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Fervet olla, vivit amicitia.

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The amazing incredible awesome fantastic potato.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan May 25. 10 Replies

Parmesan that's cheddar- and mozzarella-laced wood pulp

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Live longer, don't eat bacon and sausage

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Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jan 30. 12 Replies

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Comment by k.h. ky on September 13, 2015 at 9:16pm
I could live on homemade bread. I made it when I have was younger and more ambitious. Now the closest I come is some awesome homemade cornbread. I use sour cream in it and bake it Iin an iron skillet.
Comment by The Flying Atheist on September 13, 2015 at 9:10pm

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 13, 2015 at 9:05pm

Sourdough! Oh what a delight. I first learned how to make it from an Indian woman in Kenai, Alaska. I had her starter for years and it finally died when work, children, and laziness didn't keep it up. 

I started sourdough with potato water and mashed the potato into the water.The rest of the recipe is as I remember making it. There really isn't much you can do wrong. Alcohol forms at the top if you don't refresh it with flour and water to feed the bacteria that forms. There are several other recipes on the internet that look familiar.

Sourdough croutons are the best ever. Just cut the day-old bread into cubes, melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil and butter in a skillet. Coat the cubes with the oil then bake for 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Cool, serve on salads.

This is especially good if you chop up fresh sage, or parsley, or garlic, or whatever you like and sprinkle it over the bread cubes in the skillet, then bake. 

Cheese is also a nice addition to the cubes before baking. 

Comment by The Flying Atheist on September 13, 2015 at 8:59pm

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 13, 2015 at 8:17pm

Coffee! hot, black, strong, brewed in a French Press for four minutes, made fresh every cup. However, I am lazy so I make three cups and put two in a thermos. Then I add rich cream and honey. Old farm girl habits die hard.  

Comment by Daniel W on September 13, 2015 at 6:15pm

Sourdough #2

Here's how it came out. 

I did one loaf in a Pyrex breadloaf pain, and the other in a wider lower Pyrex food container.  Might have benefited from another 5 min in oven - very hard crust, softened up a bit.  Chewy, with a definite sourdough flavor.  Will need some fine tuning and experience, but happy with this first attempt.

I used bread flour.  Might be a little lighter with all  purpose flour.

Comment by Daniel W on September 13, 2015 at 11:42am

Coffee.
I did some internet research on percolators, then corresponded with my friend who used to work for "Seattle's Best Coffee" and is in touch with some coffee aficionados / is a coffee aficionado. He was most enthusiastic about using a French press. Using this device, it's a course grind, like percolator, and the grinds are in contact with the water for a long time, like a percolator. On the other hand, the water does not boil and coffee does not pass a heating element, which does happen with a percolator. So I decided on the French press. They were on sale at Fred Meyer - I wonder about the coincidence, so I bought one. It's good. Strong, somewhat turbid coffee with sediment on the bottom. I like that.

Not that a percolator isn't as good. We all have our own tastes. But I think I've found something I like.

Comment by Daniel W on September 13, 2015 at 11:27am

Sourdough.  Strangely connected to my path in atheist.  In my 20s, in college, I liked everything.  Then I took a course in "Food and Industrial Microbiology" and I was hooked for good.   Yogurt, yeast, other fermented foods, sourdough, composting, and other processes.  I was already atheist by then, but study of microbiology was intimately tied into study of molecular biology and evolution.  To me they were all interwoven.

Recently I decided to try again with sourdough.  I don't think I ever gave it a good try. For years, I made  my own bread.  Being cheap, I saved some of each batch of dough, to be the starter yeast for the next batch.  But that is yeast, and sourdough is bacteria or bacteria combined with yeast.

So here is the rising batter, which gets flour added to make the bread dough.  I used a mail order source for San Francisco sourdough.  The plan is to maintain the starter myself and not buy any more.


This is just 3 cups flour, 3 cups water - non chlorine, we are on a well, and the purchased starter. The flour should be unbleached. I combined yesterday, let sit all day, then in the evening scoped out 2 cups into a glass jar to refrigerate for future started, and again mixed 3 cups water with 3 cups flour, then mixed with the starter. This set covered overnight. Now I am adding some salt, flour, and a little oil, and making the cough.

Who knows how it will turn out?

I think one can completely forego the expense of a commercial starter, but mixing equal parts water and unbleached flour, and letting it sit for one or two days, then going from there. As an experiment I am trying that. There were a few grapes in the yard with powdery white surface - yeast - so I added that to get some local yeast mixed in. The grape part is totally unnecessary.

We'll see.
Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 10, 2015 at 7:08pm

The parents of a friend of mine used to have a cabin up by Mt. Ranier where we spent lots of weekends. They had an old 1950s style percolator, and even with Folgers it was some of the best coffee I've had. Of course the well water was wonderful too. I'm with you Carl; weak coffee is the devil's work.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on September 10, 2015 at 7:03pm
I had a problem for a while with collapsing paper cone filters in my drip coffee machine. However, I learned a quick fix to that. Just run it under water to moisten it and then shake off the excess water before using it.

I've been using drip-type coffee makers for years and years. They make great coffee. You only need to have the water pass over the coffee once if you're using a freshly roasted, quality coffee. The quality of the coffee makes the difference no matter what method of brewing you use.

I can't stand weak coffee. I drink mine black and I want it with a full, bold body. But that doesn't mean strong and bitter...there's a difference.

I'm nostalgic about the old percolator's as well. My mother still uses one. And I remember the big 30/40 cup stainless steel brewers that where always fired up for PTA meetings, pot-lucks, etc. My mother owned one of those.
 

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