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Since malicious bots managed to shut this site down for a few days in October, there are still a number of broken links and/or images on the site. Work is being done as quickly as possible to restore the links and images so that the ability to comment can be restored. -ejm, November 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Caramelized Onion Bread (BBB October 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Caramelized Onion Bread, based on a recipe in Canadian Living Magazine; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; information about World Food Day; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) October 2014

I regained access to my blog this afternoon. Fingers crossed that it sticks this time. Because I may get locked out at any time, I rushed to post this, hoping it will stay visible. Unfortunately, commenting is still disallowed. Please bear with me until the malicious bots get tired of their evil game here and move on to plague some other unsuspecting innocent blogger….

feed the hungryHappy World Food Day! Please remember to do your part to make everyone’s World Food Day happy….

Caramelized Onion bread

This month, it was Katie’s (Thyme for Cooking) turn to choose the BBBabes’ project. Here is her thinking about the recipe she presented to us:

I decided I [w]ould find an extremely simple bread that I would have fun making (and eating) and all of you Babes could make it with one hand tied behind your back and the other holding a glass of wine. […]
I wanted something autumnal, savory, pretty even.
-Katie, message to BBBabes

Katie found a wonderfully autumnal, savoury and pretty looking bread recipe that was published in Canadian Living Magazine. She thinks she chose a simple bread. Silly her.

Nothing is simple in OUR kitchen!

I confess that I have often scoffed at Canadian Living recipes, but is that really fair? No, not really. It could have been simple, as Katie thought. But as usual, I managed to make it complex.

Still, with the few tweaks {cough}, this bread is not only easy to make, but it’s lovely(ish) to look at and delicious to eat. (continue reading…)

Monday, 13 October 2014

green bean sabzi (WFD 2014)

Filed under: food & drink,hunger,Indian,posts with recipes,vegetarian — ejm @ 16:33 EST

go directly to the recipe

feed the hungrysummary: recipe for green bean sabzi; reminder about those in need and that October 16 is World Food Day; FAO’s World Hunger Map 2014 | Prevalence of Undernourished in the Population; list of some of the aid organizations working to feed the hungry; (click on images for larger views)

green beans sabzi The other day, we were surprised to see that green beans were priced at around $2/lb (yes, I know; Canada supposedly went metric eons ago. But, don’t get me started that most stores have not managed to make the switch…). Other vegetables were also priced on the high side even though we are celebrating Thanksgiving and the local harvest.

But we love green beans (so does the furry black fiend) so we bought some anyway.

And then as we were paying, we remembered that California is undergoing a drought. And so is Central America.

So. The next time you gasp in horror that your garden tomatoes didn’t do so well because it didn’t rain as much as you thought it would when you went away on holiday, it would be a good idea to do a reality check.

Here’s what drought really means:

Central America is seeing one of the worst droughts in decades. Images in the media are filled with stunted corn crops, parched land, and starving cattle. The El Niño affect has meant that rains came late and insufficiently. […] In a region where subsistence farmers depend on their harvest for both their family’s food and for income, this means that many families don’t have enough to eat until they can produce the next harvest.”
-Elizabeth Scambler, Drought, food security and migration in Central America, September 17, 2014

(continue reading…)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Well. Rats Rats Rats

Filed under: whine — ejm @ 15:50 EST

Some people might have noticed that my blog was inaccessible for the past 24 hours. :stomp: :stomp: :stomp: It’s because some malicious little twirps playing with their computers caused their bots to attack the server.

Thanks to those morons, I have been instructed by my server to insist that you register before commenting. Sorry about that!

edit 9 October: “inaccessible of the past 24 hours”?! Hahahahahahahahahahaha (please excuse my hysteria) Try several days…. I think I’m back in now. I hope so. Now excuse me while I continue to batten down the hatches.
For the moment, I’ve turned off commenting….

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Stir-fried beets, Indian style (WHB: curry leaf)


go directly to the recipe

summary: recipe for South Indian Beets (stir-fried beets and curry leaves) from a recipe in SAVEUR; problems with photographing Indian food so it looks good; information about curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) and WHB; (click on image(s) for larger views and more photos)

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #447??: Curry Leaf (Murraya koenigii)

Not long ago, I complained about the choice of words in SAVEUR magazine, specifically “The India Issue”. But I don’t think I was magnanimous enough to mention that in spite of their poor choice and/or distinct lack of words, they did get several things right.

beets One of those things was the “beetroot thoran” from Kerala on page 72. When we read about stir-frying beets with curry leaves and coconut, we knew we had to try it!

Because I can’t stop buying beet tops (j’adore stir-fried beet-tops!), we always have beets lying around in the bottom of the vegetable bin in the fridge. But we don’t always have curry leaf on hand. (continue reading…)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Stepping Back in Time to the 17th century (BBB September 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Robert May’s French Bread, based on Elizabeth David’s adaptation of a 17th century recipe; trying again with the stainless steel mixing bowl as a steam chamber; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) September 2014

Always adventurous, the BBBabes are time travelling this month….

Rob't. May's French bread Ilva is this month’s mastermind and decided to send us back to the 1600s.

To make French Bread the best way.
Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour, with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish, and mixt with the barm in the middle of the flour, also three spoonfuls of fine salt; then warm some milk and fair water, and put to it, and make it up pretty stiff, being well wrought and worked up, cover it in a boul or tray with a warm cloth till your oven be hot; then make it up either in rouls, or fashion it in little wooden dishes and bake it, being baked in a quick oven, chip it hot.
Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook, or, The Whole Art and Mystery of Cookery, fitted for all Degrees and Qualities, Section IX: Baking, (1685 edition), p. 240

Robert May (1588 – c.1664) was an English cook for various aristocratic families of the English aristocracy. He was trained by his father and then sent to Paris, by the Lady of the House where his father worked, to train as a chef.

First published in 1660 and reprinted at least 5 times during the author’s lifetime, “The Accomplisht Cook” is considered by many to be the first major recipe book published in England, being written by a professional cook when most recipe books at that time were household collections written by amateur cooks.

Luckily for us, Ilva didn’t insist that we build wood fired ovens and create our own ale barms (although I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t at least one intrepid BBBabe who did just that…). (continue reading…)

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I’m suffering from flat blonde sandwich bread syndrome

stainless steel bowl summary: making flatbread unintentionally; using stainless steel mixing bowl as a steam chamber; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

There is nothing so disheartening as having to cut “sandwich” bread diagonally in order to get decent sized slices.

flat-ish bread Lately, I’ve been having a lot of problems with producing flat bread when I haven’t wanted to. The crust is also on the blonde side. I think the flatness is partly because it’s summertime and I may be letting the shaped bread overproof. Or perhaps the dough is too slack. Or perhaps it was a mistake to clean the oven. Maybe our bread LIKES to be baked inside encrusted walls….

But I just can’t believe those are really the reasons!

After reading the following in Lionel Vatinet’s book “A Passion for Bread” (thank you for the recommendation, Tanna!), I remembered about the wondrous success of this hat method in creating oven spring – why oh why did I stop doing this?? (continue reading…)

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