[C]heese often comes in plastic, but cheese is also a living food. Would you keep your baby wrapped in plastic? – Adam Moskowitz (aka “The Big Cheese”), Larkin Cold Storage and Columbia Cheese
On a beautiful sunny day in September, we masked up and bicycled over to The Cheese Boutique to see what was in their Special “one for $13 or three for $30” fridge – it’s at the back of the store and contains various blocks of cheeses. Each individual kind is cut into blocks that are roughly the same size. “Roughly” is the keyword here. Some of the blocks are significantly larger than others.
We got Emmenthal, Oak Manor Stilton, and Fromage de Chaumes. When we got home, the first thing we did was to remove the plastic wrapping.
Really?? Plastic wrapping? In these times, when landfill and oceans and innocent creatures’ bellies are being filled with plastic that we stupid humans keep producing and just tossing away? Exactly what is in our heads? Out of sight, out of mind? (continue reading )
Books have always been my friends and as far as I can remember, I’ve always read a lot. I can conjure Mum’s voice calling up the stairs, “Are you reading again? I’ve been calling and calling. Get down here right now to help me with [choose a minor household task]!”
Novel Food No. 40
Has it really been just seven months since we’ve felt a little as though we are under house arrest?! Mercifully, food sources haven’t been depleted. Even flour is back on store shelves.
Over the past seven months, I feel as though all I’ve been doing is reading. Cookbooks, textbooks, non-fiction, fiction…. Short stories. Novels. More novels. It’s the great escape, isn’t it?
Not all the books I’ve read recently are centered around food though. “Son of Trickster” by Eden Robinson most definitely is not. Or rather, none of the featured food is quite the kind of food that we would ever choose to eat. But it’s a good book; it’s no wonder that it was on the shortlist for Canada’s 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as being 2020’s first runner-up in CBC’s annual “battle of the books” competition, Canada Reads. (continue reading )
Sigh… late again!
Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Runzas/Bierocks
Two nights ago, just before going into a Zoom meeting for work, I baked our wild not-quite Runzas that wildly deviating from the traditional filling. They looked good; they smelled good…. I set them aside until yesterday morning.
But first. Runzas? Bierocks?? What are those?
Most midwesterners never have heard of a runza, but those who have seem to be passionate about them. They’re a regional specialty, showing up in the Plains states, particularly Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Iowa. They’re German/Russian in origin, a point which becomes clear when you consider the simple ingredient list for the filling: beef, cabbage and onions. Settlers from the Volga River region brought this treasured recipe with them. According to Jane Palmer, food editor of the Omaha World-Herald, the word runza is a made-up name, coined by the restaurant chain, for what was originally known as a bierock. Recipes abound and they are quite simple to make at home […]
-Pat Dailey, Chicago Tribune | Here’s A Runza Recipe To Bring The Taste Of The Plains Back To, 28 June 1990
The beloved Nebraska meat pocket is a cult classic, yet the Runza sandwich wouldn’t be recognized by the residents of 49 other states. The Runza is a treasure that’s been hundreds of years in the making, with recipes carried to Nebraska by immigrants from Europe. […] The tale of that beloved Nebraska meat pocket — sometimes called a bierock — is […] a treasure hundreds of years in the making, involving broken promises, German immigrants, family recipes and eventually a woman named Sarah “Sally” Everett from Sutton, Nebraska. […] [O]nce a Nebraskan sinks her teeth into one, the recognition is instant: This is a Runza.
-Sarah Baker Hansen, Omaha World Herald | All Hail the Runza, 26 March 2017
Runzas (a.k.a. Bierocks or Krautburgers, among other names) are a pocket sandwich, a puffy, yeasted dough baked around a savory meat filling. They likely originated in Russia in the 1800s, and came to the Midwest with the Volga Germans, a population of German people who lived along the Volga River in southeastern Russia in the 18th century and settled in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas in the early 20th century.
– Shauna Sever, “Nebraskan Runzas”, Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland (Running Press, 2019)
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Can’t. Feel. The. Roof. Of. My. Mouth….
These little round chilis that look vaguely innocuous are anything but. They are insanely hot! I think they might be almost hotter than ghost peppers.
Does anyone know what kind of chilis these are? We think they might be Cherry Bombs…. (continue reading )