Monday, November 27, 2006

Thoughts on Food Mills?

SO, my mom gave me a Foley Food Mill for my birthday, and I immediately made applesauce. My mom's applesauce is the greatest in the world, she makes it constantly, and I was determined to recreate. She swears by the mill, but I had trouble with it. It took a really really long time and a lot of effort to push the apples through. I cooked them (quartered, with the skins on) for about an hour, but I still had to get my huge boyfriend to help me because my arm was so tired swinging that mill handle around.

The end result tasted good (although I realize that I should have only used one cinnamon stick instead of two), but I want to make it a faster process. Any suggestions or ideas for how to wrangle a food mill into submission?


As far as the recipe goes, I looked in a bunch of Martha books, and all of her recipes listed mace and a thousand other spices to put in, but in teeny print at the bottom of the recipe, it would say "Homemade applesauce really doesn't need more than apples and water. All of these ingredients are optional."

My mom concurs, so I just went with 12 gala apples, half a cup of water, a tablespoon of sugar (which I realize now is not necessary at all), and two cinnamon sticks (but I only needed one). I simmered them, stirring often, for an hour, and then I processed them in batches in the food mill, removing the skins after.

It came out to be a delicious red color, without the gross oversweet storebought taste that I despise. Also, my house smelled awesome and my roommate gave me a million dollars. In hugs. Ok, in smiles. Ok, she just ate the applesauce happily.


Now for the post-Thanksgiving round-up:
Miss Lemon Melang and Johnnycake Grits were kind enough to host a Thanksgiving feast for some of us lucky locals in NY this year. There was food far as the eye could see. There were great people in attendance, including DOTMC's Dawn and Punch Down, and a ridiculously cute cat named Zidane, who I may or may not have planned to kidnap by the end of the evening. Luckily for the loft's tenants, my husbands over-indulgences with booze from the night before finally caught up with him, and so our suddenly hastened exit thwarted any of my catnapping (as in stealing, not sleeping) plans. I mean, wtf, dude? The ONE time alcohol affects my British (read: HIGH TOLERANCE LEVEL) husband!
But I digress...
Lemon Melang and Dawn, in a heartwarming display of racial tolerance and the unifying qualities of good food, dressed as a Native American goddess and pilgrim, respectively:

After the food was assembled and prepared, Melang and Grits prepared us for our meal with a prayer verse from the holy book of Roky Ericson:

That ruled.
Then we dug in!
My contribution to the vegetarian dinner was my mom's killer yam + marshmallow bake. But because I'm a generally ignorant meat-eater, I failed to recognize that my old-school marshmallows were not of the veg-friendly persuasion. I always thought it was just a gross rumor that the gelatin used to make them were made from sundry meat/bone parts. Duh, duh, duh. Ah well, for those of us who still didn't mind, it tasted pretty good. Here's a pic of my offending fluff:

That said, can anyone recommend a place to get non-sketchy/veg marshmallows so I don't mortify myself at a dinner party again?

Monday, November 20, 2006


Behold the exquisite recipe that is Molly Schnick's DOTMC offering. I got it in the mail and immediately thought "oh those two sweet little squirrels I always see across the street in the park must be getting married, because surely they are the only creatures magical enough to conjure such autumnal beauty". It was such a treat to open. Also I must confess to you all I have a tendency to shirk fall fruits. I know it's lame!! I shy away from crumbles and compotes...glance forlornly at pears...Apple pie is really as deep as I get. This recipe will motivate me to get over my FFF (Fall fruit fear).
Next up is Agatha!!! And I don't know if you all heard but we have a NEW MEMBER, Marcee! Welcome to the kooky world of DOTMC.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If I May...

I need to give out-of-control-mad-props to our very own Lemon Melang for creating two of the most well-crafted, delicious cakes I've had the privilege of scarfing down.
Created exclusively for her man- who will heretofore be referred to as Johnnycake Grits, the cakes consisted of one ELECTRIC GUITAR and one 45 RECORD!

Can you even believe your eyes?? And they were DELICIOUS! The guitar was covered in a buttercream frosting that met all my personal standards of how the ideal buttercream frosting should taste. It was smooth, but not too slick or oily. Buttery, but vanilla was totally in effect. In short, I literally creamed myself. I pulled Miss Melang aside then and there, blathering on and on about it while simultaneously licking my blue frosting-tinted fingers...just ask her. That lady is grace under fire.

Then the 45 cake...whoa. Serious ganache, kids. I'm talking rich, intense, chocolately ganache goodness. I was beside myself. I still am, clearly.
Hopefully, Lemon Melang will share some of her secrets with us... maybe she could post some kind of PowerPoint presentation about the whole thing...from concept, to design, to baking, then decorating. This is really serious.
I know other DOTM ladies were in attendance last night...will you all post your own rapturous experience from her cakes on here too, so I'm not the only one spazzing out?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Vanilla bean question...

Does anyone have a view on vanilla bean origin? I've been pretty consistently wedded to Madagascar beans as they always seem to be much more fragrant than Tahitian beans. When I was in LA, I could occasionally find some Mexican beans which were as good as Madagascar ones, but much cheaper...

Anyone else have a view?