This was so amazing that I was forced to stop and consider that every single other chocolate desert I have eaten in my life was a complete waste of time in comparison.
I may never have a chocolate dessert again in my life. (Not counting birthday cake and Christmas cookies. Those are different.)
Unless it is more Taza chocolate.
We opened up the geode (?) squash, expecting to roast it with some beets. If the combination seems odd, you haven't seen how many beets we have. The inside turned out to be soft and tasted mostly like cucumber, so we ate them chopped up raw. I recommend them. I also recommend eating things when you don't know what they are.
I can see the arguments against requiring the calorie counts, but we need this, or else everyone is going to get so fat that the US sinks through the Earth's crust. I could have guessed that the giant pasta dishes are over 1000 Cal, but who would imagine that the field greens salad is 1400 Cal? And a slab of tiramisu is only 500. So if I eat a salad for lunch and feel the need to cut down in calories, I should go with a half salad and a tiramisu.
There is no excuse for people not realizing that the pasta dishes are way more than a human should eat. But how many things, like the salad (or a half portion of salad), appear relatively healthy when they are in fact calorie-filled food bombs? People have at least a little excuse for not knowing.
I think the only way to be more healthy and lose weight is to cook and eat at home.
(Alerted by Marion Nestle's blog Food Politics.)
The CSA has been ramping up the amount of strawberries they distribute. Last week, it was up to eight pints! For two people for a week, this was excessive. We had been eating them with ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt, pound cake, and nothing but a sprinkle of sugar. But with four quarts to deal with, we had to bring out the big guns. We made jam.
We followed the instructions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Acidic foods like most fruits can be canned in a water bath; they don't need a pressure canner. For water bath canner, read spaghetti pot. We used Pomona's Universal Pectin rather than regular pectin, because it doesn't require sugar to set. You can put in whatever amount of sugar you want. We did 1:4 sugar to strawberries rather than the 1:1 more typical with regular pectin. About 2-1/2 quarts of strawberries gave us a little over a quart of jam (in four one-cup canning jars).
The rest of the strawberries went into a strawberry cobbler, for which I accidentally doubled the sugar, thus partially canceling out the sugar saved by using the Pomona pectin.
We ordered a real water bath canner. I remember having giant bowls of peaches all over the place last summer, and I have plans... The spaghetti pot was not really big enough for one-cup jars, and certainly too small for one-pint jars.
If we get more strawberries, we will try freezing them (dry pack method).
Oops, I meant to say we tried to make pizza again.
The sauce is perfect --- some onions and garlic and calcium-free tomatoes cooked for a long time (or pesto from home-grown basil).
Cheese, ditto (Polly-O).
But the crust, on the other hand...
We tried Rose Levy-Beranbaum's version. Tastes excellent, but not really pizza to us.
Some things we found on the web were too scary to try, like the guy who disconnects the safety interlocks so he can cook with his oven set to "self clean."
The time we tried Jim Lahey's no knead pizza dough. It did not work out so well. The dough seemed right; I could pick it up and stretch it out into a circle. But it developed holes as I stretched it and ended up very thin. And the first one never cooked under the sauce, even after ten minutes at 550 degrees. Precooking the crust before adding the sauce on the second pizza helped a lot.
His quantities seem weird. He has 3 cups of flour for 4 12 inch pizzas. Most recipes use that much flour for 2 pizzas that size. Next time, smaller pizzas, and let the dough rest more when it stops wanting to stretch.
Bread flour seemed good. Using huge amounts of flour on the pan and the surface of the dough also seemed good. The recipe was quite easy to make, too.
We took the rest of the dough and precooked little pizza crusts and tossed them in the freezer for snacks or lunch another day.
What other foods are regionally better, rather than just regionally popular? Almost any two-bit pizza shop in New York serves better pizza than you can get in most states, so that's one. I have had excellent fried oysters in New Orleans, but there are fried oysters just as good in Baltimore. Philly cheese steak subs are a legendary local preference, but I haven't heard the claim that they are tastier than those elsewhere. I can't compare the flavor of Lancaster county scrapple to what is available in other areas, because I never heard of anyone else willing to eat it.
Produce doesn't count. I don't consider the lack of Minnesota oranges or New Mexican cranberries significant.
( Read more... )
This is the end of the cabbage of our discontent and the dawning of the age of asparagus!
Asparagus and shallots cooked in a pan with evoo until the sparrowgrass is soft and the shallots are half burned and half caramelized.
OK, no one cares what I ate for dinner, but I had to start with something to try to figure out how to post.