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 https://etherwork.net/blog/- adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Delving into the Archives: a festive July dinner featuring blueberries

summary: going through our photo archives; blueberries, blueberries, blueberries; on chicken; on ice cream; we do live well

You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
 
– Robert Frost, Blueberries, 1915

These days, there are baskets of wild blueberries galore at the fruit market. We know they are probably good.

Wild blueberries at Blueberry Plains Provincial Park, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (from Wikimedia Commons)

Apparently, we could also pick our own, if we were willing to battle with the suddenly dense parade of cars escaping to the countryside.

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Greg’s no-bake cheesecake with gingersnap crust

summary: recipe for our friend Greg’s No-bake Cheese Cake on a crushed gingersnaps crust with wild blueberry topping; using gingersnaps instead of chocolate wafers is a great idea from Yasmin Khan; Yay for the Cheese Boutique; wild blueberries make the perfect topping; no better way to finish a festive July dinner;

Greg's Cheesecake with Wild Blueberry Topping

When we were discussing dessert for our festive July dinner, T mentioned that he wanted to make Greg’s cheesecake and drizzle it with wild blueberry topping.

What a great idea!

Greg served his insanely easy-to-make and insanely delicious cheesecake to us eons ago, and as a result, we’ve had (and used on several occasions) his recipe in an honoured place in our recipes binder since sometime in the late 1980s. Greg suggests using chocolate graham cracker crumbs for the bottom crust. We usually do that…. (continue reading )

Croissants are easy, but Cruffins are easier (BBB July 2021)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Cruffins; it’s warm in the kitchen; the butter is soft; fooling around with measurements; rolling pins are wonderful; remembering and forgetting; late again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

We just keep rollin’, we keep on rollin’ along!

BBB Cruffins

It’s hot! Poisonously hot. (But not as hot as west of here where wildfires are raging – many out of control – from BC to western Ontario.) And here I am, late again. I don’t have any excuse at all. Neither unviable or viable.

But thank goodness I made the BBBs’ July project! For this month’s project, Aparna chose cruffins, which are the perfect comfort food for sitting on the porch in the morning before the day’s heat really hits.

Have you ever heard of cruffins? Before Aparna mentioned them, I hadn’t. Apparently, they’re all the rage. And I think I know why.

Eva (Bake Street) says, “Cruffin is a hybrid of croissant and muffin, that is, a dough that would be used to make a croissant, but that is rolled up on itself and placed on a muffin tray to be baked.

You can’t really fail with butter, can you?

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White Bread and “Simon the Fiddler” (Novel Food No.42)

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summary: revisiting bread-making using commercial yeast and white flour only; Ken Forkish’s White Bread with Poolish; brief review of “Simon the Fiddler” by Paulette Jiles; Novel Food Event; sigh… late again; sneak peak at “The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen” by Jacques Pépin;

This recipe makes a palate-sparkling, almost buttery-flavored bread with a thin, crisp crust.

Novel Food No. 42

White Bread with Poolish

Eeeeeeek!!! I cannot believe I keep losing track of time. I had great plans for participating in Novel Food No.41, with several books to choose from, but one in particular that I was completely entranced by. And here it is, already past time for Novel Food No.42! One day past the deadline, but past is past!

I cannot stop thinking about “Simon the Fiddler” by Paulette Jiles. I could not put the book down. And yet, because of the sheer beauty, I wanted to read and savour it as slowly as possible. I found myself backtracking to re-read sections, before going forward.

Here it is, several months since I read the last page, and I still cannot stop thinking about it.

Texas. Just at the very end of the American Civil War and the months following. Before instant electronic communication, when men could still be conscripted into the army, when battles would still be raging in spite of the following:

Jeff Davis had already been captured and was in jail […] Lee had cashed it in a month ago at Appomattox […] Lincoln was dead at the hands of a demented actor. Why were they all still here?
 
– Paulette Jiles, Simon the Fiddler, Chapter One

Yet I cannot stop thinking about the fact that what is most memorable about this book is the music. The desolation of war and its legacy are pervasive, of course. Perhaps that is why the music is so heartbreakingly beautiful. (continue reading )