February 28, 2009
I figured there was no more appropriate way to end my week of Kellogg's food than with a bowl brimming full of Corn Flakes. Kellogg and his brother, W.K. Kellogg, are the ones who the invented the technique for crisping rice and corn into Breakfast cereal, and thereby creating a whole new industry.
I pared and cored two apples and then, because I wasn't paying careful attention to the directions, sliced them up as well. They should be baked whole. I put the slices in a baking dish and squeezed a little lemon over top. I used brown sugar in my syrup.
I baked the apples at 450 for about 30 minutes, let them cool, then scooped them out into a bowl. I drizzled them with cream and ate them up, although I think this dish could have been greatly improved with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Dinner: Corn Roast and Baked Sweet Potato.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to have lunch today. I out and about in the middle of the day and well, it just didn't happen. So I had an early dinner instead.
corn pudding, and I easily devoured the whole dish. However, I don't think I'll be serving it at my final dinner party: although i liked this dish the best, Rice a la Carolina was the most interesting, and the most appropriate to the time period.
The baked sweet potato was also an A+.
Corn Roast. It looked exactly the same several hours later.
February 27, 2009
For this recipe, you are just supposed to form mashed potatoes into patties and fry them in butter. I used left over mashed sweet potatoes from the night before. They didn't turn out very well, I think my potatoes were not firm enough to make a satisfactory cake. They came out like regular mashed potatoes, with some burned parts.
Lunch: Egg Sandwich
Dinner: Rice a la Carolina and Asparagus
I don't spend much time in the faux-meat department, so I shopped around a bit, looking for something that had ingredients and a flavour profile similar to Protose. Many modern vegetarian meats are made with similar ingredients: soy, wheat gluten, nuts. On a package of "chicken" tenders contained "ancient grains." oooo. In the end, I settled on a baggie called Smart BBQ, with shredded vegetable protein in a BBQ sauce. The chile sauce I made the other day was similar to a BBQ, and I thought the shredded veggie protein would be easy to spread.
I cut the potatoes into thin slices, like scalloped potatoes, and pre-cooked them for 2 minutes on high in the microwave. I added the onions, butter, and I was out of sage so I used l'herbs du provence. I then spread the layer of Smart BBQ. The rice I cooked in the microwave, and mixed with about a tablespoon of tomato paste. I didn't have hard boiled eggs, I ate the last of them for lunch, so instead I sprinkled the surface with breadcrumbs. I topped to whole thing off with a drizzle of heavy cream, and baked it at 475 for 15 minutes.
This really didn't taste bad--I ate the whole thing. The top got very creamy, almost cheese like, and the potato-onion bottom layer was especially good. I also liked that it was an individual portion as opposed to a casserole. It seemed daintier, more refined, and it didn't look like someone puked on my plate. This is a serious contender for the main course of my dinner party, but I also have high hopes for the Corn Roast I'm cooking Friday.
February 26, 2009
In the modern parlance, Toasted Rice Flakes are in fact Rice Krispies. Oddly enough, sitting down to my Snap, Crackle, and Pop, it was the first time during this experiment that I felt like connected to history. With every crunchy bite of this continually popular modern cereal made me think of the fashionable patients of The San, and the subsequent breakfast cereal craze that swept the nation. Thanks, Kellogg. Your cereals are delicious.
Dinner: Macaroni Au Gratin, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Spinach and The Queen of Puddings.
Well, it's Wednesday, and Wednesday means Lost and Top Chef. So tonight turned into an impromptu debut dinner party with the arrival of my boyfriend and two friends. And it went well--very well.
February 25, 2009
As I was preparing my baked eggs in cream, I suddenly remembered another reference to this recipe in the book Julie & Julia, the story of a woman who cooks every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was a favorite dish of the book's author, and she had referred to it as the perfect hangover cure. I looked up Mrs. Child's recipe for Oeufs en Cocotte, which was slightly more refined than the one I made. She recommends heating the cream first, then dropping the eggs in, and covering it with more cream and a little butter before putting them in the oven. It's important to set the egg dish in water, "otherwise the intense heat of the over toughens the outside layers of egg before the inside has cooked...The eggs are done when they are just set but still tremble slightly in the ramekins."
Child recommends cooking them 7-10 minutes at 375 degrees. I left my eggs in a little long and they got over cooked (the yolk was not as runny as I would have liked) but still tasted AWESOME. When it came out of the oven, I garnished it with more salt and some fresh cracked pepper. The cream and the egg white melded together, and become something that transcended a mere egg to taste like the most creamy egg-like thing in existence. I sopped up the creamy-egg-goo with my whole wheat gem, and slurped the rest off a spoon. After finishing the meal with a perfectly ripe orange, I decided that this might have been the best breakfast EVER.
Lunch: Scalloped Potatoes, String Beans, and Cottage Cheese.
The scalloped potatoes were another huge success: the combination of the onions and the milk gave the potatoes an addictive, sweet flavor, and the butter tied everything together. I was literally licking the bottom of my bowl. I would definitely make this again. Hell, I'd take it to a potluck!
The beans I simply blanched and salted, and the cottage cheese came from a regular old Breakstone's container.
Dinner: Walnut Roast with Chile Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Radishes.
Walnut Roast. It would be nice to eat a dinner that doesn't look like kitty catfood barf.
My second night of making meatless meat was slightly better than the first. I halved this recipe and I used a seasoned bread crumb. It is important to let it sit in the cream and milk for at least 10 minutes. It coagulates into a surprisingly thick goop. When it came out of the oven (40 minutes at 375 degrees) it poofs up on top and looks all brown and yummy. For the chili sauce, I used tomato paste and thinned with a little water in place of "condensed tomatoes." It was actually good, just a bit strong. I could have thinned it out a little more. Combined with the Walnut Roast...well, it was okay. I ate about half, but it was kind of intense and weird. I don't think we have a winner yet.
The were no cooking suggested in Ms. Cooper's book for mashed potatoes, so I made them the classic way, with some butter and a shot of cream. Ditto with the radishes. I ate them in the French fashion, smeared with butter and sprinkled with salt. The fat cuts the tart bite of the radish, and it's very tastey.
On day two, I have to say that these meals are consistently well rounded. Produce plus a starch plus a protein keep me full and give me energy. And my bowels are immaculate!
February 24, 2009
The asparagus was a perfect little snack. I prepared it a little differently than the original recipe: I threw some butter in a skillet, put a slice of bread in there to toast it grilled-cheese style, and nestled the asparagus along side, with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bread toasted, asparagus bright green and ready, I stacked them up and poured the butter left in the skillet over top. It was tasty: the buttery, crunchy sweetness of the bread with the slight bitter bite of the asparagus: yum. I'll be serving this at the dinner party, but with a hollandaise to kick it up a notch.
I rounded out the meal with a baked potato and a vanilla yogurt for desert--nothing special, store bought. I did not make my yogurt from scratch. It was a well-portioned, delicious meal.
Dinner: Protose Steak and Baked Eggplant.
My protose sizzles in a skillet with onions.
Next, I took the Protose out of the fridge (for more on how I made it, check here). It was surprising firm after mellowing a day in the cold. I threw a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and began to brown some onions. After a minute or so, I sliced the protose and set that in the skillet to brown. After it was brown on both sides, I added a little flour and cream to make a sauce with the onions.
The result? It tasted like peanut butter. I didn't spit it out, I ate it, but it was not..."good." It will not be appearing on my Banquet menu in March.
Kellogg originally developed meat-like products to lure plump turn-of-the-century millionaires to his diet and his Sanitarium. This is where I feel his cuisine, and all vegetarian cuisine begins to go wrong. I love vegetarian cuisine. Flavourful beans, grains and vegetables--delicious! However, I think it should stand alone and not try to reproduce the taste and mouth feel of meat. It's always either disgusting or disappointing; and if you're a vegetarian, why would you want to feel like you're eating meat anyway?
Overall, it was a pretty good day. The food was better than tolerable, and in a few cases lovely. However, I think I ate about a half a stick of butter, which is more butter than I've consumed in about the last 6 months. I feel greasy.
February 23, 2009
Whole Wheat Gems, Hashed Brown Potatoes, Pineapple, and Tea.
Although I work from home, I don't ordinarily bounce out of bed and fix myself a hearty breakfast. It ended up not taking that much time, and it felt like it could be a pleasant ritual. It also felt good to sit down to my first biologic meal. I can feel my intestines being cleansed already!
To make whole wheat gems, replace the grahams flour in the recipe with 1 cup whole wheat flour. A gem tin is essentially a cast-iron mini muffin pan, which, when greasy and hot, makes the gems extra crispy. I didn't have a gem pan, so I made these into drop biscuits by adding a 1/4 cup less milk. I baked them for 9 minutes in a 450 degree oven. They didn't take much time to mix up, and came out cute as buttons. They tasted alright--the sweetness was pleasing, but you could really taste the whole-granieness. I think they will be better tomorrow toasted and smeared with jelly.
The hashed browned potatoes were the most difficult thing I made this morning. I only used one potatoes, and cut it into cubes. I originally baked them in a pan lined in tin foil, but when I took them out after 10 minutes they were sticking, and the brown crispy parts were tearing off. So I plucked them off the pan, burning my finger badly in the process, and dropped them into a non-stick skillet. I added the milk and popped them back into the oven, stirring after an additional five minutes. All in all, they cooked about 18 minutes. The potatoes mostly absorbed the milk, and there was also this crispy milk skin. They were pretty tasty, but I don't think you can go very wrong with potatoes, salt and butter.
I also cut up a fresh, sweet, heavenly pineapple and had a mug of herbal tea. Kellogg forbade caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco at the San; a few rules which we will ignore at the dinner party next month.
Protose is one of J. H. Kellog's invented meat substitutes. I currently have it on my menu for the Dinner on the Road to Wellville party in March. I'm skeptical that it's not horrible, so I want to give it a try in advance, so that i have time to come up with a suitable replacement, if necessary.
Original Recipe from a post on Vegan Food
With variations suggested by Chowhound.com and Ellen's Kitchen
1/2 cup creamy, natural peanut butter
1 cup wheat gluten (seitan)
1 c vegetable stock
2 T cornstarch
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 tsp Italian herb blend
Pinch of salt
I set it on a double boiler, and it looked done after about two hours. I flipped it out of the mold and it looked pretty unappealing. I'm preparing it in a dish for dinner today, so we'll see how that goes. But I have a feeling I'm going to end up taking this one off the menu.
February 21, 2009
Notes on making Martha Washington's Great Cake:
In making the great cake, Mount Vernon's curatorial staff followed Mrs. Washington's recipe almost exactly. Where the recipe called for 5 pounds of fruit, without specifying which ones, 2 pounds of raisins, 1 pound of currants, and 2 pounds of apples were used. The wine used was cream sherry. Since no pan large enough was available to hold all the batter, two 14 layers were made and stacked (note: the original was one single tall layer). The layers were baked in a 350 degree oven for 1.5 hours. Should be iced with a very stiff egg-white based icing, flavored with rosewater or orange-flower water."
Four hours? Discount the baking time and there's still three hours left. What task could have possibly taken three hours? I don't mean to brag but it took me all of 15-20 minutes using an electric hand mixer, a mini food processor, and a large wooden spoon. Did she shell, peel and blanch the almonds? Were the almonds chopped one at a time? Did she forget to mention that she has no arms? I am baffled."
February 20, 2009
Read the full story here: Last Call: It’s closing time for Red Hook’s cocktail rock star—for now
Come back soon, Lenell.
February 18, 2009
February 15, 2009
I was inspired to try this recipe after Zaite sent me a simple brewing recipe from Alton Brown, that reminded me of the daily home brewing that was common in the 18th and early 19th century America. For families, it was an important source of clean water and nutrients; home brewing seemed to be less common after the temperance movement started to take hold in the 1840s.
Modern recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
1 tablespoon powdered ginger; or 1 1/2 ounces finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
7 1/2 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the ginger, sugar, cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of the water into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
If you use fresh ginger, remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep for 1 hour. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing down to get all of the juice out of the mixture.
If you use ground ginger, remove from heat and add remaining water and lemon juice; set in the refrigerator, uncovered, until at least room temperature, 68 to 72 degrees F.
Using a funnel, pour into a clean 2-liter plastic bottle and add the yeast. The bottle will not be filled to the top--this is necessary to leave room for the yeast to expel gas, carbonating the drink.
Place the cap on the bottle, gently shake to combine and leave the bottle at room temperature for 48 hours. Open and check for desired amount of carbonation. It is important that once you achieve your desired amount of carbonation that you refrigerate the ginger ale. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, opening the bottle at least once a day to let out excess carbonation.
You can also try this recipe with molasses for an "Excellent Jumble Beer."
I found the longer it sat, the better it tasted. A week later, it's sweet and smooth, and still carbonated. For you home brewing guys out there, I'd love to find out what the alcoholic content is. And if you live in NYC, I still have some left if you'd like to taste it.
This recipe is simple, and an easy introduction to the world of home brewing.
February 10, 2009
February 9, 2009
1 tbsp confectioner's sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cups milk
Grated rind of half a lemon
6 slices of "not too fresh" bread; I used left over apple bread.
This was pretty bad. I made a few slices without the Florida Water first, and they were pretty gooshy, but somehow also dry. Maybe it would have been better with regular bread, but I'm not so sure. After the Florida Water was added, it tasted like--surprise--perfume. I drowned it in maple syrup, but it didn't do much good. I expected the lemon zest to perk it up with a citrus zing, but no. Not really.
Rating: C+ I would stick to a modern french toast recipe.
February 6, 2009
2 tablespoon Rosewater
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2/3 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Riesling white wine
1 tablespoon + 1tsp cornstarch
February 3, 2009
Radishes with Butter
Toasted Pine Nuts
Potatoes a la Maitre d'Hotel
Asparagus Tips on Toast
Apple and Celery Salad
The Queen of Puddings
Neufchatel Cheese on Wafers
However, I don't know if this single event would do Kellogg's diet justice. He promoted it as a way of life, not just limited to the walls of his Sanitarium, that would "exonerate the bowels" and flush the poisons from your system.
February 2, 2009
Original recipe from The Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child; modern recipe is adapted from The Old Sturbridge Village cookbook.
1/2 cup sugar (refined, unrefined or maple. I used regular white shug)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup apple cider