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 adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Vintage Wine and “A Gentleman in Moscow” (Novel Food No.37)

summary: mystery vintage wine; very brief review A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles; Novel Food Event; can wine be classed as food?

Sigh. No wonder I’m not ever invited to be in a book club! I’m afraid I’m late for Novel Food No.37. It’s only one day, but, alas, I’m still late….

Vintage Wine

I finished reading A Gentleman From Moscow by Amor Towles months ago. At the time, I could not put this exquisitely written book down. And now, still, I cannot stop thinking about it. It is the most wonderful novel. I only wish that I could be even half as gracious as the central character, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov!

Included in the marvelous tale, there are wonderful and intriguing dishes galore featured in the novel. Here are just a few {cough} of the dishes and foods described: “baked pretzels, sweet rolls, and loaves of bread so unparalleled they were delivered daily”, “saltimbocca [herbed with nettle rather than sage]”, “kotleti”, “fennel and orange salad”, “osso buco”, “rack of lamb with a red wine reduction”, “bouillabaise”, “okroshka […] a bowl of soup that any Russian ithe room might have been served by his grandmother”, “filet of sole”, “Veal Pojarski”, “black bread slathered with [lilac-flavoured] honey”, “Latvian stew […] The onions thoroughly caramelized, the pork slowly braised, and the apricots briefly stewed, the three ingredients came together in a sweet and smoky medley that simultaneously suggested the comfort of a snowed-in tavern and the jangle of a Gypsy tambourine”, “whole [sea]bass roasted with black olives, fennel, and lemon”, and… (continue reading )

We Are the Prodigal Ones (WFD, October 2019)

feed the hungrysummary: Thai-style curry; October’s bounty; leftovers are delicious; just say no to plastic; World Food Day(s) 2019;

How can we allow food to be thrown away when more than 820 million people in the world continue to go hungry every day?
– Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, State of Food and Agriculture report, 2019

Last Monday was Thanksgiving in Canada. And last Wednesday was World Food Day (WFD). Initially, I had planned to include something about WFD when posting about the October’s BBB bread. But my verbosity (oh so many words) got away from me. And I forgot.

Which is inexcusable.

We cannot forget that we are the fortunate few who have plenty, when there are still many who are in dire need. Needlessly so, but not because they are negligent. It is because we are negligent.

There is no good reason that this should be. Nobody in the world should be going hungry! (continue reading )

Apple Bread with Cider and Not-Calvados (BBB October 2019)

go directly to the recipe

BBB October 2019 - Let's keep baking! summary: recipe for Apple Bread with Cider and Not-Calvados, based on Jan Hedh’s recipe for Äppelbröd med cider och calvados; translation nightmares; extra dry cider; being a skin-flint; making substitutions; my verbosity: taking ‘long and rambling’ to an extreme; I ♥ Thanksgiving leftovers; information about Bread Baking Babes and World Bread Day;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Apple Bread with Cider and Calvados

The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. – Elinor Wylie

BBB October 2019

The nights may be getting cooler, but the sun is still shining, and the leaves have hardly changed colour!

I love the angle of the light at this time of year. Even at midday, there is a golden tone on everything. Especially at the farmers’ markets, with the tables filled with stunningly beautiful squashes, beets, beans, pears, and lovely red, red apples. Apples galore. (continue reading )

Still Wildly Baking… Tartine Bread, revisited

go directly to the recipe

Sourdough September summary: recipe for Tartine Bread recipe, revisited; our Jane Mason starter is over 2 years old and still going strong; Sourdough September;

It’s true that I am a repeat offender of saccharomycicide (2008, 2012). But I am proof (no pun intended) that rehabilitation works! It has now been more than two years that we have been making bread almost exclusively with our Jane Mason starter begun in July 2017.

The few times over the past two years that we have used commercial yeast instead of wild yeast have been slightly more reliable: rising quickly, and creating really lofty breads. But the resulting bread made with commercial yeast doesn’t taste and smell quite as wonderful – it’s just a little one-dimensional.

Thus, sourdoughness isn’t just confined to September! (Did you notice my attempt at eliminating “so” from the beginning of that sentence? I hope so; I hope so. :-) )

Most of the time, the recipe we use is based on one in Chad Robertson’s wonderful book, “Tartine Bread”. Every time we make the bread using our Jane Mason starter, it is stellar. But it occurred to me recently that I have ever so slightly revised what I have done to Robertson’s recipe – to make things easier for us and to make the bread taste better than ever.

Tartine Bread (continue reading )

Wild Pull-apart Bread (BBB September 2019)

go directly to the recipe

Sourdough September BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: Nailed it! …do as I say, not as I did; recipe for Wild Pull-apart Bread; or is it called ‘share and tear’? …a Bread Baking Babes (BBB) project; bookmarked recipe; Sourdough September;

Bread Baking Babes’ Wild Pull-apart Bread, September 2019

…pull-apart bread. I can eat this all day! – Monica Khoo, FB Sourdough Bread Baking

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes: Sourdough pull-apart bread

It feels like eons ago that I bookmarked Monica Khoo’s fabulous looking pull-apart bread I saw on FB’s group Sourdough Bread Baking. And, in computer terms, it was eons; it was over a year ago….

Monica Khoo's Sourdough pull-apart bread It was high time for me to give this bread a go. And who better to join in the deliciousness than the BBBabes? After all, we have our starters in good condition from August’s BBB project. (continue reading )