Not the most exciting snack on the planet. But certainly one of the only biscuits to be developed as part of a dietary regime designed to stifle destructive carnal appetites. Invented in New Jersey, of all places, by the Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, the graham cracker was originally made of far sterner stuff: graham flour with little or no sweetener. The thinking being that if one is to curb sexual enthusiasm, the solution would be to eat a bland diet. Apparently, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg also subscribed to this theory. Hence the invention of corn flakes. Who knew? These days the crackers are laced with loads of sugar, cinnamon and maybe even chocolate. And even worse, they are made from white flour. The ultimate sin.
We had a boatload of tomatoes from the garden and the farmers’ market this year, so I decided to do some proper canning of sauce. Because tomatoes fall into that danger zone of medium acidic foods, unless you have a pressure canner, you need to add some lemon juice or citric acid to the sauce in order to make the whole process safe. All the recipes I looked at (I settled on the one from this wonderful book by Ashley English) recommended using bottled lemon juice, because real lemons vary in their acidity. This could be an issue: read sickness or death. Not in my nature to mess around with that! So, I moseyed on over to the local supermarket and picked up one bottle each of lemon and lime juice (I was also canning tomatillo salsa). It wasn’t until I got home and used the lemon juice that I really looked closely at the packaging. It’s a great design. And when seated next to the bottle of lime juice, they do tell a funny story. I did a little homework and found out that the bottles were designed in 1955, and have been in continuous production by the same Swiss firm, Sidag AG. Yep, almost 60 years old. World Radio Switzerland ran a series about Swiss design and highlighted the bottles as part of their excellent programming.
With the exception of an occasional watering, I had almost nothing to do with the planting and growing of these potatoes. That credit is bestowed upon my spouse. BUT, on Saturday afternoon, my husband and I dug them up. And can I tell you that it was one of the most enjoyable pursuits, ever! My friend Jason, an excellent gardener in his own right, and the one who gave us the seed potatoes to begin with, has always said (correctly) that it’s like a fabulous treasure hunt trying to find the tubers in the dark soil. Last night, in celebration of our modest bounty, we cooked the smaller ones for dinner. We were duly rewarded for the many weeks of waiting. My gosh, they were delicious. But, before cooking them, I singled out what I consider to be the world’s smallest potato. And, take notice of that gnarled one in the bottom left portion of the first photograph. It reminds me ever so slightly of Rodin’s The Thinker.
I don’t typically mind separating a few eggs the old fashioned way, but this new and improved method might come in handy if one were talking volume. I am very intrigued by the fact that the demonstration is taking place on the couch and not in the kitchen. Also note that the video has been viewed over 10 million times. Thanks to Danièle for sending my way.
I know it’s full of sugar, and let’s not go into the wastefulness of single serving anything, but I still have a pronounced weakness for Nutella. When I saw this little three-pack of said chocolate hazelnut spread, I secretly rejoiced. Imagine a serving always at the ready. No matter where. Incidentally, I just learned that there are over 50 hazelnuts per 13 oz. jar. I am also quite taken with the reverse side of the packaging…made to look like a jar.