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The Food Almanac: Friday, March 8, 2013

The Food Almanac: Friday, March 8, 2013

Gourmet Gazetteer
Sugar Creek is a small farm town sixteen miles from downtown Indianapolis. The suburban sprawl doesn't head far in that direction however, and the fields are still covered with crops and dairy animals. The nearest place to eat is four miles in the direction of Indy, where we find Ole McDonald's Cafe. (Not the hamburger place.)

Food Calendar
It is National French Onion Soup Day. Let's make some before the cool weather ends completely. The story behind the dark, slightly sweet, aromatic onion soup, served in a crock with a cap of cheese on a floating crouton, was that it was first served in Les Halles, the gigantic marketplace that once was in the center of Paris. Like all such markets, it opened very early in the morning, and it could be cold. One of the vendors began cooking an onion soup covered with enough cheese to keep the soup from cooling quickly. The cheese would re-seal itself after every incursion of the spoon. (So it's wrong to eat the cheese first, at least if you want to be entirely traditional.) Although French onion soup lends itself to cold weather eating, it's pretty good all the time. I make a version that involves using six different onions and six different chili peppers (small ones).

Edible Dictionary
tonkatsu, Japanese, n.--A thin cutlet of pork coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. It is very similar to panneed dishes in French and Creole cooking. The only significant difference is that the texture of the bread crumbs (which have become popular on their own under the namepanko) is different from that of western-style bread crumbs. Also, tonkatsu is usually served with a brown sauce with the flavor of reduced Worcestershire sauce. Tonkatsu is a European dish that was introduced in Japan in the late 1800s. It has become very popular, both in Japan and in American sushi bars.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:
Always buy one or two bunches of green onions when you're at the store, even if you don't have any explicit plans for them. Having them in hand will make you slice them up and use them somehow, and that can't help but make your meals more interesting.

Annals Of Soft Drinks
The six-bottle carton of Coca-Cola was introduced today in 1923. They cost less than the price of six bottles bought one at a time--usuallly the price of five bottles, so you got one free. The bottles themselves held seven ounces of the drink. Compare that with the refrigerator packs of Coke and other soft drinks today, which hold twenty-four cans at twelve ounces each. Ah, these are the good new days! (Or, come up with your own conclusions.)

The Saints
San Juan de Dios--Saint John of God--was born in Spain today in 1495. Today is his feast day, too. He is the patron saint of alcoholics, many of whom he cared for in a house in Granada that he ran for the sick.

Dimes In Dining
The New Orleans branch of the U.S. Mint began making its first coins--dimes--on this day in 1838. A dime could buy a lunch in those days, but there were no restaurants as we know then around to sell it to us. Antoine's would not open for another two years. Vendors in the French Market would sell you at least a dozen oysters for a dime, though. Now the best dime deal is the ten-cent martini they serve at lunch at Bacco.

Food Namesakes
Cheryl James, "Salt" in the all-girl rap act Salt 'n' Pepa, was born today in 1964. Pop singer Cheryl Baker got the beat today in 1954. . Jim Rice, an outfielder who won Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1978, came to life today in 1953. Baseball pitcher John Butcher had a less successful career in the majors--just seven years--but that's not nothing. He was born today in 1957.

Words To Eat By
"Happy is said to be the family which can eat onions together. They are, for the time being, separate from the world, and have a harmony of aspiration."--Charles Dudley Warner, American journalist of the late 1800s.

Insanely Easy Weeknight Dinners For March

Every week, we're delivering five easy-to-make, insanely delicious dinners, so you can put that takeout habit on hold.

Easy, cheesy, breezy, beautiful.

If you're still layering your lasagna, you're doing it wrong.

Spaghetti and meatballs = the ultimate comfort food.

Spinach, ricotta, and lots of love.

Subbing chips for green plantains is always a good idea.

You only need ONE pan to make these!

Here's how you eat Flamin' Hot Cheetos without turning your fingers red.

A homemade pasta is no easy feat, but trust us, it is 100% worth it.

Twice-baked = twice as nice.

A classic lasagna made easy.

This is the best instant noodle hack ever.

Cheesy comfort food goodness.

The most beautiful vegetarian makeover.

Master this takeout classic once and for all.

Crispy fried tortillas meet scrambled eggs.

It's so much easier to get your daily serving of veggies when they're paired with a cheesy broth.

A new take on the diner classic.

You really can't go wrong with ranch, cheddar, and bacon.

This Low-Carb Flatbread is only 3 simple ingredients!

Pancake + chicken + maple syrup = heck yes!

Date night just got a whole lot more delicious.

This salmon is covered in plenty of garlic and Parmesan for a tried and true favorite.

Who said chicken was boring?

It's impossible to have just one.

These smothered cube steaks are truly mashed potatoes best friend.

Avgolemono soup is a classic Greek soup that's extra creamy and lemony.

Taco Tuesday's never looked so good.

These will definitely heat up your week.

Get fancy for Friday with this seared ahi tuna and arugula pear salad.

Best meal mashup ever. PERIOD.

Just the thing to keep you warm through March's still chilly temps.

A healthier take that won't sacrifice flavor.

Celebrate St. Paddy's all month long.

The cousin to gumbo, but so much quicker and easier to make.

It'll taste like you spent hours slaving over the stove but doesn't actually take all the effort!

How to survive a long week: carbs and the PERFECT homemade marinara.

Kick it up a notch with Kung Pao.

A bowl of chicken and dumplings will keep you cozy through winter's lingering presence.

The key to its smooth, creamy consistency? Tomato paste!

Is this the epitome of a Friday night indulgence or what!?

Cheese grits are the ultimate comfort food. and they only take 25 minutes to prep!

You'll be craving these every night of the week.

Use veggie broth instead of chicken and this soup is totally vegetarian&mdashscore!

You can customize the creole based on your spice tolerance, but here are our two cents: Bump up the cayenne a bit.


A few of my children enjoy eating mini wheats for breakfast. I purchase the family size Malt-o-Meal brand and we go through at least a bag a week. It's high in fiber and relatively nutritious, so I'm okay with it as a breakfast choice. However, I cannot stand all of that powdery leftover stuff at the bottom of the bag which just gets thrown into the trash. Each time I'd toss all that uneatable cereal into the garbage, it would bother me. What a waste of both food and money! That got me to thinking. there must be something I could make with that stuff. I searched the internet and found a few recipes that turned it into muffins. Hmmm. that sounded like it just might work! Here's my recipe that I adapted from a few I found.

Mini-Wheat Muffins
1 tbsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup crushed mini wheats (the stuff left over at the bottom of the bag/box)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup milk
1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup applesauce plus 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt)
2 eggs

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients well in another bowl. Pour them into one bowl and stir together. Let sit for 10 minutes (this allows the mini wheats soften up a bit and be less crunchy in the final product).

Place liners in mini muffin pan and fill with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Foodie Underground: The Secret Diary of a Foodie, Part 4

I have decided that this spring is the time to grow my own sprouts. Although now it just looks like I have a mold problem in the kitchen corner. Oh well. Speaking of mold, it looks like the kombucha has gone bad while I was away at my food writing immersion class. I am hoping to bring it back to life.

Friday March 8, 2013, 7:32 pm

Well, the kombucha has yet to respond to my revival attempts. Maybe I just need to toss it out and get a new baby?

Chia seed oatmeal for breakfast with local artisan honey and slivered almonds. Yum. I almost added dried figs. Too much? I also squeezed orange juice and made scones. It’s only 9am. Baking problem? No, real problem: I broke my French press.

Wednesday March 13, 2013 3:25 pm

Threw out old kombucha. Grosser than one might think. I Instagrammed it. On search for new baby. Must find.

Wednesday March 20, 2013 6:18 am

Friend of a friend of a friend of a friend that had liked my Minimalist Kitchen Spaces board on Pinterest has a kombucha baby. Success!

Thursday March 21, 2013 4:42 pm

I was given 12 fresh eggs from my neighbor down the hall who built a chicken coop in the backyard. At first I found the sound of the rooster at 5am annoying, but I am getting used to it and I do love fresh eggs. And the neighbor did look good building the chicken coop. Maybe I will invite him over for a new egg cake recipe I found last week.

Friday March 22, 2013 8:33 pm

Two eggs left. Apparently I have an egg problem. Not even enough to make the egg cake I was planning on baking for the neighbor, so now I am going to have to come up with something else. The only thing I have on hand is a chocolate kale cake (it was a favorite on my old greens blog. Why did I ever stop writing that?). Will he want to eat a chocolate kale cake?

Sunday March 24, 2013 5:52 pm

Coffee was a disaster. The kale was just a little off in the cake. I could tell the neighbor didn’t like it. Wait, maybe he doesn’t like food in general. But he built a chicken coop and has hop plants growing on the side of the apartment building. Is he just faking his artisanry? Or maybe he would have preferred a kombucha cocktail?

Tuesday March 26, 2013 6:36 pm

Well, I don’t think there will be any more coffee dates with Mr. I Think I Am an Artisan. He left a container of chocolate chip cookies by my door today. They were obviously made out of prepackaged cookie dough. What a disaster. Why couldn’t he just leave eggs?

Tuesday March 26, 2013 10:16 pm

Ok, so I ate the entire container of cookies. They would have been better with sea salt. I should write a cookbook.

Thursday March 28, 2013 7:45 pm

Mr. I Think I Am an Artisan asked if I wanted to split a raised bed in the backyard. I said yes. But then he said he hoped I wasn’t the kind of person that only wanted to grow kale. I lied and said no.

Saturday March 30, 2013 10:22 am

I went to the market and bought so much kale that it was protruding out of my bag when I came home. I had to sprint up the stairs to avoid the neighbor. But at least there were eggs by the door. Time for baked eggs in kale nests? With sea salt of course. Then off to buy a new French press. Maybe the cute guy at the kitchen supply store will be working.

The Food Almanac: Friday, March 8, 2013 - Recipes

A few details had to be changed from the original recipe simply because I am dealing with gluten free flours and starches. The most noticeable will be the shape and the rise times. The traditional loaf is more round on top with a noticeable cross cut in the middle. I tried, but the dough is very wet, unlike the normal recipe. The second difference as I mentioned is the rise time for the dough. It does not require 3 different rises, so a single rise is perfect.

In researching this bread I came across this article and wanted to share with you the list of Easter breads and where they are from. I found it fascinating how similar some of them were but with their own unique name and differences.

Dan Lepard wrote an article about Easter breads and listed a selection from various countries. His full article can be read over at the BBC Food Blog .

Around the world, home kitchens offer a wide selection of Easter baking ideas:

Babka - a sweet yeast cake found in Eastern and Central European baking
Bochánek - a sweet bread from the Czech Republic
Choereg - an Armenian spiced plaited bread
Colomba Pasquale - a dove shaped sweet bread from Italy
Cozonac or kozunak - found in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Albania, a rich sweet raisin bread
Fola, or pão doce - a Portuguese bread that is often sweetened
Gubana - a hazelnut-flavoured sweet bread
Hot cross buns - the English tradition, though now popular all over Britain.
Kulich - Russian sweet bread
Paasbrood - a fruit Dutch bread
Pinca - a Croatian bread
Pinza - from Germany, Austria and Slovenia
Tsoureki - a Greek plaited bread wrapped around, or served with, a coloured egg
Velykinė boba - from Lithuania
Rosca de Pascua - from Argentina

Pinca bread can be described as such, "An Easter tradition in Croatia, pinca also known as sirnica is a sweet bread that is flavored with raisins, rum and citrus zest. It is commonly shaped into a round loaf that is marked with a cross to symbolize the Crucifixion of Christ. Another variation is to tuck hard-boiled colored Easter eggs into the bread’s folds." Monica Topolko, The Hungarian Girl has an excellent Pinca recipe that is not gluten free.

Recipe: Pinca, Gluten Free Croatian Easter Bread

300g Fine Brown Rice Flour (about 2 cups)
300g Fine White Rice Flour (about 2 cups)
120g Tapioca Starch (about 1 cup)
73g Oat Flour (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoon Xantham Gum
1 cup of warm water
2 1/3 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2.5 cups Seltzer water
6 egg whites, at room temperature
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1 tablespoon of dark rum (you can also use rum flavoring, but reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons)

NOTE: I strongly recommend that this recipe be made using a scale to weigh the flours and starches. The cups are only close recommendations. I make this dough all the time and the weights with the scale have never let me down. I always buy my fine flour blends at H Mart. This is a popular Asian chain grocery store. They are blended to a powder consistency and are not grainy when used in baked goods. The texture it produces will shock you. I have tried all of the carbonated waters and Seltzer works best.

In a small bowl add raisins and rum (or flavoring). Let these soak until needed.

In a large bowl on a scale, add and weigh the flours and tapioca starch. Add the salt. Whisk together until well combined.

In a small bowl, add the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let proof for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, add egg whites and seltzer. With a hand mixer, blend the two together. Notice all of the bubbles? This gives the bread air and helps it to rise.

Combine the proofed yeast, egg/seltzer combination with the flours.

Mix the dough for 4 minutes with an electric mixer. The dough will be thick. Add the raisins with rum, lemon zest and orange zest. Mix until well combined--about a minute.

Grease your pans. I used a 12 cup cupcake pan and a 9 inch cake pan to make this batch. I wanted to see how the dough would perform as rolls and as a loaf. Both the roll and the loaf are excellent. The only thing to vary is the cook time.

I have included two pictures so that you can see how full to make each pan. See below.

I preheated my oven to its lowest heat setting and then turned it off. I added both of my pans and left the door open. Let dough rise for 2 hours.

Remove pans from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Return pans and bake cupcake pan for 25 minutes and cake pan for 40 minutes. The top of the loaf should start to brown. You are welcome to use an egg wash but I notice with the gluten free bread it doesn't produce the same results.

Remove bread from the oven and pans. Let cool on rack. I stored the rolls and the loaf in large ziplock bags.

To warm, we microwaved each roll for 20 seconds. I also used the bread as the base for a grilled ham and cheese open face sandwich <----that was GOOD!

#TwelveLoaves March: Holiday Bread. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.

This #TwelveLoaves is all about the incredible holiday breads featured in March. Do you have a favorite Easter or St. Patrickís Day Bread? We would love to see it. Letís get baking!

    by Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious by Holly at A Baker's House by Renee at Magnolia Days by Lora at Cake Duchess by Sherron at Simply Gourmet by Lyn at The Lovely Pantry by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group itís easy!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post this helps us to get more members as well as share everyoneís posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2013 posted on your blog by March 31, 2013.


Got a sourdough starter? No? You might want to check out my previous post for instructions on attracting wild yeast and rejoin the rest of us when you're ready to roll.

Are we all caught up? Ok, great! Now here comes the part of the recipe that most heavily draws upon the ratios and instructions established in its parent recipe, which belongs to the author of the Art of Gluten-Free Baking. The differences between the original recipe and my version of the recipe are a result of my experimentation and preferences.

To make the bread, you'll need the following Ingredients:

15 ounces of your favorite gluten-free flour
1 can (14 oz) of full-fat coconut milk plus up to 1/4 cup water as needed
30 ounces of your starter
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda (optional)

As with the sourdough starter, you can use any type of flour you please as long as it doesn't already contain xanthan or guar gum. I often use Nourishing Foodways' flour blend, or mix together about 7 parts wholegrain and 3 parts starch, as per the Gluten Free Girl's mix. The same flours that attract the most yeast--the flours that contain the most protein and fat--will also make your bread taste more sour.

While coconut milk may seem like an odd ingredient, I find that it adds flavor and helps keep the bread soft and airy--qualities infrequently ascribed to gluten and egg-free baked goods. I imagine the additional fat is what boosts the fluffiness factor, but I don't really know. I like to use Aroy-D brand coconut milk, which you might find in the ethnic food aisle of your grocery store or at, because it contains no additional additives. Coconut milk containing guar gum, such as Thai Kitchen brand, will also work in this recipe.

The baking soda is entirely optional in this recipe. Add it if you wish to reduce the sourness of the bread it will neutralize some of the lactic acid created by the yeast. I wrote the recipe with a conservative 1 teaspoon of baking soda. If you choose to add more, be aware that excess baking soda will also change the taste of the bread (and probably darken the color).

First measure your flour, by weight, into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt, xanthan gum and baking soda, if you are using it, and add the sourdough starter and combine with an electric mixer. While a hand mixer will work in this recipe, it is far more cumbersome than a stand mixer.

Next, slowly pour in the coconut milk while the mixer continues to beat the dough.

You'll want to keep adding liquid until it looks like the above picture. It'll be super sticky and will cling to an upside-down spoon, but it will not hold its form. I generally end up adding a whole can of coconut milk and a bit of water, but the amount of liquid needed may vary with the air humidity in your area. If you think you've made the dough too thin, don't stress out! Just add more flour until the dough feels right. This recipe is extremely forgiving. (Seriously. Once I started out with about half as much sourdough starter as I needed and then added liquid until I had the right consistency. The bread came out perfectly.)

Then, beat the dough on medium-high for three minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. As you can see in the picture directly above, the dough will loosen a little, slapping the side of the bowl while it beats, and it will look a bit like thick cake batter.

Pour or spoon the dough into either two greased loaf pans or two greased 12-muffin tins. Cover and let the dough raise for four to twelve hours, as is most convenient for you. The dough will continue to raise a bit even as it bakes. Loaves will require about an hour at 425, and rolls will require forty minutes to an hour at 375. Before you remove the bread from the oven, carefully extract one loaf or roll from its pan and tap its underside with your fingernail. If the loaf is ready to be removed from the oven, it will sound hollow.

Allow the bread to cool completely before you slice into it. After the first day, you may wish to store the bread in a plastic bag to keep it from becoming dry and crumbly. Generally, the bread freezes well.

Don't be afraid to experiment, and be sure to comment with your results. Most of all, though, enjoy your bread!

Linked to Wellness Weekend 3/7/13 at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Whole Food Fridays 3/8/13 at Allergy Free Alaska, Sunday School 3/10/13 at Butter Believer, 5 Ingredient Monday 3/11/13 at the Daily Dietribe, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 3/12/13 at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Party Wave Wednesday 3/13/13 at Holistic Squid

Editorial Reviews


"It is a pleasure for me to be involved with a timely cook book project such as Judith's The Shamrock and Peach that reaches back to those Southern and Irish commonalities and celebrates them." --Chef Ford Fry, JCT Kitchen & Bar, Atlanta, Georgia

It is a pleasure for me to be involved with a timely cook book project such as Judith s Shamrock & Peach that reaches back to those Southern and Irish commonalities and celebrates them. --Chef Ford Fry JCT Kitchen & Bar, Atlanta, Georgia

The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

It will be quite some time before we take our kids to Disney but these are incredible! Thank you!

This comment has been removed by the author.

Vanessa, would you consider adding a "Name/Url" to your comment section. I do comment on occasion through my Google account, but I always have to sign in and there are times when I just don't want to take the time so I don't comment. And truly, you have some really adorable stuff that just begs to be praised. Have a great time at Disney World!

Super fun cards! Thank you for sharing. I hope we will get to see a sample of the finished book too.

I've shared with my FB and Pinterest friends.
Hope your vacation was magical!

Pirate Mom Penny

Penny, it was magical. Coming home to moving. not so magical :0) Thanks so much for your comment AND for sharing. I hope to get to the books soon, but have to pack enough clutter to show the house. Check back again though, you might just be surprised!

Wow. thanks so much for sharing! I am using them in my SMASH book.

thank you so much for posting these cards! always looking for something new to use as autographs cards or in the Disney scrapbooks, etc.

elles sont superbes ! merci beaucoup pour le partage. j'ai créé des liens ici : et là :

Hey! I just saw this post..and I was wondering if you had more of the characters? I love these and would love these to be the autograph cards for my kids on our trip!

Just loaded these to my Dropbox! So easy and cute. Thank you for your generosity!!

Do you have any more or can we order them from you?

Erica, I haven't made a set number two, but would love to if you have suggestions. I can totally print them for you too. Email me at [email protected] and I can get you prices.

Thanks for stopping by!
The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

Thank you for these they are great. x

Love these thank you for taking the time to do these and share them.

I saw these ages ago and now that we are (finally) planning a Disney trip, I am hoping I can convince you to repair the Merida card.

I saw these ages ago and now that we are (finally!) planning a Disney trip I am hoping I can talk you into repairing the Merida card.

I can do that. It looks like it was the string of the bow running through the picture, but I can take that out. I will message when done.

They are updated in Dropbox! Thanks for letting me know that needed to be repaired!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha.

Hi! I am Vanessa, from Eastern Pennsylvania. I am a sew*er, a caker and a copy-cat maker, stay at home, crafty mom. I love my kids (most days-wink, wink), and love my husband more than ever. Lately, the days have seemed longer, the joys harder to find. I started this blog as a way to keep track of the things I have managed to accomplish. You know, the ones that don't instantly get un-done! May you find fun and inspiration to get sew-cake-maken' today! Thanks for visiting :0>

‘Foreign’ Recipes.

Part of the fun of exploring this week’s cookery book choice (Adam's Luxury and Eve's Cookery, or, the Kitchen-Garden display’d, published in 1744) has been considering old recipes as a source of new inspiration. I am sure I have gone on about this before, but I am constantly surprised, and more than a little disappointed, that modern cooks rarely seem to use history for inspiration. We are very comfortable with cultural inspiration however, and think nothing of incorporating ingredients and ideas from other countries in our recipes, even if we revert to familiar dishes for their comfort value.

It seems that ‘foreign’ food ideas were also appealing to cooks and diners in 1744. Here are a couple of recipes for peas with an international flavour, from Adam's Luxury and Eve's Cookery.

Peas the Portuguese Way.
Wash your Peas, cut in some Lettuce with a Lump of Sugar, some fine Oil, a few Mint Leaves, cut small, with Parsley, Onions, Shallots, Garlick, Winter Savory, Nutmeg, Salt, Pepper, and a little Broth put some over the Fire, and when ‘tis almost ready, poach some new Eggs in it, making a Place for each Egg to lie in then cover your Stew pan again, and boil your eggs with a little Fire upon the Cover then slide them into your dish, and serve them.
Fine beans may be dress’d in the same manner, but you must blanch them, and put them in as they are, without putting them in Butter.

Peas the French Way.
Shell your Peas, and pass a quarter of a Pound of Butter, gold colour, with a Spoonful of Flower then put in a Quart of Peas, four Onions cut small, and two Cabbages cut as small as the Onions then put in half a Pint of Gravy, seasoned with Pepper, Salt, and Cloves. Stove this well an Hour, then put in half a Spoonful of fine Sugar, and fry some Artichokes to lay round the Side of the Dish serve it with a forced Lettuce in the Middle.

Quotation for the Day.

LAUREL, n. The laurus a vegetable dedicated to Apollo, and formerly defoliated to wreathe the brows of victors and such poets as had influence at court.
Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary.


I agree with you about not looking to our past, but to other cultures. My mother gave me a facsimile of a Five Roses cookbook from 1915. It was the only cookbook my grandmother owned. When my bookclub (and dinner group) was looking at a biography of two sisters in Ontario in the early 19th century, I went to this cookbook for inspiration for my constribution. It had a Shepherd's Pie that was more than the usual beef and gravy topped with mashed potatoes. It was a layer of potato, then onion, then beef and gravy, then potato and then topped with a "paste" crust. Oh, and a whole in the centre to pour drippings while it baked. As you noted in your Pie book, we Canadians are noted for our pies.

I think part of the problem I have with using older recipes is the lack of measurements. The measurements are given if I want to try Chinese or Mexican but generally aren't when I'm looking in an old cookbook. I would never have tried to make sauerkraut if I were to follow my grandmother's recipe since she gave it as: sprinkle salt on cut cabbage and leave the barrel on the north side of the house in the summer, remember to pack it down every now and then. The modern recipe I found emboldened me since it gave pounds cabbage per tablespoon of salt and I have a gallon fermenting and smelling up)in my pantry right now. Most people, including me, have a hard time judging how much of certain ingredients, like spices, need to be included.

Les, you are absolutely right. The cookbook I was referring to says bake in a fast oven or slow oven because, of course, they didn't have reliable gauges for heat. This little book is less than 150 pages and has 600 recipes because there are essentially no instrutions. I believe they thought that you either knew what to do, or you could ask your mother or your neighbour for help.

The Portuguese recipe sounds tasty!

Les, in the 'olden days' cooks just learned to judge by experience, and, as Kelly says, there were always people around to ask. Apart from baked goods, exact measurements dont matter. Not much can go wrong - things may not taste quite as you expect, so you can adjust next time jump in and try!

And I agree about the Portuguese peas, Marcheline!

I've made cold slaw dressing using a recipe I found in a 19th century cook book posted at It was easy to adapt and turned out great. I think one reason the recipes are so sketchy compared to modern recipes is that the authors may have expected cooks to experiment or to not have every ingredient on hand. The sauerkraut made me nervous though since it involved a long fermentation process.

It's hard for me to adapt things to a gluten free format too.

I can understand our trepidation in respect of the sauerkraut recipe, Les. That fermentation makes me nervous. That being said, I dont think you can poison yourself with it.
Early cookbooks contained a lot of 'assumed knowledge'. Very early cookbooks were often just abbreviated memory aids for master chefs (back in the day when most folk, including most kitchen staff) were not literate.
I know the gluten-free story - my daughter in law is very sensitive to it, as are a couple of friends.

I would have used wa-ay too much salt had a attempted my grandmother's recipe. I was thinking on the order of packing down fresh meats. I was really surprised to see how little was needed. It's been two weeks since I started mine and I noticed it was getting nice and 'squeaky' when I went to pack it down last night. I can't wait for it to be done! I added caraway seeds to one quart to see how it turns out.

Cannabis Lollipops

Recently I have been searching for an isomerizer machine and you may be thinking what in the world is an isomerizer?

It is used to extract oils out of plants, using the plant material and grain alcohol.
This machine can save you a lot of time and effort in creating as close to pure cannabis oils as possible, without as many of the safety concerns in dealing with alcohol fumes.

Simple to use, 100% isopropyl alchohol is placed in the machine and will flow through the plant material to leach out the vital oils. Then the alcohol is evaporated by the thermostatically controlled heating element.
Aluminum fins, located in the top of the device condense the alchohol which will then flow back through the plant material.
It works similar to a coffee maker.
After that, the plant material is removed and the reclamation cup is put in place to collect the alchohol, which leaves you with the vital oils reclaimed in the bottom of the stainless steel unit.

It can extract plant oils out of almost any plant you can think of and because of that it has many uses.

Thai Power, Inc. created and produced an isomerizer in 1975 for $275.00, then in 1976, they introduced a new model called ISO2 for $159.00.
Other companies produced imitation isomerizers called Maximer for $29.95 and another one called Kik for $69.95 soon after that.
Even though they were expensive for that time, it was estimated that 20,000 had been bought.
By 1982, isomerizer ads and isomerizer imitators had all but disappeared, due to introduction of anti-paraphernalia laws.

Now, you can go on Ebay and purchase an original circa 1970's isomerizer, but you better be willing to shell out the dough. The 4 I have seen are $449.99, $499.99, $1250.00 and $1420.00, pretty steep for a used machine that is over 30 years old.
A definite NO. If I am going to spend at least $400.00, I am going to get a new machine, not someone's 30 year old worn out piece of junk.

And I found it. Super Flower Tower, the company's name, has created an isomerizer called Super Flower Tower and it is $499.00.

Watch the video: Friday Office Hours with Dr. Blum: Coronavirus Update 5-8-20 (October 2021).