Today I finished off a can of Barefoot Contessa Pancake Mix — I know one can make one’s own pancake mix, and I’ll try that soon, but I like this mix. I’d also seen a reference to Jacqueline Kennedy’s waffle recipe — which looks like a normal waffle recipe, except it calls for separating the eggs and whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks, then folding the egg whites into the rest of the batter at the last moment, making a thicker, fluffier batter. I tried it with these, and it did indeed make thicker, fluffier pancakes — though it might also have been because I didn’t have quite enough of the pancake mix and substituted self-rising flour, instead. I’ll have to try again and see how it goes.
To the links! (Not golf.)
An artist called Dominic Wilcox made a xylophone trash bin, which drops a ball bearing across the xylophone wood which spirals around the trash bin. Watch the videos, it’s pretty cool!
Tonight I successfully made 150 degree (65 degree C) eggs. They were really good; the yolk still wasn’t runny, probably because they were closer to 151 degree eggs. But the whites were better, and the yolk was soft and almost-liquid-but-not-quite. I’ll probably do that again sometime, but it takes an hour of constant babysitting on our stove (move the pot closer to the flame, move it away from the flame, watch the thermometer to make sure the pot of water doesn’t heat up or cool down too much). If I really got into this thing I wouldn’t mind a circulator for cooking sous-vide (vacuum packed food cooked at specific temperatures, sort of like a fancy crock pot with gadgets), but those are quite pricey. I’ll probably just keep experimenting and keeping the recipes I use to what the limits of my patience are.
Today turned out to be a get-small-stuff-around-the-house-done day as well as a Gordon Ramsay day. All I really know about him is that he gets made fun of a lot on British comedy TV and radio; but when trying to figure out how to cook a ribeye steak (it was treat day at the meat store on Saturday), I found his Ribeye-in-a-minute recipe and also his Sublime scrambled eggs recipe. I tried both; I screwed up the scrambled eggs (I always cook them too quickly) but they were still tasty. And oh my, the ribeye was good. I ended up cutting it in half to make a small round instead of a giant steak, and I’m going to try that again tomorrow night.
Discover magazine interviews Hervé This one of the founders of the science of molecular gastronomy, in which he reveals that cooking boiled eggs isn’t so much about the timing as it is about the temperature. I’ve got an egg, a cooking pot, and a thermometer, and I’m going to try a 65-degree egg tomorrow. (via Kottke)
Dead Fucking Last — a blog chronicling those in the Olympics who come in last place in various events. (via Kottke)
I’m going to have to go read more of this — it’s a blog by the three pro photographers sent by Newsweek to the Olympics. It looks like they use a crazy amount of equipment to get the photos they do, but oh boy do they get some impressive photos — and some really honest commentary to boot. They’re publishing the photographers’ favorite photos on the blog, not just the ones used for the magazine. My favorites so far are the expressions on the faces of the divers as they do their launch, as seen from overhead. (via Kottke)
Finally, because I like his writing from the Newsweek blog above, here’s a link to Vincent Laforet, who started his own blog as a result of the olympic blogging assignment.
Today was lots of fun, in a run-around-and-get-things-done kind of way. I’m quite tired now though.
I put up only one post so far about the food, but with pictures, at out of house and home, our group food and recipe blog. But I got the pictures set up for the pots-de-creme and devonshire berry pavlovas (thank you again, Extraordinary Desserts), so just have to write the posts for those. I’m also probably going to make another batch of yuzu cream tomorrow — I have some limes and an orange I have to use up, some puff pastry in the freezer, and a new microplane grater to try out.
Today I only found one link. One link! Internet, you’ve failed me for today! Also I’m too tired to go hunting now.
Today’s link is to this story about medieval nanotech (which isn’t nearly as cool as that combination of words should be), whereupon it’s been discovered that a thin coat of gold on certain stained glass windows actually works kind of like titanium dioxide to help remove VOCs from the air when struck by sunlight — a natural air purifier, as it were.
We’ll try for more tomorrow. Internet, you’ve been told!
So today I took the day off; despite having got up at noon (i guess I really needed the sleep) I think I got more done today than I normally do on a weekend. Though I still didn’t get everything I wanted done.
I made kitchen joy today: I baked my very first salmon piece, and had a lovely maple-onion-mustard glaze on it (and have lunch for tomorrow, too!). Then, I started on the recipe pair from Extraordinary Desserts — Devonshire Berry Pavlova (with egg whites) and Chocolate Pot-de-creme (with egg yolks). The meringues came out OK; I found out that when you bake them you’re basically trying to dry them out (thank you, Mr. McGee), and mine didn’t dry out as much as they should have. They worked, though, and now I have a few bags full of meringue shells. They’ll go well with the half-assed mock Devonshire cream I made yesterday, and the blueberries I picked up at Trader Joe’s, as well as the champagne grapes from Costco. I love the season of cheap fruit! Thanks to Ms. Krasne’s class, I got my egg whites to stiff peak stage for the first time ever.
After that, I worked on the Oreo-style pots-de-creme. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, and I’m not going to taste them till tomorrow, since they have to refrigerate. But even if the presentation sucks, with any luck the taste will be decent. We’ll see — it’s my first real food experiment. I took pictures of both and will try to put them up this weekend.
And some food-related yumminess. The other night, I made some fried bananas with half-assed mock devonshire cream (I didn’t have enough of the ingredients for mock devonshire cream, so I threw enough bits together so it tasted good); but these grilled chocolate banana boats look really good. (via SlashFood).
Because it’s summer, and alcohol tends to dehydrate me more than make me enjoy it, I’m probably going to try my hand at these mocktails later this week too. Ah, plans.