Apr 17 2021

Secrets of bread making

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 16:35

Yes, this is a cooking entry. No, I am no expert. And I’m not gonna’ share any secrets either. I’m gonna’ let this guy do it.

I’m just gonna’ tell you about my experience following his advice and my experience with bread in general.

Two times I’ve watched that video, the first time I cooked the bread as in the second example. It was good, the crust was crispy, and the bread was fluffy and tasty. As it got cold, the crust got hard, but still tasty enough to be worth it.

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Feb 20 2021

I’ve been living in the dark

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:32

Among my friends and some closer acquaintances, I am known to be a good cook. Hell, even I thought for a long time that I am a good cook.  I can make a killer stake, a killer cheesecake and other things. But there is one thing I always had trouble with. Soups. Whatever I tried, they always seem watery and like there is some ingredient missing.

I mean, being Romanian, I’m not really good at soups. We don’t have many types of soup in our culture… only a lot of types of ciorbă. The Romanian ciorba is a type of sour soup, that is soured using something called borș, that is a liquid that consists of water in which wheat or barley bran have fermented. I remember my mother putting sour cherries, or sour cherry branches in it too. Making borș also requires a putină which is a wooden barrel, shaped like a cone; if you want to get the flavour and the sourness right that is.

It’s no surprise that after leaving my parents’ house I’ve never actually tried to make borș myself. I did try sour soups though, and I tried to get them sour with lemon, or apple cider vinegar. It’s just not the same thing. They are still pretty tasteless.  So, I cheated. When I wanted to make some kind of soup, I always added some kind of store-bought enhancing flavour or broth.  Or I added garlic. Garlic makes anything taste like food of the gods.

But a few weeks ago, my life and my way of cooking changed.

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Dec 13 2020

How to make a majestic Victoria Sponge Cake

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:53

I love to cook, and my friends say I do it quite well. I owe it all to my mom. She wasn’t perfect, but she knew how to motivate me to learn. Her main goal has been to turn me and my sister into perfect wives and because of her simple life, she thought that meant keeping an exemplary house. An important part of keeping a house is cooking and what can I say, I excel at it.

A month or so ago, I have found myself in a small coffee shop for the first time since March. Although I wasn’t hungry and I definitely had tea at home, I ordered myself a tea and a piece of Victoria Sponge Cake, just to celebrate the occasion. And I really, really liked the cake and decided to make it myself soon.

It is now the 3rd time I made this cake, I have ordered myself special cake tins for it and I still love the cake, so much I have to stop myself from eating more than a portion a day. So, here I am, giving you the recipe and instructions for the most epic Victoria Sponge Cake. You know… just so we can get fat together. :D

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Jul 31 2020

Kombucha demystified

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 16:54

A while ago I was talking to some friends from Romania. It was summer and they started making elderberry flower fermented tea, which is a national refreshing summer drink. The drink is called “socata” and is amazing, but weirdly I’ve never been interested in making it myself, well until this year.

The reason why I considered making socata myself was that during the lockdown my only contact with the outside was my daily run. I run between to 2 and 6 miles daily on the bike path near my house. The bike path is bordered by two mini-forests with all the typical wild plants and trees, some of them producing edible fruit: elderberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackberries. Well, I’ve been running a lot since March and when the bike path was full of elderberry flowers, I just had to take advantage of the free harvest.

So, I made my first socata, after a very simple recipe. And I loved it. And then I ordered a 5L jar to have a constant source. But eventually the flowers will end, so I did some research to see if there is any other type of fermented tea are there.

And I’ve found kombucha. Which is fermented black tea essentially. But all the videos and recipes on the internet mention the elusive scoby. And apparently you cannot make your own kombucha without it, and all “scoby from scratch” videos and blog posts mention that you need to buy a kombucha or get a small piece of a bacteria culture from someone that has one.

You fucking, useless condescending hipsters!

It is not from scratch if you already have the bacteria. It’s like telling me that to make bread I already need to have a piece of bread. It would be from scratch if you would tell me what I need to put in a jar to stimulate the bacteria to develop, you wankers! But you do not know, do you? Because all of you are repeating the same identical story that is all over the internet. It’s like all of you belong to the same religion but none of you has read the fucking bible.

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