News and Fun Facts This newsletter is going to focus on being scrappy and getting full use out of the ingredients you can get your hands on. I hope that you took advantage of the flour you can order directly from Central Milling. Mine arrived yesterday. The flour shortage is happening in Europe as well. Here is one solution in England. I just heard that a lot of produce and milk are being dumped since the farmers can’t get them into the grocery stores. So read on for ways to stretch what you have. If Central Milling didn’t work out, try Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur.
Top Tip Stretch out your ingredients and get scrappy with what you have on hand. Make your own buttermilk, crème fraiche and yogurt. I never liked the girl scout motto “when it doubt, throw it out”. One wouldn’t want to eat moldy bread but don’t be a slave to the expiration dates on packaged goods. Read about the food expiration dates you should actually follow. And here is Cooks Illustrated’s article on “How to be a Scrappy Chef”
What I’m Reading I belong to a supper club in which we try out a different cuisine each time we meet, a bit of a glorified potluck. Sometimes we all cook a cuisine from a certain part of the world, say Cuba, one time we all made a dish from lemons, a versatile ingredient. On rare occasions we get quite creative. Our next meeting will be Cooking with Spirits when we are able to gather again with friends. From time to time we all cook from the same cookbook. Think of this of a beta test of a book, a try before you buy. We did this with the Slanted Door book. Serious Eats chats about “Why Cookbook Clubs May be the New Way to Entertain”.
That is for those of you who want to get inspired for the future. For those tired of shelter in place cooking, you may find some humor in “The Myth of Easy Cooking” from the Atlantic.
What I’m Watching While we’re on the subject of humor, if you have used cooking videos to learn how to cook and failed, it’s possibly not you. It could very well be the video. BBC tried out some cooking videos and discovered some of them are “fake news” videos. Here’s what they found out
What I’m Cooking This week I really loved the Honey Cake with Candied Citrus Frosting recipe from Sunset magazine. In the fine print you’ll read that it takes many hours. It’s not many hours of labor but many hours of cooking and refrigerator time so it’s a good one while we shelter in place for another month. Even if you bake a lot this is worthwhile to try as you’ll learn how to make a frosting with flour which needs to be cooked first with sugar and milk then beat with the butter. It’s very unique. Then in an effort to use every scrap (even the pith) of the oranges you have on hand, the candied citrus is a great technique. Layered on top of the cake really added unique flavor to this cake. But, honestly, you could use those candied citrus in so many ways. Just get creative.