I found a new produce—new to me at least—at Trader Joe’s this week, Thomcord grapes. These grapes are a crossbreed of Thomson seedless and Concord grapes. They have dark purple skins and a wonderful flavor. While my wife Jan does not like grape jelly—growing up her mother bought nothing but Welch’s grape jelly—daughter Eilene loves it. She asked me to turn these grapes into a jam.
Category Archives: Breakfast
I recently learned how to make pancakes from scratch. When Jan decided to go to Burning Man this was an obvious choice for one of their meals. There was how ever a hitch, out in the middle of the desert there would be little refrigeration available—which kind of knocks out using fresh milk and eggs.
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
I woke up this morning thinking, “Waffles!” As much as I like to cook, breakfasts have not been a high priority for me. My secret sin is that my morning pancakes and have always come from a box. Recently, I learned how easy pancakes and waffles from scratch were to make. I have made cinnamon waffles and blueberry waffles, today I decided to combine the two recipes.
Since I learned to make pancakes from scratch, I no longer have any commercial pancake mix in the house. I had adapted a Martha Stewart pancake recipe—less sugar for diabetics—and I went on to adapt a waffle recipe—which turned out to be very close to Martha Stewart’s recipe (again lower sugar). Now, I decided to take it one step further by adding some dried blueberries for Jan’s Mother’s Day breakfast.
Several years ago, I posted a fancier version of pigs in blankets two ways—in one I had made homemade sausage. In America, “pigs in blankets” can refer to either a sausage baked into a bun—what the British would call a sausage roll or bun—or a breakfast sausage rolled up into a pancake. Today, I am switching chicken breakfast sausages for pork.
I was making French toast for Jan’s breakfast. My wife never eats an egg as well when she has French toast, but I wanted one. I suddenly remembered her family recipe for One-eyed Jacks and I wondered, why not make it with French toast? Of course that would make it a One-eyed Jacques.
I decided that I wanted biscuits and gravy for breakfast, but I did not have my usual sage pork sausage—which wife, Jan, does not really prefer. I did have some Trader Joe’s chicken sausage in the freezer, so I decided to go with that. I did not used to make this kind of thing—except on special weekends—but I just had a hankering.
Bread is mostly flour mixed with a liquid. However, because of the complex chemistry of the starches and gluten in the flour, small changes in handling techniques and additional ingredients can make a big difference in the texture of the final product. A few weeks ago I posted my updated recipe for light and flaky biscuits. I had been making these biscuits for years, so throwing them together was second nature. However, when I tried to make these biscuits as I had written the recipe they came out tough and dense.
The prospect of fresh hot bread is one of the joys and reasons to get up in the morning. Most cultures have some form of baked good, but in the end it is mostly flour mixed with some kind of liquid and then baked—or fried. However, because of the complex chemistry involved in exactly what other ingredients you add—and how you treat the resulting dough—it produces amazingly different results.