Monday, September 26, 2011

A friend and fellow food blogger from the food crypt found these these anthropomorphic images of greatness and mailed me the link. The tortured veggie images are Illustrated by Louis Peltier  (1885–1946). More images on the secret lives of vegetables are here: 

A Savory Roaster Found

The Savory Roaster Post has gotten more comments than any other post on our blog. It seems there are a few people out there who are looking for them. This is for you. I just found a listing for one available on Etsy for $48.00.  This is a photo of the one available there. Looks like a nice one to me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


During a trip to my favorite local purveyor of German foods, Geiers Sausage Kitchen, I came across this marzipan curiosity. I didn’t know what it meant, but I had to buy one. My brother-in-law is from Switzerland and is able to shed light on all things European. He recalled the Geldsheisser as a German term for someone who seems to have money that comes from thin air. We did a internet search that confirmed our suspicions. Americanized, the term would be Gold Shitter. I think that it would be fair to say that in our current economic downturn we all know at least one Geldsheisser.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slavic Word “Guba” Describes the Snail Shape of this Bread

This bread keeps really well because of all the enrichments. Sliced thin with butter at hand is the way to enjoy it. Perhaps with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Redolent and a creamy sweet crumb.

Adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field
Makes 2 round loaves

·2 tbsp instant yeast (we use SAF-instant)
·¾ cup warm milk
·1 cup plus 1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

Prepare yeast in warm milk. Let sit till creamy. Add ingredients and stir till smooth, cover, and let sponge
rise 30 minutes to 1 hour.

·2 eggs
·2 egg yolks
·½ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar (130 g)
·3 to 4 tbsp milk
·3 ¾ cups (500 g) unbleached all-purpose Flour
·1 ¼ tsp (7 g ) salt
·Grated zest of 2 lemons
·2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
·1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter, room temp.

Add eggs, yolks, sugar and 3 tbsp milk to the sponge and stir until smooth. Stir in the flour (1 cup at a time) and the salt and keep stirring until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and vanilla (and 1 tbsp milk if necessary). The dough will be sticky at first. Knead on a floured board about 8-10 minutes (velvety & supple strong gluten). If your dough is too slack add quarter cup more flour and knead in. As the butter is 18 % water. The butter is soft now. Add the butter all at once and knead into the dough. As a note your dough will act quite unruly and not accept the butter, but keep at it pulling the dough up over the butter and continue to knead. It will eventually incorporate into the dough yielding a beautiful supple dough. Cover well, and let rise 2-3 hours (double in size).

·2 ¾ cup (300 g) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped
·¾ cup (90 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped
·1/3 cup (35 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted
·2 tbsp (20 g) blanched almonds, chopped
·1 ½ cups (160 g) crumbs from leftover sweet breads, cookies, and/or homemade breads
(we used amaretti italian cookies)
·Generous 1 cup (180 g) raisins (we used currents
instead of raisins)

·½ cup plus 1 tbsp apricot jam (we used tangerine preserves—home made by dieter’s mom)
·½ cup (70-80 g) candied orange peel, chopped (we used citron in place of orange peel)
·Grated zest of 1 lemon
·1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
·1 tsp ground cinnamon
·3 tbsp sweet Marsala
·2 tbsp plus 1 tsp grappa (we used 1/4 cup grappa and soaked the currents for three hours
covered. we only used the currents that were soaked and not any of the additional liquid )
·2 tbsp rum
·1 tbsp amaretto liqueur (we used galiano)
·1 tsp maraschino (cherry) liqueur

For egg wash + sealing dough edges:
·1 egg
·2 tsp water

Shaping + second rise:
Combine nuts, bread crumbs, raisins, jam, orange peel lemon zest, cocoa powder, cinnamon, Marsala, grappa, rum and liqueurs. This will look like a huge amount of filling, but it will all go in.

Cut the dough in half on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each piece into an 18 X 12 inch rectangle. If the dough resists rolling cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let the gluten rest for ten minutes then try rolling again. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides. Mix the egg and water in a small bowl, and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Starting at one long edge, roll up dough rectangle and pinch the ends. Shape each log into a spiral, so that it looks like a big snail. Place each dough spiral in a lightly oiled nine inch spring form pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until well puffed, but not doubled, 2-2 ½ hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F
Just before baking, brush the tops of the loaves with egg white, and poke several holes in the tops with a skewer to let air escape from any air pockets. Bake 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F (at this time you want to loosely tent the gubano and cook tented so the top does not become too dark.) and bake until deep golden, 25 minutes longer. Remove the form carefully and let cool completely on racks. Because the bread is so rich, we cut it into two pieces and froze half of it to have for later. Yum Yum... Read more about this bread and see some nice photos at The Fresh Loaf.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All About The Savory Roaster

When I go thrifting, I like to go alone and with no other mission other than having a few hours mingling with the stuff. The stuff either speaks to me or it doesn't, but all stuff has a voice, you just have to look and listen. The Savory roaster and I fell for one another with just one touch. Just look at the smooth shoulders, the Venus of roasters, this roaster is a grand dame and I love her. The only trouble was I did not know much about her, so a-researching I went and this is what I found. She was made by Republic metalware company of Buffalo New York around 1908. Here is an ad in Home furnishing review of the time.

Home Furnishing Review: “Republic Metalware Co. Every buyer of house furnishing goods knows that the Republic Metalware Company of Buffalo NY manufactures the Savory Roaster. The sale of the roaster has been so enormous during the past year that there is not a housewife from Maine to California who does not know of these roasters. The Republic Metalware Company does not stop with the make of Savory Roasters however, but manufactures also the famous Hustler Ash Sifters. This is a rotary sifter that sifts out the coal clean without dust or dirt. The ashes are put in a hopper and the boy or woman of the house turns the handle which revolves a heavy galvanized sifter dropping the ashes into the barrel and throwing the unburned coal into a waiting coal skuttle. It is lots of fun to work one of these ash sifters and they will more than pay for themselves within a short time. The Republic Metalware Company also makes galvanized ash cans with broad tripple corrugated reinforced strips securely riveted on with large malleable drop handles. These are the best and strongest ash cans made and the entire equipment is one that should be known to every house furnishing dealer in the trade. Full particulars regarding this and the many other metal ware specialties manufactured by the Republic Metalware Company may be obtained by writing to this firm.

No Text

Well it seems that royalty money was at the core of a dispute over the patient rights to the Savory roaster. The inventor of the Savory roaster, was a man named Mathy. He hammered out the orginal roasters in his home and sold them with the name “Savory” stamped into them. He later entered an agreement with the Republic Metalware company for the manufacture of the roasters. Mathy agreed to let Republic manufacture the pans in return for royalties but held on to the patent. Something went wrong between the two parties and Mathy went before the court of appeals, his contention was that the patent and “Savory ” trademark was still his and he had not abandoned or forfeited his rights to the contract. Republic Metalware tried to prove other wise. As best I can tell the judges ruled in favor of Mathy. Read it for yourself and correct me if I have re-capped anything incorrectly. Below is the drawing from the patent office. Click on the image or name to view and read the source. Including his claims for the roaster.


One final note: a Savory roaster testimonial.

 Re: What is the most unusual cooking utensil/item you own?    

I have about 10 or more Savory Roasters. My mother had one that was her grandmother's. When I left home, I was lost because she WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME!!! When my daughter was 4 and my son was an infant, while traveling through central Missouri on our way back to Texas from Illinois, I found 2 roasters in the same town. They traveled back to Houston under my children's feet. It took me another 12 years to find another. The best are the enamel glazed roasters that come in white, blues, red, yellow, green. They come in 3 sizes–regular large, junior and a tiny one. When my children get married or go off on their own, they'll be given their own roasters so they'll never say anything bad about me–at least regarding my hoarding of the Savory Roaster. I cannot dry out a turkey or chicken no matter what I do. They're wonderful. I don't mind sharing since I'm sure I have plenty in my own stock!

To visit this site go to-

“Kitchen Kut-Outs!” Anthropomorphic Perfection!

Dear friends I must say that I am ecstatic to have come across this unexpected spread in "The Complete Crumb Comics Volume 4, Mr Sixties". I thought to start my summer reading with this
inspirational work by the master of all underground comics, R. Crumb My personal thanks to goes out to Mr Crumb for making the world a lot more interesting. So hey, go to , type in the complete Crumb, and get into the summer groove!
Click on pictures for a larger view, you may want to buy a sketch pad.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Amana Recipes: Prune Drop Cookies

The joy of discovery has no rivals except the joy of being thankful. Imagine yourself as a desert prospector and you find a gold nugget after many a month with little hope—a moment of blessed joy. With the current economic climate, I have like millions, tightened the belt to save a buck. My gold nuggets now come from the thrift shop instead of Barnes and Nobel. The Amana Recipes cook book is one such nugget. A search on the internet indicated that many book sellers have this title for sale, for cheap, so if you desire a copy it is yours for what I paid the thrift shop. But, no matter, this is a delightful volume that has won my imagination. The history of the Amana settlers began in this country in 1842, German immigrants here for reasons of religious freedom. This utopian history alone is intriguing and there is much on the internet to read. But only the cookbook will let you smell and taste what the Amana community kitchens were serving up. My joy prompts me to share a recipe, and I am thankful that I can do that much.

Zwetchen Kecks:
Prune Drop Cookies

2/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
1 cup white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour milk (I used buttermilk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 cup chopped cooked prunes
3 1/2 cups flour (I used “WhiteLily” all purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nutmeats (I used pecans)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 heaping teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs. Mix well. Dissolve soda in milk and add with the remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes in moderate oven, 350 degrees.

*Cooks notes;
Cook a heaping cup of whole prunes in a 1/4 cup water, bring to a simmer and stir until the liquid is cooked off, cool then chop.

The recipe did not call for any salt. Salt is probably not necessary but, as a flavor enhancer I decided to add a small amount.

Why the baking soda was added to the buttermilk is beyond me. My process is: Have all ingredients at room temperature. Cream the butter with the sugar then add eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine all dry ingredients, flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In additions of thirds add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter-sugar-egg mixture.Then add the prunes and nut meats, do not over mix.

The results are a moist cake like cookie, not super sweet, a spice cookie presence, you could easily mistake the prunes for raisins, good with an afternoon tea or coffee.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Algerian Semolina Bread

Khobz El Dar: (Homemade Bread) Algerian Semolina Bread is originally from the blog titled 64 square foot kitchen. Warda's version is made with baking powder. I decided to convert the recipe to a yeast bread because I imagined an original, perhaps ancient recipe would have been made with yeast rather than baking powder.

Warda is absolutely right to want to coat her body with a perfume that contains the essence of anise and orange. Eating this bread is nothing short of a sensual experience. Thick slices slathered with butter and a cup of tea will turn an ordinary afternoon into an event you will want to share.

Algerian Semolina Bread
.256 grams fine durum semolina flour
.256 grams unbleached all purpose flour
.104 grams sugar
.010 grams salt
.216 scalded and cooled whole milk
2 eggs or approx 104 grams large eggs
.140 grams unsalted butter room temperature
.012 grams anise seeds
.008 grams orange zest, or ground candied orange peels
.012 grams of instant yeast

yields a little over two pounds (1.118 grams) of dough suitable for one two pound Panettone paper form as pictured or, this recipe will make two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 Pullman loaves.

weight and mix all the dry ingredients
scald the milk and cool
bring eggs and butter to room temperature

Beat the eggs and cool milk together. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. The dough will be on the stiff side. Knead 10 to 12 minutes. Add butter and work into the dough. The dough will go crazy and your hands will be greasy, but stay with it for another ten minutes and the dough will incorporate the butter and become extremely supple. knead for five more minutes. Shape into a nice ball, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise a half hour fold the dough over on itself and let rest for another half hour. The temperature should be approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the bowl and knead for about one minute. Shape into round or divide for loaf pans. Place into pans or Panettone paper. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. When the loaves are light and fully risen transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes until the top shows light browning. Reduce the heat to 350, rotate the loaves and tent with aluminum foil. Total baking time for 2 lb Panettone form is approximately 55 minutes. If in doubt check with a probe thermometer. Bread is done at approximately 200-210 degrees. For the loaf pans bake for 35 minutes using the turn and tent procedure.

As with all breads, hydration and bake times will vary. The advantage of making smaller loaves is a shorter bake time with less exterior browning. Feel free to increase the anise and orange zest to your liking.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Enlightened Taste: Aloo Bonda

Nita and Raj, our Indian cooking guides from Casa Italia in Sarasota Florida.

A plate of Aloo Bonda accompanied by Cilantro Chutney.

Enlightenment comes when you least expect it. It came to me recently in the form of taste. My guide, a lovely women named Nita, standing at the head of a stainless steel table, is conducting an Indian cooking class. Raj, her devoted assistant and husband, stands nearby watching over the simmering pots. We roll across the Indian landscape as she explains India’s exotic aroma and tastes. All this in the confines of an Italian market.

Nita and Raj own Casa Italia in Sarasota, they carry many classic Italian favorites including a special autumnal first pressing of olive oil called Picolo Molino. Once the oil is sold, there is no more until next year. Every Thursday, Nita prepares Indian meals and offers them “to go”. From what I have heard, people wait in line for a taste of her home made dishes.

In short, Nita’s classes follow a tradition in the history of Casa Italia. Italian cooking classes have long been a feature at the store, most recently taught by Gulliano Hazan, son of cookbook author Marcella Hazan. Nita teaches in a way that lifts the veil of mystery and intimidation, of Indian cuisine. My misconceptions of “exotic” washed away as the pleasure of bright fresh flavors filled my senses.

By the time the class is finished, doors to culinary thinking open for me, revealing new methods and flavors. Enlightenment is to awaken.

Nita has graciously allowed me to publish her taste bud awakening recipe for “Aloo Bonda” Savoury Potato Dumplings. Here it is.

Sometimes the potato dumplings come out looking like little sputniks. This was a favorite among the class.

Aloo Bonda (Savoury Potato Dumplings)
serves 4-6

1 lb potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp amchoor powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
1 tbs finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tbs lemon juice

for the batter
1 cup gram flour (besan)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp baking powder
approx 1 cup water.

1. Boil the potatoes in their jackets until tender. Drain and let them cool. When cool, peel and coarsely mash them. Transfer to a wide bowl and add peas and all the dry spices, ginger, jalapño and lemon juice. Mix well, making sure all the spices are evenly distributed.

2. Make small balls, about 1 inch across, and keep in a plate. Cover with plastic wrap.

3 Sieve gram flour into a bowl and add salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Mix thoroughly. Now gradually add water to make a thick batter.

4. In a deep frying pan, heat enough oil to be about 2 inches deep. When hot, dip one potato ball at a time in the batter and carefully drop it in hot oil. Put enough balls to fill the pan in a single layer. Turn heat to medium and fry bondas till golden brown. Drain well and serve with cilantro chutney.

Cilantro Chutney:
serves 6
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 fresh hot green chili or j jalapeño pepper
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1–4 tbs water

1) Blend all ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
2) Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: all the spices here can be adjusted for personal preference. This recipe is lively and your mouth will wake up to the zing of spices.