Monthly Archives: August 2017

Chilis!! Get yer red hot chilis here!

summary: great neighbours; peach salsa; excerpt from ‘Kitchens of the Great Midwest’ by J. Ryan Stradal; chili syrup for ice cream; hot red chilis!

Red Hot Chillis The chilis are always redder and hotter on the other side of the fence. Aren’t they?

In our case, it’s true. Late in the spring, I transplanted several different chili plants in pots in our primarily shady garden: ghost, Thai green, cayenne. I know. Chilis neeeeeeeed sun.

Happily, there IS sun two doors over. Even more happily, the peppers that our neighbour planted are prolific and far hotter than he had planned. He has invited us to help ourselves.

So, the other day, we took about 8 bright red chilis. And tried one.

Oh my!! Just cutting into one of them sent out hot hot hot hot fumes. I’m tearing, just thinking about it. But we tasted the chili anyway.

It {gasp} was {gasp} real{gasp}ly {gasp} hot!

But just behind the heat was the most lovely citrus flavour. We can’t believe our luck!

chili syrup We thought about things we should try with J’s insanely hot chilis…. Suddenly we remembered the Red Chili Syrup we had made eons ago.

How could we have forgotten?! It was fabulous.

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Jamie’s Orange Ice – Garnished with Fresh Mint

summary: delicious orange ice, based on Jamie Schler’s recipe for Orange Mint Granità in her lovely just published cookbook “Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet” that is now available for purchase;

Orange Granita There really is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than having a little bowl of sorbet, is there?

One of my favorite snacks when I was a kid was frozen fruit juice […] [I would hack] away at the frozen treat with the spoon and scooping up chunks and flakes, letting them melt on my tongue, icy cold and orangey.
– Jamie Schler, “Orange Mint Granita”, Orange Appeal, p196

We love Jamie’s granita! What a revelation. It’s so very refreshing. It was so wonderful that after the first time we made it, we went out immediately to get some peaches to try it with peaches instead of oranges (simply because peaches were in season at the time). Then we made it with blackberries donated to us by our brilliant neighbours. And after they tasted the ice, they brought over more blackberries so they could have more of Jamie’s blackberry ice.

As much as we love the ice with other fruits, it’s particularly delicious made with oranges. We will definitely want to make it Jamie’s original way with oranges many many times. (continue reading )

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….

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