Posts Tagged With: cooking

The kitchen’s been invaded.

I returned from Bangkok a couple of weeks ago on Friday morning, and haven’t knowingly eaten anything with milk or eggs since we finished our staff lunch that same afternoon, except for some egg yolk that contaminated some sliced vegetables that were given to me as leftovers. A plate of boiled eggs and fried tofu was also offered, but I declined it. While I can’t say that I’m ready to give up honey yet, the arguments against the consumption of honey are becoming more and more appealing. I drizzled some on my peanut butter bread yesterday morning, and threw away three slices of bread in the evening when I went for more and discovered that, at some point, ants had gotten inside the lid. I didn’t see any in the honey, but something didn’t taste quite right that morning.

Ants are everywhere (except, thankfully, for my bed, at least most of the time). They even come and harass me while I work or play at the computer, climbing onto the desk. I found them yesterday under my pots, and a few days ago they were all over the tiny shelf in the water closet where I keep my toiletries. When I try to prepare fruit (which has been my main sustenance, along with noodles last week and bread this week), I need to move the plate into the fridge in between fruits, and they nip my feet while I wash the dishes. Too often, I find them floating in my drinking water, though less often since I put plastic over the tap. The plastic bag was installed to keep an invading gecko from contaminating the tap. On account of the dangerous temple dogs that threatened me the first time I tried to walk to church alone, I’ve been afraid to venture more than a few feet from the gate, and the yard is very small, but that gecko is like a personal trainer that appears in about the same place almost every evening, sees to it that I get a good workout chasing it around the kitchen, and then seems to just vanish. It’s left me questioning whether it’s really there, or whether it’s a spirit come to harass me or a hallucination, but the ants (which apparently can’t all be killed by cornstarch and which eat gecko dung) were probably going after some gecko dung when they swarmed the bowl that I stacked my pots on (until yesterday evening, when I moved them).

Of course, I’m sure you know I don’t want to kill this gecko. I feel bad when I do hurt them. I grab the broom or a duster and try to chase them to the door or the window, but it doesn’t always work. I’ve managed to drive a few away, probably and unfortunately hurting at least a couple in the process, but this one is very tricky.

Mangos are in season. We have two or three mango trees which are drooping with mango. I think tomorrow I’ll ask about checking their ripeness. Mangos are also cheap at the market, and I’ve been enjoying the sweet yellow ones that have just enough tanginess and a texture that is reminiscent of flan. I’ve also tried sapodilla, and would like to stash the rest in the freezer. I can’t tell when it’s too ripe. The taste is like caramel, but also seems to have a hint of alcohol flavor, like vanilla flavoring or something, I think. I kind of like it. It’s something I might try one more time, perhaps with help in (or after researching) selection and preparation. The first try was the best. After that, it’s been somewhat disappointing. I’d still like to try it in some homemade ice cream or a homemade smoothie, but dates are better.

Here’s another ant that was crawling on my keyboard. They’re tiny, red, biting things, nasty little critters. If only they didn’t bite, come after my food while I’m preparing it and/or eating, and stayed out of the water, then I might be able to ignore them, except when they’re crawling on my toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc…

I haven’t been feeling well, especially since some time ago in Bangkok, but have been feeling better since abandoning the eggs and dairy, cutting back significantly on pastries and other unnatural sweets, and eating more raw fruit. A friend brought me some lychee twice, and I have been enjoying the taste. The first time she brought it was the first time that I’ve eaten it fresh. Canned, I didn’t care for it. It was boring, kind of like canned pears (although I like pears more now than I did back when I tried canned lychee, though I did like canned pears then, sometimes), but fresh it’s totally different, and juicy and delicious. It seems jackfruit is also in season, too. We found some at the market that was ripe, a nice salmon color, and I really enjoyed it. I like to eat it washed in water because it not only does away with the germs, but seems to make it more juicy.

I used to brush my teeth with the water coming from the bathroom sink, but have been using drinking water this past week and wonder if that also has had a positive impact on my health. We’re told over and over that the water here isn’t clean and should only be used for washing. I know that, but old habits are hard to break, especially when you don’t see the contaminants (except for the obvious stinky green stuff that grows on your retainer, which you also wash in that water) after it sits in its container for a day or two. Since returning, the smell coming from the bathroom faucet and hoses has become even more suspicious, and I’m hoping that nothing died in the pipes (and especially not in the well) while I was away (nor after I returned). After all, I still wash dishes and myself with that water.

But even though I miss the kids, the fresh baked goodies from the vegetarian food store, the adventure, the freedom and comfort of being able to walk around the compound, and the delicious vegetarian food from the cafeteria and a few good cooks, it’s good to be back.

Change is coming. I’m in the process of renovating this website, but changes are happening in my life, too, and I trust that it will all work out for the best. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t have been so quick to take on the project of renovating this site, but should have waited to consider if I could accomplish the task before I started it. We’ll see what happens. For now, at least I know I can still add new posts as I work on moving things around, because the people who care have probably subscribed, and will have the new posts delivered to them even if they’re not posted directly onto the site. That’s pretty convenient, isn’t it? Thanks for sticking with me through all of this.

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Leftover Sandwich Fixin’s and Rice Noodles

I returned to the studio from Bangkok on Friday after a very comfortable bus ride. Really, the long-distance busses in Thailand are much better than in the US. I could have gone another 12-24 hours if Thailand were big enough. Of course, we were traveling VIP. It was very nice. I freshened up a little in the morning before returning to the studio, and managed to get washed up before lunch. A staff meal was prepared. I tried to contribute some delicious bread, but they had enough bread, so I kept it for myself to make dessert bread this morning. I actually call it dessert bread even without the extras, because it is not too sweet, but has a light cinnamon flavor and a variety of seeds. We had sandwiches and spaghetti, and were given the leftovers. I was offered two plates of sandwich fixin’s. I passed on the one plate of tofu and eggs, because the tofu had a flavor I didn’t care for, although I probably would have eaten it, and I’d like to abstain from eggs for at least a few weeks, since I’ve eaten so many in Bangkok. I did accept the plate of sliced vegetables, though. Yesterday for Sabbath lunch that plate of veggies came in handy for a simple salad, for which I mixed the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion (the latter of which I broke into smaller pieces) with the chilled vegetarian ham that had been steamed on Friday afternoon, and poured on some coconut oil, squeezed on some lemon/lime juice, and mixed it all together with a little Himilayan pink salt and garlic salt. It was nice.

Today I used the rest of the leftover veggies with some rice noodles kept over from the week before my trip to the city. I’ve discovered this Thai summer that cucumbers actually taste pretty good cooked, and discovered from a friend that lettuce can be fried with noodles, so combined the ideas. It’s really simple. Just took the leftover sandwich/salad fixin’s (lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber), rinsed them again, and boiled them for a few minutes in a bit of water with a pinch or two of Himalayan pink salt, then added rice noodles, celery seed (because I didn’t notice the powder when I was looking for it), celery powder (because I think it gives more flavor in such short time and it was added pretty much as an afterthought and I had finally found it after adding the seeds), garlic salt, and sesame oil, then cooked it for a few minutes longer until most of the water was absorbed. There was still a bit of broth, and that was ok. If I had more oil, I might have fried everything, but this had a nice, light flavor.

It probably makes a difference that the lettuce was iceberg lettuce or a variety very similar to it. I am thankful for the leftovers, since I didn’t get much for this week and it added some more vegetables to my diet. It’s kind of funny, because my superior and his family took me to buy groceries, and I had forgotten about the leftovers, I think, but still didn’t get much for this week, but the extra veggies are very much appreciated.

 

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Spinach Cobbler

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Greens&Tomatoes

Lunch today prepared in a rice cooker (though you do not have to use a rice cooker if you have other options). A friend gave me some greens…

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Sweet Molasses Curry

Tastes kind of like barbecue.

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Graham Pudding

Graham Pudding:

This is made by stirring flour into boiling water, as in making hasty pudding. It can be made in twenty minutes, but is improved by boiling slowly an hour. Care is needed that it does not burn. It can be eaten when warm or cold… as best suits the eater.

When left to cool, it should be dipped into cups of dishes to mold, as this improves the appearance of the table as well as the dish itself. Before molding, stoned dates, or nice apples thinly sliced, or fresh berries, may be added, stirring as they are dropped in. This adds to the flavor, and with many does away with the necessity for salt or some rich sauce to make it eatable.
Of all Preparations for food, this stands next to good bread; and to those who live simply, and whose purpose it is to live healthfully, this dish, next to bread, comes to be a staple article on the table, and is liked for its intrinsic merits alone.

Graham Minute Pudding:

A very palatable dish may be made very quickly, by stirring Graham flour into boiling milk, after the manner of hasty pudding, letting it cook for five or ten minutes.
When cold, cut in slices, dip in flour, and fry as griddle-cakes. It makes a most healthful head-cheese.

 

 

(… [with milk, sugar, or sauce,] …was present where the ellipse is above. I do not recommend non-vegan milk or sugar, though maple syrup, honey, applesauce, fruit sauce, or some syrups made from fruit/fruit juice and/or vegan milk might be suitable and delicious with this.

Also, concerning the statements made, please keep in mind this was written in the 19th century/1800’s.

For the boiling milk in the minute pudding, I recommend vegan milk.)

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Potato/Hop Yeast

Wash, pare, and grate, one dozen large potatoes. Boil two large handfuls of hops in five pints of water, and strain it on to the grated potatoes. Add a teacupful of sugar and one-half teacup of salt. Put all in a tin pail or pan, and set into a kettle of boiling water, and stir occasionally till thoroughly cooked. When nearly cool add a pint of good yeast and let it rise. One tablespoonful of this yeast is sufficient for an ordinary loaf of bread. If in a cool place it will keep several months in summer without souring.

From Health, or, How to Live (1865) by James White

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Sweet Brown Bread

Sweet Brown Bread:

Take one quart of rye flour, two quarts of coarse Indian meal, one pint wheat meal half a teaspoon of molasses…and one gill of potato yeast.

Mingle the ingredients into as stiff a dough as can be stirred with a spoon, using warm water for wetting.

Let it rise several hours, or over night; then put it in a large deep pan, and bake five or six hours.

This would be a much more wholesome “wedding cake” than we are accustomed to have proffered us on certain interesting occasions.

From Health, or, How to Live (1865) by James White

(Brown sugar was suggested as an alternative to molasses, or molasses an alternative to brown sugar, but I removed that, because molasses hopefully would be sufficient, but you might like to try a coconut or organic sugar.)

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Rusk

Bread and crackers which are too old for the table, may be used for this. Dry them thoroughly in an oven; when dry, break in a mortar and grind coarsely in a hand or coffee mill. It can be eaten when soaked in milk or warm water, and is relished by almost every one. This is a standard article for the table.

From Health, or, How to Live (1865) by James White

(Please note that this was written in the 19th century/1800’s. Of course, I would recommend vegan milk.)

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Corn Cake

Corn Cake:

Pour one quart boiling water on one quart corn meal, and stir quickly.

Wet the hands, and form the dough into small round cakes one-half of an inch thick.

Bake in a hot oven.

The addition of a few raspberries, huckleberries, or any sub-acid fruit, is a decided improvement.

Sweet apples, chopped fine, are also excellent.

From Health, or, How to Live (1865) by James White

Categories: 19th Century Recipes (From Adventist Pioneer[s]) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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