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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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  1. Oven spring

    High altitude baking requires adjustments in several categories. First, leavening (yeast, baking powder/soda) should be reduced. I have lived (and currently do live) at 7200 feet for most of my adult life. A recipe may call for 1 tsp. baking soda, but when you adjust for altitude (at 7200) this becomes 1/4 tsp, a pretty significant difference. Same thing with yeast--cut back by 25% and see how your bread turns out. Salt inhibits yeast, so I've doubled the amount for my bread. The reason you want to do this is exactly what MelissaH said--lower air pressure lets the bread rise faster, so you need less yeast. Also, because higher altitude usually translate to dry conditions, you may need extra water or other liquid. I'm mostly a bread baker, but when I make banana bread, for instance, I've learned to read the chart for how much to cut back on leavening. I haven't made a cake in about a century, but I often do quick breads or pies. Obviously you can disregard all of this if you're making a pie. Hope this helps. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  2. Drowning in Figs!

    The problem I'm having now--and I hesitate to call it a problem--is that I have too many ideas. I may have to ask Alicia to bring me more figs so I can try out all these great possibilites. The jury is still out about fig leather, mostly because my oven is too old and too imprecise to maintain at 140F. So I'm turning the oven on and off and hoping that sooner or later I'll get something resembling a fruit leather. Smells great, though. I have some figs macerating in vodka for fig liqueur, and I've given away quite a few, so now I'm down to the last 2 or 3 pounds. I'll make fig scones, and then I'll see what I have left. There's always more jam. If Alicia brings me more figs on Tuesday I'll definitely try out the pastes and purees that have been recommended. Right now our major problem is that we've adopted an abandoned puppy that seems to be mostly Belgian Mallinois, a common breed around here, and she's keeping us busy most of the time to keep her from eating the plants and our shoes. Fortunately she's very smart and has been easy to train. Not sure about the chewing and biting part, though. Only 3 months old--yikes. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  3. Drowning in Figs!

    Love it! Seems like a very happy fig pig! Or is it pig fig? N. in P.
  4. Drowning in Figs!

    Oh yeah--I've got the figs, I've got the vodka, and the recipe sounds easy and delicious. I think that will do nicely with the ripest figs that need to be used soon. That and fig leather. Great idea! N. in P.
  5. Drowning in Figs!

    Wow--great ideas everyone. Fig leather--hmm. I like that idea. Got a recipe or technique to share? These figs are mostly green with a few brown ones. I've always heard the green ones called "white" but that could definitely be incorrect. They have a milder taste than the brown ones, but they made some darned good jam last week, and I could make more if only I had more jars. I could probably scare up 3 or 4 but they would barely make a dent in this mountain of figs. I'm going to investigate making fig leather from the ripest ones first. My Spanish teacher has 5 trees so she has a surplus. She says the over-ripe ones fall off the trees and her dogs love them. They'll start showing up in the mercado now, but I will not be buying any! Thanks for the good ideas. I'm always up for more, though. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  6. Drowning in Figs!

    My Spanish teacher showed up today with a huge basket of white figs, in addition to the 7 pounds she gave me last week. I made 8 jars of jam, using up all my spare jars, so I need new ideas of what to do with what appears to be about 10 pounds of fruit. I hope you can help, and quickly--they're very ripe and I will have to do something with them in the next day or two. My teacher mentioned empanadas and bread, which are fine, but I'm looking for something that will use up most (or all) of them. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. I've never had this kind of problem before--a nice problem, to be sure, but a problem nontheless. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  7. Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    I hesitate to say this, but has anyone tried peanut butter and mayonnaise? Nancy in Patzcuaro
  8. A Paean to Pears

    I am especially fond of Marcella Hazan's recipe for A Farm Wife's Fresh Pear Tart (p. 589 of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking). I've made it so many times that the book falls open to that page. I have added a tsp. of almond extract to the recipe and I sometimes make it with a streusel topping that includes pine nuts. It's a big favorite at potlucks. I used Anjou pears when I couldn't get Boscs, which I thought were better for the recipe. At one time I had a recipe for Pear Honey that included lime rind as one of the ingredients. Alas, I no longer have that recipe, but if anyone else knows anything like that I'd appreciate hearing from you. It was a superb way to use up a load of pears if you were prepared to process the jars. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  9. The Okra With The Fringe On Top

    Those look like the same things you find on squash blossoms. The green sepals enclose the bud and protect it somewhat from insects or climatic events, and the opening flower pushes through the sepals. By the time you get to mature okra they have withered away to almost nothing, poor little things. So they're just the end result of the process, in a kind of a way, from green bud to mature fruit--useful at the beginning but not necessary at the end. By the way, I'm not an okra fan except in gumbo. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  10. Source for whole milk powder

    Thanks for those very helpful links. I also use a bread machine on the dough setting but I like the idea of putting the dough in what I assume is a large plastic bag to allow for expansion when rising and letting it rest in the fridge. I'm going to try this the next time I make bread, which will be soon. Normally I make half and half whole wheat and white flour but this time I'm going to use all white bread flour and make that recipe. N. in P.
  11. Yikes! An avocado for $1.69?

    Here in Pátzcuaro avocado prices rise and fall depending on the harvest. Right now I saw 30 pesos a kilo, which is high, but we are between major harvests and thus the price rises. Basic economics-- supply and demand. I do remember the first time we went back to the US and I came home from the store and said to my husband--"Avocados are a dollar apiece!" Apparently those were the days. But there is no substitute for avocado, and so we pay. th
  12. Source for whole milk powder

    How did you use milk powder in bread baking? Did you add the powder to the dry ingredients, and if so, how much? I've always baked my own bread and would definitely like to be able to keep it fresher longer. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  13. Source for whole milk powder

    Many people here in Pátzcuaro use Nido powdered milk as a substitute for coffee creamer. Bear in mind that there are several forms, generally made for children, so be sure you're buying whole milk powder. I add it to the milk when I make yogurt. The next time we're in the US I'll look for it at Walmart. It's a good product and it comes in a variety of sizes. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  14. Aquafaba, anyone?

    Excellent! Thanks very much for those links. Lots of good info and I think an answer to my question about freezing aquafaba. So when I drain the liquid from the garbanzos just now finishing up on the stove I will freeze most of the liquid except for the amount I'll refrigerate for my pisco sour experiment. N. in P.
  15. Aquafaba, anyone?

    Not sure if this is the correct forum--perhaps "Beverages and Libations" would be more appropriate. I am interested in using aquafaba as a substitute for raw egg whites in a pisco sour. I know how to make it, though I tend to cook my own beans rather than using canned ones. My question is, can aquafaba be frozen and still whip up like an egg white? It doesn't last very long in the fridge, I know, so I'd like to stockpile it a little for future use. I'm cooking garbanzos right now and I know not to pour the liquid down the drain. And if anyone has any tips for using it in other applications please let me know. Nancy in Pátzcuaro