Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baking, with a twist

The wait for the oven is doing weird things to my brain. The other day i bought real vanilla extract at the supermarket. The REAL stuff, not the essence that i have always used and was raised with.
I don't really know why, because there is no oven yet.
Or is there?

I need to bake. I'm over the cupcakes in the little electric cupcake machine. I need to make cookies.
Time to put on my MacGyver hat.

There is a relatively new appliance in the house which has, in 3 uses, already paid for itself. Its a little electric pizza oven. It only has the cheap teflon tray, not the stone ware one, but it is fun to use and very easy to make personalized, cheap pizzas on.

I reckon you can make cookies on it too.
I must apologise for the term "cookies" here, i used American recipes and i got stuck in good 'ol US of A land for a bit.

I found a gluten free, dairy free recipe that DIDN'T say it made 7 dozen biscuits (surprisingly hard to find), made some quick substitutions, and had some thing resembling crumbs in my bowl. so i added two eggs and started rolling biscuit balls.

The first batch through the pizza oven were testers. They all disappeared in about5 seconds.

Heartened, i added some plum jam and some fig jam to the centres of the next lot.
I may have been over confident, because my fig jam oozed out and burnt.

Take that how you will!

After a quick wash of the tray, i rolled the rest into little flat rounds and cooked them too.
All in all i'm relatively happy with my days experimenting, although again, cooking in such small batches at one time seems like a lot of time used up for a tiny result.
BUT you can bake cookies in an electric pizza oven.
So there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Co-ops and cooktops, fridges and free time

Free time. That thing you always said you'd have more of once the kids were at kindly. Then school. Then once school holidays come round when you are no longer interrupted by pick up and drop off timetables. That thing you knew you needed before you could get back into baking, do more preserving, spend more time doing what you always wanted.

It doesn't exist, folks. There is no such thing as free time! It's all made up, it's a fallacy, a lie!

Since reaching this conclusion, along with one related to it (that of One Day I'll - there never is that one day), I have determined that i will make things happen TODAY!

And so, things have happened.

I bought a fridge, about 100 litres bigger than the old one.

I put a 5 burner oven/cooktop combo on layby.

And i joined a new organic local food co-op where i can bulk buy again.

My first pickup is due next week and i have to admit I'm excited. I ordered bulk coconut milk, oil, flour and cream, and some tinned legumes. Some buck wheat grain and some lovely local honey.

I put in an order for some bulk glass sauce bottles too, only we didn't meet minimums this month from that supplier so i will try that again next month.

I think in order to get to where i want to be, i have to go there despite the struggles, otherwise nothing will happen. So onwards and upwards i go!

P.s. thanks to a share on Facebook my breakfasts these days consists alternately of traditional porridge and chilled raw chia seed porridge. Easy as pie to make the latter. Some chia seeds, some coconut, some random dried fruit, soaked overnight in a milk of your choice. I sometimes drizzle with honey. Sometimes put in a grated apple as per the original recipe too. Delicious!
The former is cheats fast porridge, rolled oats that i have thrown in the blender to cut up small, some more dried fruit, milk and microwave.