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Just loafing

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  1. It's just my husband and I, but we try to have one "Sunday" dinner a week, although it's not always Sunday. For years, when we had a corner store open seven days a week until 8 p.m., we had our proper dinner on Saturday because neither of us had to get up early (7:30 a.m. for me, instead of 6 a.m.) Sunday morning. This week past, it was Thursday for John's birthday.
  2. For cheap? Benchers ... those wide scrapers in either plastic or metal ... or both. Well, yes, both, because a plastic one won't do what the metal ones will. Parchment paper. Tongs ... the more the better to hang on the oven door handle. A mandolin ... my Zyliss one is now in my place of work because in the situation it's way better than the elderly Berkel.
  3. Okay, I sold a two-pound, 100% whole-grain, spelt sourdough (the sourdough starter also 100% whole-grain spelt), for $5.90 Canadian. I justified this price that regular flour cost me about $17 for 20 kg; organic flour was about $35 per 20 kg and spelt and Kamut was around $65 per 20 kg. So 21 pounds ... in Canadian dollars these day about $15 for a loaf of bread, does seems rather pricey. I would put my spelt up against anyone's any day,for the price I was charging.
  4. Really dating myself, but is the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course restaurant still there? Or the little pub in the strip mall across from the driveway to the golf course.
  5. Parchment paper ... it might not be "cheap" to buy, but it's worth every penny in mess prevention.
  6. My whole-wheat bread was all whole-wheat flour, but had a fair amount of yeast, canola oil and molasses. Sometimes I would add some orange juice or lemon juice. It wasn't as "fluffy" as our white stuff, but it wasn't dense. I think the difference was we made it with a 30-qt Hobart mixer so the gluten development was adequate. That's much more difficult to do by hand or with a small mixer.
  7. I'd say try to find a bread labelled "100% whole wheat." A baker who is proud of the product will be out to brag that it's all whole wheat. Or at least that's what I thought. My whole-wheat was all whole-wheat flour. Our lighter 60% whole wheat was clearly labelled thus. And we never tried to pretend that the multi-grain didn't have white flour.
  8. I used margarine instead of butter in almost all baking ... unless the customer specifically asked for butter. Or for high-end shortbread. At home I use a 50-50 butter-margarine mix. Hardly ever no-salt butter.
  9. I did a really good dish with frozen beans in the wok. Had a sweet and sour or a soy sauce/honey/hot sauce mix that I added for long enough for the beans to thaw. You're right ... frozen veg don't need cooking. When I do creamed corn, the frozen corn goes right in and doesn't need much time in the bechamel.
  10. You would know if you tried to eat "cow corn." Only did so once, when an old uncle bought some "really cheap" corn ... tough, strong-tasting, not at all palatable. No wonder Europeans think we are nuts for eating corn on the cob since all they grow is cow corn. When we still had Canadian Forces bases in Germany, the PX would contract with a local farmer to grow sweet corn to sell to service families. Edited to add: Most of the corn we get here in coastal B.C. is the increasingly sweet bi-color varieties, but once in awhile one can find yellow corn, which I like for a change ... it has a more "corny" taste which is how corn used to be.
  11. I prefer cooking with canned tomatoes, sauce and paste ... so much more convenient and often way more flavor unless good tomatoes are available. Can't say I prefer any other veg canned, especially not peas or beans. Canned corn is marginal, especially now that low sodium is available, but since I learned how easy it is to make creamed corn, I don't buy canned. My ex preferred canned peas to frozen and when I railed that canned peas bore so little resemblence to the real thing that they might as well be a different species, his reply was simply he knew that and he preferred the canned one.
  12. My mom, who was sensitive to both laundry and dish soap, used a product called NutriClean from the Nutrimetics company (used to be owned by Con-Stan, but is now part of Sara Lee, apparently). It was pure and natural before it was fashionable. Still available through home-based distributors and there is a website. NutriClean isn't cheap, but it can be used for cleaning anything except laundry ... there was a laundry product which was safe for septic ... we were on the farm. Somebody asked about products used by food industry ... there are lots that are "food-safe," but aren't necessarily easy on the hands or nose. I used President's Choice heavy-duty dish detergent in my bakery and where I'm working now uses the dark-green Palmolive.
  13. Can your children have spelt or Kamut? They are ancient grains in the wheat family, but many people who are sensitive to wheat can do one or both of these grains. In flavor, they are both more like rye. I did them both as soudoughs for five years commercially, using a 100 per cent starter of each. The spelt starter came with the business when I bought it, but I started the Kamut myself, by mixing Kamut flour and water and feeding it twice a day while it sat out at room temperature ... took just a few days. My dough was starter, flour, water and a little bit of salt ... no yeast, dairy, sugar or eggs. The breads are dense, but they aren't crumbly. We made muffins using spelt flour ... no special recipes, the only difference was most needed more flour. And we did pizza crusts with both spelt and Kamut. There's a bakery in Vancouver which uses nothing but spelt and makes everything including french pastries. (They do use white spelt however.) Spelt and Kamut flours are expensive ... they are invariably organic, along with there being relatively fewer acres grown. I paid twice as much for organic white and whole-wheat flours as non-O flours and spelt and Kamut were twice as much again. But, I did charge nearly $6 a loaf and sold lots a week.
  14. Lettuce turns to mush in my frig ... and bits of leftover cheese become fuzzy and/or petrified. But in reply to a question a few entries up ... sure, if it isn't too far gone, lettuce can be made into vegetable stock or added to other stocks that you might be making, (of course, then the stock will be taking up space), along with other wilting veg. But not broccoli or anything strong such as that ... once tried throwing the broccoli trim into stock and it was ugly! Actually, I think it's good if the stock makes it to the freezer ... I'm inclined to leave it lingering in the frig until I have to go an a trawl for what's causing the funky smell.
  15. I have a small collection of Pyrex dishes, but my most treasured "old" thing is a cast-iron something or other ... it's a handled pot, about six inches deep, no lid, but it might have had at some time. I use it as a roasting pan, if I'm doing a largish roast. It came from my mother-in-law's kitchen and I used it there if I were doing a dinner. (She wasn't a cook and in her latter years, which was when I knew her, if I didn't cook at her place, she sent us out for Kentucky Fried Chicken or fish and chips.) I joked with her that I wanted her to leave me that pot in her will, and after she had moved to a care home and we were clearing out some cupboards for a tenant to move in, I found the pot. In it was a note ... "This is for Susan," obviously written when she was having a more lucid moment and looking around her home. I don't have the note, but I still use, and cherish, the pot.
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