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North Again – the Tradition Continues


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146 replies to this topic

#31 janeer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

Happy Birthday, Kerry! And I'm so excited; I love it when you guys do this. You are cooking fiends. I will be interested in hearing, at the end, what your really think of MC.

#32 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:19 AM

I have an ambitious day ahead of me. The teff starter has been fermenting for five days and should now be ready to make injera.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350559118.486762.jpg

The last thing one must do with the starter is to give it a good final feeding and a stir and then let it ferment for a further four hours. Of course if one is to make injera one needs something scoopable to use it with! Kerry had picked up some ground beef destined to be used in place of lamb for Turkish lahmacun but it will now have to serve in a non-traditional loose stew that can be scooped up by portions of injera (I am optimistic enough to believe I will successfully master injera!)

Also while at the grocery store yesterday Kerry grabbed some chicken wings for me. Today I hope to manage the first step in MCAH -- getting them through the first cooking and de-boning stage before ultimately turning them into boneless yakitori wings.

Then I must not forget the duck stock and duck legs in the fridge waiting to be turned into MCAH's Braised Duck in Steamed Buns. The buns I made yesterday are in the freezer. And of course we really need some cucumber pickles for these sandwhiches and I forgot to ask Kerry to grab these while she was at the store.

Edited to add about last supper for teff.

Edited by Anna N, 18 October 2012 - 04:33 AM.

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#33 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:31 AM

Anna/Kerry, your tea cake is pretty much a Yorkshire Brack and is traditionally spread with butter and served with Wensleydale cheese. Recipes vary. Some, like yours, have no butter; others do.

The one I have starts with hot tea poured over the fruit and left to steep overnight, with 100ml of rum or whisky added after 10 minutes or so, once the mix has cooled a bit. Then the next day the sugar and flour is added.

I don't recommend a single malt for this. I tried some Talisker (I know, sacrilege) and it was a shade too smoky - interesting, though. I'll try a nice dark rum next time.


Well I was born and raised in Derbyshire so a little border leakage would not be at all surprising. Dark rum sounds like an excellent idea. Thank you for sharing.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:33 AM

Told ya we needed the cucumbers that first time in the grocery store - didn't I? But you said there are only so many things we can cook at once!

Anyway I cut my brownies this morning - they aren't much to look at in the pan - but they are a very dense moist brownie. The recipe was actually for a thin chewy cookie - I wasn't happy with any of the brownie recipes I'd been trying so I adapted the cookie recipe. I usually use pecans and I'll bet if I really dug I could find some - but walnuts were close to hand. I add in some extra dark and milk chocolate bits with the walnuts.

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#35 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

This morning's breakfast - a couple of very thin slices of Anna's walnut bread, toasted and topped with the spread she made out of the failed attempt at cheese the other day. It was a dry small curd (she was after big curd for mozzarella) mixed with herbs and GARLIC. Lots of GARLIC. Should make me interesting to be around this morning.

#36 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:52 AM

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Anna's 'mess-in-place' for the several things she is working on today. This was just after she took the lid off the coffee/spice grinder that was still running!

#37 MelissaH

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:08 AM

This morning's breakfast - a couple of very thin slices of Anna's walnut bread, toasted and topped with the spread she made out of the failed attempt at cheese the other day. It was a dry small curd (she was after big curd for mozzarella) mixed with herbs and GARLIC. Lots of GARLIC. Should make me interesting to be around this morning.

Just tell everyone that it's close to Halloween, and you're just making sure there aren't any vampires hanging around this morning. :biggrin:

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#38 rotuts

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:44 AM

what is the white w patterns upright device mid-upper R ? a hot water dispenser?

#39 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:22 AM

what is the white w patterns upright device mid-upper R ? a hot water dispenser?


Yup - it's a 3 litre water heater - means I can have a cup of tea at the drop of a hat! The kettle up here tends to spark and you have to wait for it.

#40 lancastermike

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:28 AM

If I ever need hospitaization I believe I am going to wait till Kerry goes north so I can eat what she brings on rounds.

Another wonderful report on her and Anna's trip to the great North.

#41 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:40 AM

So I forgot the first rule of spice grinding - do not remove lid until the blade stops spinning. Consequently I spent half an hour trying to clean up the mess. When you share a kitchen "clean as you go" morphs from a virtuous habit into a full-blown obssession.

However, I recovered somewhat by using the spice-splattered butter to brown the ground beef and the onions for the Ethiopian stew.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350571160.151811.jpg

With the Ethiopian stew simmering I turned my attention back to the duck thighs which had been pressure cooked in stock for 30 minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of duck meat I was able to get from two small legs.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350571191.719751.jpg

A small taste of the stew is encouraging. Needs a bit more time and a bit of thickening. Shall I fall back on flour/chickpea flour/cornstarch or go where I have never been before and use xanthan gum?
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
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#42 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:44 AM

While the duck stock and hoisin sauce reduce on the stovetop:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350574928.012340.jpg

I am going to prep the wings for yakitori wings:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350574969.646029.jpg

This is a somewhat fiddling procedure as only the forewings are used (the bit between the wingtip and the drumette) and the bones are loosened with a knife to facilitate boning them out after they have been sous-vided. The wingtips will be saved for stock and the drumettes for another MCAH recipe.
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
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#43 KennethT

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

If you use xanthan, tread LIGHTLY!!! It's amazing how little you need before things turn into a mucousy mess... Plus, I've found it takes a little while to hydrate, so if you're adding by eye, go little by little and give some time inbetween to see the full strength... and, to see how thick it is, don't keep stirring - let it sit for a bit, then when you stir once you can see how thick it is.

#44 lancastermike

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:14 AM

If you use xanthan, tread LIGHTLY!!! It's amazing how little you need before things turn into a mucousy mess... Plus, I've found it takes a little while to hydrate, so if you're adding by eye, go little by little and give some time inbetween to see the full strength... and, to see how thick it is, don't keep stirring - let it sit for a bit, then when you stir once you can see how thick it is.


I must seconfd what Kenneth says here. I have limited experience with using the xanthan but I won't forget my first time. Was making a simple gravy and instead of a roux I tried a bit of the xanthan. My bit was was way more than I needed as I ended up with gravy Jello. A little of it goes a real long way.

Edited by lancastermike, 18 October 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#45 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

If you use xanthan, tread LIGHTLY!!! It's amazing how little you need before things turn into a mucousy mess... Plus, I've found it takes a little while to hydrate, so if you're adding by eye, go little by little and give some time inbetween to see the full strength... and, to see how thick it is, don't keep stirring - let it sit for a bit, then when you stir once you can see how thick it is.


Well I did tread lightly--about 1/8 tsp to a cup of liquid but did not give it time to hydrate so it turned into "blobs". Fortunately I had used only a portion of the liquid so strained it and added it back in. We may thicken it a bit more later.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#46 KennethT

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:05 AM

I don't know if that's lightly enough!!! For a cup of liquid, I'd use a tiny bit - like what fits on the point of a sharp knife. To disperse, while whisking, add gradually and then keep whisking for a bit after... I find a good way to add xanthan by eye is to use a salt or powdered sugar shaker. While whisking, I add a small dash (that winds up getting scattered over the surface) at a time and whisk until completely incorporated. Let sit for a little bit, then repeat as needed.

#47 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for doing this! It's always fun to read your adventures.

#48 Tri2Cook

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

A small taste of the stew is encouraging. Needs a bit more time and a bit of thickening. Shall I fall back on flour/chickpea flour/cornstarch or go where I have never been before and use xanthan gum?


I'm a big fan of using "modernist" ingredients but I'm not really a fan of using xanthan or even most of the modified starches like ultratex for the purpose of thickening stews. I've come to the conclusion for myself that I like the results from more traditional starches better for that purpose. In some dishes, I associate the flavor imparted by the starch as part of the dish and miss it when it's not there. Kinda like using xanthan to thicken a gumbo or etouffee instead of a roux... it's just not the same. But that's just one arseholes opinion, I'm looking forward to hearing what you two think. The flavor release will be better with the xanthan and you should get a more pure sense of the broth uninterrupted by a more prominent thickener which may be exactly what you want.

As a side note, every time you two go north, I end up feeling like the world's biggest slacker! :biggrin:
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#49 Beth Wilson

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:16 PM

I love it when you guys head North too! Pictures of the Island please :-) I am missing home.

Because of you two and your adventurous cooking on Manitoulin, I have tried food I never thought I would and I know have a shelf of cookbooks of food I never would have thought to try! You inspire me to get even more adventurous after reading about your cheesemaking.

Anna, I hope you will be posting some of your cheesemaking skills while you are blogging. I have been tempted to do it too but I never seem to have the nerve.

Kerry, any chance you are willing to share that brownie recipe? It looked like a chocolaty rich batch. YUM!

#50 Porthos

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:34 PM

Kerry and Anna, I appreciate your posts more than you will ever know. Thank you two for sharing.

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#51 haresfur

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

Interested to hear how the Injera turns out. I can't get teff four here.
It's almost never bad to feed someone.

#52 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:24 PM

Here's the brownie recipe



Worlds Best Brownies




  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons butter 3 ounces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup pecans approximately
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped into chunks


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.Melt the 5 ounces of chocolate with the butter in the microwave in a medium sized glass bowl or over a double boiler on the stovetop. If chocolate is not completely melted, stir it to aid melting of chunks that are left. Allow to cool. Stir in the sugar, and the eggs. Now stir in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the pecans, as well as the chunks of chocolate.

3.Place mixture into a greased 8X8" pan. Place in preheated oven and watch carefully. They should bake for approximately 22 minutes, however as soon as you see the top start to turn shiny take them out of the oven. These are great a little under baked, however they become dry if overcooked.



#53 Anna N

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

Lunch was entirely satisfactory. We had the braised duck on steamed buns with Momofuku quick pickled cucumber.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350607508.094836.jpg

After lunch we drove off the Island to Espanola to pick up more supplies.


We arrived home extremely hungry but thought we had supper under control. we would have the Ethiopian stew scooped up with lovely, tender injera. However it was not to be. The batter was alive and frisky:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350607532.193242.jpg

but the bread was an epic failure:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350607569.229587.jpg

It was flat, dull, sour and never did develop that light spongy texture we had enjoyed in the restaurant.

To further our troubles a visitor arrived (she was expected) but she stayed until we thought we might succumb to malnutrition. Kerry adroitly kept her entertained while heating up the sous vide and lighting the Little Green Egg. As soon as our visitor left we dove into a sirloin steak so fast we forgot to take photos. As an aside I had to send Kerry to put out the garbage because she was making me laugh so much I couldn't post!
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
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#54 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:20 PM

Working in Wikwemikong tomorrow - a rather large gang of people there so need to take a couple of things.

I have one of the loaves of banana bread remaining and tonight I made some hermit like cookies to take along.

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Also got around to dipping the truffles I made with the President's Choice Bittersweet Chocolate - I went with expresso and marmalade for the flavouring. I'll temper up a bit of white chocolate to drizzle them with tomorrow.

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#55 robirdstx

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

You go girls!

#56 Peter the eater

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:45 AM

Great stuff you two. Will there be any wild game on the menu given the time of year?

I didn't know Barrie had a Fran's Diner. I get the (original) banquet burger when we're downtown Toronto.
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#57 rotuts

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 05:12 AM

Id be very much interested in the Rx for those hermit like cookies. I love a 'chunky' cookie!

#58 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 05:27 AM

Id be very much interested in the Rx for those hermit like cookies. I love a 'chunky' cookie!


Here you go - basically I started with the sour cream recipe that I got from the lady who lived next to my granny on Vancouver Island and added the brown sugar in place of the white, a bit of molasses, the spices mentioned and the dried fruits.



Sour Cream Cookies




  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked
  • lemon and orange rind
  • Hermit Variation
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ¼ cup peel
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • lemon and orange rind


Alternate liquid and dry ingredients. Bake 12-15 minutes at 375



#59 Anna N

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 05:28 AM

Id be very much interested in the Rx for those hermit like cookies. I love a 'chunky' cookie!


Kerry gave me one fresh from the oven and it was delicious.
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
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#60 Anna N

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Kerry is working in Wiki today. That's about a 45 minute drive from Little Current so she will not be home for lunch. This leaves me with the kitchen to myself for many hours. This was my plan:

MCAH vegetable stock, carrot soup, mushroom purée, and bok choy. I will also sous vide the chicken forewings for the yakitori wings, sous vide a couple of steaks to have on hand and try to bring a modicum of order to the multitude of spices here.

Kerry talked to the dairy people yesterday and they seemed to indicate that their milk underwent nothing but regular low temperature, long time (LT LT) pasteurization. That suggests that my last cheese failure was operator error! So today I will give it another shot. Not knowing the quality of the milk though I will attempt something other than mozzarella. This will allow me to add some calcium chloride to overcome some of the damage done to milk through pasteurization and homogenization and I hope improve my chances of curd formation.

Already I have had to somewhat modify my plans for the day. As I prepped the carrots for the MCAH carrot soup I discovered I had misjudged the quantity of carrots on hand. The vegetable stock will have to wait for another day.

So the carrots are in the pressure cooker, the sous vide is coming up to temperature for the steaks and the milk for the cheese is out of the fridge. Let the games begin.
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