Pepper at Frugal Cuisine has a post up about different measures of how economical a food is. It’s a good, short read that can get you weighing elements you may not have considered.
Off the Bone has a post about how to make bacon toffee. Bacon toffee? Yes! I think it sounds fascinating to try—the saltiness and chewiness of the (organic, pastured) bacon with the smooth, buttery sweetness of the toffee. What I have been trying to ascertain by some serious Googling, though, is whether using ghee (clarified butter) in lieu of regular butter would work to make the toffee. As you probably know, I can’t have any casein, and the casein is removed in clarified butter. But is it essential for toffee? Anyone?
On Valentine’s Day, Dan and I did, in fact, make whipped coconut milk to go on dessert. Per various instructions on the web, we refrigerated two cans of coconut milk for several hours. Twenty minutes before we were ready to make the whipped cream, we put the metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer. When we were ready, we opened the cans of coconut milk, skimmed off the coconut cream/fat, and plopped that cream into the mixing bowl. (The remaining coconut water was supposed to be set aside for another culinary use, but Dan didn’t realize that and rinsed out the cans for recycling.) We added some powdered sugar—powdered for the inclusion of corn starch for stabilizing the cream, though I imagine you could use regular sugar or agave nectar with a couple of teaspoons of arrowroot powder—and almond extract. It whipped up well enough; I stopped whipping it right before the soft peaks stage, though I don’t know if it would have whipped up any more than that. The consistency was right. The taste was fine—mildly sweet and mildly coconutty, but in the future I’d add more flavoring . . . probably some flavored alcohol. The mouthfeel was not as fatty as traditional whipped cream. I’d definitely make it again.
If you want to learn more about sustainable, or green, or organic, or locavore, or slow, or healthy, food systems and why they matter (or, for that matter, how the industrial food complex in the U.S. is fighting the development of those systems), the blog The Ethicurean seems to cover that whole arena in ways that personalize the issues while also leaving some space to rejoice in fabulous foods. If you have wanted to know why you should care about or what’s going on in the U.S. when it comes to food, that blog is a great jumping-off point. I’m enjoying that blog so much that I’m going to work my way through their archives over time.