Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hello Victoria

I'm here in beautiful Victoria, about to go in search for a coffee. Can I find those previous recommendations from months ago? No.
Send 'em in folks, if you know a coffee shop I might like. I will be heading up island in a few days, getting as far as Nanaimo if you want me to check out cafe's - or bakeries for that matter - while I'm about.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Baking Bands

Thought I would try out these insulated baking rings. They are supposed to prevent the doming of your cakes so you don't waste, (??? it doesn't go to waste around here - we eat it straight up, and if I'm making lots of cake we turn it into trifle!) so much cake when trimming.
They worked fairly well with the larger cake, (6"), but not so well for the little 4" pans. It didn't help that I overfilled the little pans so the insulators didn't really have the opportunity to work.
They work out to be alot cheaper than buying sets of insulated pans, but I find them a little awkward to work with. Because I use spring form pans, the ring does not fit tightly. Perhaps that is why I get slight doming. If I used sealed pans I would imagine I could put them in a water bath. But I don't. I do like having more cake to work with, so I think I will continue to use them.
I did notice that someone else didn't think these bands are perfect and are attempting to design something a little more efficient.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones,
But Insinuations by Psychopaths Cannot Hurt Me.

What more is there to say?
Actually, there is lots to say, but I'll save it for another day.

I will take some pleasure in writing a description from my lovely dictionary, the not so short Oxford. Bear with me today.

Psychopathy: "a state characterized by persistent egocentric, irresponsible, and antisocial or aggressive behavior, and an inability to form normal relationships with others; the state of having such a disorder.

Since this is a food blog, I shall give you a recipe.
Here is a recipe for an empty person:

Take a Narcissist, stir in Psychopathy and let sit for awhile, (don't forget the older the ferment, the nastier the results).
In no time at all you will have a pearl.

Most pearls look like crap, (they only string the pretty ones, and then those hang around most necks amplifying every flaw in the poorly adorned), and taste even worse if you have the unfortunate experience of eating one. All that crunchy crustiness is horrible, and it's really just hardened spit. So do what the oyster is trying to do and get rid of it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I’m It!
I had been secretly jealous that no one had tagged me since starting this blog, and lo, now I’m “It”. Except of course this is a food blog, so I am going to modify the questions to food as much as possible. Is this allowed???

1. Name your favorite professional cook or restaurant. That is tough one, since a few of my friends are also some of the best cooks I know, so I will change it to favorite restaurant. The place I will always go to is Vij’s restaurant, their food has been good for a long time.
2.Who is your favorite historical cook? Julia Child, (does being dead make you historical?). She won me over by her complete lack of pretension and abundant enthusiasm for cooks trying to find their way. I also love reading Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s book the Physiology of Taste in the same way that I enjoy reading some poets.
3.What kind of pitch would you give the Food Network? Well, the underground baker needs to go on a trip looking for underground food trends and tastes funded by making a documentary/TV show of it. Oh dear, I think it’s been done before…but not by me!
4.Which is your favorite city for food, (not mentioning your home town)? Mexico City, San Francisco and home, (I know, I’m not supposed to say that, but the food here can be pretty dam fine). Oooh, Singapore was amazing, too. But I still have a lot more cities to explore.
5.Who is your favorite food writer? Anthony Bourdain, not because his food is good, (it could be shite for all I know), but because his writing makes me laugh and celebrates good food without being too pretentious. I also like the writing of the of man who ate everything, Jeffrey Steingarten.
6.Are you a Wilsonian Idealist or Nixonian Realist in foreign policy? I would have to think too hard to convert that one to a food question. Any suggestions?
7.What is your favorite food show? I like Nigella and of course the already mentioned Mr. Bourdain. Having not seen too many shows I don’t really have much to draw on. Any recommendations? (Any of the Iron Chef shows look too much like work.)

Whew, that was the first set of tag questions, and now for the second. I will try to maintain food content.

1.What were you doing 10 years ago? Cooking my ass off.
2.What were you doing 1 year ago? Chasing children, baking, visiting family.
3.What five snacks do you enjoy? Many cheeses with crusty bread, tapas or antipasto, cake, my sister’s broccoli salad, chips and dip.
4.What five recipes do you have memorized? Beurre blanc, hollandaise, waffles, pizza dough, chocolate chip cookies, (ok, I have to admit, I probably have hundreds in my head, but the first two are ones I will remember on my deathbed even if I never make them again, and the last three are what I make way too often).
5.What five things would you do if you were a millionaire? If it was a cool mil, I’d take care of my family, (that would take care of most of the money), buy a cabin somewhere nice, let my man buy some gadgets no matter what they were, build myself an amazing pantry made up of all the condiments I cannot afford, (beautiful balsamic vinegars, olive oils, truffles and the like) and travel a bit. If it was a multi-mil, I’d do the same plus I’d do some research with communities that need help, here at home and in other countries, to find out what they believe they need and fund them.
6.List five bad food/eating habits. Leaving cookbooks all around, nibbling my nails, eating too much chocolate (I talking kilos!), doing too many things last minute when cooking, and eating chips.
7.What five things do you like cooking/preparing? Making my coffee in the morning, crepes, stirring ganache, roasting/braising meats, icing cakes, kneading bread, making cassoulet, (ok, that’s six, but my list is endless).
8.What five things would you never eat or buy? Store bought fish sticks, power bars, energy drinks or pop, artificial sweeteners or whiteners, margarine.

I tag nowt, mr anchovy, red and echos of a dream…I tag so many because I don’t expect you to do the tag unless you feel like it. Remember, it’s a food tag.
Do one, both or none!