Charred sweet red bell pepper

This time fried in bacon fat in the same pan that fried the bacon. 

This is a Mexican thing. It's the way they bring out the best in their peppers. Whole jalapeño peppers grilled or broiled this same way are truly excellent. Of course, poblano peppers are treated this same way. The thick-skinned peppers blister after being sweated, and the black portions peeled off. 

They're very good drizzled with balsamic, but this time I left them without it. 

Incidentally, if you ever see these weird little bottles of balsamic vinegar, just buy one. You might find it's the best that you've tasted. Including the incredibly expensive types you see in speciality shops.

Rib eye steak, asparagus, tossed salad, blu cheese dressing

USDA Prime, aged. 

Reverse seared. Oven cooked at 250℉ for 45 minutes to 115℉ internal temperature then seared stovetop. 

Asparagus coated with beaten egg white with honey (to make it sticky) then again in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano with panko bread crumbs (sprayed with oil). 

Lettuce, tomato, avocado, seared red bell pepper, mushroom, apple, thick cut bacon, pineapple, watermelon (not that great this time of year). 

Homemade blu cheese dressing. (All ingredients were chilled when I made it, thinned with buttermilk to desired pourable consistency, then when chilled again overnight the whole mass thickened considerably to sour cream consistency. Nonetheless delicious beyond anything that can be bought pre-made. It goes with everything including the steak.)  

sweet ginger pickles

* cucumbers
* syrup
   ** white vinegar
   ** sugar
   ** ginger sliced paper thin
   ** allspice berries

Blu cheese dressing

* mayonnaise
* sour cream
* buttermilk
* blu cheese
* sugar
* salt
* red chile powder
* dill
* pepper

Sando; egg, bacon, cheese sandwich on rice


My favorite type, pineapple, thick-cut applewood bacon, jalapeño and very strong Prairie Breeze cheddar cheese.

Chicken and sweet pickle rolls

I made these sweet ginger pickles. The rice was cooked partially with the same pickle juice. Paper thin slices of the pickled ginger are added

Sourdough bread from Denver starter

The dough was in the refrigerator for 3 days in this Pullman pan. It began 1/3 the way up and rose all the way to the top. The cold did not inhibit it. The dough formed a bubble and I popped it.

Olive oil and oregano. Oregano, mountain brightness.

It's received wisdom among chefs that oregano means "joy of the mountain" but all those chefs are wrong, thousands of them are wrong, tens of thousands are wrong. And I am right.

Spinach, egg and cheese on sourdough sandwich

Denver sourdough starter

Restarted from frozen powder just to watch it go.

It's awesome. I have a lot of cultures collected over the years and none of them are like this.

Goes like this:

* 1 teaspoon frozen powder into 1 cup thick slurry kept at 95℉

* eight hours elapses.

* 1/2 removed, re-fed fresh flour/water slurry to 1 cup

* eight hours elapses. It foams to the top indicating full on fierce activity

* re-feed slurry 1 cup, now it's two cups in a larger jar

* 4 hours elapses. It foams to the top of the jar indicating its speed is much faster than other cultures.

* re-fed more water and flour and salt to form bread dough, kneaded, formed into a loaf

* rises within a few hours, either bake or ferment to develop sour taste.

Pint jar, the starter foams to the top within just 4 hours after the second feeding from frozen powder.

2 cups of starter, 1 cup rejuvenated and fully active and 1 cup fresh water/flour slurry

It rose to the top within 4 hours. Much faster than ordinary starters. But I wasn't ready for it. I shut off the heat so it's at room temperature and when I went back to it the starter forced through its top and spill out into a tray. About 3/4 cup foamed out. 

This was used to make dough which took off like a rocket. Fast as regular yeast. 

Chicken salad, sandwich

Chicken thighs


Toss what you like in a bowl boom waffle.

A waffle like this, you know you're going to need an egg. 

melted butter
baking powder

I used buttermilk. That's acidic so I used baking soda instead of baking powder.

The vanilla I used is from Mexico through eBay. The smell is very different and the flavor is intriguing. It's good. I like it. 

buttered sourdough toast

My preference is toast sourdough bread half this dark; very lightly, barely toasted. It's dense and it gets overly crunchy while its flavor is excellent.

It beats everything.

Including the bread marked sourdough that you buy. 

Here's why. 

A nearby baker who produces sourdough products showed me his sourdough starter. It was a container of regular starter at near zero activity such as stored cold between feedings. A slimy gross looking substance. 

"So you add this to your dough as flavoring?"


Their bread is regular bread with sourdough starter added to it for faint flavor with none of the attention that genuine sourdough bakers give it, none of the care, none of the attention to handling. Simply put, they do not know what bread made exclusively from natural starter is. The starter is not the leaven. They don't bring their starter to full on bubbling activity and use it at its tippy top most fierce peak. It flavor is not developed. Its acidity is not fermented over days. The dough is not altered peculiarly, the result is regular bread. 

It's like they didn't even read any books. 

Nor did they have an uncle to show them. 

This is not fermented, the fast version, so not at all acidic, and even this partial sourdough kicks their sourdough's butt. 

I'm not bragging. I'm explaining. 

I just recently ate commercial sourdough at a party (for me) where two people bought commercial sourdough bread and for all intents and purposes that bread was regular bread and I could not detect even a trace of sourdough culture. I have no idea what the company did to it, added a chemical flavoring most likely and went on baking bread their mechanical way. Both had none of the aftertaste that every lingering molecule of sourdough starter leaves in your mouth. It is not authentic and I do not know why it is accepted when right here is the real thing and it would take minor changes having to do with time as ingredient to provide the real deal. 

That's the thing; it's a deal. 

The deal is based on trust. And with commercial sourdough that trust is abused. Because they know the buyer doesn't know what to expect in authentic sourdough bread. So they're given ersatz instead. 

And that makes my niece smarter about bread than all of her peers. Having made it herself now she cannot be duped by a bad deal through abused trust. She'll be all, "What? Call this product of yours anything that you like but it isn't sourdough bread." 

Scrambled eggs, cheese sauce, sourdough toast

Sourdough crumb is different. The crust is different too. And the taste, OMG, the character is complex, full and bold, very different.  But not acidic. It hasn't been fermented so its challenging intensity that stays in your mouth until you brush your teeth isn't present. 

The egg is cooked with generous butter as a failed sauce. The longer you go with it the tighter the molecules squeeze out its water, speaking in terms of minutes if not seconds. The cheese sauce is hardly more hydrated. This is sauce on top of sauce. I could do just as well sprinkling the cheese over the egg or mixing it into it. 

Chefs at restaurants that specialize in eggs will tell you not to whisk them. The whisk damages egg protein too much. Eggs beaten and stirred with rubber spatula are softer. Less abused. 

Denver sourdough

The starter is so fast that it's worth the trouble of reactivating for one loaf then shut down the project for next time instead of feeding the culture two or three times a day until it's needed again.

It was fed to one cup slurry to reactivate. It formed liquid on the surface with scant bubbles. It was reduced by half and fed again to one cup. Before eight hours it foamed to the top, already fully active. It was fed again with no reduction to 2 cups. It rose to the top before eight hours. Fed again to form dough. It rose in the pan to the top in just a few hours.

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