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eG Foodblog: Chris Hennes (2012) - Chocolate, Tamales, Modernism, etc.

Foodblog Chocolate

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#61 Katie Meadow

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:24 AM

I haven't made a dedicated search yet, but I would like to find a source of fresh masa that's available in bulk--in other words in SMALL quantities. I shop for Mexican ingredients at Mi Pueblo (partly because I am addicted to the cuernos for breakfast and their bakery has really good ones) and although the masa, both preparado and non-prep is great and seems very fresh, it's only available in enormous bags. I never need all that masa. I don't know if there are preservatives in it or not, I'll have to check next time. I'm told that it can be frozen, though. Does anyone recommend this?

#62 andiesenji

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:56 AM

I haven't made a dedicated search yet, but I would like to find a source of fresh masa that's available in bulk--in other words in SMALL quantities. I shop for Mexican ingredients at Mi Pueblo (partly because I am addicted to the cuernos for breakfast and their bakery has really good ones) and although the masa, both preparado and non-prep is great and seems very fresh, it's only available in enormous bags. I never need all that masa. I don't know if there are preservatives in it or not, I'll have to check next time. I'm told that it can be frozen, though. Does anyone recommend this?



I know the Berkeley Farmers Market used to have fresh masa - a friend was purchasing it there a year or so ago.
Here's a link. Primavera is the "brand"

I just phoned a friend in San Jose and she also recommended Mi Pubelo.
She shops at the Story road market in San Jose.

Edited by andiesenji, 21 February 2012 - 11:06 AM.

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#63 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

The cutting board in those kitchen photos is about ten years old, and I don't take very good care of it. As a result, it has started to crack. Rather than simply buying one, being the obstinate sort, I set out to make my own. Here is the current status:

Cutting board.jpg

End grain, of course, made of a Canadian hard maple. The target final dimensions are in the neighborhood of 23" x 16" x 2.5", though it looks like it's going to be a small bit larger in each dimension in the finished product, depending on how the final planing goes. I have 22 of 63 glue joints completed, and I'm doing them one at a time because it's easier and more reliable. Have any of you reading this made your own cutting board? How did you do your glue-up?

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#64 rotuts

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:07 PM

Ive made them for years.

the partial assembly is helpful to keep the project flush. endgain is very very difficult to sand.

I used http://www.woodfinis.../SaladBowl.html for finish.

if you havent made your own cutting board before it will give you great pleasure every time you use it.

Edited by rotuts, 21 February 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#65 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

Lunch time: since I have the car on Tuesdays, I usually go out for lunch. Today I went to Five Guys (I have a slight preference for Smashburger for this style of burger, but the nearest SB is 35 minutes away, whereas the nearest FG is five).

Bacon Cheeseburger with Fried Onions:
Five Guys Burger.jpg

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

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#66 weinoo

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:13 PM

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.
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#67 gfweb

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:33 PM


Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.


I think that they suck.

#68 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?

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#69 KennethT

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:54 PM

Chris - I've been enjoying your blog so far! I start my seeds in rockwool cubes - I get starts that look like your tomatoes/tomatillos after 4-5 days, rather than a couple of weeks. I find soaking the cubes in 5.5pH water initially, and then misting once in a while with the same water gets faster germination. Once I see the first set of true leaves, I'll transfer to my "incubator" which basically keeps the bottoms of the cubes bathed in 25% nutrient fog for a week or two until the roots are long enough to transfer into my normal window garden.

I've also heard really good things about Coco coir, and about these Rapid Rooter plugs.

While usually, the rockwool is only for hydro (since it doesn't degrade too easily (although it can be recycled)), the coco coir and Rapid Rooter are great for starts that will go into soil.

#70 EatNopales

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:50 PM


Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.



The fries suck at In & Out as well.. but if you ask for Well Done.. they are much better.. is there any chance Five Guys can do the same?


Incidentally, there is now a Five Guys in my town... but didn't know anyone who has tried one (lot of burgers around here... most good but not better than home made.. makes me unexcited to try new places)... but that does look good.

#71 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:57 PM

Incidentally, there is now a Five Guys in my town... but didn't know anyone who has tried one (lot of burgers around here... most good but not better than home made.. makes me unexcited to try new places)... but that does look good.

I treat fast food burgers as a category unto themselves: none of them are going to compete with homemade, ever, since they are cooked to well-done. But for what they are, Five Guys is a great burger, as is Smashburger. No In-n-Outs here (yet!) so I haven't tried them.

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#72 Shelby

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:37 PM

You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?



My husband is building a green house right now on to the back of our garage. So, I hope to get more in to growing from seed.

Every year we (and I say we very loosely...I mostly mean Mr. Shelby lol) start tomatoes from seed and every year it seems like, no matter what we try, they don't "harden" enough and when we plant them in the garden, they die asap. I do the planting so I'm very gentle with them etc. Kansas sun and wind are so hard on the young'uns, as is the weather in Oklahoma. My garden is not protected on any side from wind/sun.

#73 gfweb

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:40 PM

Maybe you need cloches. I use big soda bottles with the end cut off sometimes if i don't trust the weather.

#74 annabelle

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

That's what we do, too. It works great.

#75 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:39 PM


You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?



My husband is building a green house right now on to the back of our garage. So, I hope to get more in to growing from seed.

Every year we (and I say we very loosely...I mostly mean Mr. Shelby lol) start tomatoes from seed and every year it seems like, no matter what we try, they don't "harden" enough and when we plant them in the garden, they die asap. I do the planting so I'm very gentle with them etc. Kansas sun and wind are so hard on the young'uns, as is the weather in Oklahoma. My garden is not protected on any side from wind/sun.

I've had some luck putting a bit of newspaper around the stem when I plant tomatoes.

#76 LindaK

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:52 PM



In my experience, if you are not using fresh masa within 24-48 hours of the time it's made, it starts to develop a weird off flavor. Since I am buying it in five pound bags and am only cooking for two, it typically takes me about two weeks to use a whole bag...

You go through 5 lbs in two weeks for only two people? That's a lot of masa. How often do you cook Mexican food, and what do you usually make?

Love the tamales and the chocolates, btw.


 


#77 Lady T

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

:biggrin:

Chris -- Just caught up with the blog. Lord of Hosts, but those chocolates are mindblowingly beautiful! What fun this will be, to watch you make magic this week!

:biggrin:
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#78 David Ross

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

Lunch time: since I have the car on Tuesdays, I usually go out for lunch. Today I went to Five Guys (I have a slight preference for Smashburger for this style of burger, but the nearest SB is 35 minutes away, whereas the nearest FG is five).

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

I'm certainly not a fan of Five Guys. That bun looks like it was squished in the back of the bread truck.

#79 Blether

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

... I used http://www.woodfinis.../SaladBowl.html for finish.

if you havent made your own cutting board before it will give you great pleasure every time you use it.


A guy in the hardware store last night recommended tung oil (over a harder-wearing tung oil blend with urethanes in it that I was buying for furniture) for cutting boards / other foodsafe apps.

I'm enjoying your blog, Chris: the chocolates most of all, so far, for me too. Good to be able to share your Eureka moment :smile:

ETA: as I've posted before, I use edible mineral oil on my own cutting board, sourced from a cosmetics supply outlet online.

Edited by Blether, 21 February 2012 - 07:32 PM.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.


#80 annabelle

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:43 PM

I treat my cutting board, a Boos block, with mineral oil as well. I buy it at the pharmacy.

#81 heidih

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:46 PM

ETA: as I've posted before, I use edible mineral oil on my own cutting board, sourced from a cosmetics supply outlet online.


I was tickled to overhear a man ask for that at the drug store the other day for the same purpose. He called it "food grade mineral oil". I was in a hurry so did not have the opportunity to chat with him. He did say that it was at the recommendation of the manufacturer.

Chris - how will you be treating yours?

#82 andiesenji

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:48 PM


... I used http://www.woodfinis.../SaladBowl.html for finish.

if you havent made your own cutting board before it will give you great pleasure every time you use it.


A guy in the hardware store last night recommended tung oil (over a harder-wearing tung oil blend with urethanes in it that I was buying for furniture) for cutting boards / other foodsafe apps.

I'm enjoying your blog, Chris: the chocolates most of all, so far, for me too. Good to be able to share your Eureka moment :smile:

ETA: as I've posted before, I use edible mineral oil on my own cutting board, sourced from a cosmetics supply outlet online.



The only tung oil to use on items that come in contact with food is RAW tung oil.

One caveat. Tung oil is pressed from a tree nut and people who have allergies to tree nuts (walnuts, etc.), can react to foods that have been in contact with a wood surface treated with the oil. Depending on how sensitive the person is, the reaction can range from very mild to severe.

One of the volunteers at the local senior center had a severe reaction after using knives with wood handles that had been treated with tung oil. She has a severe allergy to walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, filberts &etc. I was called to fill in for her after she was hauled off to the ER. This was just before Thanksgiving last year so it is fresh in my mind.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#83 Kim Shook

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:57 PM

I am thoroughly enjoying this, Chris - so glad to see you blogging. I am in awe at your chocolates. One of my 'retirement' projects is supposed to be learning how to temper chocolate, but I can't imagine getting something that perfect! I'm glad to see someone else who likes their smooth-top range. I love mine and can't imagine trading it for anything else. I always feel like I have to justify my love, though!

#84 Peter the eater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:09 PM


You have an upstairs kitchen? What are the pros and cons?

No, actually: my house is a single level (no basement, even).


That sloping part of your kitchen ceiling made me think it upstairs. I'm all for barrier-free kitchens.

Stopped making my own cutting boards when kiln-dried anything hardwood became much, much more expensive than the HomeSense clearance bin. I do like some unadulterated wood slabs for chopping and cooking.

Your photos are quite amazing, thanks.

No basement? Where do you go in a tornado?
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#85 annabelle

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:25 PM

There are tornado shelters in the bigger cities, Peter or you can have a hidey hole built in your yard or a safe room in the house.

We hide under our house since it is about 4 feet off the ground and has concrete footings.

#86 Peter the eater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:35 PM

There are tornado shelters in the bigger cities, Peter or you can have a hidey hole built in your yard or a safe room in the house.

We hide under our house since it is about 4 feet off the ground and has concrete footings.

Interesting. So, do people keep cans and other foodstuffs in these shelters?
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I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

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#87 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:02 PM

You go through 5 lbs in two weeks for only two people? That's a lot of masa. How often do you cook Mexican food, and what do you usually make?

I typically only buy fresh masa when I am about to embark on a couple of weeks of Mexican cooking, which usually involves a batch or two of tamales. So I make a bunch of tamales and then freeze them. But of course I also make a few dozen tortillas over the course of the week, etc.

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#88 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

Chris - how will you be treating yours?

Mineral oil. I should note that the idea of a "food grade varnish" is absurd: regardless of the blend, once it's cured, it's inert. Period. "Food safe varnish" is just an expensive label, it's ALL food safe. This includes all of the varnishes with metallic dryers, etc.

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#89 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:07 PM

No basement? Where do you go in a tornado?

I have a shelter: considerably safer than a basement, but also considerably more cramped! And no, I do not store anything down there except our emergency kit. I think the foodstuffs amount to some granola bars and some bottles of water.

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#90 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:13 PM

For dinner tonight we went to a local favorite, Benvenuti's. As I refuse to be one of those people taking flash photography in a restaurant I'm afraid I have no images for you. In addition to a bottle of Spanish red (Rivola, Sardon de Duero, 2008) I had a Caesar salad and the Risotto Verdure (which contains more vegetables than rice, I think: I love it). Back to cooking tomorrow, I promise. Tuesdays are busy!

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