Delicious and healthy concoctions from around the world and from your own backyard. Reviving old favorites and searching out lost treats and tricks from our grandmothers.

My first pie competition…

And I was a wreck. I had made two test pies. One was perfect – the second was a horrific disaster. The disaster pie led to a reworking of my pie plans, a subtraction of sorts. I am definitely the type of person who likes to overcomplicate, subtraction is not my forte. While I know this is my pattern, I generally don’t catch it early enough. Ahhh… getting older.

So there I was the day before the competition, ready to start the most nerve wracking part – the pastry. Here is my process.

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Fermented Hot Sauce: Part 2

My fermented hot sauce was bubbling and brewing away in the corner for several days. It developed a little bit of white mold, which I promptly scraped off. I did notice mentions of mold in various blog posts so I didn’t worry overly much, it seems to relate to the fermentation process.

Once I felt that it was fermented enough (use your intuition) I slipped on a glove and picked through the mixture removing all of the green stems. I then dumped the mixture into a saucepan with about half a cup of white wine vinegar and let it boil for several minutes.

I put in a teaspoon of salt and then poured the whole saucepan into my blender and whizzed it up until I liked the consistency. The sauce then took another journey into the saucepan for another round of boiling while I sterilized a few little jars. I tasted it again as it boiled and decided to add a teaspoon of white sugar. This just seemed appropriate.

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Fermented Hot Sauce: Part 1

I never used to like hot sauce.

That changed during my first camping trip. I was 19-years-old.

Traveling to the site with a fellow newbie girlfriend, en route we picked up a lot of beer, a 12-pack of hot dogs and a sack of buns. That was it.  We had no tent, no sleeping bags, no nothing. Just beer and hot dogs. We joined a big group of experienced campers. They had barbecues, food tents, frying pans, cooking sauces, venison, and…

Sriacha sauce. That lovely fermented garlic hot sauce, you all know it, the squirt bottle with the green lid. The symbol that you’re in a good restaurant. I mean, come on, Morimoto uses it.

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