Monthly Archives: March 2012

What Am I? Need Help Identifying Mystery Kitchen Tool!

My friend Johanne (of fashioninmotion fame— would add fortune but not sure if fortune has happened yet) emailed me with this photo.

This ceramic beauty was abandoned with some great plates in a box behind a now defunct Leslieville kitchen store.  It now has a home but no identity.

So I ask for your help–do you know what this is?  Please pass on, or PIN on Pinterest and together we can Nancy Drew ourselves out of this mystery.

It’s two pieces btw, and Johanne says  it makes the most awful screeching sound of ceramic on ceramic when you move the top piece along the shaped ridges,  quite horrific,  so the idea that maybe it is used for grinding spices/pesto/herbs makes Johanne shudder.

Here are a few other photos or our ear-piercing, door knobbish friend-

I don’t know why the pictures are uploading crooked and it is 4 am so I am just not worrying about it.

(4am is when all mysteries become so mind-boggling that they must be posted right away)

This is over $20 bucks worth of something useful.  Potentially.

Nice manicure Johanne.

Any and all guesses are welcome!

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Filed under Ruminations on the Edible, Strange but Tasty

It Doesn’t Get More Local Than This

We often drive by Strickland’s Choice Meat (Greenwood and Gerrard) on our way south to Queen Street.  Recently we noticed it was closed until March 21.

Why?  Well, let’s take a closer look:

Len is having surgery.  Basically the sign is saying, “the whole neighborhood knows who Len is and knows him well enough to be privy to the fact that he’s having surgery.  And to care.”

And I bet if you stopped someone in the neighborhood they could tell you what kind of surgery poor Len needs.

I hope Len is OK.   I’ve driven by the sign enough times that I’m starting to wonder if he’s in good hands, if the surgery went well and is it too soon to expect him back in a mere 3 weeks?

Get well soon Len!

May 3, 2012:  Here is a bit of history about Stricklands (thanks Lisa!) :   from the Beach Metro news

One feature for history buffs is a butcher and meat shop called Stricklands Butcher Shop. This shop was located at different locations on the Danforth and other places for close to 80 years. The current shop on Greenwood Avenue is still run by two jovial Strickland brothers, who also happen to carry the Beach Metro News in their store.

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Filed under Ruminations on the Edible, Strange but Tasty

Supernatural Brownies still Supernatural after 5 years in drawer

I had offered to bring a dessert to a friend’s house this weekend (she was making dinner) and needed something that was both adult and kid friendly.  In my drawer of recipes I rediscovered this one for “Supernatural Brownies” clipped from the New York Times in 2007.  I  made them many times in 2007 and then kind of forgot about them (either that or I’ve been in a chocolate coma and just woke up in 2012).  Other than the fact that they’re not dairy-free (my friend Meredith can’t eat dairy–and I totally forgot that too) they seemed perfect.

To avoid being a total dessert jerk I brought Meredith some Mango Gelato from Ed’s Real Scoop (I know a pretty feeble gesture) while the rest of us enjoyed these brownies which turned out as moist, chewy and chocolatey as I remembered them.  So I thought I would share the recipe or rekindle your memories of it if you too had once loved–and lost– it.

This recipe originally come from a piece in the New York Time by Julia Moskin  which included 3 brownie recipes (French Chocolate Brownies and New Classic Brownies).  I stopped trying alternate recipes after I tried the Supernatural recipe as it seemed there was no point in exploring further.

This is the NYT’s recipe, as adapted from “Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers,” by Nick Malgieri (Morrow Cookbooks, 1998).

I got chocolate on the dish. Messy picture. Sorry!

1. You need to butter a 9 x 13 ” pan and then line the bottom with parchment, and butter that.  Now preheat the oven to 350 °F.

2. In a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl set over a wide pot, melt 8 oz bittersweet chocolate with 2 sticks of unsalted butter.  You can give it a stir once in a while. then  when melted and combined set aside to cool slightly.  (you can melt theses  in the microwave as well)

3. Now you’re going to put your eggs in a large bowl and whisk them lightly with a hand blender and then add in 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tsp vanilla.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg batter and whisk the two until combined.

Brownie worlds collide.


5. Now add 1 cup all-purpose flour and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined.  Don’t over mix.

6. Pour the batter into the greased dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes.  Until the top is just cracking and becoming glossy.   Remove and allow to cool before slicing.

I prefer to cut the pieces smaller as they are very rich.  And it sounds better to allow your self two rather than one, or a dozen rather than just six. (Once you eat more than 6 you should consider it a meal.)

The final brownies will be shiny and cracking on top with a rich, mist and chewy middle.

And here is your shopping list of ingredients:

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, plus extra for greasing pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour

Other than the baking and cooling, preparing this is fast and simple.  A good one for potlucks, birthday parties or Apocalypse planning sessions.

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Filed under All Recipes, Cookbooks, Magazines (+recipes from), Ruminations on the Edible