Epicurean Table title

Titbits & Such . . . 

Here are titbits of information to clarify abbreviations, what is meant in the recipes and suggestions for stocking your pantry - from an epicurean view. 


rooster and pumpkin

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Read interesting trivia, myths and food/health related articles in 

The Epicurean Digest

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I use very little commercial preparations as I like to control what I ingest as much as possible. I read labels. I do not worry about what I cannot help. I also prefer the uniqueness of 'making it myself'.  

 

A little powdered or concentrated bouillon, as long as it does not contain MSG, is a practical help and one uses so little of it.

 

When I can, and when freezer space allows I do prefer to make my own stocks, and I rarely purchase tomato puree (sauce). Making  my own from the wonderful plum tomatoes we have here, using very little salt, no sugar it is a job finished in an evening. But then that is another chapter...

 

Food Preparation    Abbreviations   Tools  Pots & Pans

 

Ingredients    Things I won't do without

 
 

Food Preparation

I would loose a lot of space if I mentioned wash and trim vegetables, etc. in every recipe. I will assume you are a raccoon like me and only mention it when it is important such as removing outer leaves of a vegetable.

Abbreviations...

180 C. (example) = 180 degrees Celsius
+ - = plus or minus, more or less, about
T. = tablespoon (standard 15 ml.)
t. = teaspoon (3 t. equals 1 tablespoon)
g. = gram
k. = kilogram, kilo (1000 grams)
l. = litre, liter (1000 millilitres)
ml. = millilitre, mililiter (1 litre) 

A few tools to mention...

food mill - hand cranked, best for light and fluffy mashed potatoes rather than 'mashing' them which will develop the starch in them, for vegetables and for whenever a smooth but not blended consistency is desirable.

 

immersion blender - (akn. puree wand) Best invention since safety pins. A tool I use daily.

mist pump - sprays oil in a fine mist on surfaces. Better than non-stick pans.


pots, pans - I use heavy stainless steel multi-clad pots and only need a few tablespoons of water for steaming vegetables. Increase water if you have light weight pots that do not seal tightly.

pans, pots, non-stick - I have the obligatory few, but am not thrilled with them. Ah, well.

Be sure to visit Close Enough Equivalents  for helpful conversion charts.  Visit  The Epicurean Digest for interesting articles on metrics.

This page is an excerpt from  my cookbook Welcome to My Kitchen!

Ingredients - Only the Best!

butter - never margarine, unsalted (butter IS the lesser of the two evils - see my article in The Epicurean Digest Vol. 1, Issue 2)

cream - a tablespoon now and again is one of the treats in life, besides rounding off a sauce.

eggs - large, fresh from our local free range sources

garlic - only fresh, wonderful and plump

milk - usually low fat, unless otherwise indicated

oil - usually various olive oils or safflower

seasonings, broth - One of the few commercial products I use, bought in a health food shop and without artificial whatevers or MSG. Powdered form. A practical help when you don't have home-made stock ("or equivalent" means broth made from powder or cube broth).

seasoning, curry - I prefer to make my own for specific recipes. Otherwise, for small amounts, commercial will do.

seasoning, pepper - ground from the mill, mixed pepper corns and a separate one for white pepper. Fresh ground makes such a difference!

seasoning, salts - I use herb salt which I usually make (not so secret recipe, one day I will put it on the site) or bring back from Germany (also health food shop) otherwise I use sea salt with iodine and normal sea salt for baking and yeast doughs - which do not fare well with iodized salt.

tomato puree (sauce) - I only buy when I run out of my own (mine has no sugar and very little salt nor is it overcooked).

tomato paste - (double concentrate) I do purchase this. Making your own takes many kilos of tomatoes and it can be bought without preservatives. Sometimes just a tablespoon is all you need for that final touch!

Things I would never do without

 

...tablecloths and cloth napkins (grew up with them)...sharp knives...a melon baller I rarely use for melons...my immersion blender (puree wand)...candles... cappuccino mid morning... pursuing my passions...walks...

my herb garden...real dishes for eating al fresco or for summer parties with the neighbours and friends...my Miele dishwasher...

To thee and thine,
I speak for ye,
"Bring on bread and finest wine."
To friendship's hours that reminisce...
To a younger we...
To younger time...
A toast, I say, to bread and this!

- PCW

The Epicurean Digest -
articles about food related health issues, interesting subjects, titbits of information as well as tips and quips.

The Epicurean Digest is a spin off from the Epicurean Table site -
a quality site with a European flair about quality food. 

Read issues 1 and 2 in Volume 1 about the hazards of margarine in 'Butter You Up' and all about MSG-Another Food 'Industry Myth'.  Click here

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All recipes are excerpts from "Welcome to My Kitchen" - The Epicurean Table and are copyright of the author.  Recipes are not to be 

added to any form of archive or other works of any kind.  Contact the author for further information.  

The Epicurean Table 1999-2009  Patricia Conant