A little blog about the life of a somewhat lost dreamer....looking for my grace in this crazy world.

23 June 2015

And, the experiments continue...

So, being the mad genius (or maybe I'm just mad) that I am, and considering the success I have had with the drinking vinegars, I decided to try a few more experiments...

Along side a jar of peaches (that are sitting in vinegar for yet another drinking vinegar) is a happily fermenting jar of home made ginger beer.  I started a ginger bug about a week or so ago and it's gone beautifully, so this weekend I made the base and added the bug... and last evening I tried it to see how it's going.  It is lovely...nice bite of ginger with gorgeous little bubbles of carbonation created naturally by lacto fermentation.  It's going to be left alone for another day or so to get the carbonation up there, then I'll tuck it into the fridge and enjoy.  I still am amazed I got this to work.

But what I am REALLY amazed with, and still can't believe works, even if I did it myself are these meringues. Aren't they gorgeous?  You'd never guess that they're vegan, would you?  Yup...vegan.  That means no animal products... no egg whites were involved in the making of these meringues.  So, what was?

You'll never believe it.  Like I said, I made them, and still don't believe it.

I follow a blog called The Chubby Vegetarian.  GREAT blog, amazing food and recipes, and all vegetarian.  A bit ago he shared a link to their Facebook page sharing something found over on The Kitchn about these meringues.  I went, checked out the video, STILL didn't believe it, so had to try for myself this weekend.

What makes it all so unbelievable?  These meringues are made from the fluid you drain out of a can of garbanzo beans.  Ewwwww.... gross, right?  Seriously, how can that work, and wouldn't they taste disgusting???

Ever up for a challenge, I experimented...and this is how it went.

I drained off the fluid of the garbanzo beans I was going to make hummus from.  Tossed it into the bowl of my Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment, and started to beat... thinking to myself, "How long should I let this go before I toss it down the drain?"  Within a minute I had something that looked like a foamy, white meringue.  I added sugar, just like I would in meringue, and within another couple of minutes I had the most amazing, silky, glossy, gorgeous "meringue" I've ever made. 

Oh, but we all know, this couldn't taste like a meringue, right?  I mean, it's from garbanzo bean liquid.... eww.  First I tasted just the tiniest little bit I could on my finger tip, then I tasted more from a spoon.  Guess what it tastes like?  Meringue.  Silky, gorgeous, amazing, perfectly textured, meringue.

It pipes just like meringue.

And if I hadn't baked it for too high a temp, they would have come out a perfect, crisp, beautiful, white meringue cookie.  Instead they were a bit over browned, beautiful, crisp meringue...  only, with no egg whites, is it really a meringue?

Doesn't matter, they were amazing!  Will I be doing this again?  Heck yeah!  Next time I'm going to treat them like a French meringue and see if it will hold up.  I'll let you know what I find out.

09 June 2015

So... about the shrubs...

I'm not talking about the green things outside... I'm talking about shrubs that you drink, also known as "drinking vinegars".  Ever heard of them?

They are WONDERFUL!!! I gave up all versions of soda about a year ago.  No particular reason, I just seem to have lost a "taste" for them.  But these...wow! Tart and a little sweet too, filled with the brightness of fruit, and, best part... I am in control of what's in them.  And there's nothing in here that I can't pronounce.  I'm on about the fourth batch of them now. What's not to love?

So, just in case you have ever wanted to be a mad scientist, or just try something totally new (actually, these are really old, they've been around forever, and were particularly popular in colonial times), let me share how...

It's equal parts of very ripe fruit (you can add herbs as well if you'd like), sugar and RAW vinegar.  There are many ways to make these, but the one I am currently using goes like this...  Chop and/or mash up the fruit a bit in a glass bowl.  Add an equal amount of sugar.  Allow that to sit 5 or 6 hours to draw out the juice of the fruit, and then drain the juice and sugar off.  Make sure to squish the fruit to get as much of the juice as you can.  Then toss that mixture into a glass jar with an equal measure of RAW (the kind with the mother in it) vinegar. 

Then you wait.  I'm not a chemist, but apparently there is some chemistry going on in that jar.  The bacteria in the vinegar (that's why you user raw vinegar) starts to eat the sugar.  Over the course of a week or so what develops is this amazing syrup... you smell the vinegar, but you smell the fruit even more.  Then it's time to drink it...

Mix anywhere from a tablespoon to an ounce of it in a glass with sparkling water.  Add ice and you have the perfect summer drink.  It's also great in just plain water with ice... and, while I haven't tried it myself yet, I hear they are amazing in cocktails too.

So far I've made peach, peach with ginger and blackberry.  Next on the agenda is strawberry, blueberry with lemon balm, and I'm thinking about peach with basil (one of my favorite combinations).

I've also got a ginger bug in the works... it's like a mad scientist's lab around here these days.  I'll let you know how they all work out, and I'd love to hear from you if you've made any!

08 June 2015

Life is too short...

Like most days I was up at “the butt crack of dawn” (as one of my co-workers always says) through the weekend.  After cleaning the house, cleaning out the fridge and dead heading all of the flowers in pots outside the back door I decided I needed to run out and get a bigger pot for the ficus tree.  It was still early and most of the stores wouldn’t be open for a bit yet, so I drove through the area on the way to Lowe’s.  In one of the store windows was an adorable summer dress, so I made a mental note to come back to check it out after I got the flower pot. 

A little later, great big red pot and more potting soil, maybe even a couple more plants that I didn't need, all tucked away in the trunk, I went back to the store.  The dress was still adorable, and I just have this weakness for summer dresses… I’m in skirts and dresses from the first warm day until the last one through the year… so I found a mirror and held it up to me to decide if I wanted to go try it on. 

I was so disappointed when the hem hit about three inches above my knee.  I’m “older” now you know, so I should be more “appropriate” according to popular opinion.  As I started over to hang the dress back up two beautiful women, who were obviously older than I, were looking in the same area.  One of them was just in love with a bright pink and orange number.  I over heard her say to her friend, “Oh, I just love this… I wish I could wear it.”

To which her friend replied, “They have it in your size, why can’t you wear it?”

“It’s for a young girl, these colors are way too bright for me,” was the first lady’s reply.

Again, from her friend, “Are you serious?  Are you going to let someone tell you what you can and cannot wear just because you aren’t 20 or a size two anymore?  You’ve earned the right to wear any damn thing you want to wear."  She went on to say, " I’m sure as heck not going to let anyone or anything tell me that I’m too old to wear or to do anything I want. It’s no body’s business, and if they want to judge me, let ‘em.  Just lets me know they're the kind of people I wouldn’t want to be around them anyway.”

She’s my hero, and she’ll probably never know it.  I’m glad she was in that place at that moment to remind me that this is my life. People are going to judge me regardless of what I do, so I might as well cause as many scandals as I can along the way… even if those scandals are just in the imagination of those who are judging.  At least it gives them something to talk about.

I don’t know if her friend got the hot pink and orange number, but I definitely got that adorable little dress I liked… higher than usual hemline and all.  And I did have to smile a little when the cashier looked at me, then the dress, then at me again... for a moment I think I saw a twinge of judgment happening there. Every time I look at this dress I’ll be reminded that this is MY life, and I will do whatever I damned well want to, because life really is too short... even if, or maybe especially because, I’m “not 20 or a size two anymore".

03 June 2015

So, Cloth Paper Scissors got in touch today...

I received an email earlier this morning from Cloth Paper Scissors about their new Zen Doodle Coloring Book. They've asked me to share with you that they are using one of my little doodles for a contest they're having. All you have to do is download the page, color it, and upload it to their online gallery. They are giving a winner art supplies! You can find out all the details at the link below, but hurry, they are picking a winner June 10th!

So, for all of you who keep telling me that I should color my doodles... get over there and color one, who knows, you may win some great art supplies!!!

You can find all the information HERE.

(There's also a 40% off coupon good June 3 through 7)

01 June 2015

31 May 2015

And the winners are....

The names were written on identical strips of paper, folded and tossed into a bowl.  Everyone who commented on my personal Facebook page, the blog's Facebook page, and the posts here, and now matter where you commented, your name was put into the bowl once...

And the winners are (in the order they were drawn):

Snap, Robbie, Barb (who makes her own amazing doodles might I add), Brenda Lee and Alexis...  Email or message me on Facebook your addresses so I can get them mailed out.  If I don't hear from you in 48 hours I'll pull a different name out of the bowl.

30 May 2015

Don't forget...

Five of these being given away tomorrow!  Each print is 8" x 10".  The colored portion of the design is approximately 4" x 6", and each has had a little extra doodling added around it to make it unique.  If you haven't got your name in the hat you need to hurry!

All comments are now closed... winner announced shortly!


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