Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Being a Foodie

Day 161.

I don't just cook. I search for food news. I read books about food. Yes, cookbooks, but also fiction books where the story centers around food. I look for and attend food events. I like to talk about food. I like to write about food.

Food can be interesting. Food can inspire heated debates. Food is a rich part of the human history.

Here are some interesting factoids about what you put in your mouth:

  • Did you know that the average person consumes 35 tons of food in a lifetime?
  • Like Ice Cream? Thank the Chinese. And Marco Polo. He brought it back from China with him.
  • Peanuts are used in making dynamite!
  • A banana tree is not actually a fruit tree. It's a big ol' herb. The banana? It's a berry!
  • Coconuts are deadly. They kill about 150 people each year -- that's more than shark attacks!
  • Do you like your water bottled and fancy? Drink Evian? Spell it backward. Naive. Yeah.
  • Like caramel? Thank Arab women. They used it to remove body hair. :)
  • The kernels in a row of corn will always be an even number.
Do you read in the tub? It's one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of a hard day. Many times, I bring cookbooks, instead of fiction. It's true. I mark, in pencil, recipes I'd like to try, and I write all over the margins my notes for changing the recipe.

I love older recipes, too. This one is relatively young for an "older" recipe. It's fun to make recipes from centuries gone by. I enjoy connecting with my culinary past.

Cornell Bread from Cornell University
Makes 3 loaves

Cornell bread was created in order to provide low-cost, nutrient-dense bread during war rationing. I don't know about you, but low-cost and high-nutrient are two phrases I strive to reach every single day!

I adapted the recipe based on my experiences with it and what I had on hand. Please refer to the link above for the original recipe.

What You Need:
  • 3 cups warm (110 degrees or so) water
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 6 1/2 cups flour (I used 3 cups whole wheat and 3 1/2 cups all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 3 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
How it's Done:
  1. In your large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid as usual), combine water, yeast, and honey.
  2. Let it rest while you stir together 6 cups of flour (save 1/2 a cup for later), the soy flour, wheat germ, and sea salt.
  3. Add oil to the mixer bowl. One cup at a time, add your flour mixture, beating well. Add the extra 1/2 cup if you find your dough is too sticky like mine was.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. It took my stand mixer ten minutes to accomplish this.
  5. Turn dough out into a well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. It took my dough 90 minutes to double.
  6. Punch your dough down. Fold in the edges. Divide dough into 3 portions. Rather than make 3 sandwich loaves, I made mine into one 8x4" sandwich loaf, one round loaf, and six rolls. You use the combination that suits you. Make sure your pans are well oiled. Cover the dough and let it rise to double again. This took about 45 minutes for my dough.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes. My rolls were done in 15; my 8x4" loaf was done in 24.
  8. I brushed my finished breads with melted butter. I find that it adds to the flavor and also helps keep the crusts softer.

For more Vintage Recipes (and to participate!) visit Joy of Desserts today!
And for even more recipes, visit Cooking Thursdays at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


Yenta Mary said...

Oh, my gosh, I'd forgotten about Cornell Bread! That looks so good, too -- nothing like fresh-baked bread!

April said...

What cool food tidbits. 35 tons per person??? Hard to imagine!

Michelle said...

It feels good to eat it, too, Yenta Mary! It has a nice chewy texture and tastes wholesome. :)

April, I know, right? Kind of makes you want to reach for a salad!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Some great facts, Michelle. Peanuts and dynamite ... wow.
I love homemade bread, and the low-cost/high-nutrition factor can't be beat, especially in a rough economy.
Thank you for your comment on my blog. I am glad you are enjoying this meme. I would indeed greatly appreciate any help in spreading the word about Vintage Recipe Thursday. :-) Feel free to use the button on your sidebar too. It can be adjusted to any size.
Thanks again for participating, and also for following my blog.

Samara Link said...

Just wanted to let you know that I gave you a little shout out on my blog today. :) I posted a few new recipes I've tried, photos and all. Two of them were yours! (Lentil loaf and Veg stuffed shells.) I let people know the recipes came from you and linked them to your blog. Anyway, just wanted to let you know. Thank you again for all the ideas!

Michelle said...

Thank you! :) I appreciate it!

Natasha said...

I haven't heard of Cornell bread so this was very interesting-thanks!

Great post too! I can see that we are very similar when it comes to our reading material! We are heading to the beach for a week soon and I have bought a new cook book, the latest Jamie Oliver magazine and Good Housekeeping to read while sitting on the beach-I can't wait!

Hip Mountain Mama said...

That looks delish!

Sara said...

Peanuts in dynamite!?!?!? Who knew!

I guess I do now, so thanks for the clever post. It's obvious you went to a lot of work to get us all this info. Thank you!

Michelle said...

Sara, I appreciate the sentiment, but, no, I store this trivia in my brain. :) I collect it as I go. I truly find edibles fascinating...the foods themselves, yes, but also the cultures that surround them.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only person who looked at cookbooks in the tub (well, used to, don't have a tub any longer and darn it, I miss that), are we weird or what????

Jenn said...

I love to read too... it's my relaxation outlet! And cookbooks.. oh, yea... I read those too, not in the bathtub, but pretty much anywhere else!

I've never heard of Cornell Bread.. it looks really good!

chocoholic said...

Stopping by from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party. Love random food facts!

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