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February 28, 2005

Knife block

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Eddy sent me this amazing image. Not for sale, but great to contemplate. It is a Raffaele Iannello Knife Block. He found it on gismodo and they found it in the Vice Versa catalog. Gismodo is also featuring a transparent toaster and many other amazing gadgets, gizmos, and wild things.




Posted by BKG at 10:51 PM

February 27, 2005

Lunch for the team

Kichri in the rice cooker--chana dal, brown rice, and spices (garam masala, turmeric, cumin, bay leaf). Will serve it with chopped onion, fresh coriander, lemon, and lime pickle. Plus collard greens and salad. For the rest of the week I have sprouted black eye peas, which I will prepare with fried garlic.

Posted by BKG at 8:36 PM

Madras Cafe

Saw YokastaS this afternoon and we enjoyed it very much. Tried out Madras Cafe on 2nd Avenue, between 5th and 6th, as a dry run for a dinner I am planning for the working group. South Indian, kosher, and "vegan friendly." The interior is drab, the people who work there very nice, and the food that we had was OK, but it did not sparkle. It is inexpensive and I think I could work with them on a nice menu, strictly South Indian and not only vegan but also hypoallergenic for those who cannot eat wheat or dairy.

Posted by BKG at 8:28 PM

February 24, 2005

Beans

Beans! This week the ones I have on the go are:

* mung beans, barely sprouted, Indian style, for salads
* black eye peas, with onion, chili, turmeric, garam masala, fresh green chili, ginger, garlic, potatoes diced small, and chopped Chinese garlic chives thrown in at the end
* black eye peas, sprouted, and then sauteed with garlic (Jaffrey's World Vegetarian)
* black soy beans, simmered till very little water is left, add tamari or shoyu and simmer until beans are glazed and pot is dry
* aduki beans, stir fried with Chinese mushrooms, garlic, and green pepper (Jaffrey's World Vegetarian)
* channa dal, with Indian spices and tomatoes and fresh coriander

It's been a big bean week!

Posted by BKG at 10:32 AM

Dinner for Shelley

For the dinner in honor of Shelley, a menu in the making:

* Roasted cauliflower
* Black rice
* Carrots poriyal
* Roasted red onions
* Greens, quinces, pomegranate molasses
* Beans--to be decided what kind, maybe mashed edamame with black tamari soybeans
* Winter tabouli with fresh fennel, endive, walnuts
* Roasted yukon potatoes with shaved lemon peel
* Orange flourless cake

Posted by BKG at 9:53 AM

Whole citrus flourless cake

Now, here's a find. Whole citrus, no flour, delicious cake. Always looking for great wheatless desserts for Jeff and I think I have found it. Sort of like making marmalade, but with whole citrus, grinding it up, mixing it with ground almonds, and baking it in a tin. Divine! But, organic fruit--which no one mentions--is essential, as the pesticides, fungicides, and color on citrus rinds is nobody's business. I'll try lemons, oranges of various kinds, and grapefruit, which might be too bitter--will look for ones with thin rind.

Posted by BKG at 9:25 AM

Stolen salad

Beautiful winter salad, thinly sliced brussel sprouts. So simple. Dressed with lemon and olive oil, with a nice sharp white cheese.

Posted by BKG at 9:03 AM

February 22, 2005

Altus

Altus, "according to George Greenstein's 'Secrets of a Jewish Baker'...is the secret of good rye bread. Altus is left-over ground-up rye bread, soaked in water. To make altus, cut the crusts from a loaf of bread, soak it in water for several hours, or overnight, under refrigeration. It will keep several weeks under refrigeration. Use small amounts in bread dough, pressing water out of it. This will intensify the taste of the rye bread, make it a moister bread. You will have to adjust the hydration of your dough when you use altus, probably adding a bit more flour."

Posted by BKG at 4:44 PM

Sourdough, a success!

Well. what a loaf! I left the baked loaf out overnight to cool. Next morning I wrapped the bread in a linen towel and let it sit for 24 hours to let the crumb form properly. Great crust, crumb, and flavor. Just wonderful. So, I've started another batch. This time I'm soaking Red River cereal (lovely small rye and wheat grits plus whole flax seed) with crumbs from the loaf I just made (altus) and I ground up about a cup of flax, which I will add too. I will also experiment with other coarse grains--polenta, millet, fine kasha, steel cut oats, rice grits, and multigrain hot cereals that I can buy in bulk. The proofing box is working just fine.

Oh, and served the lads, as Max calls them, eggplant adobo, brown rice, and chana dal left from yesterday, plus salad for lunch. Excellent! Max will eat what is left for his dinner.

Posted by BKG at 4:37 PM

February 21, 2005

Presidents Day

Lunch today for Max's staff was brown rice, carrot poriyal, which was divine, and chana dal, plus salad. The sourdough is wrapped in a linen towel so the crumb has time to form. Will slice it tomorrow and see how I did this time. Still have a ways to go to get it right. Anthony made a small adjustment to the proofing box--cardboard covered with tin foil, with a hole in the middle, through which the light socket passes, so it does not fall into the box. Max is happy with the stewed apples that I made from the ones he brought home from the Greenmarket. Beautiful big aromatic apples, with the skins on.

Posted by BKG at 11:41 PM

Sourdough report

Went to see Vera Drake last night. Reminded Max of his family in New Zealand in the forties and fifties. Came home and heated up the oven. It is a self-cleaning oven, so therefore extremely well insulated and the door seals tight. Heated it up to its max, with cast iron pot inside, and it got to 600F (according to two oven thermometers). Dusted and scored the dough (need to find the best way to score the loaf, maybe even dock it when there is such a high percentage of rye). Baked the loaf (1 big round 4 lb dense loaf) at the highest temperature for 20 minutes, with the lid on, then took the lid off and reduced the temperature to 425 for another 30 minutes, and about 45 minutes more at 350F. Took the temperature and removed the loaf when the internal temperature of the bread was about 205F. The highest it can get is 210F.

Posted by BKG at 9:47 AM

February 20, 2005

Sourdough proofing box

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It is often cold in the loft, in the sixties, and sourdough needs to be at 78F and even 85F for rye doughs, which I make. So, I have been eager to make an insulation box for weeks. Finally assembled all the parts:

* styrofoam cooler (chilly box in New Zealand), which proved very difficult to find in Manhattan. None of the supermarkets had one. I finally found what I was looking for at the 24-hour Korean grocer down the road, but it was not cheap ($11.00, when it should be more like $2.50), but that's Manhattan

* light bulb attached to fixture that does not get hot, an electrical cord and plug. The lighting store up the road had everything I needed and the Chinese salesperson helped me find the various components. He told me what to do to assemble them, which I did. My fixture is plastic. Ceramic would be better, as a hot bulb can melt the styofoam.

* Insta-read thermometer--The 25 watt flametip bulb I bought is way too hot, with the temperature in the box getting as high as 140F, so my "themostat" is opening the lid, more or less, to regulate the temperature. I used a plastic funnel, which opened the box just enough to to maintain 80F. I'll try either a 15 watt bulb or the GE 25 watt flametip auradescent bulb that Ed Wood swears by. I did buy a little switch, which can cut the wattage in half, so if I can figure out how to install it, I will give that a try--just did (Anthony came in this morning and added the switch to the wire in a jiffy and 12.5 watts is perfect! Maintaining 85 degrees. And, hopefully, the cooler bulb will not melt the styrofoam.) I've lined the hole with tin foil so the socket fits more snugly and will not fall out when I open the lid--need to be careful about that in any case.

Last night I got my starter out of the fridge--it had been there three weeks without any attention--and brought it to room temperature, before refreshing it overnight. This was the first time I used the scale to weigh ingredients. I made the dough today, this time adding whole flax, which I soaked in cold water, and whole rye berries, which I soaked in boiling water and then pulsed in the food processor to make a kind of gruel. Plus caraway--the caraway I bought at Integral Yoga was so fresh the aroma exploded when I opened the jar. it brought back memories of picking up hot rye bread at Sherman's bakery on the way home for lunch when I was in primary school and eating the crunchy heel of the bread on the way. Triple kimmel rye is a still a favorite in my parents' home.

I could not find anything but rye flour and whole rye berries -- actually, in a moment of desperation, I looked for millers in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Saskatchewan who sell organic stone ground flour and considered ordering 25 lb bags. I also checked out home grain mills. Thank goodness I discovered that Integral Yoga sells organic rye flour in bulk. But, I really would like coarse rye flour, rye meal, chopped rye... Next batch of sourdough, I'll add a cup of Red River cereal, a combination of rye, wheat, and flax--I like the nice small size of the chopped grain. I brought three boxes of it back with me from Toronto and make hot cereal in the rice cooker each week. The company is located in Manitoba and has been in business since 1924.

Posted by BKG at 4:18 PM

Mission fig compote

DSCN9008.jpg_t-1Lovely little black shrivelled mission figs! How's this for a "fig fact"? "Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes, or the real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree." Or, a little mission fig history from the California Fig Advisory Board:

"Figs were brought to California by the Spanish missionary fathers who first planted them at the San Diego Mission in 1759. Fig trees were then planted at each succeeding mission, going North through California. The Mission fig, California’s leading black fig, takes its name from this history. The popular Calimyrna fig, golden brown in color, is the Smyrna variety that was brought to California’s San Joaquin Valley from Turkey in 1882, and was renamed Calimyrna in honor of its new homeland. However, the story of figs in California is relatively short in comparison to the history of figs throughout the world."

Bought a pound of organic mission figs, rinsed them, and placed them in a pot, with just enough water to cover and a few slices of fresh ginger and the whole peel of half a previously squeezed organic lemon. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a low simmer, and watch for figs to swell. Add a little more water if needed. Don't let them explode. They should just swell and soften--like testicles, if I say so myself (no wonder "fig" is the name of an obscene gesture). Let cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. If the liquid does not cover the figs, invert the container and after a few hours, set upright again. They are even better the next day. Excellent with hot cereal or yogurt.

Posted by BKG at 3:38 PM

February 19, 2005

Food for the week

Top of the list is sourdough bread. Getting the starter going. Will assemble the insulation box. Otherwise:

* brown rice
* black soy beans, simmered with soy sauce
* spinach and other greens
* salad
* eggplant adobo
* bitter melon poriyal (I'm the only one who likes it)
* black eye peas
* roasted beets and carrots
* carrot kootu
* chana dal

Posted by BKG at 11:00 PM

Integral Yoga Natural Foods

Heading off for Integral Yoga Natural Foods in the West Village. They sell rye flour in bulk and I am eager to get the rye sourdough going again. Will stop by the lighting store to buy the parts for the insulation box I am making our of a styrofoam chilly bin, as a cooler is known in New Zealand. Will see what other flours and grains they have.

Posted by BKG at 4:12 PM

February 18, 2005

Lewis and Patsy

Dinner tonight was to be here, so I shopped in Chinatown and picked up glass jars at DiPalo--they saved them for me. Haven't there for years, but have fond memories of the father making fresh mozzarella each morning. The banter is still great. What I had in mind was:

* Roasted beets and carrots with thinly sliced beet greens
* Spinach with besan dumplings
* Collards
* Salad (watercress and lettuce)
* Black rice
* Eggplant adobo
* Roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes
* bitter melon

I'll cook this up for the week as we ended up going to Funky Broome instead.

Posted by BKG at 12:29 PM

February 14, 2005

Pilates

pilates_original_studio.jpg There are many things that I like about Pilates, not least of which is that it is so retro. Contrology is what Joseph Pilates called it. The equipment is rather Rube Goldberg, improvised originally from bed springs and the like, and the effect something between physiotherapy and S&M. A great story! This photograph was taken in his Greenwich Village Studio in the 1950s. Dancers continue to favor Pilates for stretching and lengthening muscles.

Posted by BKG at 7:47 PM

Exercise

09a10bx.jpg It's winter, cold and grey, a time to be indoors. Writing all day. At my desk. Pilates around the corner at re:ab and the Royal Canadian Airforce XBX Plan for Physical Fitness at home. I had a copy of this workout years ago but have no idea where it is, so I squirreled around until I found a copy online. W.A. Orr wrote the original plan for men and Norman Ashton the version for women. The program was picked up elsewhere and there is even a New Zealand edition. Though the Canadian airforce apparently abandoned the exercise plan in the 1970s, it is enjoying a comeback among fitness and weight loss seekers. There is even a Palm version! And, the pamphlet was reprinted in 2004, with earlier editions selling for $100.

Posted by BKG at 7:05 PM

The Gates

01DSCN8995_s.jpg A gift to New York, a saffron river, a processional walk. All of the above and more. Eddy read this posting and commented: "Saw via Forklore that you trekked uptown for the Gates. Nice photos. While we were watching the unfurling at 86th & CPW on Saturday morning, Christo and Jean-Claude pulled up in their limo, got out and spent about 15 minutes talking to the group that had gathered. After telling everyone to respect the park and not to walk on the grass, he promptly walked across the grass for a photo op with the unfurlers. Anyhow, the Gates created a sense of wonder and (dare I say?) happy community among those in the park. Nice. My son said it looked like an orange car wash." Yes, and I would add, like the protective wrapping round buildings under construction and traffic cones and the vests worn by construction workers, and cops directing traffic--in a word, highly visible, an alert.

Posted by BKG at 2:01 PM