Home cooking advice?

...te all those over-the-top cooking shows they put on TV, good food can be very basic. A pot of soup and a hunk of bread. Done. Fiddlesticks to side dishes, much less courses. 2) Always make double batches if you can, then either freeze the other half for an easy meal down the road, or eat the leftovers for lunch, breakfast, dinner. 3) Shop with a list. Plan your meals for the week. It doesn’t have to be a tight plan, but maybe just a list of...

Continue reading…

How to Make Soba Noodles

...mer. Made of buckwheat, soba is gluten free, though beginners start with some all purpose flour added in to make it easier to roll out. Sakai has a couple of soba recipes on her website. There’s a basic one here that includes a nice series of photos showing the steps you go through to roll it out and cut it. She also has a beautiful soba recipe using matcha here. Buckwheat flour for making soba is available in any Japanese market. The authe...

Continue reading…

Bread Class and Lunch at Jennie Cooks Catering

I’m going to be teaching a rye bread class and demonstrating how to create a sourdough starter at Jennie Cooks Catering on Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 pm. The class comes with lunch (and Jennie is an amazing chef). To enroll email or call Jennie Cook to reserve your spot: [email protected] (323) 982-0052 CLASS #1 – THE BREAD BASKET Guest Teacher: Erik Knutzen, Root Simple On the Syllabus: The Secrets of So...

Continue reading…

Virtuosic Bread Shaping

This video proves that to learn a skill one must repeat it 10,000 times. That was the advice of a chef friend when I asked her how she learned to shape pizzas. The bread being shaped here is called Markook, In Arabic, مرقوق، شراك. It’s a flatbread found throughout the Middle East (an Armenian friend who grew up in Lebanon told us about it). A casual Youtube search will reveal many different Markook shaping techniques. Here’s a pi...

Continue reading…

Passport to Survival

...ber pole sticks #90, cold milk.” “Monday dinner: green drink #73, emergency stew #20, noodles #27, bread sticks #38, criss-cross cookies #91.” Dickey slept outdoors into her 90s and passed away in 2008. From her obituary, “Nobody could say Esther had not practiced what she preached. As a young couple, Russell and Esther lived in a campground for more than two months, baking bread with a reflector oven. In her own east Mu...

Continue reading…

Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Recipe

...ng your sourdough starter bubble while geeking out on Cornell Professor Steven Laurence Kaplan’s book Good Bread is Back, which details the revival of sourdough bread making in France in the early 1990s. Kaplan notes that sourdough, “rises less than a dough made with baker’s yeast and also more slowly. Its crust is thicker. It keeps significantly longer. It has greater nutritional value, partly because it is richer in certain vi...

Continue reading…

Looking for the Union Label

...derwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here). We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company called Union House which carries a functional, if unexciting line of apparel. Unless hipsters take to golf shirts in an ironic fashion judo move, these offerings will never be cool like the domestically m...

Continue reading…

There Will Be Kraut Part II–Full Day Hands-On Fermentation Workshop at the Greystone Mansion

...Part II of the Institute of Domestic Technology’s Fermentation Fest begins with a lecture on Friday, April 26. The next day will feature a hands-on workshop. Here’s the description from the IDT’s website: Full-Day Hands-On Fermentation Workshop: $195 (Includes lunch, snacks and a take-home fermentation jar) Saturday,  April 27th, 10 ~ 4pm  |   Greystone Mansion Vintage Kitchen  (Beverly Hills) Sign up here. Our full-day fest...

Continue reading…

Harvesting and Drying Calendula

...a previous post I talked about growing Calendula. This post I’m going to talk about harvesting and drying it. The next post I’ll do on the topic will be about making a skin-healing salve from the dried petals, olive oil and beeswax. When to harvest:  Start harvesting your Calendula as soon as the first flush of flowers is in full bloom. Don’t try to “save” the flowers. The more you harvest, the more flowers each pl...

Continue reading…

Want to Make Bread? Get a Scale

...was up to 13% off when compared to a scale. The liquid measuring cup was even worse–26% off.  When baking bread, even 13% could be the difference between a decent loaf and a hockey puck. Surprisingly, measuring water wasn’t much better, even with the liquid cup, which was 10% off. The dry measuring cup was 23% off when measuring water. I’ve always felt a bit silly scaling water, but now I can see its importance. For bread bakin...

Continue reading…