Define “Savoury”…. (BBB November 2019)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: it’s too early for snow; recipe for Wild Savoury Danish Crown; making substitutions; reading difficulties; almost late… again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

November Snow

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Sourdough Danish Crown

Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!

I was determined not to be late (yet again). I really was. And it came awfully close.

I blame the far too early snow fall. :stomp:

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Back when we could still easily ride our bikes and I was just beginning to think I should probably turn off the outside water and haul the non-hardy plants into the basement (nick o’ time on that), I was really happy when Cathy announced that we would be baking a savoury bread this month! But then, as I looked at the ingredients for the filling, I started to pause.

  • Onion? Hmmm… I’m not sure. We do have beautiful leeks right now thanks to J and J. (Remind me to rave about those gorgeous leeks!) Maybe those could be substituted.
  • Grated Parmesan? Maybe…
  • Egg? No, thank you! (Cathy does offer a substitute for the egg….)
  • Ground almonds? Bread crumbs? Great ideas!

And it suddenly dawned on me. Raisins are savoury, aren’t they?

BBB November 2019

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How do you like your coffee?

summary: we love our coffee…; different coffee pots and cups; Turkish vs Armenian coffee; pre-ground coffee can be… well… you know; sugar or no sugar;

We love coffee! But, suddenly, we are torn. Should we have Eastern or Western coffee?

Armenian Coffee

In general, our daily coffee is made by grinding the beans with our trusty “Zassenhaus” grinder just before brewing the coffee in our vintage electric “Vesuviana” coffee maker to make bowls of café au lait. (Before getting the Vesuviana, we used an electric coffee grinder and a French press.) (continue reading )

Things that go bump in the night

summary: Again?? …but we don’t want flatbread; sourdough fail; Oh boy! Squirrel Food!

jackolantern in rain ©ejm2006 gif cue sound effects


We kept thinking about the fact that feeding our Jane Mason 100% whole wheat starter with unbleached all-purpose “no additives” flour should really have worked. The following should never have occurred. :lalala:

    I took the usual spoonful of the wholewheat starter and fed it with equal parts unbleached all-purpose flour and water.
    The next morning, the white-coloured sludge in the bowl was bubbling, but not crazily. And it was really really really gluey and sticky. We checked for floating; it sank like a stone.
    I stirred in more all-purpose flour and checked half an hour later. Sank like a stone.
    Checked again half an hour later – some bubbles, really really really gluey. Sank like a stone.
    What did I do wrong?!
– me, blog from OUR kitchen | If at first you don’t succeed…, 12 September 2019

We decided that what I had done wrong when trying to make all white flour wild bread was to be impatient. So, the other day, we tried again. After 24 hours (that’s a whole day) we looked at the sad and sorry dense puddle of white sludge. It was bigger. And there seemed to be a few tiny tiny bubbles. But. (continue reading )

Fried Apples Revisited

summary: lost and found memories; yay for blogging; apples and bacon are a perfect match; cornbread; reading ‘Victuals’ by Ronni Lundy;

VICTUALS. Say it the way my people have for centuries: vidles.
– Ronni Lundy

Gala Apple

We are loving to read Ronni Lundy’s book Victuals! It’s no wonder that Edward Lee read her earlier cookbook cover to cover.

When I found out that Ronni Lundy was embarking on a series of road trips through Appalachia for her book Victuals, I called her up and volunteered myself as a road trip companion. Lundy’s book Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken was the first cookbook I bought when I moved to Kentucky. It was the first cookbook I read cover to cover, as you would a novel. Until then, I had always thought of cookbooks as references you flipped through to fin what you needed: a recipe for a clafoutis, or how much salt one used to brine a chicken. Cookbooks provided measurements and instructions, but I never thought to go to them for a sense of time and place.
– Edward Lee, Buttermilk Graffiti | Chapter 6: Slaw Dogs and Pepperoni Rolls, p.102
The sweet warm scent of the apples under the tree brings back a memory of long summer afternoons on the porch swing with my great-aunt Johnnie, her voice tender and curious as she showed me birds landing in the trees, told me their names, made up stories. […] She held a sharp, small paring knife and deftly, in rhythm with the swing, would quarter the small, misshapen yellow-green globes she’d gathered that morning and that sat around us now in bushel baskets. She cut out blemishes and worm holes, throwing the scraps to the yard where the birds convened. She didn’t peel the apples. She pared slices from the quarters and let them drop into her ample apron. When the apron was filled, we’d pause and walk to the screen porch where the round oak table had been stretched to oblong with its extra leaves. A sheet covered its top, and as our day progressed, apple slices began to cover the sheet, drying in the breeze. […] The last mess of apples Johnnie pared in the afternoon sere “fried” in butter and brown sugar for supper that night.
– Ronni Lundy, ‘Apple-achia’, Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes, p.175,176

We have had fried apples in the past. And we’ve loved them. (continue reading )

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 )