Really Quite Paradise

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Hey! Im back! Havent been very bloggy this summer, but as wordpress reminded me a bit ago, its been almost 10 years of me writing dumb crap on the internet so I’m able to forgive myself for the odd temporary absence. Absence makes ones farts grow fonder anyway. However, I know that the internet demands sacrifices in the form of pictures of dogs and flowers in order for the Web Gods to continue smiling upon us so I will suck it up and do my part.

So here is a dog:

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Here are some flowers:

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peonyant

Here is a dog with flowers:

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That would be Sweetpea, a big beautiful wild rose, an ant crawling on a peony for some unknown purpose, and finally Sweetpea again. She is posing artistically with Foxgloves and looking a bit nervous about a spider.

Im sorry if these pictures have been blogged about before, I had them uploaded in old drafts and I cant be bothered to check up and see if Ive ever actually shown them to you before.

I may as well post the rest of the pictures from the old drafts, they sum up our summer in Gabarus pretty nicely!

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This summer I finally got my motorcycle licence! This was taken on our first ride together to the beach, which has been a one of our shared life goals for ages now. Romance! I took a two day course, and flipped the bike twice, but got right back on. By the end of the two days I could barely move my legs and my knees were held together mostly with Band-Aids but I was very proud of myself. Mine is the old BMW and its so sexy and her name is Zerhilde. It means warrior goddess in German, whatever…

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I spent almost every day after work this summer swimming in the ocean. It was absolutely, balls-clenchingly cold, but it felt so fresh and nice. A couple of nights a seal swam with me, but pretty far away. It was still magical as fuck.

This summer we ate some amazing meals together. Lobster, mackerel and cod fish suppers at the churches and community galls around the area.  A sushi place opened up here and made me so happy. I crave me some fish eggs and eel on rice so bad. We also cooked a lot of nice meals for each other, lovely big leisurely breakfast, lots of curries, Chinese pork dumplings & salty cucumber, thai dishes, etc.

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Midnight ice cream snacks in bed..

Gorged on fresh strawberries and blueberries.

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I made an absolute buttload of blueberry jam and experimented with making rose sugar and angelica liqueurs.

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We took a week and drove to Newfoundland to make desserts at an amazing Food Festival there called Roots, Rants & Roars which I should probably do a post about.CB got a rep at the event for being the worlds most patient cook, spending hours standing slowly stirring scrunchions so they didnt burn and frying 700 doughnuts. We made blueberry doughnuts, screech n’ scrunchion doughnuts, and apple fritters with apples from our apple trees.

We got to see some of our old friends from Fogo which was so nice. I miss my Fogo people every day. We got to have a couple of meals with Murray & Judy, and buy a some of Paddy Barry’s photographs which are now on our wall.

We cooked beside Duff Goldman. We had breakfast with CB’s food-crush Zane Caplansky and his super cool wife Willa.

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We ate this!

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I made this cool cake! Most proud of this one.

I chopped off my hair. Buzzed one side and dyed it purple.

We went for numerous long drives and talked about life and the world and everything in it.

We went for hikes through the woods, taking pictures of mushrooms and frogs.

Hung out with Sweetpea, who is quite possibly The Best.

Oh yeah, and we started a business! More on that to come…

Anyway Im tired and this is so many pictures so, so long for now!

Epic NYC Face Stuff! Tasting God: The Great Truffle Perversion 2014


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Well hello there my little peepers and poopers! To borrow a phrase from my 14 year old self, this week has been “totally sweet ass”.

I am very much grateful to both the universe and my awesome bosses sending 4 of us chef-folks on food centric trip of a lifetime to NYC to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world. 5 days, 4 nights, 11 Michelin stars.. GELLIS? MWUHAHAHA. It was mind blowing and I hope I never forget a single moment, or bite.

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This was basically The Gastro-Olympics. As one of our sous chefs put it “This was a culinary juggernaut.” It gently, and with great finesse, handed our collective asses to us on a silver platter. We spent a lot of time looking at each other and yelling “whaaaaaaaat????”

I was drunk most of the time on some of the most rare and expensive wines ever produced. Everything was either stuffed with, or covered in, shaved truffles. I ate oysters at least once a day. I nearly barfed at Per Se. By the end of the trip I had cankles. Seriously. My body was so unhappy and swollen I gave myself cankles. It was so awesome.

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Free kale salad everywhere! This was the most green I saw in NY.

After 17 hours of traveling by boat, plane and car, we arrived in NYC on Thursday night around 9pm. We checked into the apartment we rented out for the week in lower Manhattan, right across from Les Halles. Which was on fire at one point while we were there.. crazy. They were back up and running for dinner service!

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Had a quick shower and went out for SUSHIIIII! Being on a small island in the North Atlantic, we get a lot of fish.. but no sushi. It’s probably the food I crave most here, and can’t really make myself without great time and expense.. cod sushi just doesn’t seem right. Newfie cod & balogne sushi??? *mental note*

Nobu was the perfect place for our first night. It is rated with a michelin star, has been around for a long time, pretty casual and makes some killer Japanese food. Also, super close! Which is good, cause I was so tired from the trip already and barely tottled my way there in my heels without falling down a sewer grate and having to become a chubby blonde ninja turtle.

We chose to have the Omakase menu, chef’s choice tasting menu. The food was beautiful, creative and oh so fresh. My favourite dish of the night was slurping down super soft and sexy Kumamoto Oysters– they made my eyes go Manga-big with happiness. I never understood why oysters were considered and aphrodisiac until then, because DAMN SON. Sexy. My second favourite were these skewers of warm crispy black rice soaked in ponzu that you dipped in seaweed salt and cover in snow crab salad. Warm, cold, salty, sweet, soft, crispy, umami, yuzu up the wazoo. YUM.

 

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The next morning we woke up and immediately went on the hunt for espresso based coffees. Oh soy lattes, how I have yearned for you..

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We headed out to meet up with one of Tims chef friends and share some brunch at Momofuku’s Saam Bar. While we waited I jumped into Milk Bar and literally bought one of everything. The girl at the counter looked at me square in the face and said “I love you”. I replied that I in fact, loved her too, and ran out with a bag of cookies, crack pie, and bagel bombs. To be honest, they were pretty meh. It made me a bit sad.. oh well! The food was mediocre but I still love that place because its fun.

ONWARDS! TO BRUNCH!

Firstly, I ordered a Sangria and then followed that with EVERYTHING ON THE FUCKING MENU.

I may have overdid it. This was what I ordered:

– honeycrisp apple kimchi  with maple labne, jowl bacon, sesame

– country hams with red eye gravy

– kimichi pickles

– fried duck & waffles with maple, quince, mascarpone

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The best thing was that everyone ordered something different from the menu and we just kind of laid it out in front of us like a beautiful buffet and then the chopsticks started flying. I’m now kicking myself for not getting a picture of the table full of food, because it was a really gorgeous sight. This is the last bit of my fried duck & waffles. Crispy little morsels of moist duck meat on sticky sweet waffles. Sososososososo amazing, I will dream about it forever. I ordered all three desserts.. which wee also a bit meh, but had really interesting flavour combinations.

Dessert was a bit of a let down, so Tim’s friend Vera took us to her favourite Gelato shop il laboratorio del gelatoShe recommended the mascarpone and I coupled with with Strawberry. AMAZING. I was so full though I couldn’t finish mine. You know I’m proper full when I throw away ice cream. My heart aches for it still..

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The gelato place was right next door to Katz’s. The guys were jonesing for some pastrami, having not made nearly as much of a pig of themselves as me. But they were so packed you couldnt get into the door. Next time, Katz’s.. Next time you will be mine..

 

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Another one of Tim’s chumpals popped up at the gelato shop and took us a few blocks over to this bar called Freemans. Located at the end of a sketchy alley in the Bowery and decorated like a hipsters wet dream. It’s like stepping into a Wes Anderson movie, only with more taxidermy. Self described as a “rugged clandestine colonial tavern.” It was unbearably crowded with beautiful people eating beautiful brunch and sipping beautiful bourbon based cocktails and to be honest I kinda bugged out. It 100% was a place I didnt want to be and triggered my flight or fright. Totally ran away like a baby. Not my cup of tea. While the guys squeezed into a corner to spend $25 on a boiler maker, I went for a walk around Manhattan by myself. The city is different than I remember it. Cleaner, and maybe even.. friendlier.. It felt good, and had a nice time!

 

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Love this totally graffito-bombed old building.

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Didnt get to visit Staten Island, but did find some Wu Tang!

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Interesting juxtaposition of cemetery at St. Patricks and new WTC building, hrm.


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HOODOOS! Too stuffed for street meat, so sad!

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Meanwhile, back at the pad, this was happening…

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That night we went for drinks at The Nomad on 28th and Broadway. The bar was packed, and you could SMELL the money. The drinks had perfectly square ice cubes and I had the best Manhattan of my life there. If you are ever in New York definitely go for drinks or you will REGRET IT.

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Amazing.

Then it was a short cab ride to Midtown to have dinner at Daniel Buloud’s restaurant, aptly named Daniel. Very french, very old school, Daniel Buloud has earned himself 2 Michelin stars (was 3, and after eating there it should be 3) and the Bucose D’or so he knows his shit. It was amazing to walk into his restaurant and find him waiting to meet us. He shook our hands and took us for a tour of the kitchen. He took us up a narrow flight upstairs to “The Box.” A small glass room overlooking the kitchen pass, so he can keep his eye on things. It was decorated with pictures of him shaking hands with everyone from Obama to Andy Warhol. I patted his golden Bocuse D’or on the head and when down for dinner.

There was a moment at each of the places where we had dinner, that I felt just like I was in the beginning sequence of American Psycho, where the waiters are rhyming off this list of ingredients in a hushed, monotone voice and it made me so so happy hahaha

Even though it had a surreal, almost goofy quality to it, this was probably one of the best nights of my life so far. It makes it a bit hard to put into words. It was suprising, flawless, delicious, perfect in excuction, with a great amount of sophistication. On the way into the dining room we passed by this little silver urn with a crank on top. I didnt even notice it but our Chef did, and he touched it lightly and went “oooh a Duck Press, I havent ever seen one of these, that would be amazing.” Daniel Buloud just says in a very french way, “Maybe we have a duck.”

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Dudes. 18 courses. WITH WINE PAIRINGS.My mind was so blown. The food.. is indescribable for my puny mortal brain. I remember sitting in the dining room quietly bouncing and clapping and whispering “I am having so much fun.” The waiters looked like they were having a good time serving people who were having SUCH a good time.

And then 6 waiters rolled out 2 little carts, one with a burner and one with the beautiful silver duck press. It looked like something out of Countess Bathory’s collection. It turns out, they had a duck!

 

duckpress

Pressed duck  (Canard à la presse) is a traditional French dish. The complex dish was developed in the 19th Century in Paris and consists of various parts of a duck served in a sauce of its blood and bone marrow, which is extracted by way of a press

First, a duck (preferably young and plump) is asphixiated to retain the blood. The duck is then partially roasted. Its liver s ground and seasoned, then the legs and breast are removed.

The remaining carcass (including other meat, bones, and skin) is then put in a specially-designed press, similar to a wine press. Great pressure is then applied to extract duck blood and other juices from the carcass. The extract is thickened and flavoured with the duck’s liver, butter, and cognac, and then combined with the breast to finish cooking.”

All of this was done by waiters, beside your table. The event took about 20 minutes, and it was like watching a Japanese Tea Ceremony. The entire dining room fell silent and watched the perfectly deft movements of these waiters, and they performed their task. It was like watching a little slice of food history come alive. We were transfixed.

One waiter expertly butched the whole roast duck with a very sharp knife and a fork, as if it were made of butter. He lay the legs and breast in a copper pan over a low flame to keep it warm. Then he placed the remaining duck into the silver press, and begin to crank. Dark, red, beautiful “sauce” flowed from the spout into a silver goblet.

That was then handed to a second waiter, who added it to another copper saucepan, and very slowly stirred it with a whisk until the blood and marrow naturally thickened the sauce. Blood thickened sauces need a fair amount of expertise, and this was very impressive.

It was also, incomparably delicious. The meat was soft and unctuous, covered in this amazing dark duck jus.. it was… a transcendental experience. I transcended my dentals. I watched myself eat, from 8 feet away in the air, on a cloud of stinky french cheese fumes. Pretty cool.

 

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My favourite dish of the night though, had to be this. A thin slice of toasted baguette studded with hazelnuts covered in thick runny blobs of extremely aged Harbison cheese. A waiter then came by with a white truffle the size of a baseball and shaved thick slices on top. I may have made some noises, but he smiled so it was okay. The effect was crunchy and nutty with sweet, herby melty cheese and woodsy white truffles.. they came together to make an altogether new taste. It was so special.

We left the restaurant feeling like well fed rock stars. There is this kind of quiet comfort that comes into my stomach when I am watching someone perform tasks they have done so many times that they are just moving like breathing. Automatically performing something very difficult. Like watching ballet. It was very zen.

AND THEN in the morning THERE WAS PASTRIES!

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In the morning I woke up very early, groggy and still a bit drunk from the night before. My burps smelled like truffles. I snuck out of the house while the boys slept and walked up to the two placed I was most wanting to visit. Laduree, and Franois Payard’s new york bakeries. I was not disappointed by either of them. They were both wonderful. I could not find a single fault with anything I brought back.

From Laduree:

– hazelnut praline napolean

– pistachio religeiuse

– chocolate Gateaux St. Honore

– beautiful canelles

From Francois Payard:

– Orange blossom & almond Brioche

– Gateaux Basque

– Plain, chocolate, almond and ham & cheese croissants

– vanilla eclair

– Papa Payard apple cake

– The world’s most perfect Apple tart Tatin

 

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Payards location is not as stunning as the window at Laduree which is done up with velvet curtains and towers of brightly colours macarons, but just as nice.

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Lalalalaaa

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Between the two locations sat Dominique Ansell’s bakery.. but this was the line up around the block for fucking cronuts and it was not even 8am yet. I skipped it.

I brought back giant lattes and a pile of baked goods and they were very happy boys. We cut everything into quarters and shared a bit of each. It was a nice breakfast. It just got us ready for lunch!

And it was back to The Nomad hotel for brunch!

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This was just about the most perfect spot to eat if you have a hangover, ever. Subdued, natural light, quiet, comfortable chairs, lovely food. I had a house made gingerale with a shot of rum and because I hadn’t yet gotten tired of the novelty of beautiful fresh truffles I opted for the tagliatelle with cream sauce and a “ridiculous amount of black truffles.” Chef got steak and eggs with a cast iron pot of crispy thin fries for us to share. The boys had pork belly and brussel sprouts with lentil salad, and smoked salmon with toast and pickled veggies. And about 2L of beer!

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Ummngghhhhhhhgghhh

Afterwards we definitely needed to walk, so we took a meander down to the habour. We saw the statue of liberty, but then we started to get thirsty. So we walked up The Dead Rabbit.

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This bar has been called the best in the city right now. It was great inside, if not a little TOO “Gangs of New York.” But the drinks were very special. To make our caesar, he squeezes the pulp out of fresh tomatoes. I had the Irish coffee, which was coffee and irish whiskey covered in whipped cream, with a little nutmeg. It was perfect.

 

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And then it was on to Per Se… ohhhhhh maaaannnn..

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On the way up. Ironically this is what I would look like when I came back down.

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Per Se.. what to say about Per Se. The dining room was dark, comfortable, with a nice roaring fire and a view out to Central Park. The table was a big big and we had a hard time talking to each other without shouting. It also made it hard for us to share our dishes on the DL, ha. It started with Thomas Kellers famous salmon cornetto, and I could see on the guys faces they were having a hard time comprehending that they were actually eating at Per Se. It was so cute. They looked scared, hahaha

There were many.. many courses. Possibly too many. All of them very rich. Here are a few of the highlights for me:

Chestnut “Potage”. The guys didnt like this, they thought it was way too heavy, especially to start a meal. I loved it though, I could have just sat there and eaten that all night and been happy. Thick chestnut puree, very rich, very tasty, with sunchokes, cranberry marmalade and bursts of fresh green watercress.

Oysters and Pearls. A Thomas Keller standard. This is a “sabayon” of pearl tapioca with Island Creek Oysters, and Sterling White Surgeon Caviar. It was so.. sex. It was sex.

Hen Egg Custard. Another standard– it seems I preferred the old stand bys. I guess when you make something 300 times a day for 15 years it becomes Pretty Good. This was a ragout of black winter truffles served in a hollowed egg shell. Creamy.

Picatta battered jade tiger abalone.  Salsifis roti au beurre, melted savoy cabbage, pearl onions and juniper berry reisling emulsion– Do not ask me what any of this is, but it was fucking killer.

Four Story Hill Farms Poussin – this was a whole chicken presented to us with skin stuffed with butter and truffles and it’s ass stuffed with sprigs of thyme, and then taken back to the kitchen and roasted. It was served in a perfect little square with tiny perfect buttery hakurai turnips, french leeks, apples and dijonnaise.

It made me Dijonnaise in my pants.

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Little treats!

Coffee and Doughnuts! FAMOUS. Perfect. Delicious, soft cinnamon doughnut with a cup of espresso custard. Piles of cookies, and sweets, a little silver tired container of caramels, nougats, and macaron. The best cup of earl grey tea I have ever had.

Like at Daniel, we were the last diners left in the restaurant, and they took us back to see the kitchen.  It was spotless, like a showroom.  We met Chef Eli Kaimeh, who seemed tired and shy. They had a big tv screen on the wall that was a life feed to The French Laundry, so that they are always connected during service. I think thats so nice.

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So shinyyyy

 

 

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We got gift bags!

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With CHOCOLATES! And a copy of our special menu, and TK’s magazine Finesse, and a few other things.

Man I am getting tired just remembering all this stuff.. what did we do next.. I remember going to FAO Schwartz, and buying CB a cool medical model of a human skull. I also got us 2 nerf guns and a million nerf bullets which we have been attacking eachother with since I got home. Oh yeah, Aquavit!

Lunch at Aquavit.

2 Stars. Nordic inspired cuisine with a lady chef from Sweden taking the helm. The only female chef to ever attain 2 stars!

They have a $42 prix fixe lunch menu, which is amazing. I had the homemade gravlax, followed by the Swedish meatballs which were so gooood. For dessert the offering was banana mousse which I didnt find particularly nordic so I opted for the sorbets and ice creams. Seabuckthorn, Blueberry and Espresso. They were nice.

So far aside from Per Se I havent been blown away by desserts..

After lunch we explored the city, had some drinks, of course. And then came the Finale. The grand daddy of our dining extravaganza. Eleven. Madison. Park. 

*puts on sunglasses*

YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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We were a little excited. Contrary to their nature, they aren’t even drunk in this picture!

 

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Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

So this meal like.. kicked the ass of all other meals before or after it forever. It was intense. And wonderful. We were very very much wined-out so we opted for a beer pairing. We had our own private beer sommelier. I think he enjoyed punching us in the face with beers all night. Incredible beers. Did you know you can buy a bottle of beer for $1400 if you want? HAHA! Its very special.

One of the courses.. this chef brings out a pan of liquid and floating in it is a giant, greenish balloon floating on top. It is a pigs bladder and inside they were cooking croquettes.. it was the weirdest, and tastiest, thing ever.

I didnt take any pictures, but I couldnt resist on this course. They took us into the kitchen, where there was a tall table set up for service.

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We ate a dish of Lion’s Mane mushrooms served 3 ways, while talking with the Chef. Took some pictures. Watched the highly trained ARMY of cooks working away quickly in silent unison. Intense.

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Those are the lions mane mushrooms set in front of us. Those yellow tribble looking things. Tasty!

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There’s always room for cheese. Goat, Sheep and Cow all represent! There was a particularly stinky one that smelled like God’s butthole and I wish I remembered the name because damn son.

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The bathroom was lovely. Someone handed me a towel. What.

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Im so tired now hahaha. That was a lot of typing and name dropping. Phoo. I’m still sweating out truffles so I better go lay down.

Thanks, New York. Next time I’ll be back with CB for Shake Shack cheesy fries and greasy $1.00 pizza!

*Drops Mic, Walks Away*

Foraged Fields

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PRESENTS IN THE MAIL PRESENTS IN THE MAIL PRESENTS IN THE MAIL!

Is there anything finer, than packages full of surprises from a cool stranger!? Maybe an ice cream sandwich.. but thats about it.

So there is this chick named April in Connecticut, who has lovely hair and foraging skills that rival Bear Gylls. Except without the uh.. seagull poop enemas and eating whole trouts while naked in a river….. actually I cant say I know that for sure, we just met really, but she doesn’t seem the sort. Anyway!

She has been very busy making her own cosmetics out of all natural oils and herbs and clay. They are proper amazing. If you’re into all natural cosmetics that come literally straight from the Earth; she runs a shop out of her website and it’s very affordable which is important to broke ass hippies like me.

FORAGED FIELDS

She isn’t paying me anything to blog about this, I just think what she is doing is fifty shades of rad, man. There’s lotions, balms, ointments, moisturizers, shampoo and even BRONZER. Whaaaat.. She also keeps a blog here.

Here is me unwrapping my mails.

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Pretty card.

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A little jar full of clay face mask. It worked amazing, my skin was tight and smooth after.

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I was amazed at how fine the clay was. Just a little water and it was ready to go! It did a nice job of clearing out the pores on my nose. They always get full of flour and crap at work.

 

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This was my favourite thing in the package– aside from the handwritten letter. Really nice lip balm! Not too greasy, and it melts into your lips and is absorbed quickly. Tastes nice too!

 

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This was a smoking/tea herb mix that I haven’t got a chance to try yet, but smells really nice.

Wahey!

Guppy’s back! He has risen from the ashes with a ravenous hunger for collecting, the force of which the world has never felt before. Help him and his loyal Kitten followers to collect everything they can across 4 brand new environments. Featuring exclusive new music by h0n3ysunsh1n3 and 26 amazing disguises and costumes, this race-against-the-clock game of reflexes is the most fun you will ever have pushing one-to-two buttons at a time!

Its like a dream that the unicorn from Robot Unicorn Attack had after eating a cheese-heavy meal.

If you have an xBox GO DOWNLOAD IT RIGHT NOW! It’s only $1! Mobile versions coming soon.

The Coolest

Mini LEGO Batman Tumbler

Okay. I don’t know who this guy is, but he’s my new hero. Check out that batman lego! Its simple and sleek perfection and I wish he was my friend! Check out his flickr, he has a ton of stuff on it. I’m amazed.

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Look! It even comes in camo!

Banes awesome truck!

So sweet.

He also has lego motorcycles, lego robots, and entire scenes of movies made of Lego.

It reminds me of playing Lego with my brother and sister. We had a little table that had a top made of sheets of Lego and you could build onto it. We built a whole Lego town! In my section of town I built a sweet ass red & yellow gypsy caravan, with flowers in the window boxes and a fireplace and a nice gay couple lived there. A cowboy named Paco and his partner Sven who was perpetually dressed to go out on safari. Batman would have been a great neighbor. Good times.

 

Home Made Cream Cheese!

My first cheese! Isn’t it beautiful! Im so proud of my creamy little baby!

Its a perfect spreadable texture. Look how it held the texture from the tea towel it was wrapped in! It tastes creamy and the salt & vinegar give it so much tastiness. Also leaving it out at room temperature for a day gives it an extra little background flavour of cheesy funk that sounds gross in words but is super delicious. Yay! I made a cheese!

I was really excited when I smelled the 2L bottle of cream I bought and it was starting to have that almost off smell 3 days before its expiry date. BECAUSE it was an excuse to try cheese making, to try to preserve it longer. *dance dance*

When you heat the cream, you have to bring it up to 180F. Which was kind of exhilarating in a geeky way, because I thought any second now its going to burn, or boil, and Ive ruined it. But if you do it gently and patiently wait the 8-10 minutes it takes to get there, it’ll get there, safe and sound.

I was pleasantly surprised when I unwrapped the cheese to find at least a pound in there! I was making it so I didnt have to throw 2L of cream I didn’t think it would turn out even remotely economical. But I bought my cream for $5.99 and I got over 500g of cheese from it, which is a dollar or two savings if you compare it to 500g of store bought cream cheese. Awesome socks, never buying cream cheese again.

If I can find some herbs growing around the garden I’m going to chop some up and mix it in. I think chives would be killer, or dill. Yum!

Also, make sure to save your whey. Its full of good stuff. I added a bit of milk to mine and am currently marinating some chicken in it for Fried Chicken tomorrow. But you can use it in recipes that call for buttermilk, or add it to soup!

Home Made Cream Cheese

Yield: 300g+
Time: 2 days, 20 minutes of actual work
Cost: $3-4

1 1/2 litre of cream
1/3 or more white vinegar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt

Heat cream + salt  in a clean, heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat until it reaches 180F on a thermometer. Stir it gently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

If you dont have a thermometer, you want it to be just near boiling, bubbling slightly, with steam coming off the top. It will be hot to the touch, but try not to bring it to a full boil.

Once it reaches 180F, pull it off the heat and let it cool 5-10 minutes. Add in your vinegar. Taste it with a spoon, if its not tangy enough, add more vinegar. If it’s not salty enough, add more salt!

Leave in the pot with a tea towel over top over night, or at least 8 hours.

Youll notice that the cream begins to separate. You’ll have a thick layer of cream “curd” on top and a yellowy water underneath, that’s the whey.

Line a bowl with 4x layer of cheese cloth or a very clean tea towel. Pour in cream. Neatly tie the edges of the cloth together to make a sturdy pouch, and knot it well. Tie it to the handle of a wooden spoon and hang it in a tall jar. Make sure to leave atleast a couple of inches for the whey to drip into, without it building up and soaking the pouch. Or if your jar isnt tall enough, just drain off the whey into a separate container. Leave in fridge overnight.

In the morning, give your pouch a squeeze (teehee). If its nice and firm and not much more whey is going to be coming out of it, you can unbundle it! You should have a nice, spreadable cream cheese inside. Philly’s got nothing on this bad boy!

Donuts of Intense Greatness

Mmmm.. Donuts…

Yo!

Are you ready to be a goddamn hero? I have the secret. Make some donuts. People will lose their minds. There will be screaming. There will be cream and crumbs everywhere. It will be a bloody massacre.


Fat stacks. If delicious smells bad than these donuts be stinkin’.

Crispy Fluff Donuts

1 tbsp active dry yeast (or 2 envelopes)
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
4 tbsp oil
5 cups all-purpose flour

1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, oil, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon.

Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.

Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains. Alternatively you can make this the night before, wrap it EXTREMELY well in saran wrap and leave in the fridge over night.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Carefully drop donuts into the hot oil. Turn doughnuts over as they turn a deep golden brown.

Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Vanilla Glaze

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Donuts are ready for frying when they are nice and chubby and you can smell their yeasty goodness quite prominently. If you poke them they will spring right back at ya.

My little frying station. We have our ugly wee camping pot filled with a couple inches of oil, bubbling away at about 360-370F.

You want the oil pretty hot, so the donuts only fry for less than a minute, any longer and they start to suck up the oil.

And thats not good eating.

Yorm yorm yorm. Few things are nicer in the whole wide world than a pile of warm, home made donuts.

Holy moly. Donuts with holes will fry faster and have less chance of getting too oily. I rolled these out quite a bit thinner than usual because I didn’t want big fluffy ones this time.

So fluff! Yet crispy. Magic.

Schmear on the cream.