38 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017

  1. I’ll have to do white chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate, because the real stuff gives me migraines. 😥

    Happy Saturday All!

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    1. White chocolate peanut butter cups being just as good, in a different way, save me during the times my body can’t handle chocolate.

      I also love white chocolate covered pretzels best anytime.

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    2. You and Krissie, although she just dislikes regular chocolate.
      She still eats brownies and chocolate chip cookies, though, so I think she just doesn’t like regular chocolate candy.

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  2. So those dark chocolate covered ginger biscuits have been sitting in the cupboard unmolested, and now I’ve eaten two! All your fault.

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  3. Not chocolate related but I just made a batch of snickerdoodles using apple cider drink mix. What I don’t understand is the fact that we use to much sugar. That bloody recipe called for 1 &1/2 cups of sugar so I cut back on the sugar to 1 cup because of the drink mix plus rolling in cinnamon sugar. They turned out pretty good. Yesterday I tried to make the BBC version of Viennese swirl cookies I have got to get the right directions between British measure and US measure, ounces to teaspoon and cup measure ok, but what the hell is cornflour? I googled it and nobody seems to know. Is it cornmeal or cornstarch? I’m thinking it is cornstarch. Also oven temperature. Only once a year I drive myself nuts. Probably would be better off just going to the bakery.

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    1. Cornflour is fine, and best for making sauces – it doesn’t go lumpy like ordinary flour. No idea what it’s called in American, though. (OED says it’s finely ground maize flour.)

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        1. Thanks JaneB should have looked up both cornstarch and cornflour instead of focusing on cornflour, as my father used to say well into his 70’s “well that’s another lesson learned”. It’s back to the kitchen for me.

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      1. In SA corn flour is called mealie- meal because corn is called mealies. It’s sounding weird as I type it. But the packages read “maize flour.”

        It is a staple here.

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        1. Is mealies a fine powder?

          In the US there is cornstarch, which is very, very fine powdery flour and is used as a thickener (I think that is the corn flour that JaneB and Mary are talking about). Then there are various grades of corn meal flour that can be used to make corn bread, johnny cakes, tortillas, polenta and that breakfast staple, corn meal mush.

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    2. The problem with cutting sugar (which I agree we use too much of) in BAKING (as opposed to other types of cooking) is, as I understand it, that sugar counts (counter-intuitively) as a liquid, so cutting it back can affect the texture of baked goods. And in jelly-making it affects the gelling. But I prefer jam anyway, and with that I can cut back the sugar. (And yes, I got a bunch of parentheses for early Christmas presents, so I’m using them with abandon today.)

      I wish we could convince food companies (and restaurants) to use less of both sugar and salt in things that don’t need massive amounts of sugar and salt (tomato sauce and soup, in particular). I’m all for salty things like chips and pretzels, things that the whole point of them is the salt. But for everything else? No, thank you. I’ve been making my own low-salt soups for so long now that anything else tastes to me like I’ve gotten a mouthful of the ocean water. Why not lower the salt content and let people add it as they wish? That would seem to be incredibly easy, rather than making separate low-salt versions (that cost more and still have too much salt for me).

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      1. Yes, cutting out too much sugar can change the chemistry of the baking. It’s possible, but it may mean adding more fast or something to balance texture-wise.

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        1. My husband is gluten and dairy free, which makes baking interesting, to say the least. My current favorite flour is Domata Baking Flour. It’s a rice flour with the Xantham gum, et al. already added so it’s a 1 to 1 substitute. The only place it’s not good is my dumpling recipe.

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      2. South Africa is implementing a sugar tax in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar used in everyday foods.

        Diabetes is a health crises in a country with limited health infrastructure. It’s a start but the movement needs to be to refine consumption at home.

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      3. The reason sugar affects the texture in baking is that it (as well as salt) causes osmosis and draws liquid through the walls of the cells of other molecules.

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    3. I cut sugar WAY back (I’m diabetic). My pumpkin custard is either made with maple syrup (Krissie keeps me supplied with the real stuff) or about a quarter cup of granulated. You need sugar for browning, but otherwise we way oversweeten things. And that’s before you get to canned stuff. Try to find tomato sauce without sugar. Heinz makes a sugar-free ketchup, but that’s the only one I found. That’s how I fell in love with tomato paste. One ingredient: tomatoes.

      Which does not mean I don’t cheat. Sigh.

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      1. Hey, as long as you’re keeping your blood sugar balanced and under control at a happy level you’re still allowed to have sweets. It’s not cheating if you make it work.

        Also, OMG real maple syrup.

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        1. It’s actually easier for diabetics to process than sugar. Which makes me happy because I love the stuff.

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        1. Real maple syrup usually says 100% maple syrup on the container.

          Look on the ingredient list on what you buy – You might see “Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Cellulose Gum, Caramel Color, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Sodium Benzoate And Sorbic Acid (Preservatives), Sodium Hexametaphosphate” or something like that.

          You might also see with “real maple flavoring”

          On the good stuff, the first ingredient is maple syrup, and often it’s the only ingredient.

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        2. As Bridget said, look at the label. It should say “maple syrup.” That’s it. Most of the stuff labeled as maple syrup is corn syrup with maple flavoring. There is no comparison.

          Krissie brought me a tasting set the last time she was here, and we didn’t get to it, so when she comes down in January, we’re doing a maple syrup taste test. It comes in different intensities (light, dark, etc.).

          Another way to tell if you have the real thing: It’s expensive.

          Warning: Once you start reading labels, you’re going to find a world of lies in the grocery. Example: “Whole wheat” is not the same as “high fiber.” You want high fiber, you need a gram of fiber for every 50 calories; a lot of whole wheat bread is much less that that with some nice coloring to make it look darker. Tomato sauce is loaded with sugar. I still remember how happy I was when I looked at the Contadina tomato paste ingredients: Tomatoes. That was it.

          Once I started reading labels, I started spending a lot more time in the fresh food sections.

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          1. For bread you want 100% whole wheat —that means only made with whole wheat. And the 100% has to be right in front of whole wheat—100% natural whole wheat may be some whole wheat and some not. I’m not sure what artificial whole wheat is…
            I think 100% whole grain ok and includes other grains.

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          2. Even then they can fudge with the fiber.
            And they have come up with ways to up the fiber without all whole wheat. I’m all about the fiber.

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          3. Ok, good. I definitely do read labels, and so my maple syrup is maple syrup. I’m apparently just oddly paranoid.

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  4. Ooh! Ooh! This was posted on the Leverage Facebook group. Bruce Campbell as Santa Claus on The Librarians, Sunday 12/17, 8/7Central. The teaser and the cast list for the episode, “And the Christmas Thief” doesn’t list Bruce, so it may just be a cameo. sqeee!

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        1. Here’s where I confess I bailed on The Librarians awhile ago. Such a great cast, such bad writing. When they make Campbell unfunny, they’re doing something wrong.

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          1. I just looked and I might be able to see the show now. There are dvds available and it might be on Amazon Prime. I don’t have TNT or Hulu.

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