9 posts tagged with “baking”

  • Sweet potato cinnamon rolls for Angela Merkel

    I have a friend who shared with me an idea she had for a series involving the Proust questionnaire.

    I think it’s brilliant, given the people she’d like to reveal more about themselves. The personality test is one she’d like to put to chefs, so often asked to talk about their influences in the kitchen and favourite ingredients. I’d love to know who Jamie Oliver would be if not himself. That’s way more telling than his thoughts on kale.

    When I get really self-indulgent, I pretend in my head that someone is asking me such questions. It usually happens when brushing my teeth and looking in the mirror. Something about reflecting, I guess.

    If someone were to ask me the Proust-esque question, who are your heroes in real life or what famous person would you most like to have tea with, I’d say without hesitation Angela Merkel.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Sourdough svengali: John Graham of Park Road Bread

    John Graham of Park Road Bread.

    I originally wrote this story for The Hamilton Spectator.

    I have a loaf of bread baking in my oven as I type.

    One thing is certain: it won’t be as good anything John Graham bakes.

    I call the proprietor of Grimsby’s Park Road Bread a sourdough Svengali. The man makes fermented flour work for him in an almost magical way. A way that eludes me.

    Maybe it’s all the precious language around getting the all-important starter, which is simply flour and water, to … start. Most people call the festering concoction that leavens bread a mother, which is enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

    I don’t want to do wrong by anything named Mother, and yet, I’ve inadvertently killed many mothers by not feeding them enough flour, feeding them the wrong kind, or worse, forgetting to feed them anything at all.

    “Think of it like an army,” Graham told me when we met at his home earlier this summer.

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  • Regrets and potato doughnuts + a giveaway for Per La Famiglia

    Whitecap Books kindly provided me with a copy of Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Cooking for review but was given no input into the writing of this post.

    My biggest regret in life is not learning German.

    Saturday mornings spent as a kid trying to master what noun went with which definite article — der Hund, die Katze, das Mädchen — when I’d have rather been watching cartoons was enough to alienate me from the entire process. And much to my Oma Mayer’s disappointment, the rest of her existence was spent speaking in a German-English pidgin that included lots of gesturing when we were together.

    Now, nearly three years after her death, I’m finally trying to master the language. But for every new word I gain, I become more acutely aware of what I lost by having waited this long, including learning from her in the kitchen when I’d visit her in Germany.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Hip, hip, hooray for hipster bread

    I made risotto for dinner on Friday night.

    With a radicchio begging to be used and a squash screaming at me that the end was nigh, I figured this was a good solution.

    I shredded the radicchio, diced my kabocha, chopped my onion and heated my oil. Things were going swell until I went to my pantry to discover I was out of arborio rice. I’m never out of arborio rice. But then I remembered my husband needed to rescue a damp BlackBerry a little while back, and my stash of short grains was sacrificed for the cause.

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