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Everything posted by andiesenji

  1. I always made larger batches 4 - 6 large loaves 10 small loaves and I used the hook to mix everything EXCEPT THE YEAST because I used hotter water - 150° F. after everything was mixed thoroughly, I removed the hook and allowed it to "rest" for about 45 minutes. (Apparently I was using the "autolyse" method only I never heard about it as that name, it was just something I learned sometime in the past) I then installed the roller/scraper with the roller about an inch from the side - mine locked down with some effort - SPRINKLED THE YEAST OVER THE TOP OF THE DOUGH. Starte the mixer and left it to do the FIRST KNEAD for 30 minutes. I let the dough rest and rise - depending on the ambient temp - for 30 minutes to an hour. My kitchen is cold in the winter so longer. Then set to knead for another 30 minutes. Then turned out onto the bench, scaled to the weight for each loaf, left on the bench, floured and covered with a cloth for 30 minutes then into the pan for a final rise and into the oven. If making baguettes I shaped them, set them in a couche for the final rise. (I bought the raw linen several yards at a time and cut to the length I wanted) This gave me consistent results every time.
  2. I wish my health permitted me to attend. I am also unable to drive for the length of time it requires. It sound like it would be great fun.
  3. Wow! I could never live with a 7' ceiling in a home. I tolerated one when I lived 50% of the time in my big motorhome for three years but couldn't handle it now. I am very claustrophobic. I have a lot of cookware hanging from the ceiling in my pantry, which makes it very handy to just reach up and grab the skillet or pot that I need. People have come up with very clever storage solutions for all kinds of things that look like fine furniture. One of my neighbors has a galley type kitchen with a door in one end wall and at the other end a door into a side wall that opens into the dining room part of their family room. Just outside this door on the common wall is a repurposed '50s or '60s entertainment console- the kind that held a TV, record player and radio with built-in speakers. He gutted the inside, installed the pre-fab roll-out drawers where all of the pots, pans and two or three small appliances are stored. He got some IKEA wall shelving units but attached them to the top of the console leaving an open space in the center and the shelves hold China and glassware. The center open space has big platters mounted on the wall in brackets. Everything is handy to the kitchen and to the dining table. It is very attractive and looks like a sideboard even with the cloth sections where the speakers used to be. Those older consoles are deeper than the later ones because the TV tubes were huge.
  4. andiesenji


    I used a Bron for 30+ years, replaced the blade a couple of times. Then I passed it on to another eG member when I bought a new de Buyer that was easier on my aging joints with the horizontal action. Now I don't use it all because I no longer make candied ginger in 15 pound batches or slice the big bags of Costco onion to make onion confit in huge batches. And I haven't made pickles in 20 quart batches and etc., etc., etc. It lives in its own hard case that holds the extra blades and the regular guard in a large storage bag with an extra long guard, hanging in my storeroom. I keep meaning to put it on ebay but never seem to get around to it. Found this. I have more photos but not sure where right now.
  5. Storing roots of all kinds in sand is an old technique. I grew up on a farm and we had barrels of sand in the cellar where root vegetables were stored for months. My grandparent's cook stored ginger in sand, that I think came from Florida when I was a child in the 1940s and it came in a wooden crate packed in sand on the train with crates of fruit and melons. I just always thought that was the way to store it.
  6. I have a crock, in which I keep some sand and I store ginger in the sand which gets a couple of drops of water from time to time. (It's washed "sharp" sand) The ginger may sprout after awhile but it stays fresher than way than any other. I also store fresh galangal and turmeric in the crock.
  7. I have some microplanes from their first kitchen appearance - purchased in an independent hardware store that also supplied artists that worked in wood. I was told by the owner of the store to occasionally "dress" them with very fine sandpaper NOT AGAINST the cutting surface but along it, followed by a few strokes with crocus cloth. They are as sharp today as they were in 1991.
  8. I prefer a malty assam paired with ginger. if I have fresh ginger I slice off a piece about the size of a dime, chop and put it in with the leaves. Or I plunk a piece of crystalized or candied ginger into the bottom of the cup and pour in the brewed tea. My great grandmother often drank tea that way and she attributed her very long life to drinking tea daily and she varied it throughout the day and evening. She liked green tea with ginger in the mornings.
  9. This was popular with my clients when I was catering. Triple Gingerbread Ingredients 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 Tablespoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 2 teaspoons ground ginger 3/4 teaspoon salt ______ 1 1/2 Cups sugar 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger 1/2 cup chopped Crystallized ginger 1 Cup vegetable oil 1 Cup unsulfured pure cane syrup or (Lyle’s Golden syrup) 1/2 Cup water 2 large eggs Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 9 x 13 baking pan line bottom and sides with parchment Sift first 7 ingredients into medium bowl. Combine sugar, oil, molasses, water, eggs, and fresh ginger in large bowl; Mix in crystallized ginger. Stir in dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 1 hour (cake may fall in center). Turn cake out on wire rack and then back onto serving board or platter. Sift a light dusting of XXXXX sugar over the top. Use a paper doily to make a pattern. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving).
  10. Candied or Crystallized Ginger I used to make this in very large batches, I used an electric roaster, one that had belonged to my grandmother, purchased in the late '40s and the only change was a new power cord replaced in the late '80s. Following is my recipe for candied ginger. It took me years to develop this method I know it seems long and complicated but that is because I went into some details because not everyone has some of the knowledge. The real "secret" is the steaming of the sliced MATURE ginger to get it tender enough to make it palatable. I know it seems long and complicated, but the end result makes up for the time expended. It is the steaming that makes all the difference. I have a large couscouserie that allows me to steam big batches at a time, but anything, even small stacked bamboo steamers work just fine. I use it in cooking a great deal. Apricot/Ginger scones are a favorite. I also make ginger ice cream – 1/2 cup of finely chopped ginger added to a regular batch of vanilla – I actually simmer it in the milk/cream mixture for a few minutes. You can also use the syrup in which the ginger is cooked, in or over ice cream, in fruit salads. I beat it into sour cream (Daisy or Alta-Dena because they are thicker) to make a dipping sauce for strawberries. Sweetened sour cream is so much more flavorful than whipped cream in my estimation. The contrasting flavors are superb. It is also a lovely addition to marinades for chicken, duck, pork and lamb. I am not going to give exact amounts for the ginger because you may wish to begin with a small amount and work up to larger quantities once you learn how easy it is to produce a delicacy that is far superior to any commercially produced product. Ingredients to begin: Fresh Ginger root, sugar, water and 7-Up or similar citrus soda or you can add citric acid to the water (1 teaspoon per quart) to make it acidulated. General preparation: You will need a way to slice the ginger. A sharp knife is o.k. for small batches. For larger batches use a V-slicer or mandolin or other method, see below. Also you will need a steamer, and you should have a crock pot (preferred method) or an enamel, glass or stainless steel cook pot. You will need a wire rack on which to drain the candied ginger and allow it to dry – this may take up to 3 days depending on humidity. Choose roots that are fairly large as they are easier to peel. Break off all the smaller “buds” and store in a plastic bag in the fridge – these can be used for pastes, grated, etc. Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler or you can use the rounded end of a spoon and scrape the skin off. Blanching will make this even easier. Drop the root sections into a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 7-Up or similar citrus beverage or acidulated water until you have all the pieces peeled. If you have a mandolin or other adjustable slicer, set it to 1/8 inch and slice all the pieces, CROSSWISE or on a diagonal to obtain the largest slices possible (You can also use a rotary slicer, powered or hand-held, use the medium attachment or use a slicing blade on a food processor). However you want to be sure that you cut across the fibers that run lengthwise in the rhizomes. Return the slices to the liquid until you are finished slicing all the ginger and are ready to proceed to the next step. Drain the ginger and make stacks of the slices and place the slices on edge in a perforated steamer tray or flat colander so the bottom is solidly covered – then do the same with a second layer and a third if necessary. If there are a few loose slices on top they may lay flat. Place the steamer over simmering water, cover and steam for 30 to 40 minutes – or until the ginger is quite tender. Older, larger, more fibrous roots may require an additional 10 to 20 minutes. (This is the “secret” of tender, moist candied ginger which is ideal for eating, cooking, baking). Remove a slice from the steamer, allow it to cool a bit and “taste” it, that is, bite into it to see if it is tender. If it resists, steam it some more. In a crockpot prepare a “light” simple syrup. For each cup of sliced ginger you will need 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cups sugar. (Regular simple syrup is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, i.e., 2 cups sugar dissolved in 1 cup water) If you do not have a crockpot or slow-cooker, be prepared to keep an eye on the ginger to make sure the liquid does not boil away and there is enough liquid to cover the ginger. Bring the sugar/water mixture to a boil – crockpot set on high. Add the ginger, when the liquid again comes to a boil, reduce heat to “Low” then cover and allow to simmer gently for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally and adding additional “syrup” if needed to keep ginger covered. Note: If you are cooking on a stovetop, you may turn it off, leave at room temperature (covered) and resume cooking later. It is the total time of cooking that counts. After 6 hours, remove a couple of slices, allow to drain and cool completely – the ginger will be very sticky at this point. Taste and test the tenderness. The ginger should be very tender and slightly translucent, if it is still a bit too “al dente” or it is totally opaque, continue simmering – test again after an additional 2 to 4 hours. (Note that if you run short on time at any point in the process, you can turn off the heat and allow the ginger slices to steep in the syrup for a couple of days. There is no need to refrigerate. When ready to resume just bring the syrup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and finish cooking.) Allow to cool for 30 to 40 minutes, it should still be warm but not hot enough to burn. Using a skimmer or tongs, remove the slices from syrup and place on a wire rack over a tray or sheet pan so the slices do not overlap. Strain the remaining syrup into a jar and save. This is now ginger flavored and may be used in cooking, in drinks, fruit salads, etc. Allow the ginger slices to dry on the rack until just “tacky” – it should feel just slightly tacky but should not stick to a finger pressed onto a slice then lifted. Place 1/2 cup of regular granulated sugar (or the coarser sanding sugar if you can find it) into a shallow 1 quart covered plastic container. (Tupperware, Rubbermaid, etc.) Drop several ginger slices into the container, cover and shake to be sure the slices are well sugared. Place on a clean rack. Continue until all the slices have been sugared, adding more sugar as needed. Leave the slices on the rack overnight, depending on humidity. If you are in an area of high humidity, you may want to use a fan to speed up the final drying time. If you have a dehydrator use it, or you can use your oven if you have one with a standing pilot light. Test by squeezing 2 slices together. If they do not stick together you may now place them in airtight containers (screw or snap-top glass jars, food storage containers – do not use re-closable plastic bags). Ginger prepared in this manner will keep indefinitely. If it does dry out after a time, do not discard, simply chop finely and use in cooking or baking. Or you can dry it in a very low oven and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. I prepare candied ginger in very large amounts and cook it in a 40-year-old Westinghouse electric roaster. For smaller batches I use a 6 quart crockpot. One of my neighbors uses a 2-quart crockpot to cook 1 or 2 cups of ginger. A friend who has a 1950s electric stove uses the “deep-well” cooker built into that stove. You may find something else that works for you. The trick is the long, slow simmering and of course the initial steaming which tenderizes the ginger without extracting too much of the flavor which happens with parboiling, which is the usual process. You can use the ginger syrup in many ways, including candying fruit or citrus peel and if cooked long enough, to the hard crack stage, make hard candies which can be tinted with food coloring, dropped by teaspoon onto a Silpat sheet to make candy “drops.”
  11. Quite a few years ago I posted my method of making candied or crystallized ginger. I grew my own because here in the California high desert we have a very long growing season and with sufficient mulching, with more than a foot of straw topped by a tarp to protect against too much water during the winter rainy season, it can be overwintered in the ground. I don't cook as much as I used to because of age and infirmity but I still make small batches of the ginger from rhizomes purchased at a local Asian market, which has much larger pieces. An odd coincidence, today I am preparing a carrot ginger soup. I grated the ginger last evening and prepped the carrots before I sat down at the computer.
  12. I have, from time to time when necessary, achieved a bit of char with my big blowtorch. Not so much on pita, but on large flatbreads that can go from perfect to ash in seconds under a gas broiler.
  13. I loosely blend half sour cream and half cream cheese with a package of onion soup mix the day prior; then I set it out next morning, so it softenes and gets to room temp because the flavor is more pronounced than when it is cold. When it has softened, I beat it with a mixer until it is quite soft and fluffy. (And won't cause fragile chips to break.) I often use it in a casserole with very mild sausage and apples - 1/2 an envelope to 12 ounces of sausage and 3 cups roughly chopped apples.
  14. Long before Gordon Ramsay appeared on the scene, a friend who had been a chef at the Huntington Hotel for many years, prepared the Escoffier eggs for me one morning when I stopped by to pick him up when we were going on a "wild edibles" walk with one of the Indian tour people (also before the "Native American" label was adopted.) I told him that they were quite nice but I still thought mine were better, as I had learned from my grandmother's cook ten years before. What I really wanted to know was how he prepared the Melba toast that was so perfect. I didn't learn that until 20 years later when he retired... but by that time, he had adopted my method of preparing scrambled eggs but only at home.
  15. I bake pan breads to 210° and bang them out of the pans as soon as they come out of the oven because I have found that heat persists for LESS time than open-baked loaves with THICKER crusts. I bake "open" loaves on sheet pans or baking stones to 200° because (measured with probes left in the loaves) because the thicker crusts retains heat longer. I learned that in baking school (Dunwoodie) in 1956 and nothing has changed since then as far as I know. And we didn't have digital thermometers with probes back then.
  16. I check the online prices which can vary from week to week or even day to day. I buy mostly Large white eggs in 18 or 36 (1 or 2 cartons) Today's prices are higher. The last time I shopped for eggs, January 15, The price was less: $1.91 a DOZEN. And before that, on November 26, this was the price: LAST SPRING, MARCH 30, the same eggs were $5.86 for two dozen, $2.93 a dozen. That is because hens lay less during certain seasons, even with the artificial day length lighting. I occasionally buy the JUMBO eggs because every 3 months or so, Walmart has them at a "sale" price which is hard to resist. This was in September.
  17. I collected odd kitchen stuff, vintage appliances & cookbooks for 40 years. I have a large storage unit 15' x 40' stuffed full. and two of my 4 bedrooms filled with boxes of books and metal shelving holding many of these things which I am selling, little by little on ebay. I can't do a lot of this work at once so the last couple of years just a little at a time.
  18. We have Winco markets that carry MANY BULK GRAINS AND ETC., Before they opened, I used to go to a Co-Op in Mojave after I moved up here. Before that I shopped at a Co-Op store in Sun Valley, CA in the Valley. WinCo Foods, Inc. is a privately held, majority employee-owned American supermarket chain based in Boise, Idaho with retail stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
  19. Some of the grains or seeds that were hard, had to be steamed and dried first. I can't find the instructions, but that was how they said to prepare hard winter wheat, "shoe peg" corn, buckwheat and sorghum.
  20. I have a "vintage" "Wheat KRINKLER" that is hand-cranked. I got it sometime in the '80s so I could make "flaked" or "krinkled" barley, soft red wheat, buckwheat, and etc. An ad for it appeared in Popular Mechanics in December 1932. This was made in the 1930s but it was in very good condition when I found it at a farm auction in Bakersfield, CA.
  21. "Botulism suspected in Argentina, confirmed in Iceland" Item a brand of PICKLED WILD BOAR
  22. I no longer have an InstaPot, gave it away because the 8qt was too large for me. However, I still have the 6qt FAGOR Multi-Cooker that I have owned for a few years before the IP appeared and I use it often. I cook dried beans of all types in it all the time - no need to soak them ahead of time and I cook them longer than the recommended time because that is the way I prefer them, so if they aren't to you taste, just reset the cooker and put them through another cycle of 1/4 or 1/2 the time. I buy frozen whole chickens when they are on sale - 2 in a bag - and separate them and freeze them separately. I put one in the fridge and let it thaw for a day or so, until I can get the bag of stuff out of the cavity. I put it into the Fagor, even is still partially frozen, with some seasoning and a cup of water. I set it on high pressure for 50 to 60 minutes, depending on size. I remove the chicken, take all the meat off the bones and refrigerate. I put the bones back into the pot along with celery, carrots and onions and another cup or two of water, depending on how much came out of the chicken. if there is less than an inch, 2 cups. I reset to low pressure and set the time for 40 minutes. when finished, I let it cool some then set a sieve over a container, dump the contents into the sieve, press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Easy chicken stock.
  23. Yesterday's loaf. Three pound Pumpernickel Rye loaf. 30% Bread flour, 40% Dark Rye flour, 15% Pumpernickel flour, 15% Caraway seeds, Ground Caraway, Hemp seeds. Sugar (1 cup), Salt, Yeast, Water. Plus poolish. Poolish was started on Sunday, 24 hours at room temp then into the fridge, refrushed with 1/4 cup of flour yesterday morning. I went off to see cardiologist, home at 2. Had already measured all dry ingredients into a container, except for the yeast and salt. Put water, poolish, dry ingredients into bread machine, turned on and it mixed and kneaded thru first cycle. Stopped it, reset to start but left it off for 40 minutes autolyse. Restarted and added salt, waited a couple of minutes for it to work in and added the yeast. After last brief "knock down" I removed dough from machine and removed paddles, shaped slightly and replaced iin machine and let it finish rise and bake. I'm very pleased with the result. I doubled the amount of sugar I usually use and note that the moisture is better, the structure of the crumb is more even but it does not taste very sweet and I believe that is due to the flavor of the ground caraway plus the whole caraway which does have a bitter component. In any event, the flavor is very good, better than other loaves I have made with a higher percentage of pumpernickel.
  24. andiesenji

    Breakfast 2020!

    We need a YUM emoji! Like this one.
  25. 1. Warm cornbread slathered with butter. 2. Dark roast coffee with cream and sugar. 3. Toasted yeast bread slathered with butter. 4. Crisp Bacon 5. Ripe, warm tomato, freshly picked. 6. Bread pudding, very eggy with cream, sugar and sweet spices. 7. Crisp, brown chicken skin. 8. Pork carnitas. 9. Candied ginger. 10. Rose's Lime Marmalade.
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