at the exhibit, there were WAY more dots covering everything in the room….

But, all those polka dots inspired me! I just happen to be this month’s host for the BBBabes. To celebrate the coming of spring at last, I decided I couldn’t wait until the middle of the month to announce this month’s BBB project.

It’s so easy and fun that everyone will want to join!

So, without further ado, I give you BBB Wonder Toast.

So. What do you think??? Are you in?*

(continue reading )

Get the coffee on! We’re baking Nazook! (BBB March 2018)

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summary: recipe for Nazook/Gata; shaping fun; dilemma about commercial yeast or wild yeast; making substitutions; a Bread Baking Babes project;BBB March 2018

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) March 2018: Nazook

Nazook and Gata (BBB March 2018)

Easter is approaching, so Kelly (A Messy Kitchen) cleverly chose an Assyrian confection, Nazook (or should it be spelled Nazuk? Or is it Nazouk? Or perhaps it’s Nakhshoon…). In Armenian, it is called Նազուկ. But whatever it’s named, it’s delicious! (continue reading )

Real Honest Purists’ Bagels

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summary: wild bagels revisited; using zero commercial yeast; recipe for Real Purists’ Wild Bagels; choosing between poppy seeds or sesame seeds; Jane Mason’s starter just keeps getting better; snow again?!


The bagel, in its peripatetic history, has moved from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the delis of the United States […] [H]owever, most people’s idea of a bagel seems to be of a vaguely squishy unsweetened doughnut, possibly with some sort of godawful flavoring mixed into it (with the “blueberry bagel” being perhaps the most offensive), generally purchased in lots of six in some supermarket… possibly even frozen. These are not those bagels.
    These bagels are the genuine article. These are the bagels that have sustained generations of Eastern European Jewish peasants, the bagels that babies can teethe upon (folk wisdom has it that the hard, chewy crust encourages strong teeth), the bagels about which writer and humorist Alice Kahn has so aptly written that bagels are “Jewish courage.”
-Carolina Rodriguez, Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels

For the past few months, I’ve been obsessed with thinking about how bread used to be made.

In “Oxford Encylopedia of Food and Drink in America”, Andrew F. Smith wrote: Commercially produced yeast first appeared in the United States in the 1860s [and by] the early twentieth century factory-produced live cake yeast was widely available. And it wasn’t until after WWII that dry yeast appeared on store shelves.

This means that it seems very likely that those people from the Eastern European Shtetls captured their own yeast. I can’t imagine that they had supermarkets stocked with packages of yeast in their villages….

I am neither Jewish, nor did I grow up eating bagels. But I am definitely a purist where bagels are concerned. I can’t stand the commercially produced soft buns with holes in them. I’m not even that crazy about the so-called Montreal-style bagels that are sold by the fancy coffee shop down the street. (continue reading )

fine tuning Tartine Bread….

Combo Cooker summary: adding a little rye flour and wheat germ to Chad Robertson’s Tartine bread; Jane Mason natural starter (wheat) is just getting stronger; altering the baking time in the combo-cooker for even better oven spring; getting permission to change the recipe; brief review of “My Kitchen in Rome” by Rachel Roddy;

Yesterday, we made bread again. Of course, we baked it in our fabulous cast-iron combo cooker that T gave to me last Christmas.

Tartine Bread

When putting the ingredients together, I’m still opening Robertson’s book to page 48, the ingredients list for “basic country loaf”. But we’ve made a few changes. Because, of course, every kitchen is different. (continue reading )