kareina: (Default)
This time L., from Handcrafted History did a workshop on "riktigt tajta kläder. There were six of us students in the course (at least one other who had planned to attend was sick). L. commented to me "you probably already know this stuff", and I admitted that I have, in fact, helped others fit patterns for Greenland style gowns, but I have never gotten around to making one for myself, and this seemed like a reasonable opportunity. Besides, I am one of the few in the shire with a key to the classroom at the Uni that we were using.

I arrived at 09:30 to let her in, arriving in perfect time, as I saw her pull up to to door and park just as I was about to turn into the parking lot next to the door. By the time she had her supplies set up (and I had eaten my breakfast) the others arrived. She did a short lecture and then we paired up to start fitting patterns. I got the first fitting, then we enjoyed an hour lunch break, and I pinned fabric onto my partner, who, at first glance looks to be about the same size and shape as I, but oh how different her pattern pieces are than mine! Never mind that if we walked into a modern clothing store together we would probably both fit into the same items.

After we got the first draft done we traced them onto fresh fabric, adding measured seam allowances, and markings for waist, under bust line, etc., then stitched them quickly together so that we could start work on the sleeves. We all got a very rough sleeve ready for fitting by 16:00, but we also decided that tomorrow was early enough to finish that part of the process, and went home.

I was feeling tired, having stayed up too late the night before talking with O. (who never did go to sleep--once I quit distracting him with conversation and went to sleep myself he stayed up cutting out leather pieces for his new armour, but the 3 hours I slept wasn't quite long enough for him to have finished them all before I got up). So when I got home I did my yoga and crawled into bed at only 17:00, giving myself permission to sleep all night if it happened.

It didn't. I woke only an hour later, so I got up, ate something, and then got a message from the Shire herald, wondering how many signatures have been obtained on the petition for the registration of the Frostheim Coat of Arms*. I let her know that we are now only missing the signature of the A&S officer, and that we have 15 total signatures of combined officers and members so far, but we have the Smithy Day coming up next weekend, at which we could probably get a few more. She said that she wants to ship the paperwork off to Kingdom this week, so that it can go with the next batch from Kingdom to the Society level. Therefore I suggested that we advertise on FB free cookies to anyone who can stop by the day two of the workshop to sign, and then after the workshop I can take the petition to the A&S officer on my way to Folk Dance (he lives across the street from the dance hall), and he can hand it to her at work tomorrow (they are both doctors at the local hospital). This is much simpler than my handing it to her, since she lives a 30 minute drive south of me, and doesn't pass any where near my neighbourhood on her way to work.

So then I baked cookies and let the shire FB group know. It will be interesting to see how many, if any, stop by to sign tomorrow.

*I am still totally baffled as to how we can possibly be a shire if our arms were never registered (never mind that have been using them anyway for more than 20 years; the last attempt at registering arms for the shire was 1994). I know that back in those days it was a requirement that the group arms be registered before a group could go from "Incipient Shire" to "Shire" (though back then we were a Canton of the Barony of Nordmark--we didn't become a Shire till Nordmark transformed into a Principality). How did we manage to avoid that hurdle?
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
[livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I did a major grocery store run today, stocking up on a fair few things that had been running low, and tossing a few impulse items into the cart while at it. One of the things that hadn't been on the list was the ecological cinnamon that we hadn't seen before, and, while we were at it, the ecological licorice powder by the same company. I don't actually like licorice, but he really does, which is why I pointed it out to him when I noticed it.

When we got home and put the groceries away I discovered that we had just enough of the almost empty sugar to mean that we couldn't quite put all of the new sugar into the jar. Therefore I suggested we make some cookies with the sugar that didn't fit, and, since we had the licorice, I suggested we try doing some licorice cookies, so that I wouldn't eat them.

He liked that idea, but couldn't decide between putting the powder into the dough, or sprinkling it on afterwards, like we do with cinnamon. Therefore we tried both--I mixed the butter, sugar, and eggs, divided it in half, put flour and baking powder into half, and licorice, flour, and baking powder into the other half. Then I rolled out the plain dough, cut cookies, and sprinkled them with the powder, and rolled out the flavoured dough and cut those cookies, too. He tells me that both are good, but the ones with the powder on top are slightly nicer. I am content to believe him--I have no interest in tasting them.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
Back in the summer of 1990 I attended the Oslo International Summer School for their Norwegian language course. The summer school comes with (or did a the time) a number of extracurricular activities for the students to introduce them to Norwegian culture. One of these was a mid-stay weekend adventure--students choose from among a variety of destinations and activities. Since I love mountains more than anything I picked the trip to the Brimi Fjellstugu, a cute timber cabin at the edge of the tree line. The place was decorated with traditional Norwegian decor, and the food I tried was yummy and very Norwegian. They had for sale a cookbook, in Norwegian, sharing the recipes of much of what they served, and since I was particularly find of both Rømmegrøt and their flat bread, I bought the book, hoping these two would be in there. Besides, the photos of the food had some of the nice carved furniture of the cabin for backdrop, so it was just plain pretty.

But soon thereafter I wound up moving to Ashland, Oregon, and was no longer able to continue my Norwegian studies, and I never got around to trying any recipes from the book. Yesterday, late afternoon, I was hungry, but feeling uninspired and didn't know what to cook. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar had driven to a small town just over three hours from here for work, so I knew he wouldn't be home for a while, so I would have time to something more elaborate if I felt for it. The first cookbook I picked up was the Norwegian one, and, unsurprisingly, after four years living in Sweden I can now easily read most of the recipes, though there are some specific words that elude me.

Now, I had been thinking in terms of dinner when I opened the book, but the photo that caught my eye was for Sviskekake med jordbærpuré, which translates to "prune cake with strawberry puree", but the cake pictured looked more like the dense Swedish style oven pancakes I am so fond of, or perhaps more of a tart (note: in the photo one can't really see the prunes--only two sort of break the surface of the cake to hint they may be there). So I looked at the recipe:

1 l mjølk
100 g smør
200 g sukker
200 g kveitemjøl
6 egg
100 g svisker, steinfrie

Kok opp mjølk, smør, og sukker, rør det lett saman med mjøl og egg. Slå røra i ei kakeform som er tett, legg i svisker. Steid i omn på 175 C i ca. 40 minutt til kaka er fast of pent brun. Kan severast både varm og kald.


Which I think means:

1 liter milk
100 g (not quite 1/2 cup) butter
200 g (~3/4 c) sugar
200 g (~1.25 c) wheat flour
6 eggs
100 g prunes, without pits

Boil the milk, butter, and sugar, stir it gently together with the flour and egg. Pour batter into a cake pan that doesn't leak, put in the prunes. Bake in an oven about 175 C for around 40 minutes until the cake is solid and nicely brown. Can be served both warm and cold.


After glancing at the ingredient list, but before reading the text, I hesitated, since, with sugar in it (and based on which section of the book it is in), it is clearly meant to be a desert, and I am not a huge fan of sweets. However, while it has the same mass of sugar as flour, it is noticeably less sugar than flour by volume, and there is far more milk or egg than either flour or sugar. Comparing this to our normal oven pancake recipe this one contains the same amount of milk, 3 to 6 times as many eggs (we vary how many we use from one time to the next), only about 1/3 as much flour, and, of course, we don't put in any sugar or dried fruit.

Then I read the instructions, and saw that one is pre-cooking the ingredients before putting it into the oven, and I wondered how that would effect things. So, of course, I had to try. I even resolved to not give into the temptation to cut the sugar, because I was curious as to just how sweet it would taste. However, I did make one change. Neither [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar or I are all that fond of prunes, but we both like dried apricots. The two fruits aren't that different, so I decided to swap these--after all it was the behavior of the batter I was really curious about, and how it interacted with any dried fruit at all.

So I ran to the store and bought more milk, eggs, and some apricots, since we didn't have enough on hand to try the full recipe. Then I realized that the recipe is lacking all kinds of useful information. Boil the milk, butter and sugar for how long? Is the goal just to bring it up to temperature and stop? Or do we want to keep going long enough to trigger any of the next stages that can happen when cooking such ingredients? Do we put the hot milk etc. into the eggs and flour, or the eggs and flour into the hot milk? Or should we let the milk etc. cool before adding the eggs and flour? Add eggs one at a time as they come out of the shell, or beat them together first? Leave the fruit whole, or cut it up? set them on top of the batter, or stir them in? Should one grease the pan? Why did the author feel the need to specify the pan shouldn't leak? Does he have one which does? What size pan, anyway? The photo had it in one of those cute white tart pans, but they come in a variety of sizes, and this recipe makes more than a liter and a half of batter.

So I went with some guesses:

I decided to let it heat till it was clearly boiling, not just the first sign of simmering, but didn't leave it any longer than that.

I decided to beat together the eggs and flour first, mostly because I wanted to avoid lumps of flour in the batter, and adding flour to hot liquid without wetting it first with a cool one is a good way to get lumps. Besides, this gave me something to do while waiting for the milk etc. to heat. I didn't cool the milk, but did take it off the heat, and then poured in all of the beaten eggs/flour at once.

I decided to chop the fruit into small chunks, both to finish filling the time while waiting for the milk to heat and so that it would be more evenly distributed throughout the cake. However, based on other types of cake recipes I have tried, I thought it would be ok to sprinkle the fruit on top and let it sink in during baking.

The other question was about cake pan--I have one of those white pans, but I checked, and while it easily holds the first liter of liquid, the full batter wouldn't fit, and I don't have two in that style. I do, however, have a much larger, thicker brown ceramic pie plate I inherited from my step-dad that was *just* big enough to hold it all, so I went with that.

While it was baking I also mixed up some dinner and put it into the other oven to bake, and then made the strawberry puree while I was waiting (that recipe I will stick on at the bottom)

So, how did it all work:

When I described adding the flour and eggs "all at once" what I really meant was "pour in most of it, and stir quickly, since the eggs were already starting to cook and the batter was turning rather fluffy, then scrape in more of the batter, and stir again, then add the last little bit and stir again". If I had had someone else present then I probably would have had one stirring the whole time while the other scrapped the eggs in. I think I am happy with the texture result from this step (and really enjoyed licking the bowl), so I would be willing to take this approach again.

Was it too sweet? Nope, not for a for a desert--it is about as sweet as I ever want my deserts to be--it has about 8% sugar by volume (not counting the fruit sugar), and that is plenty, without over doing it. However, I am curious to try it again with zero sugar (and no fruit) to see how this approach compares with our oven pancakes.

How about that fruit? Chopping it was a good idea, but I should have stirred it in. The pieces never did sink into the batter, but stayed perched up on top, and while the rest of the cake was only starting to get brown they were already crossing line into rather black.

Pan size? Too deep! It took much longer to bake to set than I would have wanted--not only did the fruit over cook, but the top is browner than I would have preferred. I think next time I will use the large rectangular pan in which I bake oven pancakes so that the batter is thinner and cooks more evenly. Or I might make only a half recipe and try that white ceramic tart pan, since that would be prettier.

In actuality, I don't think I actually let it set as well as the recipe called for through baking alone--when it was already quite brown, and I was thinking it was nearly set enough I decided to just turn off the oven and let it finish setting in a cooling oven while I waited for the other food to finish baking in the other oven.

As a result it was still warm when we sat down to eat (three hours after deciding to try the recipe), and one needed a spoon to serve it, since it didn't really hold together yet. However, I like that texture (and, indeed, liked it just fine before it went into the oven, too), it just didn't look like what was in the photo. However, after leaving the rest of it sit in the fridge overnight, this morning I could cut a slice, pick it up and eat with my fingers if I wanted. However, it is good with that strawberry puree, so instead I put it in a bowl and ate them together with a spoon for breakfast. While this is sweeter than my normal breakfast, it is no where near as sweet as the sugar cereals I ate as a child.

And, before I forget, that strawberry recipe, since they do go so well together, especially when the one is warm and the other cold:

Jordbærpuré

500 g friske eller frosne jordbær
1 ss melis
1/2 sitron utan skal og stein

Vask og reinsk bæra. Ha det i hurrtigmiksar/food-processor saman med melis og sitron. Mos till puré, press pureen gjennom ei sikt. Set pureen kjølig, med lokk, til han skal serverast.


which I think means:

500 g fresh or frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 lemon without peel or seeds

Wash and (hull?) berries, put them in a food processor together with the powdered sugar and lemon. Process till it is a puree, press the puree through a sieve. Put it in the fridge, with a lid, till it is time to serve it.


I did only half a batch, since there are only the two of us. I didn't have any fresh lemon, so I just used a tablespoon of lemon juice. I used frozen berries (which I had washed and hulled before freezing), so I just tossed them into the food processor still frozen, which meant that it took a while, and a fair bit of scraping to get it to transform into shush instead of fluffy ice bits. We never did get it liquidy enough to press it through the sieve before the rest of the food was ready, but neither of us mind the seeds, so we left them in.

Just like with the cake (which an American might call a custard, and which could also be called a pie in Swedish, since their word for pie doesn't require a crust), this wasn't too sweet--that isn't much sugar compared to the amount of berries, yet I think I would have enjoyed it without the sugar, too.

PS, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] northernotter for translation help yesterday!
kareina: (me)
When last I left off I was enjoying Julafton Christmas Eve at the home of [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's parents. While many people I know tend to overeat at big holiday meals, I don't tend to have that problem with the traditional Swedish Christmas dinner, since it involves several varieties of fish (which I don't care for), ham (which I also don't care for), meatballs (which I used to enjoy, but since I largely quit eating meat when I figured out what was causing my digestive issues, I tend to skip these, too), and pickled things (the absolute top of the list of things I don't eat, and would prefer to never even smell!). This left a small assortment of things on the table that I do eat: plain boiled potatoes, steamed broccoli (from frozen), a fluffy baked egg/cheese souffle thing, a green salad, hard boiled egg (I skipped the caviar topping that is traditional for these), cheese (the kind made from cream, which is popular here for Christmas), and thinbread (the stuff that is kind of cracker like, but less than 1 mm thick).

However, I was totally content to eat lightly for dinner (I took only a bit of each, and didn't go for seconds. Why? Because my favourite Swedish food, ever, is risalamalta, and I knew that was coming for desert. Those of you who read my last year's holiday post in praise of this dish can just skip to the next paragraph. For those of you who haven't yet tried this little bit of heaven in a bowl, you can make your own by slow-cooking rice in way more milk than you think it should be able to absorb to make a rich yummy rice pudding. Don't add any sugar, it doesn't need it. They eat this pudding for breakfast on the morning of Julafton --they add sugar and cinnamon in the bowl, but I eat it just as it comes out of the pot. Then set the rice pudding aside to cool for some hours (in the fridge once it is cool enough to put there, or outside if you are blessed with nice cold weather). When it is nearly time for desert whip lots of cream and blend it with the cooled rice pudding. The result is wonderfully fluffy and rich. They serve it with berries. This year we had a choice between raspberry, strawberry, and hjortron (cloudberry) (all of which had been mashed while fresh and then frozen and thawed for the occasion). I, of course, tried them all, in turn, since I ate three servings in quick succession, and then, after a pause, had even more. (But not as much as [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's oldest brother did--he took as many servings as I, but each was larger than I took.)

The next morning, when I came in for breakfast, [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's mother showed me where the left over risalamalta is, so, instead of having my normal muesli for breakfast I took a small bowl of risalamalta (about half of what was left) with a sprinkle of muesli for crunch, plus some of those crushed raspberries. Yum! Then I went out and enjoyed a 5 km walk on the ice, because if one is going to start one's day with risalamalta, one should also take a walk! However, when I returned from my walk hungry for second breakfast I noticed that no one had eaten the other half of the left over risalamalta, so I ate that, too. Yum. Didn't feel guilty about it either.

Christmas Day itself [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's youngest brother, his wife and their son, left fairly early to go spend the rest of the day with her family, which meant that the rest of us all fit around one table for dinner. Dinner that day included oxfilé, which smelled really, really good, so I asked what it was, and he translated that word as "like cow, but a boy", and then specified that the meat came from an animal raised by friends of the family, not from a grocery store. Since I am fairly certain that whatever it is about meat that bothers my digestion is related to some of the profit-motivated choices the meat industry makes, I felt safe to take a small bit of the meat, which tasted as yummy as it smelled. There was also a yummy fluffy baked dish made of a variety of mashed root vegetables, and yet more broccoli (it is [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's favourite veg, and since his mother knows I am 99% vegetarian she frequently serves it when we are there). I am not certain what else there was at that meal, since that was all I took.

I am able to follow so much more Swedish this year than last year (which was more than the year before)--I can converse with his parents now. However, I still wasn't able to follow much of the conversation between the brothers--they spent much of the weekend talking about the finer points of setting up a generator system so that we wouldn't be bothered by power outages if they happen. I am not certain I would have followed those details in English, either. Luckily, I had my sewing project, a book, and a hammer dulcimer, to keep me amused when the conversation got technical.

We drove home late in the morning on the 26th, and soon after we started the drive we got a call from a friend in Luleå, who was having car troubles--temps were about -20 C, and he had some water somewhere in his system that had frozen, so he couldn't drive, and he was wondering if we could tow his car home. We said yes, but warned him we were about an hour away, and he was good with waiting. Therefore we stopped by the big box store area where his car was and towed it back to his place (which isn't far from there), and then continued on home. I don't think the diversion added more than 20 or 30 minutes to the trip.

This got us home on time to put everything away, relax over a bowl of left over soup, and whip up a batch of blueberry cake from my cousin Arja's recipeblueberry cake from my cousin Arja's recipe ) I have also made this cake with other berries, but I keep going back to the blueberry version (which is how she introduced it to me), because it is so good.

This batch was no exception. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's oldest brother and his wife arrived at our place (after doing a bit of shopping in town (the kids were off at an adventure swimming place with the grandparents) just as the cake was going into the oven, and it was done about the time we finished the inside tour and were ready to do the outside tour. Then we settled down to coffee (them) and herbal tea (us) and cake. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar served the first round of cake: two slices (each about 4 or 5 cm square) to each of us. Then he got us seconds--the same two slices for the other three, and only one slice for me. I didn't take thirds, but the boys got two more slices each, and she took only one. Yes, the boys took fourths, too. I can't remember if they took fifths after a pause, or if the fourths occurred after said pause. I had expected that we would be able to freeze half the cake (since we normally do when I bake one), but there was less than 1/4 of the cake left by the time they finally gave up. If one more of the brothers had been there it would have totally vanished. However, I can't really mind when my baking is met with such enthusiastic response. Most of the time when I bake I just toss stuff in a bowl and it comes out fine. This recipe I actually follow (other than usually substituting yogurt or filmjölk for the sour cream, since we tend to have one of those in the house, and we don't tend to buy sour cream). Ok, this time I used less sugar, since we were nearly out and had only about 3.5 dl left.

pumpkins

Oct. 26th, 2014 03:13 pm
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
The local grocery store today actually had a few pumpkins available (I think there were perhaps 8 or 10 of them when we got there). I love fresh roasted pumpkin seeds, so one of the pumpkins followed us home. Oh, my, I had forgotten just how much more seeds a pumpkin has than the little butternut squash they normally carry! Yum!

We cut the pumpkin into large chunks and put it into the oven to roast, and set the seeds in another pan above them to roast. The seeds were, of course, rescued much sooner than the pumpkin, which cooked to a very soft texture and generated a fair bit of pumpkin water, which I then combined back into the pumpkin with a staff mixer (after removing the peel). I had intended to just freeze all of it, since we had butternut squash risotto and bread rolls just last week, but then it occurred to me to try an experiment with a bit of it before freezing the rest for later use in soups, bread, and risitto.

I have never liked pumpkin pie, because it is so sweet, but I like plain custards. How about if I try mom's pie recipe without any sugar at all (instead of the 1 cup! of brown sugar she uses), but with just the three eggs, two cups of milk, spices, and a couple cups of the pumpkin puree?

I wasn't feeling motivated enough to do a pie crust, so I just buttered a 13 x 9" glass cake pan, and it is getting close to done baking in that. Looking good so far, I will report back later...

Edited to report: I like the custard as it is, and combined with savory dishes as part of a meal. My housemates like it as desert, with a bit of sweet syrup poured over it.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
I mentioned two weeks ago that I had tried a coffee cake recipe I found on line, and found it good, but thought I could make it better "if..."

Today we had the nyckleharpa people over here to do music since their teacher is still on holiday, so I used it as an excuse to bake. I wound up making a double sized cake this time because we had some filmjölk that needed using up, and there was twice as much as was needed for a single cake. However, even though I doubled the other ingredients I opted NOT to double the sugar, but increased it by a smaller amount. If any of you wish to try this recipe but live in a country where they don't have fil you can substitute a thin yoghurt or cultured buttermilk, or just use ordinary milk (like the original recipe did).

Vintage Coffee Cake, version 2

Cake:

4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar (~185 ml)
3.5 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt
150 g butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c fil

Topping:
1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
cinnamon
cardamon

Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle on the bottom of a buttered cake pan. (I used a large spring-form pan with a central tube, so the cake winds up ring-shaped.)

Mix the dry cake ingredients and then cut in the butter like for a pie crust. Add the fil and stir to make a thick batter. Spread batter over the topping and bake till done. I think I baked it at 175 C, but with the oven fan on. If you oven doesn't have one 200 C might be better. Invert onto a serving plate so that topping is up.

Next time I make one I will try adding applesauce to the topping...
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
Some of the folk from our choir are planning on coming over here this evening to play musical instruments, just for the heck of it. Therefore I decided I wanted to make a coffee cake to feed them (to encourage them to do it again on another occasion). This time I decided that I would look for inspiring recipes on line first. The phrase "not too sweet coffee cake" is so common that google suggests it for you if you get as much as "not sweet coff". However, most of the first few hits called for a cup and a half or more of sugar. Not going there. This vintage coffee cake, on the other hand, only wants 1/2 cup sugar in the batter and another 1/4 for the topping, which sounded much more reasonable, so I gave it a try. I can report that the batter was yummy, the cake rose up nicely, and it smells great as it sits cooling on the counter. Sadly, by the time we get to eating it it will be too late in the evening for me to be hungry enough to taste it, but if I record the link here I can make it again on another occasion.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
As mentioned in in-progress updates twice already today, I tried a bagel recipe today and made a second batch with what I consider to be a much more reasonable amount of sugar (I used honey in my version) and salt.

While my version rose higher in the mixing bowl before punching down, they behaved differently during shaping, boiling and baking. The one following the recipe puffed up to little round balls, with most of their rising going upwards, while my version rose both up and out, and so wound up looking a bit more like a bagel.

On the other hand, slicing them open and looking at the texture inside and they look exactly the same. The only way to tell them apart is to taste them. The recipe version tastes salty and slightly sweet, mine is just pure, yummy, bready flavour. However, even the recipie version is good enough to be willing to eat, it is just that mine is better. In fact, I had intended to eat only a half bagel of each type for the taste-test comparison, but both were good enough, still hot from the oven, that I ate a full bagel each, and my mouth is voting for going back for another (but my tum thinks I would be wise to stop here for an hour or so).

If your diet consists of large quantities of restaurant food or the pre-made heat & eat supermarket options you will probably like the original recipe better, because you are accustomed to high levels of sugar and salt in your diet. If, on the other hand, you eat like I do, with at least 95% of your food home made or fresh and you rarely reach for the sugar or salt jars, you will, like me, strongly prefer my version.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
As I mentioned a while ago, I am trying two versions of a bagel dough today. I assumed before trying it that my dough would rise at least as much as the published version, since while I am using much, much less sugar, I am also using lots less salt. The published version of the dough has been rising for a full hour, mine for 15 to 20 minutes less than that. Even with the shorter rising time, mine was sitting slightly higher in its bowl than the published version. Letting them rest a bit before shaping. Stay tuned for further updates after baking...
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
This morning there was a link to a bagel recipe in my blog reader. While I have baked probably 1000's of batches of bread, rolls, etc. over the years I have never actually bothered to bake bagels, so today I decided to try it. However, that recpipe has obscenly huge amounts of both sugar and salt compared to the way I typically bake. On the other hand, it is also a tiny batch of dough. Therefore I decided to do two batches--one using the full amount of sugar and salt specified, and one using only 1 teaspoon of honey instead of 1.5 tablespoons of sugar and only 0.25 teaspoons of salt instead of 1.25 teaspoons.

They are rising now. Stay tuned for a review in a couple of hours, when they are done. My hypothesis is that my version will taste much better, and will probably rise just as much--while mine has less sugar (which tends to make for happy yeast), it also has less salt (which tends to inhibit yeast).
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Today was a nine hour work day, during which I accomplished printing that thin section report I mentioned yesterday (it is about 1 cm thick when printed double-sided--130 pages will do that) giving a 30 minute presentation, listened to two other presentations by my uni colleagues, met briefly with my colleagues at the mine (who say they are pleased with what I have accomplished over these past two years, which is a relief, since I, of course, think it isn't enough), and rode in the car two and from Boliden (two hours each way).

I got home well early enough that I could have made it to jodo training tonight, but realized that if I wanted to bake a cake for tomorrow's dance practice tonight way my only opportunity, so [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar went to practice without me and I stayed home, baked the cake, ironed my Lucia robes for Friday's choir performance, washed a load of laundry, typed up the lyrics for the songs we are singing so that I will have thought about the words once before the performance, and found clip art to represent each song and printed the two songs I actually need help with the words and all of the clip art, in the correct order, onto a piece of paper the same size as the paper plates we use as a candle base. The other kids in the choir tend to hand-write the lyrics they want reminders for onto the plates, but I thought it made more sense to print it.

I really ought to have been working this evening, since I didn't do any modeling all day, nor have I made any progress on my report, but I left my work computer at my office after getting back to town this evening--it seemed like a smart idea, since I need to meet a student tomorrow morning to talk to her about helping with the petrology part of my research. I rather enjoyed the evening off.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
While in the grocery store yesterday I noticed something on the shelves in the baking isle, with the other specialty flours, that I have never noticed before. "nyponmjöl" (or rosehip flour), and I decided to give it a try.

Today when I felt like baking my inspiration was the yummy oatcakes that are so good for road food that I make fairly often (combine rolled oats, butter & boiling water, roll out the "dough" and bake it in a slow oven till it is dried out), but I opted to go for a very different result. Because I was experimenting with a totally new ingredient, I opted to actually measure stuff and take notes, so that I could then change things on another occasion and see how that effects the result. Therefore I can actually present you with a recipie that has reasonably accurate numbers in it:

Rosehip-Almond-Oat Bars

2 c oats
1/2 c almond meal
1/2 c rosehip flour
1/4 c slivered almonds
2 T butter
1T honey
3/4 c boiling water
(+/-toasted) oat flour

* Melt butter

* Combine oats, almonds, and rose hips and mix butter completely through (I use my hands to break the clumps up so that the butter is evenly distributed throughout).

* Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over honey and stir to dissolve. Pour honey-water over other mixture and combine well. Pour another 1/4 c water into container that had had honey water in it, and add that to the mix and stir well to make a sticky dough.

* Roll the dough out using oat flour to keep it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin. Cut into squares bake at 150 C. (I didn't make note of the baking time, but there was time to wash all of the baking dishes, clean the counter, and run the popcorn popper before they were done, so perhaps 15 to 20 minutes?)

Even though I normally let the oat cakes cook till they are completely dried, I let these retain a bit of moisture, and am very happy with the result. They are actually slightly sweeter than I need them to be, so perhaps I will try it another time without the honey, or with a larger oat to rosehip ratio. More almonds would be a good thing, too.
kareina: (stitched)
One of my friends asked me today for the "recipe" for today's bread.

I can still sort of remember what I did to make it, so I thought I would write it down. Measurements are approximate, since I don't actually measure stuff while I bake breads.

First I started a bread sponge by mixing yeast with 1 cup of flour and enough hot water to make a liquidy dough.

While the yeast woke up I combined 1/4 cup of powdered milk with a packet of saffron (they sell it here as a powder in little tiny foil packs, which I have been amusing are intended to use the whole thing at once, since there is no way to close them again once they are open) and added two cups of water (a little at a time, of course, to make certain the milk powder actually dissolved.

Then I microwaved the milk/saffron for a minute. Then I cooled the milk/saffron by putting in thin slices of cold butter from the fridge (I used a cheese slicer). plus a a couple of heaping spoonfuls of cold honey from the fridge. I am not certain how much butter it was, but given that the glass two cup measure I used for the liquid got very full it could have been as much as 1/2 cup of butter and honey combined.

in the time it took the butter and honey to melt I ground some almonds and then some oats in the food processor. Perhaps one cup nuts and two of the oats?

I then combined all of the above with two eggs, and added enough white flour to make a good bread dough.

I let it rise a good hour, punched it down and let it rise again before shaping bread rolls. I made the rolls using 1/4 cup of dough each, rolled them into balls, flattened them a bit, brushed the tops with butter, and let them rise again before baking.

This made made 30 rolls (plus an additional 1/2 cup of dough which got baked while the rest of the dough was doing its first rising), which I managed to bake all at one go, since my oven has a fan in it. I baked them at 150 C till they were just starting to get a golden soft colour. I brushed them with more melted butter as soon as they came out of the oven.
kareina: (Default)
My normal Pound cake recipe calls for 1 lb butter, 1 lb sugar, 1 lb eggs, 1 lb flour, and nothing else. Today [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive said that he was hungry for "fluffy pound cake". I commented that normal pound cake is fluffy enough for me even though it has no baking powder. However, this made us wonder, just what happens if you add some.

Off to the kitchen we went...

In the name of science we mixed up a half batch (just over 1/2 pound each, since 4 eggs from that box were just over 1/2 pound--we don't really need a full batch in the house if there is no one but us to eat it!), then divided the batter in half and added 3/4 a teaspoon of baking powder to one loaf before baking.

My hypothesis was that even if the goal was "fluffy pound cake" that the baking powder isn't really needed, that it will taste better without it.

pound cake

Result: Both are good, but the one with baking powder (the taller one in the photo, on the left side) has a slight metallic after taste. The one without is light and fluffy enough to suit me, but people who are used to modern fluff cakes might like the one with better. I don't think I will bother with baking powder next time I bake pound cake.
kareina: (me)
After a delightful visit with cousins in Copper Center I drove back to Wasillia with my cousins K. & R. on Christmas Eve. We left there about 15:30, so as evening was coming on, but it was still light enough to see the mountains when we left behind the broad valley of the Copper River basin and started up into the hills. After we passed Gunsight Mountain (I am ashamed to admit that I'd been driving past that mountain for years before I made the connection between the name of the peak at that distinctive square notch in the peak which resembles the notch in a gun used for sighting) we stopped at a pull out so the boys could fire a few tracer shots from their .50 caliber. They shot at the bluff on the far side of the river (checking the topo map when we got home, the bluff was about a mile from the highway at that point). Since the bullets were moving directly away from us they looked to be moving rather slowly, in a pretty red arc (though I know that were they coming towards us they would have been moving much to quickly to avoid if we were unfortunate enough to be in their path). One of the shots hit the top of the bluff and ricocheted back up into the air for a bit. It is really kind of impressive that tool users are able to throw the functional equivalent of a rock for such a great distance, really. Pity that the only two reasons one might do so are 1) for the fun of seeing it fly (like we did) or 2) to cause harm to another (sadly, the reason the technology was developed). Soon after we returned to the road we passed the cute little octagonal cabin that I loved as a child--I'd make up any number of stories about living in it and enjoying the mountains every day, instead of just driving through them once every month or so to see family up north to entertain myself as we drove. A bit further south we passed a small peak with the official name of Lion Head Rock, but which my cousins always said looked like a nipple, but my sister and I, who must have been hungry when first we saw it, thought looked like a chicken drumstick laying up against the side of a hill (the photo in the link isn't quite taken from the correct angle to show that illusion--I couldn't find one taken from the correct spot, and it was too dark for me to take a photo whilst driving). No matter what one thinks it looks like, it is easy to tell from looking at it that it is what is left of the core of an old volcano, like Pilot Rock in Oregon. Funny that I never noticed that before, even though I have done this drive a few times since I started studying geology. It took my cousin mentioning in conversation that is what the peak is, about an hour before we passed it on the way up to get me to say "yes, that is exactly what it looks like!". When I was young the four-hour drive seemed to take ages, but now it seems pretty quick, and it took little more time before we were passing King Mountain, and not much longer there after before we were back at K's house in Wasillia.

We enjoyed a quite Chirstmas Eve with his wife, sons, and a friend of theirs who is visiting from the lower '48, and I got to sleep by 01:00. I heard him and his two-year old moving by 07:30, and though I could easily have gone back to sleep, I decided that since I was sleeping on an air-mattress in front of the tree, I should probably get up so that when they were ready to unwrap presents I'd be out of the way. Cousin R. came back out to enjoy Chirstmas dinner with us, as did K's wife's dad, step-mom, and two dogs (both of whom are as quiet and well-mannered as K's dog). We had a lovely feast, at which I ate more than I should, and during the course of the day I stitched up a small Christmas tree ornament for them. They were pleased to receive a hand-made gift, and I had the fun of making it. I took photos, but, alas, I left the connecting cable for the camera in Italy, so sharing it will have to wait till I return next month. After dinner I got a ride with R. back to Anchorage to the home of my SCA brother, who owns his own house (purchased two years ago, when he was only 20). I may well wind up going to stay with other folk between now and when I fly to Fairbanks, but since there is a guest room here I've unpacked my suitcase into the closet--if I go spend a day or two elsewhere I'll just take a change of clothes in my carry-on luggage, rather than dragging along everything, including the costumes brought for events.

They've bid me to make myself at home, and gave me free reign in the kitchen, so I baked more braided bread today. I love having friends and family who will let me do that.

While I've called a few people, no one has been home, so it looks like I'll probably make it an early night and catch up on my sleep, and see if I can finish shaking off the hint of sniffles that I've picked up in my travels.
kareina: (me)
After a delightful visit with cousins in Copper Center I drove back to Wasillia with my cousins K. & R. on Christmas Eve. We left there about 15:30, so as evening was coming on, but it was still light enough to see the mountains when we left behind the broad valley of the Copper River basin and started up into the hills. After we passed Gunsight Mountain (I am ashamed to admit that I'd been driving past that mountain for years before I made the connection between the name of the peak at that distinctive square notch in the peak which resembles the notch in a gun used for sighting) we stopped at a pull out so the boys could fire a few tracer shots from their .50 caliber. They shot at the bluff on the far side of the river (checking the topo map when we got home, the bluff was about a mile from the highway at that point). Since the bullets were moving directly away from us they looked to be moving rather slowly, in a pretty red arc (though I know that were they coming towards us they would have been moving much to quickly to avoid if we were unfortunate enough to be in their path). One of the shots hit the top of the bluff and ricocheted back up into the air for a bit. It is really kind of impressive that tool users are able to throw the functional equivalent of a rock for such a great distance, really. Pity that the only two reasons one might do so are 1) for the fun of seeing it fly (like we did) or 2) to cause harm to another (sadly, the reason the technology was developed). Soon after we returned to the road we passed the cute little octagonal cabin that I loved as a child--I'd make up any number of stories about living in it and enjoying the mountains every day, instead of just driving through them once every month or so to see family up north to entertain myself as we drove. A bit further south we passed a small peak with the official name of Lion Head Rock, but which my cousins always said looked like a nipple, but my sister and I, who must have been hungry when first we saw it, thought looked like a chicken drumstick laying up against the side of a hill (the photo in the link isn't quite taken from the correct angle to show that illusion--I couldn't find one taken from the correct spot, and it was too dark for me to take a photo whilst driving). No matter what one thinks it looks like, it is easy to tell from looking at it that it is what is left of the core of an old volcano, like Pilot Rock in Oregon. Funny that I never noticed that before, even though I have done this drive a few times since I started studying geology. It took my cousin mentioning in conversation that is what the peak is, about an hour before we passed it on the way up to get me to say "yes, that is exactly what it looks like!". When I was young the four-hour drive seemed to take ages, but now it seems pretty quick, and it took little more time before we were passing King Mountain, and not much longer there after before we were back at K's house in Wasillia.

We enjoyed a quite Chirstmas Eve with his wife, sons, and a friend of theirs who is visiting from the lower '48, and I got to sleep by 01:00. I heard him and his two-year old moving by 07:30, and though I could easily have gone back to sleep, I decided that since I was sleeping on an air-mattress in front of the tree, I should probably get up so that when they were ready to unwrap presents I'd be out of the way. Cousin R. came back out to enjoy Chirstmas dinner with us, as did K's wife's dad, step-mom, and two dogs (both of whom are as quiet and well-mannered as K's dog). We had a lovely feast, at which I ate more than I should, and during the course of the day I stitched up a small Christmas tree ornament for them. They were pleased to receive a hand-made gift, and I had the fun of making it. I took photos, but, alas, I left the connecting cable for the camera in Italy, so sharing it will have to wait till I return next month. After dinner I got a ride with R. back to Anchorage to the home of my SCA brother, who owns his own house (purchased two years ago, when he was only 20). I may well wind up going to stay with other folk between now and when I fly to Fairbanks, but since there is a guest room here I've unpacked my suitcase into the closet--if I go spend a day or two elsewhere I'll just take a change of clothes in my carry-on luggage, rather than dragging along everything, including the costumes brought for events.

They've bid me to make myself at home, and gave me free reign in the kitchen, so I baked more braided bread today. I love having friends and family who will let me do that.

While I've called a few people, no one has been home, so it looks like I'll probably make it an early night and catch up on my sleep, and see if I can finish shaking off the hint of sniffles that I've picked up in my travels.
kareina: (me)
I arrived in Anchorage on Monday afternoon, after a pleasant flight wherin I accomplished more sewing on my winter coat in progress, getting the cuffs and collar attached (thus making it much more wearable!). Before boarding the plane I enjoyed one of those "small world" moments which is so common in Alaska. A woman sat down next to me in the boarding area, and we got to chatting. I thought she looked kind of familiar, and just then she shifted her boarding pass so that I could see her name. Causing me to say "wait, I know you!". She is the mother of one of my highschool boyfriends, and one of my friends on Facebook. I wouldn't have recognized her name if not for the latter--she changed back to her maiden name after her second divorce years ago, but when I knew her she was using the surname of her children's father. She told me that she thought I looked familiar too, and had been thinking to herself that I looked to be about the same age as her kids, and wondering if I had attended Steller.

I was met at the airport by a friend with whom I had attended highschool. He and I didn't really get to know one another then--he was several grades ahead of me, and I idolized his circle of friends, but didn't hang out with them. However, we've gotten to know one another via facebook, and he'd sent me a message saying that if I made it back to Alaska I should come visit, so I took him up on it. I'm glad I did, I had much fun hanging out with his family. They let me play in the kitchen, baking them an apple pie on Monday after dinner. I do them they way my aunt taught me, piling fresh sliced apples more than twice the hight of the pie plate and covering them with spiced sugar and a bit of butter before doming the pie crust over all. Then bake a short time in a hot oven, to get the crust to solidify in place before turning the heat down and letting the apples cook down till they just fill the shell bottom. They've got a *nice* stove/oven. After the pie went into the oven we played Settlers of Cattan till after midnight. (There are advantages to visiting during school holidays--the kids are permitted to stay up late if they are behaving themselves and being pleasant company.) On Tuesday I baked a particularly soft and yummy braided loaf of bread, using buttermilk for the liquid. Tuesday afternoon I went for a short walk to admire the view--it is so nice to be back in Anchorage and have the lovely Chugach Range for a backdrop. I'm also overjoyed to be some place with real snow again. Tuesday evening I went sledding for the first time in at least a decade. Fun! I should really do this more often.

On Wednesday morning I was picked up by my cousin R., and we drove out to Wasilla to his brother K.'s house. After a brief visit there we three drove up to Copper Center (about four hour drive north) to the home of their brother S. I truly enjoyed that drive--the mountains through which we drive are beautiful. We used to do that drive quite a few times a year when I was a kid, since my cousins lived in the Sourdough area. Even when I was little I'd spend the drive with my eyes glued to the window admiring the beauty of the mountains.

We arrived as S.'s wife K. was finishing up some holiday pies, and she let me make the bread dough for the breadsticks for her holiday party today. Since she had a half gallon of cream in the fridge I opted for a rich loaf--I used two cups of cream, two of milk, two eggs, and some hot water for the liquid, added about a half a stick of butter, a spoonful of honey, and enough flour (mostly white, but some whole wheat) to make up enough dough for six loaves of bread (she's expecting 43 people for tonight's gathering). We three pans of breadsticks, and then I showed her how to make crescent rolls with the rest of the dough. Again the bread came out very soft and yummy, and we've eaten a fair few of the rolls already, and guests aren't expected to start arriving for hours.

I won't see the arrival of the guests. K., R., and I will be driving back to Wasilla this afternoon so that K. can spend Christmas with his wife and sons. R. will be flying out on Tuesday, and I'll probably be spending time with friends in Anchorage after Christmas and before I fly to Fairbanks on the 30th. Now I just need to contact people and make arrangements for where I will be going next. Sure hope they let me do baking wherever I wind up, too, I'm liking having access to better ovens than the tiny toaster oven I've got in Milan.
kareina: (me)
I arrived in Anchorage on Monday afternoon, after a pleasant flight wherin I accomplished more sewing on my winter coat in progress, getting the cuffs and collar attached (thus making it much more wearable!). Before boarding the plane I enjoyed one of those "small world" moments which is so common in Alaska. A woman sat down next to me in the boarding area, and we got to chatting. I thought she looked kind of familiar, and just then she shifted her boarding pass so that I could see her name. Causing me to say "wait, I know you!". She is the mother of one of my highschool boyfriends, and one of my friends on Facebook. I wouldn't have recognized her name if not for the latter--she changed back to her maiden name after her second divorce years ago, but when I knew her she was using the surname of her children's father. She told me that she thought I looked familiar too, and had been thinking to herself that I looked to be about the same age as her kids, and wondering if I had attended Steller.

I was met at the airport by a friend with whom I had attended highschool. He and I didn't really get to know one another then--he was several grades ahead of me, and I idolized his circle of friends, but didn't hang out with them. However, we've gotten to know one another via facebook, and he'd sent me a message saying that if I made it back to Alaska I should come visit, so I took him up on it. I'm glad I did, I had much fun hanging out with his family. They let me play in the kitchen, baking them an apple pie on Monday after dinner. I do them they way my aunt taught me, piling fresh sliced apples more than twice the hight of the pie plate and covering them with spiced sugar and a bit of butter before doming the pie crust over all. Then bake a short time in a hot oven, to get the crust to solidify in place before turning the heat down and letting the apples cook down till they just fill the shell bottom. They've got a *nice* stove/oven. After the pie went into the oven we played Settlers of Cattan till after midnight. (There are advantages to visiting during school holidays--the kids are permitted to stay up late if they are behaving themselves and being pleasant company.) On Tuesday I baked a particularly soft and yummy braided loaf of bread, using buttermilk for the liquid. Tuesday afternoon I went for a short walk to admire the view--it is so nice to be back in Anchorage and have the lovely Chugach Range for a backdrop. I'm also overjoyed to be some place with real snow again. Tuesday evening I went sledding for the first time in at least a decade. Fun! I should really do this more often.

On Wednesday morning I was picked up by my cousin R., and we drove out to Wasilla to his brother K.'s house. After a brief visit there we three drove up to Copper Center (about four hour drive north) to the home of their brother S. I truly enjoyed that drive--the mountains through which we drive are beautiful. We used to do that drive quite a few times a year when I was a kid, since my cousins lived in the Sourdough area. Even when I was little I'd spend the drive with my eyes glued to the window admiring the beauty of the mountains.

We arrived as S.'s wife K. was finishing up some holiday pies, and she let me make the bread dough for the breadsticks for her holiday party today. Since she had a half gallon of cream in the fridge I opted for a rich loaf--I used two cups of cream, two of milk, two eggs, and some hot water for the liquid, added about a half a stick of butter, a spoonful of honey, and enough flour (mostly white, but some whole wheat) to make up enough dough for six loaves of bread (she's expecting 43 people for tonight's gathering). We three pans of breadsticks, and then I showed her how to make crescent rolls with the rest of the dough. Again the bread came out very soft and yummy, and we've eaten a fair few of the rolls already, and guests aren't expected to start arriving for hours.

I won't see the arrival of the guests. K., R., and I will be driving back to Wasilla this afternoon so that K. can spend Christmas with his wife and sons. R. will be flying out on Tuesday, and I'll probably be spending time with friends in Anchorage after Christmas and before I fly to Fairbanks on the 30th. Now I just need to contact people and make arrangements for where I will be going next. Sure hope they let me do baking wherever I wind up, too, I'm liking having access to better ovens than the tiny toaster oven I've got in Milan.

Profile

kareina: (Default)
kareina

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
23 45 67 8
910 1112131415
16 171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags