I recently, and somewhat unfortunately, discovered that buttermilk really does make all the difference in recipes. I used to sour regular milk with vinegar or lemon juice and call it a day. I thought it really only made a difference in texture when it came to fine cakes, but for everything else, soured milk was fine. I was wrong. And while that’s great to know, it’s something that’s hard to find and keep on hand in my current location. I’m both jazzed and a little dismayed. But, I made the best fried okra and cornbread ever this weekend and it was mostly thanks to buttermilk. Continue reading
I’m excited today! I’m excited as a baker and as a friend. I’ve been looking forward to the release of Bread, Toast, Crumbs for over a year now. The author, Alexandra Stafford, is a fantastic baker, cook, and friend. I first “met” her through her blog Alexandra’s Kitchen when I would write her with questions regarding recipes – usually pie crust. Normally, asking a question out into the ethers of the internet will get you nowhere and then you need to Google your question. But not Ali. Ali is someone who truly wants you to succeed in the kitchen. That pie crust question that introduced me to her? I can now make delicious pie crusts – and much easier than how they’re normally made. There’s not one aspect of cookery that stymies her. She’s been to cooking school, worked in restaurants, and has done the hard work. She shares it all with her readers. She makes us better cooks.
It was through our chatting about recipes that she asked me if I would test a few for her book. “Heck yeah!” was my response. Ali is known for her peasant bread, which is actually her mom, Elizabeth Lowry’s, recipe. But, as any Yale graduate who goes off to cooking school tends to do, Alexandra took the recipe in many delicious directions. There’s now a peasant bread to suite every mood, every whim, every diet, and every season.
When I was testing these loaves my mother in law was in town and she ate an entire loaf on her own. It’s very easy to do! And now that she’s returning to visit I’m making them again. It’s one of the few things she requested of me. They really are that good. Continue reading