I'll Make It Myself! 1 | Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Whole-Wheat Blueberry-Lavender Muffins

It’s only now, right at the end of berry season here in the Pacific Northwest, that I’ve gotten this recipe to where I want it. For some reason, The Joy of Cooking‘s whole-wheat-muffin base recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of butter when the non-whole-wheat recipe calls for 4-8. Trust me, you need that “extra” butter.

I'll Make It Myself! | Lavender Blueberry Muffins 2

Japan notes: Muffins are lovely to make in a moven/oven range. Blueberries tend to be in season in June-July, and culinary lavender can be purchased in Japan, though where you get it may depend on where you live. I found some at Ikeda Herb Center in Nagano and Nunobiki Herb Garden (English, 日本語) in Kobe, and a friend gave me some from Meidi-ya in Kyoto. If you don’t live near a place that grows lavender, you might try a gourmet grocery or import store, or online. Lavender meant for cooking may be referred to as dried lavender (kansô rabendâ, 乾燥ラベンダー ) or culinary lavender (ryôriyô no rabendâ, 料理用のラベンダー ).

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Source unknown (GIS does not turn up with creator)

Bored of Sexism in Craft Beer, 2014 ed.: Pig Minds

In a case of “same problem, different brewer,” Pig Minds has released a “panty dropper” complete with a sexist label:

OH WOW SUCH CLEVER  Image: the lower half of a woman wearing a skirt. Her feet are turned in to produce a canting stance and a pair of panties is around her ankles. The text on her skirt reads "PD Blueberry Ale California Style." Image by Pig Minds.

OH WOW SUCH CLEVER
Image: the lower half of a woman wearing a skirt. Her feet are turned in to produce a canting, little girl stance like the cover of Lolita, and a pair of panties is around her ankles. The text on her skirt reads “PD Blueberry Ale California Style.” Image by Pig Minds Brewing.

[sarcasm] I mean, what do you expect, with a name like “Pig Minds”?!1 They’re so edgy and you just know it’s going to push the boundaries, so lighten up, ugh! [/sarcasm]

Do we really have to do this song and dance every year in craft brewing until certain craft brewers and their piss-poor graphic design/marketing teams understand that objectifying women isn’t an effective way to market; never mind the fact that it’s sexist, trite, and completely out of touch with reality, or behaving like a human?

Congrats, Pig Mind. Your sexism is exceedingly DULL.

Source unknown (GIS does not turn up with creator)

Source unknown (GIS does not turn up with creator)

So, since this is about a month old, here are a bunch of links to check out:

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White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf

white breadWhite Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Beacon Press, Boston. 2012

I read or acquired a number of books last year on food/social history that I meant to review and didn’t because of the move. Let’s start with White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf, which not only does what it says on the tin amazingly well but also covers the rise of shokupan (食パン) in Japan–as part of SCAP’s “democratization” efforts during the Occupation.

From the introduction:

In writing this book, I set out to uncover the social dreams (and nightmares) played out in battles over industrial white bread. I wanted to understand how one food could inspire so much affection and so much animosity; how something so ordinary could come to symbolize both the apex of modern progress and the specter of physical decay, the promise of a better future to come and America’s fall from small-town agrarian virtue. And I wanted to know how those battles over bread shaped America and its fraught relationship with food. (Kindle Locations 41-45).

…Sadly, this turned out to be the difficult story of how, time and time again, well-meaning efforts to change the country through its bread ended up reinforcing forms of race, class, and gender exclusion— even when they also achieved much-needed improvements in America’s food system. (Kindle Locations 67-69)

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I'll Make It Myself!

Recipe Redo: Rosemary-Orange Ricotta Muffins v2.0

Plenty of food bloggers redo their own recipes after a couple years, but has anyone redone one after two months? I was making a double-batch of Rosemary-Orange Ricotta Muffins for Saturday-morning Fannibal (rewatching with an old friend). I didn’t have my oranges yield enough juice, so I substituted soy milk for half of the orange juice; used full-fat ricotta instead of the skim kind (hooray, reading the labels) and stumbled onto the fluffiest muffins ever.

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Heirloom Tomato Sauce | I'll Make It Myself!

Slow-Cooker Heirloom Tomato Sauce

I really missed my Crock Pot while I was in Japan. You can definitely buy a reasonably-priced slow cooker (surô kukkâ, スロークッカー) online or large homegoods stores. A rice-cooker can double as a slow cooker for many recipes, but since the purpose of the rice cooker is to get the moisture out, it may not work well for sauces.

I got a lot of heirloom tomatoes on sale at the farmers’ market, so I decided to try to make my own tomato sauce.

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A Message from the Feminist Jar-Openers Association

If you haven’t see the responses from Vice and Fit and Feminist response to the women of Women Against Feminism who don’t need feminism as it would deprive them of the men who open their jars for them, you’re in for a treat.

Via Vice

“Also how the f*@k am I supposed to open jars + life heavy things without my husband? I am grateful for our differences!” Detail from Women Against Feminism. Via Vice.

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The Mushroom Hunt and Vegan Masculinities, or How Not to Report on Food and Gender

Content note: some misogynistic language.

I had such high hopes for the NPR Food article “For These Vegans, Masculinity Means Protecting The Planet” by Neda Ulaby. Finally, I thought, a piece about not only food and masculinities, but one in which the gender binary would be broken down, showing that caring about food politics or, as the title suggests, about the environmental impact of our diets, can be divorced from gender identity and expression all together. And yet, for whatever reason, just like that mess of an article on bento and mothering, which I might add, there has been plenty of research on since the ’90s and that even a quick Internet search will turn up with resources, NPR manages simultaneously to perpetuate gender stereotypes while attempting to reinvent them.

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Double Coconut Brownies | I'll Make It Myself!

Double Coconut Brownies (Dairy-Free)

Darlingsan had a special request for her birthday “cake”: brownies, not heavily frosted, possibly Sailor-Moon themed. I’m really glad, too, because apartments in Seattle don’t have AC, which is a helpful thing to have to dealing with butter-based decorations.

This recipe is dairy-free if you are using vegan baker’s chocolate. If you want to glaze or frost it, you can use non-dairy milk for a glaze or my favorite vegan buttercream, but the brownies are rich and moist without it.

Sailor Moon Brownies | I'll Make It Myself! (1)

To make it the brownies into an homage to the locket, I made a very basic glaze to give the pink color; a little leftover yellow buttercream to make the moon; and halved cherries to stand in for the gems.

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Vegan Rhubarb-Raspberry Crostata

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a stress-free and safe Independence Day! I brought this crostata to a barbecue over in Redmond.

Rhubarb-Raspeberry Crostata_I'll Make It Myself! 2

A few notes:

  • Olive oil: not only is this recipe vegan, but you don’t have to worry about the butter in the crust getting too warm while rolling it out. (Seattle = no AC! It’s great until you try working with buttercream in the summer)
  • One crust, rustic-style: way easier to put together than a normal pie.
  • Rhubarb and raspberries: in-season, delicious, and maybe even better than strawberry-rhubarb!

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