Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Natural Born Killer? By Joel MacCharles

After attending a preserve swap hosted by @WellPreserved, I was excited to discover an article entitled Natural Born Killer? Dealing with thedeath of my dinner in the Fall 2012 issue of Edible Toronto. The subject matter of the article is Joel MacCharles' complicated, confusing, and intricate relationship with killing. He grew up in a family of hunters who taught him that “We don't catch things. We kill them.” Although the description of the death of the deer, MacCharles' first experience with the death of an animal, could be more compelling and less reliant on cliques such as 'the flick of a light switch', MacCharles is successfully able to describe the complicated nature of the hunter's relationship with death. 
(Photo is an excerpt from the article)

Hunters are believed to be in constant contact with the game they seek and are perceived to have many successful hunting trips. The definition of a successful hunt is the killing of an animal or two. It was illuminating to discover that this 39 year old man's father had killed less than six large animals because “killing isn't a synonym for hunting; it's sometimes a part of it.” Although, when I first read the description of MacCharles' hunting record I thought that either he is lying or he is a bad hunter!
Hunters rarely speak of their pastime as the conversation around hunting can quickly become heated. Hunters should speak about their complicated, confusing, and intricate relationship with killing as doing so may prevent the rest of society from quickly glamorizing or villainizing them. MacCharles states that “the silence of many food hunters has left a vocal minority casting a shadow over our lifestyle that is tough to dispel.” MacCharles's relationship to killing is not as simple as kill then eat. He has a harder time justifying the consumption of a small bird, whose body can only feed one or two people than larger game that can feed many. This is an interesting position and really describes the complicated views that hunters possess. This voice is lost when individuals such as MacCharles are not given a voice to describe their motivation regarding hunting.

Monday, January 28, 2013

From Scratching: Homemade Tootsie Rolls

When other people - better people - make recipes such as these Homemade Tootsie Rolls they wind up with better-than-perfect replicas of the original. Their tootsie rolls are the perfect Tootsie shape and wrapped in perfectly square, perfectly precise  perfectly-perfect wrappers.

My tootsie rolls were odd shaped, oddly wrapped, and frankly, kinda ugly but they sure tasted good!
I adapted the recipe slightly by replacing honey with brown rice syrup, and dried milk with dried soy milk powder.    

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drinking: Kombucha Candy

I made a new batch of Kombucha the night before my library copy of 'The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World' was due. Looking through the section on Kombucha I was excited to discover that the mother can be very easy made into a type of gummy candy and as my recent Kombucha adventures left me with a rather large SCOBY mother to contend with I quickly started in on the process.

The mother is cut into cubes - a process very similar to cutting raw chicken - which is very unnerving. The cubes are soaked in water, drained, and soaked again. Then they are boiled with water, drained and boiled again. This is to remove as much of the acidity as possible. Then the cubes are boiled with water and sugar. Once the sugar syrup starts to thicken the cubes are dehydrated (I used an oven because I wanted to hurry the process along, although next time I would use the dehydrator).

The end result is very similar to flavourless gummy candy. I have read about individuals flavouring the candy with lemon and ginger which is something I would definitely do the next time I have an excessively large SCOBY.

However, it may be a while before I use an extra SCOBY to make candy as I have read about cutting the SCOBY into thin strips and stir-frying it as one would do tofu. Additionally, this Coffee Kombucha seems interesting (but the mother can not be reused).   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wed: Sourdough Raisin Bread

Sourdough Raisin Bread.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Paper Droids: Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse

Check out my article on Paper Droids - Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse: Coffee. This month's article is about learning to roast your own coffee so that you will be prepared to survive the zombie apocalypse while maintaining a strong caffeine buzz. 
Check it out!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Drinking: Homebrewed Kombucha

I grew a SCOBY a few months ago. I am currently brewing my third batch of Kombucha. The first batch did not work properly - I think I left it to ferment for too long - I blame the Christmas holidays! The second batch fermented from 18 December to 8 January. I bought a chalk marker that allows me to write the date on the glass bottle. This helps me keep track of when I began fermentation. I think that I fermented the batch for a long time but it seemed to work. It was highly carbonated and fizzed a lot when I poured it into the bottle to start a new batch. 

I do not drink a lot of soda and wanted to try brewing Kombucha for interest sake rather than to make a product to drink on a regular base. However, I have started the third batch. I think I like touching the SCOBY!

I want to start making flavoured Kombucha next.  

Have you brewed? Please leave me advice in the comments! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Vintage Kitchen: Shot Dispenser

What is it? A vintage 'Made in England' shot dispenser.
Where did I get it? From a thrift store in the Junction where the owner rants about the evils of google and thanks you for your money.
Do I use it? No, but will make a nice display piece. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Eating the Web: white whiskey, tyranny, and the appletini

1. I've always thought white whiskey was an abomination of nature but perhaps I was wrong...
2. The tyranny of fine dinning. Oh to be rich and have these problems! 
3. An interesting article regarding the colour of the mug from which one drinks hot chocolate. 
4. Upgrading the 90's horror - the appletini
5. I've made bread with spent grains before but the Flying Monkey Brewery baked up some bread with flour, wort, brewing water, salt and brewing yeast which I found very interesting. 

Keep up with what I am eating online by following me on twitter @Sarah999

Friday, January 11, 2013

Crumble Competition: Spent Grain Plum Crumble

I've had these plums in my freezer since my first Not Far From The Tree pick this fall. Most of the plums were made into jam as I began my canning adventures. I froze some with the idea of perhaps someday making a plum beer and a few winter crumbles. 

I have not had crumble since I was a kid and eating this messy tart and sweet, hot and cold dessert reminded me of small town Saskatchewan. I wanted to use up the last of the spent grains I picked up from Junction Craft Brewery as well. The spent grains were used in place of the more traditional rolled oats in the crumble topping.

I am entering this crumble in Naked Vegan Cooking's Crumble Competition. Deadline is 1 Feb 2013 so you still have enough time to cook up a crumble and enter!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Project: Taste Bud

Check out the new beer and cheese project I am involved in called Taste Bud
First event pairing Muskoka beer and cheese is tonight at Tall Boys (838 Bloor St W) at 7:30.

Have any ideas for the new blog? I'd love to hear them! 
What's your favourite beer and cheese pairing? What other related topics should I cover?    

Monday, January 7, 2013

Drinking: Beer - and a lot of it.

We are a beer family. This holiday we, a family of two, consumed three @Junction_Craft
Growlers (2 red, 1 winter warmer), 2 Mill Street Cobblestone Stout in canes, Trafalgar Cognac Aged Porter, Garrison Ol' Fog Burner Barley Ale and a few other assorted beers.  The Junction Craft Brewery is close walking distance to our place so we have been back more than a few times in recent days!

Of course, this list doesn't include the many delicious pints we had at our favourite local establishments! Hello again @3030DundasWest!

Skinny Dipping with Friends (by Sawdust City) - was a cinnamon loaded beer that made me dream of sugar plums!

Black Coal Stout (by Railway City) has got to be the most aptly named Christmas beer on the market and a delicious one at that! Iron Spike's Honey Elixir is delicious and comes with some amazing advertising!
Moroccan Brown Ale (by Spearhead) is my overall favourite beer consumed this Christmas holiday. It reminds me of fruitcake (but in a good way!) 

We even purchased a Junction Craft class so that we can consume our delicious beer - poured from the cutest shaped growler I have ever seen -  into a label appropriate vessel!

We have been on a beer kick for months now. However, I keep coming back to Frog Pond Winery's amazing, mature ice wine - which I only had once, four years ago. How's that for a memory?  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Eating the Web: Celebrations (left overs and recovery)

1. Have you ever experienced the rare phenomenon of left over champagne? It's easy to make vinegar with your boozy leftovers!

2. While too late for this holiday season, check out this beer advent calender for next year's celebrations! 

3. Make a shopping list. Mix up a batch of this. You won't regret it. Aged Eggnog.

4. There is leftovers and then there are LEFTOVERS. I think feces fermented into alcohol counts as the latter. 

5. "Out with the old - and empty"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thrifting for kitchen wares? Five Tips

--> As you may have noticed I have a tiny bit of a vintage kitchen obsession. Most of the vintage kitchen wares that come home with me are intended for daily (or occasional) kitchen use but a few are purchased due to primarily to delightful original packaging. Here are a few tips to help you develop your very own vintage kitchen obsession!

Research: During the course of your regular reading about food, take note of the style of pan used for that traditional dessert, the full priced cost of a copper pan, or the type of jar needed for that food project. I have discovered several awesome deals because I knew what the thrift store had – but they did not!

Visit high-end vintage stores: Visiting high-end vintage stores specializing in kitchen wares allows you to discover the asking price of speciality kitchen wares. If the high-end store has those measuring cups priced at $25, you will feel vindicated in spending $1 for them at the thrift store!

Frequency: Visit thrift stores with a certain amount of frequency to get the best deals. The turnover on some stores is quite fierce so they may have entirely new stock from one week to another. However, I thrift for fun, so I tend to return when the mood strikes me and I still manage to snag some amazing finds!

Open boxes: I have found a few interesting tidbits by digging around in boxes. If you truly explore the thrift store you may find things that other thrift hunters have hidden or things that have simply fallen out of sight. Dust covered kitchen wares offer an opportunity to practice your haggling skills!

Original Packaging: I love original packaging and will purchase almost anything if it comes in the original package. However, original packaging does not bode well for the usefulness of the item. If the kitchen ware is 60 + years old and has only be removed from the box once or twice? It's unlikely to be functional, but it will be pretty!

Did you enjoy the 'Five Tip' format? See my contributions in this style on: Campfire Chic and Span Studio