Friday, April 15, 2011

Food Projects Galore

 Thank you so much for the lemon ideas! You are all so creative! So far, I've dehydrated lemons, made Indian lemon pickles, and have frozen lemon juice into ice cube trays.
Up next is lemon marmalade and lemon hard cider. I bought some ale yeast and yeast nutrient after doing a bit of research on what needs to be done to make yeast reproduce in an unfriendly (in this case,acidic) environment. Do you have any more ideas? Keep 'em coming! I love comments, especially because I discover more blogs to follow. Such a creative bunch!
After creating an ugly, dense loaf of bread using the no-knead method,  I went back to making pain au levain the way I outlined for the breadalong. I used rye, buckwheat, whole Sonoma wheat, and regular bread flour for this loaf, and it turned out beautiful! There are lots of pockets in this bread for jam, and it makes a lovely, chewy toast with lots of character. One of my favorite snacks lately is toast with a healthy smear of plain Greek yogurt and homemade guava jam.
Last weekend was a Chinese holiday that I only know as "Grave Sweeping" day, and this meant that I returned to my hometown to clean my grandmother and grandfather's cemetery plots. My grandmother made everything from scratch up until the day she died. Homemade noodles, though, are what her children remember the most. I was feeling a little reminiscent today, so I made a batch of noodles for tonight's dinner, a vegetarian chow mein. My crafty, creative aunts put together a book of Grandma's recipes a few years ago, so I can recreate the taste of her kitchen. Someday, I'm going to tackle some of her harder recipes, like a fermented brown soybean paste and salt pickled turnips.
After making two batches of Epsom salt tofu, I was sick of the grainy texture. I know some people can make tofu with Epsom salt as the coagulant with good results, but not me. My dad, upon hearing of my tofu failure, called his buddy who happens to own a noodle and tofu making manufacturing facility and asked what he used as the coagulant. The answer? Food grade calcium sulfate, otherwise known as gypsum. (When this tofu making guy heard that I was using Epsom salts, he decried my method by saying, "That's a laxative! It shouldn't be in tofu!" I never knew that Epsom salts were used for anything besides soaking sore body parts until recently.)
Anyway, by happy accident, I learned that the beer making supply store sold calcium sulfate, and it was cheap! 2-ounces for $1.50. Score! I immediately made some soymilk and turned it into tofu with out of this world results. The curds were big and creamy. This is what I was after! I think I'll eat this batch raw, sliced thinly with a scant amount of soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions.
I tried to capture Fifty-Fifty and Mingus resting peacefully together, but as soon as Fifty saw me, she scrambled over for some head scratches. She looks like she's about to attack Mingus. She should attack him. He totally deserves it for always stepping on her.


  1. I just came to your blog from your ravelry page. Beautiful photos! I love your blog! Your cats and dogs are adorable! I'll definitely make one of your cat hat for my kitties.

  2. Megumi, thank you for your kind words! Please do make a cat hat - your cat will love you for it. (Or something like that...)

    Foodycat, thanks!

  3. omg. that tofu sounds Wonderful...
    and that picture of 50 is Hilarious! she is such a cutie pie...

    and those noodles look amazing. your gramma would be proud i'm sure!!



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