Montaigne on Ice Cream

No, Michel de Montaigne did not write about ice cream. I just used his name to entice you into this musing. But given the wide variety of topics he did write about, you’d think he might have at least penned a few words on it. Had it been available in his time, that is. It would suit his style to muse on its flavours, texture, ingredients, and … (more–>)

A Cup of Darjeeling

With characteristic brightness frequently likened to newly minted coins, fragrant aromas, and sophisticated, complex flavours — delicate, even flowery (more stem than petal, as one expert blender put it), with hints of apricots and peaches, muscat grapes, and tasty nuts — it’s the world’s premium tea, the “champagne of tea.”… Darjeeling tea is often sold not just by single estate like wines, but also by flush, … (more–>)

Musings on Pizza No. 2

Pizza was one of those things I thought about when my hot flashes from my ongoing hormone treatment awoke me in the middle of the night this past week. Several times, in fact. As I tossed and turned I thought about my pizza-making process as I recently described here and wondered. I had received some comments about it, too, which prompted my continued meditations on pizza. … (more–>)

Finding a Breakfast Cereal With No Added Sugar

Why is it so difficult to find a breakfast cereal without added sugar? Even your basic, unadorned bran flakes have added sugar in them! And not just a small amount. While I’m sure there are commercial brands of cereal without sugar or some alternative sweetener, I’m struggling to find many (if any) on local grocery store shelves. I’m not against sugar per se. It belongs in … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pizza

I have to admit that I like pizza a lot. Well, I guess most of us do. I like cheese, and I liked cooked cheese even more, and I like vegetables, so pizza is up there as a mealtime favourite. We don’t eat it frequently, perhaps once month or less often. These days I make it myself: we don’t order it from a restaurant or pizzeria, … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pasta, No. 5

I was back at making pasta this week, trying a slightly different recipe, and working on honing my skills with the pasta machine. As well, I  was hoping to get my recently-acquired mafaldine cutter attachment operating correctly (you might recall reading about the problems I had with it clogging in the previous post on pasta making). My usual mix for pasta dough is a ratio of … (more–>)

More Musings on Tea

Back in 1946, while England was still recovering from the deprivations of WWII and under rationing, the prolific George Orwell wrote his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” with his eleven-step instructions for making what he considered the perfect cuppa.* But do they still stand today? Certainly, his notion of what makes a “strong” tea would be considered very strong by standards today. As the BBC … (more–>)

Musings on Making Bread and Chili, No. 1

Longtime readers here know that before my surgery last summer, along with my pasta making I was an avid, if not always entirely competent, baker. I mostly made bread from “scratch” but sometimes for convenience used an electric bread maker. I made all sorts of bread in previous years, including soda (“quick”) breads, as well as the occasional scone, tea biscuit, and muffin. I’ve always looked … (more–>)

Review: The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook

The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Every Kind of Amazing Pasta Your Pasta Maker Can Make, by Lucy Vaserfirer, Paperback, 208 pages, Published in 2020 by Harvard Common Press, Beverly, MA, USA. I am disappointed. At almost $40, I don’t believe the book delivers what the title promises. I expected a book with “ultimate” in its title to have a LOT more information on actually … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pasta, No. 4

I made another batch of pasta this weekend to test my new mafaldine cutter, but it proved problematic . The dough jammed in it against the blades, so I had to switch to my lasagne ricce cutter, which worked perfectly. Because it got so deeply stuck, I had to remove the blade piece on the new cutter and spend some time fishing tiny bits of dough … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pasta, No.3

Musing on Making Pasta No. 2

In its most basic form, pasta can be made from only two ingredients: flour and water. But while true, it’s deceptively simple, and far from the tastiest or most expressive pasta you can make.  (see part 1 of this essay if you missed it) Flour is delightfully complicated; there is some interesting chemistry at work within flour and it’s fun to experiment. Wheat is classified into … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pasta No. 1

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”16″ exclusions=”302,303,304,305,306,298,297,296,294,290,289,288,287″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ number_of_columns=”5″ order_by=”imagedate”]  Long-time readers here may recall that I used to post about making my own pasta and bread quite frequently some years back. Last spring when I was diagnosed with cancer and then went through surgery and then radiation, I stopped doing both. This week, I finally got back to my pasta-making— not quite as adroitly as I had … (more–>)

The Imperialist Economics of Blueberries

There was a cooler right at the front of the fruit and vegetable section of the local Walmart store packed with clear plastic containers of blueberries. Plump, dark, fresh-looking berries. And value-priced at $2.87 a container. I love blueberries on my morning cereal; these looked inviting, and so inexpensive! Who can resist such a bargain? I put a container in my shopping cart. Only when I … (more–>)

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