I HEART BACON
Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I want… candy

consumed 09/09/09

It took about three years since the last candy making attempt to try again. This time we were armed with a little more knowledge, better tools and a good night’s sleep.

I though it would be fun to make something from my vintage cookbook collection, so the first recipe, Dulce de Panocha (or Penuche) was from “Trader Vik’s Book of Mexican Cooking” (1973).  It tasted a lot like maple sugar candy–insanely sweet and slightly grainy. Not my favorite, but simple to make.

The second recipe was my old standby: peanut brittle. This year we made it in an enameled le creuset so we could clearly see the color of the syrup (which is crucial). But it was taxing (and damn scary) to lift a 30 pound pot of 295 degree sugar and pour it out onto sheets. The secret weapon was silpat; NOTHING sicks to these babies. I keep trying to find something that will, but haven’t so far. I didn’t even butter it and the brittle literaly slid right off. Last time (with buttered baking pans), I needed my spackling tool to force the brittle off!

The final recipe was my favorite: salted caramels! We made pans, and pans of this. I bought a cheap chocolate fondue pot, which was small (only holds about a cup) but i could dip around 50 caramels with one pot. It took about 10-15 minutes to melt on melt mode, then warm mode kept the chocolate at the perfect temperature for dipping—even down to the last caramel. We dipped milk and dark chocolate and finished with a variety of salts: Maldon Sea Salt, Australian Murray River Salt Flakes (a beautiful pale pink hue) and Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt (brilliant orange, but maybe a bit too coarse for this usage).

Next time my new gadget will be candy-making gloves (and a cooler apartment).

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

An Incredible Feast

consumed on 8/23/09

Hmmm. Trying to write from memory over a year later? Not the best idea. But I’m having an OCD moment of needing to finish all my old draft posts before starting a new.

This was a beautiful day at the “Incredible Feast” event in the University District with my girlfriends. But three things stand out:

1. Mini Cows – ADORABLE little (alive) cows, mulling around in their trailer available for petting.

2. Bacon Dogs from the Swinery – Not those wussy hot dogs wrapped in bacon, these are homemade kielbasa-like sausage with bacon INSIDE. OMG.

3. Beef tenderloin poached in olive oil, with arugula pesto on faro cakes. So many good ideas here. Beef treated almost like a confit. Faro ground up and cooked like polenta, formed into cakes and fried in olive oil. This is begging for a remake at home.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I miss you

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry we’ve drifted apart. I know it’s my fault. The calls became less and less frequent, until I stopped calling all together. I know it’s been over a year, but I miss you. I’ve been going though old photos and remembering what fun we had together.

Maybe we can start seeing each other again and see what happens…

M