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eG Foodblog: Kerry Beal and Anna N (2012) - Mixing it up in Manitoulin

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#1 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:36 AM

Morning all - it's a lovely temperate morning here in Little Current on lovely Manitoulin Island. Anna's in the kitchen making something - I'm sitting enjoying my first very large mug of tea of the day.

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This is my brown betty in it's dutch tea cosy - the better to keep my tea nice and warm for a number of hours.

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My tea - in the largest mug I could find at the Value Village in Sudbury a couple of years ago. I love my tea, but I'm lazy and don't like to go back and forth to the kitchen several times to get enough - so this is a ceramic beer mug and holds the equivalent of several cups. I can get about 2 1/2 of them out of my 6 cup brown betty. And don't let the 'fabulous father's hall of fame' fool you - I'm female. (I find on eG it's sometimes hard to figure out who's male and who's female based on their names and mine's a boy's name anyway)

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My view off the balcony while I post.

#2 Anna N

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:51 AM

So I was in the kitchen making my breakfast. Lovely farm-fresh eggs (sorry one got broken when I tried to get it onto the plate!) and a sliced portobello mushroom. Drink of choice is coffee from my single serve Keurig.

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Will have much more to say as I become fully awake and coherent.
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#3 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

I come up to Manitoulin to work a few times a year these days - and Anna decided to join me this trip. It's an opportunity to cook relatively uninterrupted unlike at home. Hubby and child are fending for themselves (well with two weeks of food prepared before I left).

Sorry the teasers were a little misleading - we figured if we posted chocolate or calamari that everyone would get it in one - but there is significance to the pictures.

First the egg cartons - for anyone who has noticed that we sometimes post about the food we are cooking when I'm up here - there are always wonderful farm fresh eggs involved. One of the public health nurses brings me eggs - usually as many and as often as I like. Apparently racoons got into the henhouse recently and she lost a lot of chickens and has a number now suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and failing to lay well - so eggs are a bit more scarce - but she was able to bring me 6 dozen the day after I arrived. We have been saving egg cartons at home for her - after a couple of dozen uses we find the egg cartons just don't hold up like they should!

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I think the chickens that lay my favourite green eggs must be slow runners.

I grabbed a copy of Momofuku for Anna a couple of months back - and to her surprise she was totally taken by it. I had been eyeing the Milk Bar Cookbook for a while and we decided that this trip she'd cook from her book and I'd cook from mine. It seems to be the way anyway - Anna doesn't really like to bake the way I do.

Of course a trip to Manitoulin is never complete without bringing along a few kitchen toys to try out that I haven't gotten around to firing up in the city. So this trip we have the new ultrasonic to play with Nathan's french fries. I also have a little cotton candy machine that I bought at a store that was relocating in Buffalo - so we can have a little fun with that too.

#4 Darienne

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

Hello Kerry and Anna,

I'm looking forward to reading what the two of you cook up. And I'm curious about your new cotton candy machine. Used to love cotton candy when I was a kid. Should be a good week. :smile:
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#5 Shelby

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:14 AM

Yay!!!! A double team :)

#6 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:26 AM

Of course we always bring up a bunch of cookbooks along with the various toys - this trip I brought the Gentleman's Companion Volumes 1 & 2. This is the first chance I've had to read them even though I bought them last year some time and I'm finding them terribly amusing. I'm getting some great ideas for cocktails and trying to figure out if there is anything in the 'Exotic Cookery Book' that I can make while here. So far a Honey Mousse looks doable - requires half a dozen fresh eggs and some quality dark honey to which I have access. (Got to try to avoid ending sentences with prepositions!)

#7 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

Of course we always bring up a bunch of cookbooks along with the various toys - this trip I brought the Gentleman's Companion Volumes 1 & 2. This is the first chance I've had to read them even though I bought them last year some time and I'm finding them terribly amusing. I'm getting some great ideas for cocktails and trying to figure out if there is anything in the 'Exotic Cookery Book' that I can make while here. So far a Honey Mousse looks doable - requires half a dozen fresh eggs and some quality dark honey to which I have access. (Got to try to avoid ending sentences with prepositions!)


Never tried anything out of the GC but it IS a really fun read. Interested to hear reports!

#8 Anna N

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

After breakfast I vacuum packed meat that we bought yesterday. Some went into the freezer but the rib steaks found their way directly into our sous vide set up:

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Here is the refrigerator when we arrived:

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And this morning:

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Shortly I will post the photos of the kitchen as we arrived and once we settled in!

Edited to fix typo.

Edited by Anna N, 13 May 2012 - 08:18 AM.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
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#9 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:17 AM

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A couple of weeks ago the Ladies Who Lunch found this little pressure cooker at Value Village. The price was $9.99 and we had a 30% off coupon for anything we bought that day!

Handle was loose and when I fired it up it was clear that it wasn't working as it should - so a couple of days ago we took the handle off and discovered that it was seriously gunked up with something akin to the greasy stuff that forms on the bottom of cast iron frying pans. We put the ultrasonic cleaner to work on some bits, but without any good solvent it only helped a bit. So we resorted to boiling some of the bits with dishwasher detergent and then elbow grease. It is a european pan made by Fagor so I'm hoping I can get a new handle for the top somehow. It's working but it steams more than it should and it loses pressure really quickly when it comes off the heat.

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The first thing I cooked in it were some lemons - Alex and Aki at Ideas in Food blogged about Pressure Cooked Citrus a while back and I decided this would be a good thing to try. I took a couple of nice lemons, added a bit of water and cooked until they were pooped and the liquid was starting to thicken up. I then made a puree with this in the Thermomix.

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So breakfast for me this am was some plain Liberté Méditerranée yogurt with a bit of the lemon puree and drizzle of some nice honey. I couldn't find any grape nuts or anything in the cupboard to add a little bit of crunch.

#10 Anna N

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

Here are some photos of the kitchen in pristine condition when we arrived:



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There is always a gift basket waiting for us. This one contained a gift certificate to a coffee place, a loaf of fruit and nut bread, a hard-ripened goat cheese (not yet tasted) and a jar of baked cherry tomatoes from Spain. Not sure how we will use this yet!

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And today:

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Edited because I was too fast on the trigger and posted before it was complete. Might have something to do with my Sunday morning coffee with its cognac spike.

Edited by Anna N, 13 May 2012 - 08:29 AM.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#11 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

The other day I started on my first Milk Bar Cookbook recipe - the Blueberries and Cream Cookies.

Not a resounding success!

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The dough was very soft and did not look anything like the picture in the book - and of course RTFM is not in my vocabulary so I neglected to see where it suggested an overnight refrigeration.

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First baked tray.

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Tray from overnight in the fridge - still not what I would consider a success. They got eaten quickly at work - but I found them too cloyingly sweet and I was not happy with the texture.

Today I'm working on a batch of the Corn Cookies - brought up a big can of freeze dried corn that I picked up from a survivalist/camping store in Mississauga. Yummy stuff eaten right out of hand!

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Ground it in a coffee grinder.

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This is just my egg, butter and sugar mix - this is one of the fresh eggs - the yolk was like a Manitoulin sunrise! I must confess to having started to change the recipe already - I feel it is fair because I've made one of her cookie recipes before! So I cut back the sugar to 2/3 of the original and added 6 drops of lemon oil to the dough. The dough tastes great.

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I'm actually going to put these in the fridge for at least an hour before baking as per the instructions - though looking at the stiffness of this dough I suspect I could bake them right away. I've added some of the freeze dried corn kernels to a couple of the dough balls - I suspect they will prove quite interesting in there.

#12 rotuts

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:13 AM

I spotted the ThermoMix. Im hoping to see how you use it.

#13 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:28 AM

Those who have helped us out on our Help for a Couple of Cocktail Novices thread will recognize the first two pictures. These are the bottles we started out with up north last summer when we were cocktail naive.

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We have branched out a little - this is what we have available to use now.

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Don't be disturbed by the specimen bottles - they all started out clean and sterile! They contain small amounts of such things as Vya, Carpano Antico, curacao and falernum.

Note the bottle of Lakka - Finnish cloudberry liqueur. We picked this up at the LCBO in Pointe au Baril on the way up. I'd never seen it before - and my internal magpie kicked in. It's quite yummy - not sure if I can describe the flavour - it's unlike any other liqueur I've had before - but having eaten salmonberries before when I lived in the Queen Charlotte Islands there is a familiarity for me. We are working on a couple of cocktails with it - coming up with names then working backwards to the cocktail.

#14 Shelby

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:39 AM

You guys are my kind of people.

#15 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:39 AM

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I think it's fair to say that these cookies didn't really need time in the fridge. And they probably needed to be flattened as well (oops - just RTFM and apparently I was supposed to flatten them). The second tray I did flatten and let warm up a bit before baking and they were a bit better - but still not as pictured in the book.

The book is quite specific about how long the butter, sugar etc should be beaten - I wonder if perhaps that might make a difference.

#16 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

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Anna sous vided (sous ved) the rib eyes we picked up at Costco in Sudbury yesterday. I gave them a quick brown in the nice hot mini Big Green Egg. Anna also roasted some green beans in the oven for a nice crunchy side. Of course since this is lunch - part of the steak will be saved for tomorrow's lunch munchies - but the all important photograph must be taken first.

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#17 Tri2Cook

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:38 AM

Funny how that happens with the booze cabinet. I swear they breed in there, surely I didn't buy as many bottles as I seem to have now.

I haven't been too happy with the Milk Bar recipes I've tried. They sound good on paper but never seem to deliver what I think they should.

Anyway, look forward to seeing what you two get up to this week.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#18 andiesenji

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Terrific photos. I'm really looking forward to this week. Those eggs are lovely.
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#19 munchymom

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:30 PM

So excited to see this blog! How the heck do you get through six dozen eggs before they go bad?
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#20 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

So excited to see this blog! How the heck do you get through six dozen eggs before they go bad?


Eggs go bad?

#21 andiesenji

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:37 PM


So excited to see this blog! How the heck do you get through six dozen eggs before they go bad?


Eggs go bad?


I'm wondering about that also. I have some jumbo eggs in my fridge from late February, still good, used some this morning.
"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
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#22 rotuts

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

Well, that small Green Egg is interesting.

What's the diameter of it? Green to Green?

many thanks!

#23 prasantrin

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:30 PM

Eggs definitely go bad! I speak from unfortunate experience!

That steak looks soooo good! I'd use the leftovers to make yum neua. I've had a craving for it forever, but have yet to make it.

#24 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:30 PM

Well, that small Green Egg is interesting.

What's the diameter of it? Green to Green?

many thanks!


The mini has a 9 inch grill - think green to green is probably 13 inches or so.

#25 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:31 PM

Eggs definitely go bad! I speak from unfortunate experience!

That steak looks soooo good! I'd use the leftovers to make yum neua. I've had a craving for it forever, but have yet to make it.


Yum neua?

#26 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:44 PM

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I'd like to introduce you to Ernie. He joined Anna's family last week when he was discovered hiding at the Sally Ann thrift store.

He was invaluable today after my dropsy hit again and I dumped the entire container of yeast from the freezer on the kitchen floor.

It has been a bad dropsy week - the first incident was the lamb chop that I was turning over on the egg - flipped it right over the balcony! I stood there for a minute with a dumb ass look on my face thinking all was lost - then realized I could go down after it! It's the one on the lower left (closest to the balcony) that looks a little less 'put together' than the other three.

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Here are the marks it left as it bounced across Cam and Vi's patio downstairs.

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The next incident was when we came out of the liquor store in Sudbury yesterday and I realized my add oil light was on. Added about a quart, then while putting the cap back on dropped it down into the engine. The lovely mechanic at the Harley dealership figured it was the most fun he'd had all week getting that back out for me - even broke his broom handle in half so he could get at it successfully!

#27 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

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Experiments in ice balls today - this one was placed in a container insulated somewhat with paper towels to encourage it to freeze in the right direction for clarity. You notice that half is crystal clear.

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In keeping with tonight's dinner - a Japanese Cocktail. My orgeat was a little thicker than the last batch I made - we actually added a little lemon after and quite enjoyed the balance it gave the drink.

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Set up to tempura tonight.

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Anna mixed up rice flour, trisol and soda water.

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We had shrimp, sweet potato, snow peas, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms and I had some okra. Anna drew the line at that!

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For dessert the Honey Mousse from the Gentleman's Companion. I think it could have used a few more hours in the freezer - but made with buckwheat honey it was quite delicious.

After dinner - out to the balcony to watch the humming bird feed and to try to identify a few species of other birds.

#28 heidih

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:21 PM

Where to begin....

I love the sense of experimentation, freedom and play.
That freeze dried corn is making me think as I adore "corny corn".
Kerry - looks like you are a "tea with milker"?
You completely captured me with the dropsy bit. To see cooks I think of as a bit scientific and precise admit to such incidents has me smiling. As a visual person I can totally see the yeast flying. Bravo on retrieving that chop!

#29 heidih

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:22 PM

Oh I forgot to compliment the gift basket. Quite an assortment for a remote area? Looking forward to see how you use and enjoy the items.

#30 Chris Hennes

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:08 PM

It has been a bad dropsy week - the first incident was the lamb chop that I was turning over on the egg - flipped it right over the balcony! I stood there for a minute with a dumb ass look on my face thinking all was lost - then realized I could go down after it!

Have you no respect for the five second rule?! Or are you just really fast? :shock:

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