I love the precision of using weight rather than volume to measure for baking recipes, especially when I’m converting a recipe from wheat-y to gluten-free. Gluten-free flours have a range of weights (sorghum flour is pretty light; potato starch is pretty heavy), and the goal is to get the weight the same as the weight of the wheat flour in the recipe would be. (Standard, all-purpose wheat flour is 125 grams per cup.) Also, using weight eliminates the differences in volume created by how compressed your flours are stored, how much moisture your flours have in them, etc. You’ll find that I include both volume and weight measurements in most baking recipes so that you can use either method. If you’re having trouble with a recipe, weighing out the ingredients can help you figure out what may be off. With recipes such as bread, that can be particularly important.
Of course, a kitchen scale also comes in handy if your existing recipe calls for measurements by weight, if you are tracking your food intake carefully, or if you’re just curious how much a kitchen item weighs.
I have a slim kitchen scale that I love! It’s petite–perfect for my little LA kitchen; it is very precise (weighing down to 1 g accurately); and it can weigh fairly heavy amounts (up to 9 pounds, 14 oz.). And a week from now, I’m giving one away to one of you so that you (or your family member or friend or whoever) can also have the consistency of measuring flours by weight, as well. You have several options on how to enter:
- ‘Like’ Tilth on Facebook and leave a comment on one of the questions on the wall or discussion board there (1 entry). (People who have already liked Tilth on Facebook need only leave a comment to get an entry.)
- Tweet about what you like about Tilth to your followers on Twitter, linking to me (@tilthforhealth) at the same time so that I can record your entry (1 entry).
- Forward the Tilth September newsletter (with recipes, trouble-shooting, tips, and info on upcoming events–sign up to get it here) on to at least five friends whom you think might find it useful, copying me on it as well so that I can record your entry (1 entry). (Don’t worry–I will never spam the people you email. I just need proof of you doing it.)
- Blog about what you like about Tilth and about this contest, including the methods of entry for others to see, and email me (email@example.com) a link to the post (3 entries).
You can enter as many of these ways as you want. I’ll draw for the winner at 6 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, September 5th, so get your entries in before then!
I’m the first to admit that I’m not generally good at making quick meals for me and my husband. I keep staples (brown rice pasta, frozen gf pizza crusts, Thai rice noodles, tomato sauce, etc.) around for quick meals when I need them, but I probably don’t make quick meals more than two nights a week. The rest of the time, I’m perfectly happy to spend an hour plus in the kitchen putting things together. That may change some day when Dan and I have kids or if I go back to full-time (which, let’s be honest, is usually full-time-plus) work, but for now–yeah, time’s a luxury I often have.
So when Kristen asked me for a quick recipe that uses six ingredients or fewer—and with this project, it had to be a new recipe, not one I already use–it took me some thought to get started.
Quite frankly, sometimes I get tired of social networking sites and ponder quitting them all. I regularly get invitations to join new ones, but I think Flickr-Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn is enough . . . if not too much. Especially when you add in the daily onslaught of email (which I love reading, but boy, am I often bad about responding) and blogging (where I always wish I got more comments and often wonder who’s reading or caring, even when I can see the number of readers).
But sometimes they are worthwhile. Sometimes I make a connection or reconnection on one of them, and I think, “Ah, this is why I do this.” That happened recently when Carrie (also known as Ginger Lemon Girl) and I chatted on Twitter about her idea for a savory cookie recipe. When she created one, she ended up making it not only gluten-free but also dairy-free and egg-free to be sure I would be able to try it after her. Then she emailed me the recipe to get my thoughts. I was, of course, very flattered, and I made the ‘cookies’ that night–with a few adjustments based on her notes. I emailed her my notes, and we emailed further about other changes we would make. It was all quite satisfying–the kind of exchange that answers, for me at least, whether purely online interaction can build community. (What, you haven’t been having that conversation? Hmmm, maybe your particular brand of geekdom hasn’t involved double-majoring in sociology and anthropology.)
My friend Karen is one of the people I’ve met by happenstance. She worked for a little while with a friend of mine at a bookstore (a stop-gap measure in employment in both of their lives), and she and her husband came to a party Dan and I were also attending. Karen and I connected there, but her sweet husband had a migraine and they left early. When we reconnected at the next party, well, that was kinda it. We became fast friends with many mutual interests and beliefs–among them, a desire to eat healthfully and to support local agriculture.
Then Dan and I moved across the country . . . less than a year later. Karen was one of the people I was saddest to leave behind, and we both got teary talking about it a couple of times before my moving day arrived. So I committed to myself that I would not lose touch with Karen. I talk to her on the phone about once a week–which is saying something, because I generally hate talking on the phone. With Karen, time on the phone just flies by as we dig into this topic and that one.
Another way we’re keeping in touch is by sharing recipe suggestions over email. We have some food allergens in common, we’re both trying to control the impact of sugar on our lives, and we both enjoy cooking and baking. The recipe I altered today started with one that Karen wrote up and emailed to me after making it herself. Karen got the (wheat-based) recipe from the cookbook Vegan Brunch. I believe her version had bananas and chocolate chips, and I went another route using local blueberries and marmalade. But I knew the base of the recipe was good, because I trust Karen’s judgment.
We were visiting my husband’s uncle’s house last weekend when we noticed his lime tree was surrounded by fallen, uber-ripe, yellow limes. It’s common in Southern California for people with citrus trees to simply let the fruit ripen and rot without utilizing it. I can’t fathom that mindset–free, local food! while grocery bills climb! while food pantries go wanting!–so we gathered up the fallen limes and brought them home.