Currant Affairs (BBB December 2018)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Baked Currant Doughnuts; rationing; sharing; late again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Well. I’m only one day late. It’s not entirely my fault. (Actually, it is… :lalala: …one of these days I might learn to plan ahead.) If only the BBB dough had taken just 3 or 4 hours to rise – as per the recipe, I might have been on time. Still, better late than never for:

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Baked Currant Doughnuts

“Nearly eleven o’clock,” said Pooh happily. “You’re just in time for a little smackerel of something.”

BBB December 2018

We are the fortunate ones; there are so many traditional yeasted delights to bake in December: Lucia Buns, Finnish cardamom bread, Brioche Flowers, Clark’s Bread, Stollen, Panettone, Babas au Rhum, . . . And then there are the non-yeasted delights too: scones, various kinds of shortbread, vinarterta, fruitcake, chocolate bark, cherry snowballs, crescents, cheese biscuits, . . . .

And now, thanks to Pat (aka Elle), we will have currant doughnuts – baked (Yay!), rather than deep-fried – to add to our feasts as well.

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It’s Exactly What We’ve Always Wanted!

summary: Tagine; in praise of unglazed clay; seasoning an unglazed tagine; inaugurating a tagine;

Look what we just got!!

Tagine

It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted
A very extra special thing
For it’s useful and quite pleasant
And it’s just the sort of present that is
Fit for a king!
 
– Douglas Moore and Raymond Abrashkin, Puss In Boots, Children’s Record Guild

It is a tagine!

We’re so excited. Doubly! Because, yes. The tagine is unglazed! (continue reading )

Egg!?? Bagels (BBB November 2018)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Egg-free “Egg Bagels”; flagrant disobedience; following instructions – or not; embracing the notion to be “innovative and playful at the same time”; internet substitutions are so handy; Eggs Benedict to the rescue; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Egg Bagels

I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me.
 
– Alfred Hitchcock

BBB November 2018

When Karen (Bake My Day) announced that we would be making Egg Bagels this month, I seriously considered bowing out. Granted, I’m not quite as frightened of eggs as Alfred Hitchcock. But I’m not all that keen about eggs in any bread, and the idea of eggs in bagels is horrifying.

Wouldn’t that just produce horrible ersatz bagels that would essentially be cakey buns with holes in the middle?

But the recipe Karen presented to us also called for boiling a potato. I was really intrigued by this notion. And Beth Hensperger does claim that her bagels are chewy:

Another low fat bread, bagels are very popular. Identified by their center hole, they sport a chewy texture and come in a myriad of flavors from pumpernickel to raisin. I associate bagels with weekend breakfast, but they have become an everyday favorite in place of toast. Although hand-rolling bagels takes a little time, the results are worth it. Bagels are first boiled, then baked to end up with their unique chewy texture. Bagels freeze perfectly, so make a large batch.
 
– Beth Hensperger, The Bread Bible | The Roll Basket, p157)

So. I decided that, rather than bowing out, I would make bagels after all. But I would be disobedient: I would simply refuse to follow the recipe to the letter.

As if I have ever done that anyway….

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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 )