Wednesday, June 27, 2007

...and other edible organisms...

Frank, this is The Weeb. The Weeb, this is Frank (with a healthy dose of hooch). Frank is the (thus far, organic) sourdough starter I, um, started 6 weeks ago, based on this recipe from The Food Network's site. Since then, I've made 5 batches of bread (8 loaves, I think) from the same recipe, and this cinnamon roll recipe for Father's Day.

In my starter, I used Rize Organic Yeast, substituted PC Organics' Wildflower Honey in place of the sugar and initially used PC Organics' Unbleached, Sifted, All-Purpose Flour — but I haven't been able to find it in recent weeks, so have since switched to Oak Manor's Organic, Hard Unbleached Flour.

Frank isn't really up to full strength just yet, but the quality of the bread products he's responsible for has greatly improved since I began using him in my baked goods! Some of that might be due to a minor improvement in my baking skills over that time, but I do believe Frank's mostly responsible.

Naturally, those of you who know how "granola" I am aren't in the least surprised that I've taken to keeping a "living" being in my fridge that I have to feed weekly, but which ensures easily digestible, commercial-yeast-free bread on a regular basis.

My culinary-adventurous spirit hopes to try its hand Hamburger Buns and Coffee Cake(!) in the near future.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bruce Campbell... friends, is hungry like the wolf.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Retail therapy... a very non-consumerist way

Last Saturday, I enlisted Bruce's help in getting me out to Richter's Herbs with the intent of starting the herb garden I've been dreaming of for the past two years.

I ended up going home with 9 plants in total: wasabi, coriander, Alpine strawberry, Pistou basil, compact English thyme, garlic chives, "chocolate" mint, Blue Boy rosemary and dill. I also picked up a small steel "tub" container, which I thought I could repot at least two of my new plants in.

A quick trip out to Canadian Tire yielded no more pots of interest, but I was able to secure a wireframe "box" which I could use to hold pots over our sunroom railing, a garden shovel and potting soil.

On Sunday, Bruce kindly ferried me back out to Richter's so that I could get another 3 steel containers — to hold 6 more plants in — plus one terra cotta pot for the strawberries (which I'm keeping separate 'cause I lurves strawberries).

Monday was a busy day for me, so the only progress I made on the herb garden was to wash and sterilize all the containers.

To make up for Monday's relative slack-itude, I went to Chinatown over lunch on Tuesday and picked up 3 oblong plates to use as drain trays (I had to get the fourth yesterday, 'cause it completely slipped my mind that I had 4 steel containers). Upon returning home, I punched holes in the bottoms of the steel containers using the super-high-tech hammer-and-nail method, repotted all of the plants and placed them in their respective spots, either on the sunroom floor on in the railing box. An impromptu photography session resulted in the accompanying photos.

A trip out to Lee Valley yesterday meant a haul of copper pot labels and barnyard tea (which is a less-ucky way of saying manure tea — composted manure from which a liquid fertilizer is made).

The end result is that, about $100 and 5 days later, I have a live herb garden ready for further culinary experimentation. So far, I've nibbled (a lot) on the "chocolate" mint, which really does have a chocolatey quality, was blown away by the intensity of the garlic chives and used a large sprig of rosemary with a garlic-marinated lamb dish I made for last night's dinner. As long as I'm going to try my hand at having potted plants, I figure, they might as well be practical.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pomona College a Capella group - Cry Me a River


Monday, June 04, 2007

Massive Attack ft. Beth Gibbons - Risingson/Glory Box


Friday, June 01, 2007

An oldie, but a goodie

Green Jelly - Three Little Pigs: