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In With The New

September 6, 2009

Dear Caitlin,

I’m finally getting through the last of my leftovers in the fridge, which means that I can start reporting on new and exciting food adventures again! I have a few new concoctions to share with you today, but first, let me show you last night’s dinner.

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I’ve been eating pesto almost every day this week in some form, due to the abundance I made last weekend, thinking I would never tire of it, which is slowly being proven wrong. It’s not that my pestos are bad or anything—the repetition is just getting a little too much for me, that’s all. I am finding fun and creative ways to use it, though, like in last night’s dinner, where I made soba pesto!

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The soba went pretty well with the pesto flavor, although the noodles were a little too sticky (I wanted to keep them relatively warm, so I didn’t rinse them very thoroughly). Of course, I think I could eat soba noodles plain, so I would’ve been surprised if I didn’t like this meal.

Paired with the soba are two slices of the white sourdough loaf I bought at that morning’s farmers’ market. These were really really good! Here’s one of them up close:

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And now here it is for afar, pre-slicing:

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I think I have a weakness for banneton-proofed breads; I just love the little spirals on the outside! The inside of this bread was very satisfying, though: nice and smooth with lots of flavor. And in case you’re wondering, this does indeed mean that my Caraway Deli Rye is now gone, and it will be sorely missed. This sourdough loaf is not as good as that one, but it still is keeping my tummy very happy.

Now let’s talk about today (Sunday). Before I headed into the kitchen to whip up some new food delights, I took a quick ride out to Kensington Market to pick up some more dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, since I had already gone through the first packs I had purchased (shows how much I’ve been eating salads lately). BTW, what do you think is a fair price for dried cranberries? I finally found some that seem unsweetened (the last ones I got were apple juice sweetened, although that wasn’t too bad), but they were a little pricey—$10/lb. Do you know what they typically run for in the States?

Along with this short grocery trip, I also stopped into Harbord Bakery, the first destination in my “Tour All the Good Bakeries in Toronto” journey. Unfortunately, the bakery was somewhat of a letdown. Most of the store was filled with pastries and sweets, but I was really going to try some of their breads, which were few in number. When I tried to ask the clerk was kinds of breads that had sitting on the shelf behind the counter, she was unresponsive and unhelpful. I did manage to get her to give me one of the smaller seeded rye loafs in the end, though, and along with that I purchased a small bag of what I think were their day-old bagels (another downside: barely anything in the store was labeled). The one bright note to this trip: the rye and the bagels together only cost $5, which I thought was a very reasonable price. I also liked how I could get my rye sliced there at the store; this makes it much better for freezing, which is exactly what I did with it when I got home. Then again, a bread slicer is nothing special for a bakery.

I didn’t take my rye out of its bag, lest it fall apart into its many slices, so here’s a slightly obscured photo:

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I’m still really interested in trying this later in the week, and I’ll let you know how it tastes when I do!

And here are the bagels—aren’t they adorable?

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I sliced these guys up, stuck two in the freezer, and then left one out for breakfast. Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

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And here’s how I enjoyed it!

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(That’s peanut butter.)

This afternoon, I made some new foods for the week. First, using the leftover dill and parsley from when I made this earlier in the week, I made another batch of Gena’s Raw Green Goddess Dressing, this time remembering to add the water to it:

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I think I like this batch better, (1) because I remembered the water, and (2) because I like the balance of dill and parsley better. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it very much on this week’s salads!

Part of the reason I made this again, though, was I wanted to try using it in the Goddess Garbanzos recipe from “Eat, Drink & Be Vegan” (one of my all-time favorite sandwich spread recipes). In the end, I think this substitute Goddess Dressing works well in the recipe, but because I tried to cut some other corners while making the spread (leaving out the vegan mayonnaise, capers, and celery, none of which I had), it came out less than perfect. I think I should really just pick up some vegan mayonnaise and throw it in there, and then it’ll be great—the spread really relies on the mayonnaise for both flavor and texture. But for now, here’s what mine looks like:

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Last but not least, I want to share with you the results of my two-week-long trial and study of Canadian non-dairy milks. It’s not much of a study, really; since I’ve arrived here, I’ve tried three different non-dairy milks, and now I’ve decided which one I like the best. Here it is!

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One of the nice things about this soy milk is that it’s only $2 at Essence of Life Organics, which is the lowest price I’ve seen on any non-dairy milk anywhere. But the really nice thing about it is this:

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As you might be aware, the ingredients list for most other soy milks is a long concatenation of unpronounceable chemical compounds with some soybean derivatives strategically placed in between. For example, here is the ingredients list for a carton of Silk unsweetened organic soymilk:

Filtered Water, Whole Organic Soybeans, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2) Vitamin B12.

Such ingredients lists have been making me worry about soy milk for a while now, so I’m glad I found a soy milk that seems straightforwardly natural and healthy, not to mention cheap and organic.

That’s all for now, but there’ll be more new foods to share in the next couple of days, so keep checking back!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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