Shock Top beers

Just tried two American beers from St. Louis: a Belgian White and Raspberry White, both in cans. The former has coriander, lime and lemon peel, the latter has, of course, raspberry flavour. I personally prefer the former, Susan the latter. I haven’t tried either with the slice of lime I put in most beers, but will next time. The lime will help cut the sweetness of … (more–>)

Another fad bites the dust

The gluten-free fad took another major hit to its already weakened credibility this week when researchers who had first diagnosed “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” found out that, oops, they were wrong. It doesn’t exist. A story in Business Insider tells the tale. In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that … (more–>)

The Lore of Tea

Whoa! Down the rabbit hole I tumbled this week. I started reading about tea in several books I recently purchased. What a story. What a delight! Many hours spent between the pages absorbing culture, history, types, classifications, production, terroirs and marketing.* I’ve read bits and pieces about tea before; mostly history and cultural notes; some tidbits about specific types and specific bits I’ve gleaned from online … (more–>)

A Cup of Dragon Well

Legend has it that, in the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong (1711-1799 CE), the grandson of the Emperor Kangxi, went on a holiday to the West Lake district, in the Hangzhou area of Zhejiang province, China. He stopped at the Hu Gong Temple, nestled under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan). There, he was presented by the monks with a cup of green tea made from the … (more–>)

May and June Breads

The past month I haven’t done as much baking as usual – just been too busy to do much, plus I was away for a long weekend holiday in Toronto. So June saw a mere two loaves baked. I made a few others in late May, however. The two most recent loaves were a poolish-levain combination done in the oven, and a jalapeño-cheese bread done in … (more–>)

Failure and Redemption

The past month has seen the rise, fall and rise again of my bread making efforts. Mid-month, in April, I was having some success making sourdough breads and was looking at trying some experiments with herbs and other ingredients. Maybe look at other specialty breads, too. But late in the month I tried a cheese bread in the machine – my first cheese bread, using a … (more–>)

Still hot and getting hotter

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since I last updated my web page on hot sauces, and about 15 since I first wrote it. My, how times flies. So many years, so many hot sauces since then. I’ve been a hot sauce aficionado for much longer than that, though. Most of my life, and all my adult life. But only in the … (more–>)

Random grumblings for a Sunday afternoon

Why can’t I buy Yorkshire Gold tea in town? I can buy Barry’s tea, from Ireland, and Morse’s tea packaged in Nova Scotia locally. As well as other brands. Surely someone can bring in Yorkshire Gold… and yes, I’ve gone to every grocery store in town and asked for it. Even Sobeys – where I had been told it was available – the staff there had no … (more–>)

April’s early breads

April has begun with three loaves of bread; generally successful efforts, although there’s still some tweaking to do with the recipes. As always. But I’m encouraged to try more – and of course experiment more with recipes and ingredients. The first loaf of the latest batch was an artisan loaf made at the tail end of March. Started with an overnight poolish and the standard artisan … (more–>)

Is this the end of the gluten-free fad?

  Last November, when I first wrote about the gluten-free diet fad, I bemoaned how an everyday protein, a staple in human diets for many millennia, had become demonized by the diet fad crowd. In fact, the gluten-free fad rapidly grew into a multi-million-dollar industry in Canada to accommodate that vulnerable intersection of consumer fears and gullibility.* Back when I was writing my piece, the National … (more–>)

The late March breads

A couple more loaves were made this month and a third will be started later this week. Both were made in the oven, not the machine, at 425F for roughly 35 minutes. Neither rose very high, but both were edible and tasty. Only about a third of the second loaf remains, so I will start a poolish today for baking a new loaf tomorrow. First up: a … (more–>)

Loafing around again

Been at it again this month. Bread making, I mean. You knew that from the image, right? Several efforts so far this month and March isn’t even half-way through its course. Winter remains firmly entrenched here, and spring – or any time without a thick layer of snow – looks far away. So it’s a good time to be making bread. First up: banana bread. I … (more–>)

Raisin and sourdough this week

While I haven’t tried to make a sourdough raisin bread yet, that idea occurred to me while I was making my latest breads, this week. I’m sure it would be a good mix, but I’ll have to build my levain up again, since I used all my countertop levain in yesterday’s bread (about 350g). I still have a culture in the fridge, however, and will take … (more–>)

Corn and other breads

The last loaf of January, 2014 was a machine-made corn bread, made using a recipe from Washburn’s & Butt’s 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes book that I’ve mentioned previously. It’s a good book for bread machine users. Unlike my previous efforts to tinker with bread recipes, I used the basic, printed 1.5-lb. recipe without any alterations this time (not even in the salt). Medium crust … (more–>)

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