Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Adventures in Cold Brewing

I've written earlier posts about making a good cup of coffee. Over the years, I've gravitated from Melitta pour over to an Aeropress. Cold brew coffee is the new rage. Cold brew coffee has less acidity than hot brewed coffee. Experts say that this method brings out more of the subtle flavors of coffee.

The basic principles of coffee making are the same no matter which brewing method is used. Start with good clean water (I have an ROC unit in my home), high quality coffee, and freshly ground with a good quality burr grinder.

I recently received a Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew coffee maker (1000 ml model). My first batch was a mixture of French roast beans and medium roast Peruvian beans. I used a medium-coarse grind. I put the coffee in the filter basket and poured cold water through the filter into the carafe. I left the carafe on the kitchen counter for about 16 hours. 

I drank the coffee this morning. It was delicious. I noticed very low acidity and a slight chocolate finish. I'm not a big fan of iced coffee but this is a perfect solution for iced coffee.

One of the advantages of this method is the fact that you are creating coffee concentrate which can last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. 

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Iced Coffee Pot/Maker (1000ml, Red) is available from Amazon for around $20.00.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Voyage of the Oosterdam - Part 1

This was my first cruise with Holland America Line. The Oosterdam was built in 2003 but was refurbished this year. She's 951 feet long and carries 1848 passengers. This was a 27 day cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Tampa, Florida with stops in Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Malaga, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Toulon, France; Cali, Corsica, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno, Italy; Civitavecchia, Italy; Cartagena, Spain; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; Tampa, Florida.

Main Show Room

Vista Dining Room

My cabin

Main Pool Area

Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one to the oldest in Western Europe. It is the principal home port of the Spanish Navy.

Fine dining is the major attraction of cruising. 

Seafood Ceviche, jumbo shrimp, bay scallops, squid and Alaska King crab, topped with a 
zingy citrus mayonnaise.

Baked Red-Curry Coconut Salmon, cilantro asparagus, green zucchini and scallions, jasmine rice, and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Cheese and Fruit, Danish Blue, Brie, Manchego, D.O.C. Pepper Jack

Gibraltar, UK

Gibraltar is  a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 square kilometers and shares its northern border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region at 426 m. high.

Escargots Bourguignon, herb garlic butter, Burgundy wine, French bread

Rack of Lamb with Tomato Coucous and Garlic Pearls, 
roasted red bell pepper, sautéed artichoke

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake, blueberry sauce, crushed amaretti


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Barcelona 2016

I arrived in Barcelona on September 22. This is my third visit to BCN. In previous visits, I rented a room in Eixample. Eixample is a hip upscale neighborhood close to many popular tourist sites such as Gaudi's Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

This year I'm staying in Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu de Palomar was an independent town with over 1,000 years of recorded history before being annexed by Barcelona in 1897. I'm literally steps to the local Mercado and a series of small shops including the coffee house, baker, fish store, wine shop, artisanal beer, ham iberico shop, fresh produce, cheese shop, etc.
I'm two blocks from the local Metro stop and 5-7 minute walk to the train station.

I haven't heard anyone on the street speaking English since I got here three weeks ago.

I depart BCN on October 22 for a 27 day cruise aboard Holland America's Oosterdam. Ports of call include Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Toulon (France), Calvi (Corsica), Monte Carlo, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Cartagena, and Funchal.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

S/V Delos - Sailing Around the World

I've been following the adventures of a group of young people sailing around the world on a 16 meter sailboat. They post videos every couple of weeks. You can watch any of their 75 videos by clicking here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Book - The Art of Fermentation


Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.

While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more.

With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself.

Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first and only of its kind."

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Movie "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom"

I recently watched this film on Netflix. It was nominated for an Oscar this year in the Documentary Feature category.

It's a moving story. Click here for a professional review/

Friday, January 1, 2016

R.I.P. Card Catalog

The library card catalog is officially dead. Click here for the complete story.