Gadget Love: The Johnson Temperature Controller

A friend of mine gave me a chest freezer recently and I augmented it with a handy gizmo, a Johnson temperature controller. The temperature controller allows me to run the freezer at any temperature between 30 and 80ºF. It works by cycling on and off the power to the freezer as needed. You just stick the copper probe in the freezer and adjust the dial to the desired temperature. So far I’ve thought of the following uses: Proof bread overn...

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Shibori Challenge Proves Challenging

...igo available, but if you want to make your life hard–and smelly–like me–you will want to make a natural, old-fashioned fermenting vat. Out of stale urine. Yep. There’s also one made out of ammonia and bread yeast which might smell a little better. A very little. But whichever I choose it will take a little while to get the ferment going, and if we choose urine, it will take a while to collect all that urine. So it will be...

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A DIY Whole House Fan

Our DIY whole house fan. How hot is our unairconditioned, uninsulated old house? Kelly has temporarily banned bread baking and I’m thinking of opening my own Bikram hot yoga franchise. But seriously, a few summers ago I decided to install a whole house fan. What’s a whole house fan? It’s a large fan, mounted in the ceiling, that pushes hot air into the attic while simultaneously drawing cool air in from the outside. Yo...

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California Homemade Food Act in Trouble

UPDATE:Good news! Governor Brown signed the bill into law yesterday, September 21, 2012. The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616 would make it legal to produce non-hazardous foods such as bread and jams in a home kitchen and sell them. The bill is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature. Unfortunately, the bill is under attack by lobbyists who want to stop entrepreneurial opportunities for small businesses. The League of...

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Pure Vegan

...recipes in this book just happen to be vegan. What you will find are some of my favorite ethnic foods: a nut mixture called Dukkah and roasted red pepper paste from Armenia called muhammarah. There’s also an idiot proof bread recipe that I teach at the Institute for Domestic Technology that Shuldiner runs. And, do I need to mention the vegan cocktails? Full disclosure: Kelly and I helped test a few of the recipes in this book. Neither of us...

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Scrambled Eggs, Tomatoes and Bulgar

...ood. I think it will be going on regular rotation. The description says it was served in taverns throughout Turkey and Armenia early this century. I like to imagine sitting in a shadowy cool tavern eating this with fresh flat bread and drinking a cool beer. It’s basically a simple scramble made substantial with bulgar wheat (aka burghul). See notes below for more on this ingredient. Havgtov Tzavar (burghul with eggs) 1 onion, finely chopped...

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Sonora Wheat at the Huasna Valley Farm

...te, particularly their informative newsletters. Sustainablegrains.org has a Sonora Wheat tortilla recipe. Slow Food USA has a page on the history of Sonora wheat. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, join the Los Angeles Bread Bakers to participate in farm visits, baking classes and oven building sessions. And a special thanks to LABB member Joseph Shuldiner for arranging this trip!...

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Our favorite way to cook zucchini

It’s that time of year again. Put aside those zucchini bread recipes and try this instead. This recipe–or technique, rather– sounds too simple to be good, but it really works. As one friend said of the dish, “It tastes like there’s a lot going on, but there’s not.” All you’ve got to do is shred your zucchini up on the large holes of your kitchen grater. Saute the shreds in an uncovered s...

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