mrsbrown: (domestic goddess)
 I have a new induction stove.  Many of my favourite pots don't work on the induction surface and the ovens (there are 2) are smaller than my roasting pans.  The large oven has 5 shelves and the small oven has 2.  Assuming a roast height of 15cm, there is room in the large oven for 4 roasts and one in the small oven.  I can cook up to 7 trays of cookies or pies in the 2 ovens.  The instruction manual says that the maximum roasting tray size is 37cm x 32cm and the max baking tray size is 35cm x 25cm.  I don't understand the discrepancy as there is air circulation space at the back of the ovens.  I can also fit my existing square cookie trays (3no) in the big oven, as long as I put the oven shelves at the top of the shelf supports, leaving about 1cm either side of the tray.

Here's the shopping list;
  • up to 4 cookie sheets (I like the perforated ones)
  • silicon sheets to fit
  • 4 baking/roasting pans
  • 2 crepe pans
  • cooking pot replacement for heavy pasta pot
  • another saucepan
Having done a bit of shopping, maybe the cookie sheets could have more lip and perhaps double as roasting pans?  Something like this;  I still have one large and 2 small pans with a 5cm lip.  I've had a look through the perforated pans I can find and they all seem to be larger than my oven will fit :(.

I looked at the non-stick versions but the product has a guarantee of 20years and the non-stick coating only 5 years.  I think I want something that will continue to be functional for longer than both of those times.  I wonder how long the silicon sheets are meant to last?  OTOH, if I use them and they stop being useful I will still have all of the energy invested in the aluminium trays.

Crepe pans; we used to have non-stick aluminium ones, but we had to replace one because the non-stick scraped off.  I really like our well seasoned cast iron pans, but they're too heavy and deep for happy pancake making.  So I'm thinking that we should just buy a couple of these steel ones -

The heavy pasta pot is about 6L.  The thing closest to that, in the style I want is this one.  And I think I like that style enough that I would just get a suitably sized saucepan from the same range - probably 3L or 4L.

I will certainly be buying the 6L pasta pot and the crepe pans asap.  The other stuff can probably wait until we are given them, or next year when we have more money.

mrsbrown: (Default)
There are 12 trout in my fridge and another 12 or so in my freezer.  Time to sort out what to do with them.

What I really want is to find a way to replace the tins of tuna and salmon that we use almost weekly. 

There seem to be 3 options;
  1. bottle, with vinegar etc
  2. smoke then pressure can
  3. pressure can
If I bottle, it seems I can include the bones as they will dissolve/become edible in a month or so.

Here's a good, general document on dealing with Rainbow Trout.

bottling recipes/hints that seem reasonable
Uses vinegar, boils for  3 hours.

Almost identical recipe to above

A couple of different recipes

Note that the US universities seem to be consistent in saying that it is not reasonable to bottle fish, even with vinegar, as you can't kill botulism, however the processes described above are very keen to thoroughly sterilise the jars and then boil for a long time. 

Smoke then pressure can

States that vinegar isn't enough to preserve safely, and pressure canning is the only way.
Excellent, researched documents on the techniques and temperature/time variables to make smoked fish work.  It notes that if smoking for canning, then you should only lightly smoke the fish.

Pressure can
The instructions with the pressure canner (thanks sjkasabi!) has instructions on what to do; put cans in canner, put in 3quarts (close enough to 3L) water, put on the lid, get the canner up to pressure and hold it there for 100minutes, turn off and open when the pressure has dropped.  Also, follow every safety requirement to the letter.

What I'm going to do

I was going to grab a bottled trout recipe, and pressure can it.  But the instructions for canning are pretty specific about not adding liquid.  But the bottled recipes say that the bones become edible after 3 months one month (different recipe) and I think that might be from the vinegar.  Aaargh!

Decision made;  I'm adding vinegar - the chicken recipes all call for added broth, so it won't be a problem.

What happened

I collected enough jars to fill the pressure cooker.  I've cut up 8 fish, and have lots of jars left over.  I think I need about 20 fish to fill the pressure cooker with jars of fish. I was getting almost one fish into each jam jar, although I imagine I'll fit more smoked fish in a jar because of the moisture reduction in the brining process.  I thought the small jars - minced garlic and curry paste jars, would be best, but now I think I prefer the jam jar sized ones.  Best of all are the wide mouthed, short jars, but I only had 2 and they're a bit easy to over fill.

The fish cutting and filling jars didn't take long, about an hour?  I had two jars sterilising in a pot of boiling water on the stove while I cut up fish and stuffed jars.

I mixed up 200ml vinegar, 10 teaspoons cooking salt, 5 teaspoons brown sugar and a slurp of olive oil.  I added a teaspoon or so of the mix to the small jars and a bit more in the jam jar sized ones.

Pressure cooker took about 30min to get to pressure from cold water and I'm sitting supervising it until the pressure stabilises.

mrsbrown: (Default)
Rose was hungry this afternoon and Sneetch had eaten the last two slices of pineapple pizza.  She was very disappointed so I suggested we make some and could go to the supermarket to buy bread to make pizza with.  She refused and requested that I make flat bread.  Thinking about it later I realised that the pizza was one of my slow food recipes and I had to share.

To make flat bread pineapple pizza;

7 days early - buy pineapple and leave in fruit bowl.  Occasionally look at it and think, "I should cut that up so people will eat it".
4 days early - tip out the previous batch of ignored sourdough starter and refresh with new flour and water.  Look at it 24 hours later and think, "I should either make bread or refresh that starter.
On the day - chop the mouldy and brown bits off the pineapple and put in the fridge.
Scrape the black tinged bits off the top of the starter and put in the compost.  Use 1/2 cup of remaining starter and 1/2 cup flour to make dough.  Leave for 10min then divide into 4 and roll out flat.  Cook both sides in the cast iron pan.
Put bread onto griller, spread with tomato paste from the back of the fridge (scrape white mould from the top of the jar and put into compost, make sure none of the eaters notice.  Only take non-mouldy paste from jar.)  Chop pineapple bits smaller and add to pizza.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top (reject the mouldy cheese, but leave in fridge because it might be useful for something else).  Grill until brown and feed to man and small child.
mrsbrown: (domestic goddess)
I prefer to eat sourdough bread. The sort that's firm and chewy. So when we got back from Festival I decided to keep my sourdough starter going and make bread rolls for lunch each day.

OMG! Sourdough breadmaking is so easy now I understand it!

Each evening I pour the starter into a bowl with 2 cups of flour, half a cup of water, a bit of salt and some quick oats (not keen on just white bread, but I haven't bought any rye yet). I knead it for about 2 minutes and, because the starter is already glutenised, the bread is then ready to form into rolls. I form rolls and put the tray into the oven to rise.

I then put a cup of flour and a cup of water into my starter jar and leave it on the bench until the next night.

In the morning I turn on the oven as I head to the shower and 25 minutes later the rolls are ready to go into the cloth sack I have for carrying hot roll to work. The rest are left on the table for the others to use for lunch. I'm only making 6 rolls.

If anyone would like some of my starter, I'm happy to share.
mrsbrown: (Default)
Last night Rose nagged for cupcakes.  I put her off for a while and then went outside with MrPeacock for some personalised fighter training.  When we came back in the cupcakes were in the oven and MsNotaGoth was putting Rose to bed.

Later, after we'd eaten some and noted their delectability,  MsNotaGoth asserted that the taste difference was in creaming the butter and sugar.  She declared that she, "loves creaming the butter and sugar, it's my favourite part."  When I asked her which recipe she had used she bragged that it was all from her head and that she had been making cake since she was 6.

But the recipe for cake that I've used since my children were small has melted butter.

I contemplated that exchange this morning and congratulated myself on using that recipe so many times that MsNotaGoth can make cake whenever and whereever she wants (including with solar oven while camping on the beach in Crete - another story).

Then I thought about how much I like that recipe I inherited from MTB's grandmother (Hilda's neverfail chocolate cake) with its melted butter.

And I flashed into a memory of when I was about six (or maybe 8) and making cake with my Dad.  I had been involved in the making of lots of cakes by then and the cake instructions included creaming the butter and sugar.  But Dad was impatient, I think it was the first cake he was involved with, or he didn't really want to be making cake with me.  (The joys of single parenthood).  And the butter was hard, so Dad made me melt the butter.   And the cake was a bit dry and not as nice as the cake we both knew we should have gotten from that recipe. 

When I say "made me", I remember a serious argument.  I argued for purity and Dad used that scornful voice he uses. I suspect quoting my mother was a bad move.

I'm going to blame that story, and my father, for the fact that when I found a recipe that worked with melted butter it became almost the only cake I make.  Except for that boiled fruit cake that also involves melting the butter.

Hey!  I could also blame my mother!  She decided (or was too poor to and then got pig headed) that she didn't need a mechanical cake beater.  In the days when butter was stored in the fridge and we didn't have microwaves, that meant really hard work with a wooden spoon to cream the butter and sugar.  Unlike MsNotagoth, I hate creaming butter and sugar.

Edit: MsNotaGoth likes creaming butter and sugar because she uses her hands to do it, and then gets to lick her hands clean.  I'm sure I've taught her to wash her hands before cooking btw.

mrsbrown: (Default)
This is more than a recipe for some tasty camping food.  This is also how to store the food when you're camping for 6 days and trying to be as historically informed as possible. (without just killing a chicken)

Makes enough for 20 or so:

1.5kg Gourmet tortellini - the very dry sort that you can get from the Mediterranean Supermarket, and maybe from that pasta shop in the deli section of Queen Vic market.
500g Parmesan cheese
3 onions
enough boiling water to fill Tiny (the smallest cauldron Abbotsford uses)

Decant the tortellini from the plastic bags into a linen bag you've made and tie the top with string. Store in a wooden box with your other dry goods.
Put the Parmesan cheese into a linen bag that you don't mind getting greasy.  Ideally you can hang it. But on a plate in the Ambry cupboard works too.

On the day
Fry the onions until they're caramelised, add boiling water from the kettle.  When you're sure it's all boiling again add the tortellini and cook.  Take off the fire and add grated/cut small parmesan.  Serve.
mrsbrown: (Default)
I'm a sucker for cooking shows and now that we've got the TV card working in our media computer I'm indulging more often. We can watch ABC2.

Tonight I watched Secret Recipes and now I want to know more about fish fritters like the ones they made

I reckon there's probably a medieval recipe using salted cod like this and it might be a good thing to eat at Festival, without the capsicum of course.

Whaddya reckon?

ABC2 is also good for live music and other interesting music shows.

And Rose will get to watch that other classic of my childhood
mrsbrown: (Default)
When I was a child, before my parents split up, I would only eat my vegetables mashed into what my Dad called a "prikky". He would form it into a cake shape and I would spoon appelmoes (applesauce) over the top as icing. We ate appelmoes with every meat and veg type meal I ate at home until my mum moved to Rockhampton when Sneetch was a baby and we stopped having ordinary meals with mum.

For christmas day we had pork roast so I made sure to make appelmoes, but I've never inserted it into my children's memories by cooking it regularly. Although, if we have the meat and veg meal this weekend, I will probably pull out the leftovers from the fridge to have with it.

Today [ profile] coquinaria reminded me that my childhood appelmoes was one of the few things that my family kept of the Dutch way of life.

Her page on appelmoes talks of this tradition and then goes on to suggest medieval apelmoes recipes that I'm not sure I want to try - applesauce with fish liver, applesauce with beef broth and white grease, and applesauce with almond milk and olive oil.
mrsbrown: (parenting)
- Sneetch and Mr Peacock spending the afternoon cutting vegetables for the roast

- Mr Peacock's comment during the meal, "every vegetable has been corrupted by fat and heat"

- the joy that [ profile] mr_bassman, Sneetch and Ms Not-a-goth got in putting Rose's present together, and apart, and together. It's been a trike and a push toy at least twice each. Rose likes it too.

- the achievement of the happy family, without having to pretend, until 3.30pm. It couldn't last.

We seem to have started a family tradition. I have always (since having children, and only on the years they're home) had pancake breakfast with berries and cream on Christmas day. Last year my Oma and the kid's Oma came on their way to their main festivity. It was great and they asked if we could do it again. Then my sister invited her family over too. It was nice enough to do again.

I had a cunning plan to buy berries at the supermarket after they'd been marked to half price but [ profile] mr_bassman and I were having too good a time singing carols to the people in Eltham so we got to the supermarket after it closed. Luckily, (actually, I knew I had a backup plan) I had some jars of cherries in the pantry, so we had black forest pancakes instead. Cherry pottage, chocolate ganache, pancakes, cream and ice-cream.

I only slightly over catered for the 10 of us, not including two babies. Please come to my place for morning tea, afternoon tea or dessert very soon. I have enough for at least twenty.

Note for next year: I may be considered too old for this, but good christmas gifts are the ones you can play with on christmas day. I didn't want to re-read a book.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
I got up early this morning, too excited to stay in bed when I have dress making thoughts whirling around. I thought I might be able to get the dress cut out before we go to the Lyos Memorial Picnic.

Of course, we need to food to eat at the picnic AND we had diced chicken sitting in the fridge from Thursday, so I thought, "I'll just whip up some Pies of Parys. Huh!

I bought dripping a while ago 'cos I wanted to try my hand at hot water pastry

All the links are because there must be something about this pastry I'm missing. This pastry was all crumbly, and then I left it to rest and it was all crumbly and then I heated the bowl over the cooking chicken and it was all crumbly and then I added some more hot water and I mostly got it to work, but it took me aaages and I could only roll it out pretty thick, so we're having one pie instead of a bunch of little pies.

and now it's 9.10am and the pastry is blind baking and I'm writing this, and soon I'll fill the pies and finish baking them and then it will be time to leave for Mt Franklin and I won't have a dress cut out and my brain will be whirling about how I'm going to do it, and when, all day.

maybe next time I'll make almond milk pastry. It was easier and doesn't smell disgusting.

eugh! Sneetch said I should use rice to blind bake my pastry. He was right and now I have abortion de parys for lunch.
mrsbrown: (Default)
Lucky me, I got to do a site visit to the flats nearby this morning. I got to sleep in, go for a wander around my neighborhood, pickup my laptop from where it was getting fixed and then do the walk along Victoria St I do occasionally.

I don't often have any reason to walk the full length of the shopping strip - why walk past 2 butchers you know are adequate to get to a thrid or fourth?

Discoveries!!! I found a kitchen supply shop near Church st that has dragon and lobster shaped biscuit cutters. I looked for lions but didn' t find any. They also had those stainless steel sauce bowls on stands that [ profile] sjkasabi suggested would make really good sauce bowls for medieval feasts. I've been lookijg for those for almost a year! I didn't buy anything, I'm writing this so I don't forget.

I also found what looks like the best fruit and veg shop in the street, and the butcher down there looks really good too. Maybe it is worth walking past the 4 or 5 butchers and veg shops to get to these really nice looking shops. At least I know they're there now. I think I'll be able to buy reasonable apples at the furthest fruit and veg shop - no mean feat in Victoria St.

Next is getting crap together for KWDS and then I will virtuously get to work.

Oh yeah - I pulled a muscle in my back the other day and the site visit I did last night has improved it dramatically. I took the lift to the top of one of the 20 storey flats and walked every floor and the stairs all the way to the bottom. It took me about 70min and I felt fantastic when I finished. I think I should make more space for this exercise thing in my life Maybe I could manage the walk home from work again.
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