Posts Tagged ‘food’

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Why am I looking forward to Saturday?

September 12, 2019

The second Saturday of September is Pie Day in Pie Town, New Mexico.  This small community (population 186) has earned a reputation for offering excellent pies for sale.  It started as a crossroads community – a stop for people traveling west – and is now popular with tourists. This Saturday is Pie Day.  I would like to stop by the Pie-O-Neer cafe where they serve pie, “that’s it.” It sounds like my kind of place.  Here is a story about the town at Cowboys & Indians magazine.

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What am I bakery blogging?

June 17, 2019

I have a new favorite bakery – it is at my house.  This is a puff-pastry, mixed berry galette I made yesterday.  I defrosted too much puff pastry so I had to make cherry turnovers, too.

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What am I celebrating today?

March 28, 2019

Today is Something on a Stick Day

When I was a Girl Scout, we cooked out a lot.  We made campfires and sit-upons.  Occasionally, we had a treat that involved wrapping biscuit dough around a (cleaned) stick and baking it over the campfire.  When the biscuit was done, it was peeled off the stick and then stuffed with jam.  I remember that they were incredibly delicious.  I have not had one since I was eleven.  Imagine my surprise to find a recipe for biscuits on a stick in a book of recipes of Norwegian baked goods when I was last at the public library.

Here’s the recipe (but I think we used Bisquick):

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What am I baking on Pi Day?

March 14, 2019

Seattle-based pie baker Lauren Ko has a multitude of non-edible inspirations that influence her creative pastry designs, including textile patterns, architecture, and string art. These elements are woven into her colorful, and often geometric, fruit pies and tarts topped with thin, undulating strips of apples, precisely placed pomegranate seeds, and triangles of radiating strawberries. Often Ko will color a portion of her dough with natural food dyes like beet butter to add even more color to the finished dessert. You can learn step-by-step instructions for how Ko creates her enticing sweets in this video made by Tasty, and follow the evolution of her pies on Instagram.

from Colossal

See also

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What has me saying, “brrrr!”

February 25, 2019

You’ve seen the perfect arcs of boiling water solidified mid-throw, and perhaps this frozen speeding sign that duplicated itself over 2019’s Polar Vortex, but have you seen ghost apples? Thanks to a Facebook post by farm manager Andrew Sietsma, the phenomenon has captivated the internet, leaving commenters to marvel at the sight of these glass-like specimens that remain after apples have rotted from their icy exterior. Sietsema told CNN that this winter the weather in western Michigan was “just cold enough that the ice covering the apple hadn’t melted yet, but it was warm enough that the apple inside turned to complete mush (apples have a lower freezing point than water).” Jonagolds are one of Sietsema’s favorite apple varieties, but on the farm they are now referred to as “Jonaghosts.”

 

from colossal

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What am I baking?

February 21, 2019

Yesterday was muffin day but today I tackled no-knead foccacia rolls from Budget Bytes. They are spectacular and easy!  I left off the Italian seasoning on the top, but did brush them with olive oil.  Crispy and crusty and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • The day before (about 18 hours ahead of time) combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add the water, starting with 1.5 cups, and add a little more at a time until the flour forms a cohesive, wet ball. There should not be any dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. The total amount of water you’ll need will vary, but should be between 1.5 to 2 cups. See the photos below for more info.
  • Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 16-18 hours to ferment.
  • After 16-18 hours, the dough will look like a large, bubbly mass. Sprinkle with enough flour to be able to scrape it out of the bowl without it sticking to your hands. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball. The dough will be quite wet, floppy, and sticky, so sprinkle liberally with flour as you work.
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet covered in foil and lightly sprayed with non-stick spray (I used two baking sheets). Brush the top of each lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over top. Let rise for 30 minutes to one hour or until doubled in size.
  • While the rolls are still rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once it is fully preheated, place the rolls in the oven and bake until the surface is a light golden brown (about 25 minutes). Serve warm!
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What am I drinking?

January 9, 2019

Several years ago, while Marianne Eaves was in the midst of renovating Castle & Key Distillery outside of Versailles [note: it is pronounced Ver-Sales], Ky., she came across an antique bottle of Old Taylor bourbon.

The distillery grounds had originally belonged to Col. Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. (known in the whiskey world simply as E.H.). Taylor was a leader in industrializing bourbon production during the early 20th century.

After Taylor died in 1923, the distillery passed through several owners, but eventually fell into neglect for 40 years. The grounds became a tangle of foliage and the exterior of buildings began to crumble.

Then in 2015, Eaves — who is the first female Master Distiller of Kentucky bourbon since Prohibition — along with her business partners, Will Arvin and Wesley Murry, began to bring the distillery into the modern age of bourbon production.

But that antique bottle of Old Taylor, which was originally released in 1917, inspired Eaves — whose background is in chemical engineering — to use new technology to examine the bourbon’s past.

“The most dominant flavor in that 1917 bourbon was the butterscotch note,” Eaves says. “That’s something that bourbon aficionados and the ‘dusty hunters‘ recognize about historic Old Taylor bourbon is this beautiful, rich, creamy, sweet butterscotch note — and the mouthfeel of that particular bottle was really unique for a historic whiskey.”

That taste was something Eaves wanted to incorporate into Castle & Key’s bourbon, but she was at a dead end of sorts. While modern bourbon brands keep meticulous notes on measurements and processes, pre-Prohibition brands, such as Old Taylor, were built largely on oral histories.

“They were just going all on flavor. They had these processes that had been handed down for hundreds of years, so they were just doing things the way the guy before them had — just knowing it would make alcohol,” Eaves says.

And while she didn’t know Taylor’s exact process, Eaves had both tradition and science her side.

Susan Reigler, a bourbon historian and biologist, explains that in order for a distillate to be considered bourbon, it must meet a few basic requirements: the spirit has to be grain based; the mash bill (mix of grains) has to be 51 percent corn; it must be aged in new, charred-oak barrels; and it must not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof.

After the grain mash is cooled at Castle & Key, it’s placed in a large tub where it begins to ferment. During alcoholic fermentation, yeasts convert the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

“Because of this, certainly, the process that goes on in the still is basically the same — the chemistry is the same,” says Reigler, who is also the author of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook. “And the compounds in the spirit are something that can be assessed.”

Which is exactly what Eaves did.

“We decided to use a good old-fashioned ‘GC’ — gas chromatography,” she says.

Chromatography is a process used by scientists to separate a mixture of chemicals, in liquid or gas form, into components by running it over the surface of another substance, typically a liquid or solid. A visual example often used in classrooms is pouring a water droplet onto an ink mark on a piece of paper. The ink — which is a liquid mixture of several dyes — will separate on the paper into distinct, colored streaks.

In the case of the Old Taylor bourbon, the liquid was separated into different chemical compounds.

“Then we looked at these chemical compounds and from there, we were able to figure out what grains he was using, [and found] a yeast strain that has a similar flavor profile,” Eaves says. “So that’s how we went about it and constructed our recipe based on it, loosely. We didn’t really want to replicate what he was making exactly, but take those flavor cues from the past, and then model our recipe around that.”

The bourbon is distilled and is currently aging for a minimum of four years.

According to Reigler, many people still don’t recognize all the science and technological innovations that underpin the bourbon industry — from increasingly computerized distilling systems to spirits analytics like what Eaves did with the antique bourbon.

“We have a lot more people in white coats that are involved in the bourbon industry, so I think all of that is very different than what E.H. Taylor would have been familiar with,” she says.

From Ashlie Stevens – NPR The Salt