Flavored masa patty with fried egg

I invented this tonight, the masa base with favorite things added right in it. It is likely already invented and that would be due to the idea being so obvious.

Think of it as polenta.  

But better than regular polenta that is made with cornmeal because this cornmeal has been treated with alkali and that is what makes niacin available and that is also the thing that imparts the South American Indian distinctive aroma and flavor. Diets heavily reliant on maize for their cornmeal that had not undergone alkali treatment, potash was common early on, suffered inordinate cases of pellagra as occurred in the American South and parts of Europe. 

They took up the maize but they did not take the potash treatment necessary just as they took the vanilla orchids without taking the specific bees necessary to pollinate them so their spines curved from untreated corn meal and their vanilla crops failed until these problems were sorted. 

Chicken, sausage, beans, spinach

Cannellini beans cooked with bay leaves and bacon. Chicken thigh cooked earlier and frozen. Bratwurst sausage.

[spinach raw vs cooked]


[spinach raw vs cooked why?]

cooked, because I said so.

[spinach raw vs cooked why? elaborate]

short answer cooking releases calcium bound to oxalates making minerals available. 

[spinach raw vs cooked why? long answer]

request denied.

Potato chips

Chips off the old block. Of potato. And they sure are chippy. These are perhaps the chippiest potatoes I've ever made, or even eaten entirely, or just chipped away at a pile of like this. And the whole time I was thinking maybe I should chip in to show the advantages of a single small potato, when the chips are down instead of simply allowing the chips to fall where they may, so that we might all be in the chips and not beggars to stingy vending machine handouts, standing there with chips on our shoulders because our bag screwed forward but failed to fall, while the vending machine people are rolling in the chips.

Pancakes, caramel banana, ice cream

The lights are turned down so the foam that is caused by baking soda can be seen. To estimate how much baking soda will be needed to foam up 1/2 a cup of yogurt thinned with milk. 

Gosh, it's very reactive.

This is a different pan. 

Sugar is shaken across the flat bottom of a pan and left alone over heat to brown. Without bothering it, when the desired color is attained, that will be up to you, then the pan is removed from the heat and butter is added, water, cream in this case, and any alcohol, vanilla, what have you, nuts and so forth. 

This was not flambĂ©ed although it could have been. That's for showing off. 

We used to melt packets of sugar onto hotel hot plates intended for coffee, I think, in a hotel room when we were kids. We weren't bad kids, just bored out of our minds and there it was. We noticed the hardness stages of sugar on our own and learned how to control it. We made what we considered tasty semi-burned candy.

*whispers* sometimes i have an uneasy sense that a woman is haunting me and i can't quite put my finger on it. 

Spaghetti with bratwurst meatballs

Vanilla ice cream

This ice cream is for later. Presently in soft form it will harden as it chills further.
This photo is repeated down there ↓ where it belongs. The only flavor is vanilla. 

The fake ice chunk is in the freezer for a whole 24 hours.

The slurry is made in advance too. It needs to cook to dissolve the sugar and denature the single egg inside, so a custard then, and chilled to near freezing. That's a rather long time needed to go from so hot to so cold.

*2 cups heavy cream
*1 cup whole milk
* sugar as you like it up to 1 cup, this is 1/4 cup.
* 1 tablespoon corn syrup to prevent the formation of large crystals, this is 1/4 cup.
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* a pinch of salt because everything this saccharine needs a touch of salt
* one whole egg

This is the loosest ice cream mixture I ever made. Everything else up to this point was thicker than this. So I had my doubts.

The egg is dumped in and whisked. No straining, No egg separation, no fuss at all. It's barely a custard with only one egg, but as they say in France, one egg is un oeuf.

The motor is on the side so that it doesn't heat the ice cream

The fat clumsy black gear is the thing that turns.

The bowl has a big fat plastic gear-shape on the bottom that fits over the gear on the base. 

The frozen ice block fits into the bowl and over the big fat black plastic gear, locking it into place with the bowl. So the black bowl and ice block will turn.

But oddly, the blades will not turn. They will be locked into place and the bowl turn around them. The blades will scrape the top of the fake ice block as the fake ice block turns underneath them. It is counterintuitive. You expect the blades to turn and the bowl to stay put but this is the reverse of that.

The ice cream slurry was prepared far in advance and chilled to near freezing. 

It's the first thing that is started besides freezing the fake ice pack. The idea is to take as much of the load off the machine as possible. If the slurry is cold enough it can be further chilled aerated within just a few minutes. This took longer, but I was still surprised how much it froze and nearly doubled in volume. 

The entire assembly is chilled to give it the best advantage, except for the motor.

I debated about buying this machine years ago through eBay. It is little more than a toy. It was thirty dollars then. Would I use it? Would it sit there idly hogging up storage space? It turned out to be the handiest little thing and I use it all the time. 

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