Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ratios & Refrigerators, Oh My!

I just got a new cookbook that I'm super-psyched about called Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman!

This book has been answering all my burning baking & cooking questions! In theory, you can take the basic ratios given in this book and create just about anything your little hearts desire without ever relying on another cookbook again! I have yet to put this to the test but you can bet I'm going to be doing some serious baking in the near future! In the name of Science, of course!

For those who don't know the origins of Pound Cake, it got it's name because the recipe calls for equal parts (about 1 pound each) of butter, sugar, egg, & flour. (Hint: how you mix your cake can make all the difference.) What I'm really curious about though, is the taste. A professional cook, and friend of mine, once tested this traditional little recipe and said that the result was not as tasty as some of the more fine-tuned versions we have today. Of course, adding a few extra flavors like vanilla, salt, lemon zest & lime zest will greatly improve this and I guess that's really the point of having these handy ratios! With a little imagination, I can make an endless variety of Pound Cakes!

So be sure to stay tuned for my latest cooking experiments! Tonight I plan to make homemade pasta for the first time (and without a rolling pin or pasta roller! Yikes!)! Necessity is the mother of invention and that means it's time to get creative!

Speaking of creative inventions, check out this article about a nifty project by Jihyun Ryou on how to Reverse Engineer the Refrigerator!

Ryou researched old-school, 'oral knowledge' about how to preserve your food without using a refrigerator!
Some of these tricks I knew, like keeping potatoes in the dark or throwing a few grains of rice in your salt shaker to absorb extra moisture, but some were completely new to me and absolutely fascinating! I can't wait to have a system like this set up in my own kitchen one day! People rely so much on technology these days that we forget how to really observe the world around us and work with it instead of against it. Way to think outside the box!

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