We forgot!

When preparing for this year’s Easter basket, we did three different types of pickled eggs.

While going through the fridge, I noticed a container that got pushed to the back and…

… discovered we completely forgot about the soya sauce pickled eggs!

So I had one with my breakfast.

We were missing the Mirin sauce, but it was still quite good. Definitely something worth making again. It’s too bad we forgot about them for our basket. They would have looked a lot like milk chocolate eggs in there! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Storm Status, and Easter baking

Well, it’s certainly snowing and blowing enthusiastically, out there!

That hasn’t stopped the birds from enjoying the suet feeder.

The driveway is so white right now, it’s messing with the camera’s ability to “see” it, making for some interesting rings of colours on there.

I took this screencap of the weather app on my desktop, just minutes ago. According to this, the worst is still yet to come. It is still conflicting with what’s showing on the weather radar.

Well, it will be what it will be. My main concern is with the high winds, of course. When this is over, we’ll have to do a walk-about to see if any more dead trees have come down, or what branches have fallen.

From the looks of the weather radar, the most severe conditions are hitting the US, as the system sweeps across the Eastern states. I hope those of you living in those states are keeping safe!

While it’s snowing and blowing, we got some bread baking done.

A two-loaf recipe was divided into four small loaves. The prettiest one will be for our Easter basket.

Since I was baking bread anyhow, I made a batch of oatmeal bread, also divided into four small loaves instead of two regular loaves. That way, we get a loaf each. 😀

I’m looking forward to having one of them with a big bowl of chili, once it cools down enough. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Change in plans

With today supposed to be a warmer day, the family decided to go have a cookout in the fire pit. May as well get some use out of it now, because we might not be able to use it in the summer again!

My original plan had been to do my usual morning routine at the computer, then decide what to test the new Dutch oven with. Making a damper had been suggested, and that seems just the quick and easy thing that would be perfect for a test recipe.

I was just settling in at my computer when the phone rang. It was my sister. Where we going to be home today? Yes… She then started telling me something about Holy days, and she wanted to bring us some chicken, when the phone started screaming and the signal was lost.

My sister had gotten rid of long distance service on their land line, and has been using her cell phone for long distance calls. The problem is, she’s in almost as bad of a cell phone dead zone as we are!

She called back a little while later. She hadn’t realized the line had gone dead at her end – the screaming noise was only at my end! – and had been talking for a while. 😀 When she realized just how much I’d missed, she cut it short and just said that they were going for a drive and wanted to swing by. They could be here at around noon.

So we decided to start the cookout earlier, so they could join us. Which meant no time to experiment with the new Dutch oven this time. We’ll have to plan a day for that. One of my daughters headed out to get the fire going, since it took a long time to get and keep a fire going when the girls had a cookout before, and stayed outside to tend it.

I admit that we are not the best of housekeepers so, of course, the place was a disaster. They did say they would only swing buy, but I thought they might want to come in for tea, so I went on a whirlwind cleaning spree. 😀

The fire was down to cooking stage by the time I was bringing the tray of food when my sister and her husband arrived.

Sort of.

I saw their car pull up the driveway, very slowly, stopping a little past the garage. I figured they’d drive up to the gate, but no. They backed up, then turned to park in front of the garage.

They didn’t want to drive through the “lake” and leave muddy ruts in the soil.

They also didn’t have rubber boots, because, why would they?

Which meant they couldn’t get to the inner yard. Or the house.

So it was a short visit, outside in front of the garage, as I slogged through the mud to them with my rubber boots!

I finally got the rest of the story, too.

My sister and her husband wanted to follow scripture for Holy days. They are Christian, but of a sect that also follows Old Testament Jewish traditions. They wanted to get all leaven out of the house for the Sabbath, and realized they had some breaded chicken cutlets in their freezer.

Rather than throw out good food, they offered it to us, while also just going out for a drive together. Something they haven’t done in a very long time.

That was very kind of them. It’s a shame they couldn’t come any closer to the house, though! They would have gotten their shoes completely soaked and muddy!

After they left, the girls and I had our cookout. My other daughter made tea and coffee for us, and we cooked up some hoagies to bring in for my husband, too.

I just had to take a picture of the set up.

I found it so funny to see the fancy tea cups with coffee in them, and the giant coffee mug with my tea in it, sitting on the very convenient concrete blocks. The lids did a good job of keeping the ashes out of their coffee!

Unlike my tea…

The grill my brother and his wife gifted us with could be swung over as needed to toast the buns.

My younger daughter doesn’t like hoagies, so she’s the one with the normal sized wiener. We only had regular hot dog buns, though, which are comically too small for the hoagies.

It was far windier than I expected, but it helped keep the fire going! We ended up staying out for at least a couple of hours.

We do enjoy cookouts. We need to build a more permanent shelter from the rain and wind, though, seeing as how we’ve had two tent shelters destroyed by weather already. I wouldn’t mind making something that can still be moved, though.

When we build our outdoor kitchen, sheltering walls are definitely going to be part of the design. Wind is a major and near constant issue. We all really enjoy cooking and eating outdoors, and would love to have a nice, comfortable set up to do it.

All in good time. The area I’m thinking would be best to do this – well away from any trees – is not far from where that old shed that lost its roof is located. We have a lot to do in that area because it can be made into a useable space!

Just one more thing on the list of stuff we plan to work on over the next few years. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Hearty Winter Potato Soup (not quite a recipe)

With all the heavy stuff going on around, I wanted to bring things back to what this blog is supposed to be about for a while. So here is a food post for you to enjoy!

There’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of thicksome soup on a cold winter’s day! Most of our cooking falls half way between “this is how you make a thing” and, “let’s use whatever’s in the fridge or cupboards at right now and wing it.” So here is the approximate recipe for this soup. Quantities are pretty flexible. This is one of those soups that taste better the next day, so I made a huge pot of it this time.

Bacon, cut into small pieces – I used half a package of sliced bacon
Onions, 2 medium, finely diced
Garlic, several cloves, chopped fine. I like to use lots of garlic, but use however much you fancy
carrots, peeled and finely diced. Three largish carrots was what was used this time. Feel free to include other vegetables, like celery, broccoli, etc. For a large quantity of soup like this one, shoot for a total of 2 – 2 1/2 cups of finely chopped or diced vegetables.
(In this soup, I also added about half a cup of our frozen tiny tomatoes. It is not something we normally use in this soup, because tomatoes and I don’t get along. 😀 )
potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes. For this soup, I like to include different sizes of potato cubes, because I want the smaller cubes to overcook and basically dissolve into the soup, to make it thicker. For this batch, I used about 6 large-ish yellow potatoes.
egg noodles, or other pasta in shapes of a similar size
cooked chicken; we used canned chicken, drained, but this would be a good way to use any leftover roasted chicken or turkey.
cream, about 2 cups. We use whipping cream, because that’s pretty much the only cream we buy, but a lighter cream would work, too
shredded cheese – sharp cheddar is always good, but any strong flavoured, shred-able cheese will be wonderful
bay leaf
dry mustard powder, about half a teaspoon, or to taste. A prepared Dijon type mustard can be used, too.
herbs of choice, to taste (we almost always use a combination of ground thyme, sage, paprika and parsley. If we aren’t using fresh garlic, we’ll use garlic granules with the herbs)
salt and pepper to taste
chicken stock, water, or water with bouillon cubes/powder. I usually use bouillon cubes, and less than recommended for the amount of water used, because herbs, salt and pepper are also used. You can always add more seasoning, but you can’t take it out!
optional garnish: sour cream and shredded cheese

Start by cooking the bacon pieces in a large stock pot. If they seemed to be cooking unevenly, add a bit of water, which will help render out the fat more evenly, and deglaze the bottom so it doesn’t burn. Cook to desired doneness. I like it on the crispier side.

Next, add the chopped onions and cook until the onions are softening and starting to become translucent.

Add the carrots and garlic. Stir and cook until the carrots are about half done. If using other vegetables as well, add the longer cooking vegetables in first.

Next, add the potatoes, bay leaf, herbs, salt and pepper.

Add enough water or stock to cover everything. Since I was using bouillon cubes, I added them at this point, too. I like to chop them up a bit, so that they dissolve faster.

Stir well, then bring to a boil.

Once the liquid has been brought to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for the time needed to cook the potatoes, minus the time needed to cook the egg noodles or pasta. So if the size of potato cubes you cut need 20 minutes, and you’re using pasta that needs 8 minutes to cook, simmer for 12 minutes.

Because I wanted to deliberately overcook the potatoes, I simmered mine for 15 minutes.

Stir in the egg noodles. This was an entire small package of egg noodles. I don’t remember the weight on it.

Add more water as needed. To keep it from cooling down too much, boil some water in advance and use that while it’s still hot.

Stir in the canned or cooked chicken.

The tiny frozen tomatoes were added at this point, then the soup was brought to a boil again.

These are the super tiny Spoon tomatoes, and some cherry tomatoes, we grew last year. Their tiny size allowed them to be added at this stage, but if we were to use regular sized tomatoes, they would have been added with the carrots, much earlier on.

Bring to a boil, then simmer until the noodles are done. Remove the bay leaf.

Stir in the cream and mustard powder. Bring the heat back up and simmer just long enough to heat the cream through, stirring continually. Turn off the heat.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

This is the soup after the cream and mustard powder has been incorporated. You could skip the next step, if you like a thinner, chunkier soup.

Or, you can partially blend it. I have an immersion blender, which makes easy work of it, but if you have a countertop blender or food processor, use it to blend about half of the soup, then return the blended soup to the rest in the pot. Stir and, if necessary, reheat until it’s hot enough to melt cheese, then remove from heat.

Add in a good handful or two of shredded cheese and stir until thoroughly melted and incorporated.

Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of shredded cheese, if desired.

This soup always goes over really well, even with my lactose intolerant family! It’s thick and hearty enough to be the main course, with maybe some buttered bread to go with it. If you like an even thicker soup, use more potatoes, and blend it more at the end.

Good stuff!

I think I’ll go for seconds, now…

The Re-Farmer

Should have done that from the start

Y’know, sometimes I’m a doofus.

Yesterday, I decided to try making meat pies with an oil based crust again. The goal was to make mini pies, in muffin tins, perhaps, or just little turnover hand pies.

After my first attempt was a tasty fail, and my many searches for recipes did not turn up anything I found useful, I decided to try a hot water dough I’ve made many, many times before.

It’s from this cookbook.

Sort of.

I have this as a set of 11 English language books. Which is funny, because on the back there’s a sort of an index telling what categories of recipes are in which numbered book – and there are 12 of them. Some of them are split between two books. The reason is that this was originally published in French. As a set, it would have been 12 books. Which means that everything in the English language books are shifted over from how the contents are described on their back covers.

My late MIL had the original cookbook. Back in the day, in Quebec, they had a sort of recipe card subscription, where recipes were sent every month or whatever. However, this subscription sent chapters, and people could keep just the ones they wanted. The pages were sewn together. When all the chapters were sent out, the subscribers could then take all their chapters and have them professionally bound. That’s what my MIL had. It was a thick, hardcover book, with many decades of wear and tear on it. This was the book that had the base recipe for tourtierre, a traditional meat pie, that she used (except hers was modified for her own secret recipe, which was passed on to me). It was also where the base hot water dough recipe was from. Every Christmas, my MIL would special order her secret mixture of ground meat from the butcher, complete with “top secret” and “eyes only” warnings (my late MIL was a hoot!) from the local butcher. Anywhere from 20 – 30 pounds of it, depending on how many pies she planned to give away that Christmas. In the years we were living in the same province, we would spend a couple of days with them, making tourtierre, assembly line style. The first day was to make the filling, which then sat outside overnight to cool. The next day was to make triple-recipe batches of hot water dough, over and over. Each triple-recipe batch was set outside in the snow to chill, which did not take long at all, while the next batches were being made. I usually had blender duty to mix the hot water and shortening, then helped with mixer duty to combine the dough. My husband had the job of rolling the dough balls out between two sheets of heavy duty vinyl, and other family members lined the pie tins, filled and topped them. When baking started, she could only fit 3 pies into her oven at once. After coming out of the oven, they were given some time to cool, scattered around their condo, before being set outside to freeze.

So I became very, very familiar with that hot water dough recipe, even though I couldn’t read it very well in French.

I’ve been a fan of Mdm Benoit for many years, so when I found this set of cookbooks at a charity book sale, I snapped them up. I had them for a few years before I happened to look closely through the pie dough recipes and saw one that was very, very familiar. On a hunch, I found another section and, sure enough, there was the base tourtierre recipe from my MIL’s French cookbook. I had unknowingly found an English copy of it!

Now, this hot water dough recipe uses shortening, but it gets melted into the boiling water, so I figured to give it a try using oil.

So I dug out the appropriate volume, made the dough and…

Had another tasty fail.

The dough just crumbled apart.

I was able to roll the dough out inside pans, using parchment paper to be able to move the top, and still had to push it together because it was breaking apart so much.

While this second tasty failure was in the oven, I sat and flipped through the cookbook.

I found this on the very next page after the hot water dough recipe.

I should have known. I really should have. Instead of going through dozens and dozens of internet recipes, I should have just gone to Mdm Benoit in the first place.

I would never have thought to use milk instead of water. I also find it interesting that is specifies to NOT stir after combining the water and oil.

We don’t use waxed paper, but do have parchment paper, including non-disposable versions. Either would work to roll the dough out.

If I can get a working dough recipe, I plan on making a large batch of filling, then make lots of small pies that we can stick in the freezer for quick eats.

The next time we have something thawed out that will make a good filling, I will try this recipe and see how it works!

Meanwhile, the next time I want to try something to conserve ingredients, I need to remember that the internet is not my friend. I have dozens of cookbooks, even after purging so many of our books for the move *sniffle*. Many of them are very old. Those are my fravourites, because they have really basic ingredients, and don’t assume you have access to pretty much anything, at any time.

Mdm Benoit wins again!

The Re-Farmer

A rare indulgence!

Have I mentioned just how glad I am we were able to get that quarter beef this winter?

Thanks to paying the same price per pound for the whole thing, regardless of cut, last night we got to enjoy a rare indulgence.

T-bone steak!

In our younger days, when it was just my husband and I, and we had fewer expenses, we would *gasp* go to restaurants and order things like steak. My husband would order a T-bone, but he didn’t like the bone, so he’d give it to me. That’s the best part! I would happily gnaw every last bit off the bone, much to his amusement.

I’m sure the other patrons were not to impressed. 😉

That was a long time ago. When the BSE, or “mad cow disease”, crisis hit our cattle industry, restaurants stopped selling bone-in beef. Even grocery stores stopped selling any bone-in beef, though for a while, getting any beef at all was difficult. Today, restaurants, with few exceptions, still don’t sell bone in beef, and even grocery stores never returned to pre-BSE levels of inventory, and that happened back in… 2003? Quite a long time ago. What is available in grocery stores is so insanely expensive, we could never afford it.

Which means, we haven’t had a T-bone steak in decades, and I’ve never cooked one before in my life!

So there I was, with 4 beautiful steaks and not sure what to do with them!

Ideally, I would have grilled them, but it’s freezing out, and the BBQ is buried in snow. I decided to go with pan searing them (after seasoning them with only coarse salt and freshly ground pepper), then transferring them to a baking sheet to finish them in the oven, at 450F, to finish. What that was happening, I used the pan drippings to make a gravy.

They came out looking amazing!

They tasted amazing, too. Even though I ended up over cooking them. I probably could have skipped the oven part completely and just pan seared them.

Best of all, I got to gnaw on some delicious, delicious bones!

I’m thinking we really need to find a way to fit a half beef next year, instead of a quarter beef, because having cuts like this is just amazing. 😀

The Re-Farmer

A tasty fail!

Yesterday, I tried a bit of an experiment.

I decided to make some little beef pies in muffin tins.

This is something I’ve made before – the first time, in Home Ec class! My experiment was with the dough. We’ve been trying to find ways to use less butter in our cooking. We don’t use margarine or shortening, so when it comes to cooking and baking, it’s either liquid oil or butter. With oil, it’s easy to have a variety. Not so much with solid fats.

So for the meat pie, I wanted to make a hot water dough (which is sturdier, for heavier fillings like meat), using oil instead of butter or shortening.

This is the finished result.

As you can tell, the muffin tins didn’t happen!

The dough simply would not hold together and was very difficult to roll out. I think I added too much flour, but the oil made it so slippery! In the end, I had to put half of the dough in the pie pan and roll it as thin as I could, right in the pan. After the filling was added, with about an inch and a half of space around the edges, I rolled out the other half of the dough as best I could, then brought it over, wrapped around the rolling pin, to cover the filling. Some repairs were needed, as the top was spread over and tucked around the filling. Then the edges of the bottom crust were pulled up to seal it more.

It actually turned our really delicious. I didn’t get the hand pies I was after, but that’s okay!

The filling was ground beef, browned (in butter, of course), adding onions and garlic early on, then cubed carrots half way through. The last thing added was the cubed potatoes, along with some beef stock. It was left to cook, covered, until the potatoes were just barely done, then uncovered and stirred until the liquid was all evaporated. A touch of flour was added to absorb any remaining liquid and thicken it. I ended up with more filling than fit in the pie, but it tastes good all on its own, too.

I have some hot water dough recipes that include things like egg that I might try. Maybe that will work better.

The good thing about experimenting like this is that, even when it doesn’t work, it still tastes good!

The Re-Farmer

Must… resist! (Updated)

Aw, man, it’s all I can do not to go all Cookie Monster on the muffins I just finished baking!

I ended up making a dozen each of three kinds.

The cornmeal muffins were a basic recipe, though I added a bit of sour cream to the milk, for extra flavour.

Oatmeal muffins with a streusel topping, from the simplest recipe I found online.

Spinach and cheese muffins! I spotted a recipe online, but it used frozen spinach, which we don’t have. So I just used a basic muffin recipe, adding some of our dried spinach to the liquid mixture to reconstitute for a while, and added shredded cheese to the dry ingredients. We had some small pieces of Havarti and Old cheddar left over, so I finished off both.

The girls made supper while these were cooling, so I’m being good and waiting until after I have a meal before having any muffins.

But it is soooo tempting to have “dessert” first! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Update: Taste test is done!

Spinach and cheese: I think I didn’t have enough flour or over mixed these. They were almost like a quiche in texture! Still very tasty.

Oatmeal with struedel topping: not as sweet as I expected! Nice, but of the three, these were my least favorite.

Corn meal: these were awesome. The touch of sour cream gave a surprisingly big flavour boost. Corn meal muffins are my favorite, so no surprise I liked these best!

Not a Recipe: loaded pierogi

Ah, what a day! As I sit here, I am watching the garage cam’s live feed, as blowing snow covers my daughter’s footprints, from when she closed the gate just a little while go. At least it’s still getting warmer!

FedEx never did show up with our Starlink system.

*sigh*

Hopefully, we’ll get a call or email tomorrow to tell us what happened.

We did, however finish making the pierogi!

Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve made these, they are the ugliest pierogi, ever! 😀

We also have a huge amount of potato filling left over, even though I made a double recipe of dough. I keep forgetting just how little stuffing fits inside a pierog. We did make extra deliberately, though, and as I write this, the girls are using some of it to make supper.

No, we’re not having pierogi for supper today. Those are cooling off in containers for the fridge. I had thought I’d have enough for the freezer, but it turns out I would have needed to quadruple the dough, and I won’t be doing that. I was in enough pain by the end of it, with just the double batch!

Anyhow, this is how we make our loaded filling.

The potatoes are basically our usual mashed potatoes, except on the dry side. They can be completely plain, too, or maybe seasoned with just salt, but we to include butter, milk and sour cream, and whatever else we have on hand and strikes our fancy. My daughter added a dash of hot sauce to it this time; just a tiny bit, because she knows I have no tolerance for spicy foods.

While she worked on the potatoes, I cut bacon into very small pieces, then cooked them over medium low heat in a frying pan until crispy and the fat was rendered out. The bacon pieces then got removed with a slotted spoon onto paper towel to drain and cool down.

I then added a bunch of mushrooms, cut into little pieces, to the bacon grease and cooked those on medium heat until almost crispy. That can take a while, as they release quite a bit of moisture as they cook. I used white button mushrooms this time, but usually use crimini. Any fresh mushroom would work, I’m sure.

Once done, the mushrooms were removed with a slotted spoon onto paper towel to drain and cool, just like the bacon.

After that, I poured off some of the bacon grease, until there was only about 1 or 2 tablespoons left in the pan. To that, I added about the same amount of butter, then added onions, chopped fine. The onions can be cooked until translucent, but I decided to caramelize them this time. Near the end of their cooking time, I added a bunch of garlic I’d put through a garlic press.

All of that got mixed in with the mashed potatoes, then the entire pot was put into the old kitchen, which is at freezing temperatures these days, to cool down.

The filling didn’t need to be completely cold before I added the cheese, but I did want it cooled enough that it wouldn’t melt the cheese. Here, I’ve got some old cheddar and goat cheese. I’ve made these using Montery Jack, which worked out very well. Any sharp cheese can be used. A mild cheese would just disappear among the other flavours.

The dough was made using a basic recipe I found online. I like a dough that uses sour cream, but we didn’t have enough for a single recipe, never mind a double, so I used one that was just flour, salt and butter melted into boiled water. The fun part is kneading it. Pierogi dough has such a wonderful texture!

When it was time to start making the pierogi, I just made a mess of things! LOL The first ones I made were massive. I was shooting for three inches square, but I was probably closer to four.

Yes, I do squares folded into triangles, instead of cutting rounds. It’s faster that way, and there’s less dough left over that has to be rolled out again.

The next batch I did went the opposite way, and were far too small. Some of the squares were more rectangles and ended up being folded into smaller rectangles instead of triangles. 😀

My daughter started boiling the first couple of batches while I finished up the last ones. At the very end, when there was just enough dough to make three pierogi, I made three balls and rolled them out individually, so we got a few half-circle ones, along with the triangles and rectangles! LOL

After they were cooked and drained, we tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper, then I split them up into take-out containers to finish cooling down.

I suppose I should have tasted one, but I was so focused on getting them ready to put away in the fridge, I didn’t think of it!

Let me remedy that.

Oh, my goodness! They turned out great!

The main reason I chop everything that goes into the potatoes so small is so that each pierog will have a bit of everything in it, and you can really taste each ingredient in there. Of course, with the onions and mushrooms fried in the bacon grease, the bacon flavour runs through it all, but without being too dominant.

The dough is nice and toothsome. I like a good, thick dough. Not too thick, of course, but I remember that even as a kid, eating my mother’s pierogi, my favourite part was the outer edge of dough. I would have liked a sour cream dough better, but the plain dough is still excellent. When we eat these later, they will be pan fried in butter, and that will make them even better!

Who cares if they are all weird sizes and shapes? They taste great!

The Re-Farmer

Spice Cake for St. Nicholas Day

December 6 is St. Nicholas Day, and one of the Polish customs is to make spice cookies or cake on this day.

I didn’t feel like fussing with cookies, so I went hunting for a spice cake recipe with ingredients I already had.

More or less.

The recipe I settled on is here; Piernik – Polish Spice Cake.

The link should open in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place here. 🙂 Also, the photo at the link is completely different from what the recipe results in!

Of course, I had to do some modifications, so here, I will talk about what I changed.

In the ingredients:

It called for 1 cup of dark honey. I didn’t have dark honey. In fact, I didn’t even have a cup of liquid honey. What I had was some of my cousin’s creamed honey. I have no doubt using it will change a few things, from the colour to the moisture to the flavour, but I don’t expect them to be a big deal, and considering how my cousin makes his creamed honey, with a hint of maple syrup, I expect tasty results.

The next change was the 8oz, or 2 sticks, of unsalted butter.

I honestly don’t get the “sticks” of butter thing. I mean, yeah, I do see them in the stores, but my goodness, it costs more to buy butter in sticks than in pounds.

One stick equals a quarter pound of butter, or half a cup, so the recipe is calling for a cup of unsalted butter.

I don’t have unsalted butter. Just salted butter.

Usually, when I see a recipe that calls for unsalted butter, and I use salted butter, I would reduce the amount of salt elsewhere in the recipe.

This recipe doesn’t call for salt at all.

I’m not concerned. A touch of salt can wake up sweet things, and for the amount of salt in the batter, with no other salt in the recipe, we’re not going to have a salty cake or anything.

We were pretty much out of ground cloves, so for the 1 tsp in the recipe, about 3/4 of it was from whole cloves I ground in a coffee grinder.

The recipe also called for dark brown sugar. We have just plain brown sugar, or “golden” sugar.

The instructions mentioned beating mixtures at low speed, so it assumed an electric mixer would be used, but I didn’t want to fuss with it and did it by hand.

The instructions said to pour the batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out pretty much clean. All ovens are different, so I set the timer to 50 minutes, then checked it with a steel chopstick. Because of course, I don’t have toothpicks.

It came out with batter stuck to it, so I added 10 minutes, then tested again.

Then I added another 10 minutes and tested again.

Then I added another 5 minutes and tested again!

Finally, the chopstick came out clean!

I don’t know why this took so much longer to bake than the recipe stated. Going from 45-50 minutes to 75 minutes can’t be completely put to differences in ovens. Whatever the reason, if you try this recipe, make sure to do the toothpick test (or chopstick, as the case may be) to ensure it’s done!

Doesn’t that look pretty? And the smell while baking was wonderful.

After letting it cool, I just had to taste test it for this post. 😀

As far as texture goes, it’s more “banana bread” than “cake”. It has a slightly crisp crust outside, with a lightly dense, spongey inside. The combination did make it a bit harder to cut! 😀

While sweet, is it nowhere near as sweet as I expected it to be! Not with so much sugar and honey in it. Using the salted butter was fine; there was no noticeable salty taste. I also don’t really notice a coffee taste, either, even though there was quite a bit of strong coffee in there. All the flavours blended together quite nicely, and no one flavour stands out more than the others. I found spreading a little bit of butter on my slice brought out the flavours, more.

It’s also drier than I would expect either a cake or most quick breads to be, though it is definitely moist.

From what I’ve read in other recipes, they can become moister with time.

I don’t expect these to last long enough for us to find out. 😀

The Re-Farmer