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  1. I ended up throwing it out. I did not want to kill anyone for Christmas. That, and I am overextended in the garden/kitchen projects aspect of COVID anxiety. I do lust for a proper crock, however. I like my toys. Big air gap was true of it.
  2. Help. I started a rumtopf. I had it about a quarter full. I did not weight the top. I made a cherry clafoutis. I put some cherry syrup from the clafoutis in the jar. The syrup had butter in it. When I opened the rumtopf today, there was a rush of gas. Is it spoiled? Can I kill my mother in law with it? Do I have to throw it out? Should I hang it up or try again? I have a bunch of fruit right now, cherries, strawberries, figs. Should I make sure to weigh it down this time? P.S. I am no stranger to fruit + alcohol. P.P.S. It was expensive brandy in
  3. I stumbled on this topic 67 pages in. It begins with stocking up and ends with Instacart issues. I skipped everything in between, forgive me if this has all been said before. Some thoughts: I'm Italian. No matter where I've lived (apartments mostly) I've always had a well-stocked cupboard. I'll buy until the cupboard is full. I chuckle when there is a storm, or other impending threat and the news is full of fear and empty shelves. I'm getting a bang out of the stocking and restocking, in spite of how tiring it is and how old it is getting. Right now as we face a
  4. Whereas I am a big fan of baroque fruitcakes, buying and fixing up an old house has necessitated a streamlined approach. This is the cake I made last year and will likely make again this year, although I'm also into fruitcake cookies. Craig Claiborne's Black Walnut and Ginger Fruitcake
  5. This is one old thread, and I don't know anything about the power issues, but I once did all my cooking for a year (dorm) in an electric skillet. You can bake brownies in an electric skillet. Works as a passable oven with the cover on, not removed, ever.
  6. Well, that explains it. The reward for thinning the herd is another cow. I'm the same.
  7. Somewhere here there are more posts of mine on this topic: long story short, my landlord requested that I get rid of all of my books. I had to downsize two apartments into one, got rid of 17 boxes of books including cookbooks. Kept one shelf of general cookbooks, mostly vegetable cookery, had the rest in storage. Rescued them one evening when I couldn't stand it anymore, along with one bookcase and edited the collection again by two additional boxes so that what I had would fit in that bookcase (in addition to the one shelf in the kitchen). Well, I bought a house of my own, and recently t
  8. I really liked these videos in spite of not really liking Michael Pollan. They were really done well. I liked the international footage and the people who were featured. Very nice to see food video that isn't the food police or the food contests. Just the food people.
  9. I've had to cut my collection by half. It was a very interesting exercise; now I have just the best. The general cooking, spice, vegetable and fruit books are on a shelf in the kitchen. I have a lot of vegetable books. The reference (Time Life Good Cook and Foods of the World), world (heavily Italian), baking, preserving, and books about food occupy one bookcase in addition to the main shelf. I am a baker, and I cut myself down to one shelf, mostly Maida Heatter and pie tomes. It makes me really happy just to look at them.
  10. I bought and read this book -- and it's terrific! I am wondering anyone has any other recommendations for culinary history books . . .
  11. Welcome back to the light, Hummingbirdkiss! I haven't made a black cake in several years, so that I could try some other fruitcake recipes. I've changed up my holiday baking. Now I bake cookies on Christmas Eve rather than before, that's been very fun! Always a new recipe rather than the same old ones. You'll have to tell me how you got them baked in the jars in the first place, and how you get them out, but I think steaming them in cheesecloth like a plum pudding. How about a picture? I think I have a list at home of all the things to do with the fruit that I've collected over the y
  12. While I agree that the article is cranky, I don't disagree much. I think there's a current culture around food and cooking that is rather odd and is reflected in the plethora of cookbooks available. The man-cooking reminds me of the 80's man-painting -- taking a talent that was once considered over-detailed and female and dismissable and raising it by virtue of masculinizing it. Which is a rank simplification, I know. I doubt that many people who buy cookbooks actually cook from them or consider them in a critical fashion. Those of us in the modern book business have a lot to be cranky
  13. Thank you both! I realized after I wrote this that I could do two two-layer cakes more easily, which is much more practical than a four-layer cake . . . I will take it that it does not shock you to age an iced cake, so I'll give it a whirl this Christmas. I have not made you Fruited Cocoa Cake, Andiesenji -- I will, though, I promise. I did make the Old Foodie's Chocolate Alcohol Cake one year! It's been a while since I've done a chocolate one. That is a really cool cake tin, so high, and the little handle rocks.
  14. I've found a recipe that I'd really like to try and before I commit to it, I'd like a reality check. This is an aged Christmas cake, not a fruit cake, but a nut cake -- I've made a similar cake from a Craig Claiborne recipe found in Moira Hodgson's fruit cake book. It had black walnut and candied ginger and was superb. This one is unusual in that you make 4 cake layers, ice them and then age this cake for four days. The part that gets me is "airtight container". How do you put a four layer cake in an airtight container? A Rubbermaid storage container? The recipe comes from a silly Ch
  15. What about one of those recipes that you roll the dough into balls and put it in the pan, like a monkey bread, so that it is very easy to pull apart?
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