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Fervet olla, vivit amicitia.

"While the pot boils, friendship endures."

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Comment by Randall Smith on October 27, 2016 at 7:16am

Admittedly, I've never made sourdough bread. Now I'm tempted to give it a go. Did I mention I made persimmon bread last week? I squeezed out the pulp with an antique ricer. My mother used it for squeezing oranges. It worked better than my old rotary grinder.

My farm kids bought an old cider press a year ago. It works great. However, this year's apple crop is nearly non-existant. Same with black walnuts. It's really weird, especially with the walnuts. Only once before in my 40 years here at home have I not had walnuts. And I can't find them anywhere.

Comment by Daniel W on October 26, 2016 at 10:07am

I've been trying to learn the more artisanal method for baking sourdough.  It's been a very gradual evolution.  The truth is, I would be happy with my more normal breads from a year ago, which I still loved much more than anything from the store.

Josey Baker is a self-taught sourdough bread baker from San Francisco.   Virtually everything he does is different from what I've been doing.  For starters, his bread is just flour, salt, and water.  The rest is in the long, slow fermentation and handling.  His dough is much wetter than what I've been making.  He doesn't knead nearly as much.   His oven is hotter.

It's too much for me to go 100% to his method in one fell swoop. However, with the last couple of loaves I cut out the oil. I haven't been adding sugar for some time. So it's just the flour, salt, water, and sourdough starter.  I made it wetter than I have been, less vigorous kneading, and longer slower fermentation.

This has changed my bread for the better.  It is more airy, and when toasted more crunchy.  The bubbles are bigger.  The crust is crunchier.  There is a more tart lactic acid flavor.   Very interesting.

On a different note, it's cider time at the local presses.  So good!  Locally pressed, minimally processed cider is amazingly good!  It brings back memories of the cider we had when I was a kid in rural Illinois.  They pressed it right in the orchard, where you went to buy the cider.

Comment by Randall Smith on October 26, 2016 at 7:51am

Carl's tape shows pictures that looks remarkably like Daniel's food group avatar above--well, not the swans.

Spud, I tried to solve the "scaling" mystery, but failed. There was nothing other than what Daniel said in the dictionary.

Speaking of harvesting potatoes, you should take a look at my SIL's carrot picker: Facebook, Silverthorn Farm

Comment by Daniel W on October 25, 2016 at 4:38pm
Spud, you can buy some burgers and save them for the zombie apocalypse.

Randy, that's a lot of sweet potatoes!

Spud, I remembered meeting someone from Idaho when I was in my teens, who told me the same thing. that seemed strange to me back then, Where was I supposed to think potatoes came from? Trees? :-)

Heading to Fred Meyer now. For some reason I feel kind of useless today. Winter is casserole time, so time to get some stuff for that.
Comment by Daniel W on October 25, 2016 at 4:26pm
Carl, those swans are hilarios!
I actually did think about making devilled eggs with van dyke cuts like those oranges.
Plus, I want that stove :-)

Spud I have no idea what scaling is, except when applied to fish.
Comment by Idaho Spud on October 25, 2016 at 2:37pm

Question:  What does the word "scaling" mean in connection to food preparation?

When reading the directions on my can of Corn Muffin Mix this morning, it said "Add 1/2 cup of cold water to 2 cups of Corn Muffin Mix.  Mix only until water is absorbed, then let stand at least 5 minutes before scaling.  Bake in 375° F for 15-20 minutes or until done.
If it's just a misprint, I can't think of what they meant.  The only thing I can think of it meaning, is to weigh or proportion.  
Any ideas?
Comment by Idaho Spud on October 20, 2016 at 12:20pm

Randy, you reminded me of spud harvest vacation.  When I was a teenager in St. Anthony Idaho, at harvest time, we had 2 weeks of no school so we could pick-up russet potatoes.  

I would pick for a week, then enjoy a week of vacation and spend my money earned in the fields.  I remember those fields being so big that it looked like there was no end to a row of potatoes.  It was almost depressing, but once I put my head down and started picking, it was OK.

Now, of course, machines pick the spuds, but I imagine sweet potatoes are too tender to use machines.

Comment by Randall Smith on October 20, 2016 at 7:42am
I'm getting some great recipes from some vegetarian cookbook. One I tried two nights ago was a sweet potato peanut butter soup. Really delicious!
With all my sweet potatoes now dug, I need to use the cut ones up quickly. I even made a sweet potato pie.

On a related note, my SIL has been selling his sweet potatoes to Indianapolis restaurants in huge bulks. Fries are a big thing there. He planted 8000 starts last spring! He's got a potato harvester that does the dirty work. Still, we (including me) have to pick them off the ground. Backbreaking.
Comment by Idaho Spud on October 13, 2016 at 10:49am

McMummy burgers, or Why McDonalds burgers don't rot:

Comment by The Flying Atheist on October 6, 2016 at 12:57pm

One of my favorite meals when camping and at home on the grill in the summer was what we called Pocket Stew. I've also heard it called Foil Stew.  A large square of foil wrapped around a hamburger patty with an assortment of vegetables such as onion, tomato. green pepper, potatoes, etc. and seasoned with salt, pepper and Worcester sauce.  The food gets nicely steamed inside the foil pouch over the coals. 


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