December has been a busy month in my kitchen -- though I suspect calmer than in many people's kitchens! We hosted a couple of holiday parties, tried some new condiments and gadgets, and received some wonderful gifts, including new tea towels for our extensive collection.
|Our colorful Christmas lunch. Not too heavy!|
|A new flavor: yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit that's often compared to citron.|
I bought this yuzu paste as well as some Ponzu, which contains yuzu.
|Dumplings served with a squeeze of yuzu paste.|
|Several tubes of squeezable pastes that are convenient to have on hand!|
|Another yuzu item, though labeled as Citron Tea. We haven't tried it yet.|
|Anchovy paste adds some nice umami taste to sauces.|
|More cooking: roast duck for Christmas Eve!|
|Duck with mushroom sauce. Later, the duck and the stock made from the trimmings|
became delicious duck soup!
|Another soup: squash and lentils, garnished with cranberry sauce and Sriracha.|
New Tea Towels from England
|Top of photo: Oyster Catchers: a favorite bird!|
Lower part of photo: Bees of Kew Gardens.
|"I'd rather be at the Giant's Causeway."|
|Images of Kew Gardens. All with great thanks to my friend Sheila.|
More Bread Making Equipment
|A thermometer probe that signals when your bread (or in summer,|
your meat on the grill) has reached the desired temperature.
|The read-out device, showing the temperature measured by the two|
probes, one on the oven shelf, one in the bread.
As mentioned in an earlier post this month, Len has been baking with a new starter from King Arthur. The results have been wonderful. In addition to baking, he is continuing his research on the theory and practice of bread baking. In particular, he's interested in technical articles about the chemical and biological processes that occur while making dough.
Additional new equipment: a really sharp serrated bread knife and special gloves to keep from cutting off any fingers. Bread made with a starter has a fantastic crisp crust that's very dangerous to slice!
|Len's pita bread -- made with the starter. I was eating them|
as they came out of the oven. They had very good pockets.
Two Delicious Gifts
|One friend made spiced pecans.|
|Another friend brought us this Lebanese Halawa, which is the best we|
have ever tasted. Creamy!