Tag Archives: Comfort Food

Warm Bread for Cold Days – Purity Flour Cookbook White Bread

How to knead bread, Purity Flour Cookbook
How to knead bread, Purity Flour Cookbook

There is nothing better than a fresh slice of bread with butter melting into it.

I made my first pies at the age of 8 and my first bread at the age of 10. Supervised by adults at first, but fiercely independent, I would make them sit back and watch, and only allowed assistance for the purpose of instruction.

Quickly, I was making it regularly,  entirely on my own, inspired by how much I loved Grandma Nelson’s home made bread. She never needed a recipe, just poured mountains of flour into a bowl, waved her hands over it and voila! Bread.

It may have involved more than that, but she wasn’t big on giving instructions, so I never did learn her secrets, even though I watched her every chance I had on visits. She made at least 8 loaves and a tray of bannock every week. I can still smell her kitchen when I think of fresh bread.

At one point, I bought a bread maker at a garage sale, and tried it out…it worked fine, but lacked the tactile sensations that are part of my love for bread making.

Normally, I prefer whole wheat bread, but this is the first recipe I ever used, and it is bullet-proof. It’s from the Purity Flour Cookbook, and the same recipe appears in most of the flour company cookbooks of that era that I have seen.

You’ll notice that this recipe calls for the addition of milk, as does the Sunflower Bread, in both cases, I regularly use milk to make ricotta, and then use the whey from the cheese making  to make the bread.  A litre of milk will usually produce about 600-700ml of whey.

Lisa Shamai’s Corny Cornbread

Yummy Cornbread
Yummy Cornbread

I first had this cornbread at Mr Rick and the Biscuits, CD release party for Cocktails & Cornbread in 2005 (here’s the title song, somewhat earlier at the Distillery Jazz Festival, where I met Lisa Shamai, local caterer extraordinaire, and the creator of this delicious, spicy, cornbread recipe.

A warm and gracious woman, Lisa has been cooking in Toronto for decades, at one time running a jazz club on weekends at her catering facility, Lisa Shamai Cuisinerie. Sadly, it was a brief candle, and the club blew out before I got to see it. Happily, the catering company is still with us.

I’ve always loved Johnnycake, aka cornbread and enjoyed this one a great deal at the show, going back to sneak extra helpings of the spicy, cheesy bread. Lisa was gracious enough to share it with me for this soup and bread edition of Eatin’s Canada and we thank her for it. I suggest you try it with the 3Bean Chili recipe from January…and lots of butter. Yummy.

November – Eatin’s Canada

Roasted Vegetables and Polenta Soup
Roasted Vegetables and Polenta Soup

November is the first of the truly cold months throughout The Great White North, and so it’s all about Bread and Soup for us here at Eatin’s Canada.  We’re featuring recipes for both, and a review about Enoteca Sociale,  in Toronto, along with an interview with Holger,  their Bread Baker and Pasta Maker, and a recipe for Enoteca Sociale’s Rosemary  Foccacia.

We have a Roasted Vegetable & Polenta Soup recipe from Glen Synoground, and many soup recipes from Bill Wimberly, beginning with his recipes for Basic Chicken Broth and Stock Variations about the differences between Broth and Stock.

Heart of Bread
We LOVE bread!

We also have recipes for some of my favourite bread recipes. One is from the Purity Flour Cookbook recipe for White Bread (with variations for 60% whole wheat), which was the first that I ever used when making my first loaves at the age of 10. This recipe was also featured in other popular flour company  cookbooks of the time. Also, Phyllis’s Bread, and Sunflower Bread from The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook, by Marjorie Winn Ford, Susan Hillyard, and Mary Faulk Koock, of Texas. A wonderful bread and a favourite cookbook…now sadly, out of print, but available online. Finally, we have instructions for Trapping and feeding Wild Sourdough Yeast.

Bill Wimberly in the army
Bill Wimberly in the army

A bit more about Bill Wimberly…he was a corporate chef, a good friend to me as a blogger,  and a wonderful and thoughtful man.

Sadly, we lost Bill  to Cancer shortly after this site was built, but it was created in part with him in mind.

Bill began cooking while in the service as a young man, and then went onto chef school to study formally on The GI Bill. When we first “met”  online in 2007, Bill was a semi-retired corporate chef and one of my best advisors in recipe development.  He is our patron saint, not unlike St. Vincent, and dearly missed.

We’ll post as many of his excellent recipes as possible.

Eatin’s Canada – November

Roasted Vegetables and Polenta Soup
Roasted Vegetables and Polenta Soup

November is the first of the truly cold months throughout The Great White North, and so it’s all about Bread and Soup for us here at Eatin’s Canada.  We’re featuring recipes for both, and a review about Enoteca Sociale,  in Toronto, along with an interview with Holger,  their Bread Baker and Pasta Maker, and a recipe for Enoteca Sociale’s Rosemary  Foccacia.

We have a Roasted Vegetable & Polenta Soup recipe from Glen Synoground, and many soup recipes from Bill Wimberly, beginning with his recipes for Basic Chicken Broth and Stock Variations about the differences between Broth and Stock.

Heart of Bread
We LOVE bread!

We also have recipes for some of my favourite bread recipes. One is from the Purity Flour Cookbook recipe for White Bread (with variations for 60% whole wheat), which was the first that I ever used when making my first loaves at the age of 10. This recipe was also featured in other popular flour company  cookbooks of the time. Also, Phyllis’s Bread, and Sunflower Bread from The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook, by Marjorie Winn Ford, Susan Hillyard, and Mary Faulk Koock, of Texas. A wonderful bread and a favourite cookbook…now sadly, out of print, but available online. Finally, we have instructions for Trapping and feeding Wild Sourdough Yeast.

Bill Wimberly in the army
Bill Wimberly in the army

A bit more about Bill Wimberly…he was a corporate chef, a good friend to me as a blogger,  and a wonderful and thoughtful man.

Sadly, we lost Bill  to Cancer shortly after this site was built, but it was created in part with him in mind.

Bill began cooking while in the service as a young man, and then went onto chef school to study formally on The GI Bill. When we first “met”  online in 2007, Bill was a semi-retired corporate chef and one of my best advisors in recipe development.  He is our patron saint, not unlike St. Vincent, and dearly missed.

We’ll post as many of his excellent recipes as possible.

Roasted Vegetable and Polenta Soup

Recipe and photographs by Glen Synoground

RawVeggiesThe types of vegetables you use, and their relative amounts are variable, and can be based on the vegetables you have available, and want to use. What matters is that you have more or less 5 cups of mixed vegetables to begin with.

Starting with onions and garlic is always a good place, and certain types of vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, root vegetables in general, and hard squash, are good additions, giving body to a blended soup without need of added flour.

As to cheese, I used a hearty smoked provolone In this version, but feel free to use your own taste or available ingredients to guide you…with a preference for medium soft cheeses that melt well.

Bill’s Basic Chicken Broth and Stock Variation

Bill Wimberly in the army
Bill Wimberly in the army

Recipe and article by Bill Wimberly.

People tend to confuse stock with broth as they are at times interchangeable. The basic differences between the two lies in its properties. Chicken stock contains more gelée than chicken broth, uses a higher ratio of bone to flesh, and is reduced for a longer length of time (twice as long as a broth) to extract the gelée. Broth uses a higher ratio of flesh to bone and is reduced for a much shorter period of time. These are the key factors to consider in determining whether you are making chicken stock or chicken broth. Stock is more concentrated (longer reduction) and may be used for soup by the addition of water. Stock with its abundance of gelatin (containing minerals) is best suited for pan sauces, gravies, stews, and product thickened with roux.

Chicken broth is usually made with chicken meat and chicken parts, with a high flesh to bone ratio. Whole chicken (stewing hens are best for broth) or assorted parts can be used. Reduction time for chicken broth at sea level is about 3 hours.

Chicken stock is made mostly of chicken parts that have a very low flesh to bone ratio. Backs, necks and breast bones produce the best stock. To achieve the maximum extraction of gelée from the chicken bones the reduction time is 6 hours. Water, vegetables, herbs, and salt are ingredients that are common to both stock and broth.

Formulas (recipes) for the casual cook or homemaker are formatted differently than commercial or institutional formulas. Many casual cooks do not follow standard recipes, and this leads to inconsistent results. When I formulate a recipe for a commercial production facility or central kitchen, it is somewhat different than a recipe intended for the casual or recreational cook. Both formulations must be precise and easy to follow, and duplicate. Cost is very important in commercial institutions, and should also be a factor in your home kitchen. But do not skimp when cooking for your family, your goal here is to delight your guest, not make a profit.

The reader may notice that some of my chicken and stock recipes vary in ratio to bones, meat, herbs, seasonings and water. I submitted a standard recipe for chicken broth on a previous entry, and the above formulas were created for an organic restaurant company that produced institutional stocks and broth, as well as an organic soup line. Please feel free to adjust the formulas to your personal needs and taste. Remember, to have fun, and by all means, be creative.

For a vegan stock ,Alison Cole recommends Better Than  Boullion. We are looking for a great recipe for one though.

Perfect Pickles

PicklesCrpArticle, recipe, and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses

What makes a pickle perfect?

Whether your favourites are sour or sweet, tangy or salty, you want them to have a certain snap when bitten into.  We have a full list of crisp pickle tips to read and follow here.

Given that there are few things more disappointing than trying to bite into a pickle only to have it dissolve in your teeth, it’s worth taking the very few minutes to properly prepare for perfect plump and succulent satisfying pickles that snap.

In addition to these tips, make sure that all your ingredients are at the same hot temperature when you assemble the jars. Your boiling water bath should be properly hot, already at a rolling boil when you drop the jars into it and the jar contents should also be as hot as possible.

This is a cold pack recipe, so make sure that the brine solution is boiling at the ready to be added after the jars have been filled, and immediately before capping them.