living underground in the real world

monday miscellany: replacing butter with coconut oil + a lot of useless rambling

Hello sweethearts on parade!

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This sweet, vapid little daffodil is so proud she’s the first one on the front strip to bloom.

Here we go!

  • I just want to point out that the Obamas totally….well, I refuse to use the phrase “flip-flopped,” so let’s just say that they LIED about getting their kids a shelter dog. Oh Malia and Sasha, too bad a dog was put to death and your parents missed an opportunity to make a statement against the puppy mill industry by getting a purebred (and yes, I know that their dog was a gift from the Kennedys [insert purebred joke here] and [most likely? Are we sure?] not from a puppy mill). Enjoy your puppy, kiddos, try not to think about the blood on your hands.
  • The Mid-Hudson Mycological Society’s spring newsletter is fascinating! (That link will download it.)

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Don’t tell her about her overeager neighbors on the side lawn….

  • I had a lot of trouble veganizing this recipe for the amazing-sounding chocolate toffee matzo candy. (Or, as I said it in my head: “Chocolate! TOFFEE! Matzo! CANDY!”). When I tried my standard 80% coconut oil-butter replacement (you don’t want to replace coconut oil for butter in a 1:1 ratio because butter is not all fat like coconut oil is—butter contains some milk solids) it kept burning. In the end I replaced the 1 cup of butter with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup coconut oil. I used mostly coconut milk from the fatty top of the can, and heated the mixture to about 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Other than that, I made the recipe as is, and it was great, as I had heard from so much of the internet that it would be. For my clients I just dusted it with fleur de sel salt, but for myself I showered it with a serious layer. If you make it, let me know how these modifications work!
  • I asked food scientist Natalie for advice about the recipe and why my straight substitution kept burning. Here are her thoughts:
  • I think the key in this recipe or any caramel recipe is when you boil butter the water actually evaporates from it (or bonds with the sugar) and all of the milk solids in butter start to caramelize and brown –think ghee) and it starts to thin out and the solids separate from the oil part.  so in essence the water in the butter is moistening the sugar and then evaporating out of the solution.  you’re getting browning of the milk solids (partly lactose- sugar) and browning of the sugar that is added as well as evaporaton of water from the whole scenario. this allows the browned sugar to get tight with the oil part in my understanding.if the recipe does not come out right with your calculated coconut oil/milk ratio, these are the only far-fetched soultions i have:–What about the teeniest bit of confectioners sugar added to the coconut oil?  or

    –what about VERY finely ground coconut powder thrown into coconut oil?  you may get the toasting type of thing.

    –or cheating and melting vegan caramels (store bought if such a wonder exists) onto your matzoh? [Allison's Gourmet makes them!]

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…or the backyard….

  • New Paltzians: When did Mexicali Blue add tacos to their menu? Not your standard upstate NY whitie shit tacos, either (Bacchus, it is of your tacos I speak): I’m talking about blue corn tortilla tacos with beautifully seared portobello strips, fresh guac and pickled red onions, slathered with homemade garlic hot sauce. I have been carrying around the Facebook status update “sometimes I seriously think about moving to LA just to be able to eat a decent taco” in my head for a while, thank you for obviating the need for me to post it, Mexicali! I must update the dining guide!

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  • Speaking of, I have some sort of Facebook status update disease, and am not sure what to do about it. I’m kind of in love with Facebook, to be honest. I am vigilant about hiding the posts of people I barely know or don’t like, so my page is filled with the fascinating musings of the brilliant (mostly) women (mostly) far-flung friends I so adore and don’t get to catch up with enough. I also love it for quick check-ins and plan-making with local pals. I love knowing that Katy is doing her taxes when I’m doing mine, and that Jessica and Dave are going to the same show I’m going to on Saturday. I have a friend with whom I pretty much only talk about the vagaries of the Facebook world—he is barely on FB and I am all over it, but we are both fascinated by the different ways people interact with the bloody site. We literally talk about it for maybe an hour a week or so, which always amazes me. There is always one more story to relate about a friend who got caught cheating on his girlfriend because a revealing picture of him at a party surfaced on FB, or the etiquette of ending friendships, who to friend, whose friend requests to accept, etc. I can’t believe I am this fascinated by an internet thing. If I believed in praying I would pray for my fascination to end, for reals.
  • Matzo ball soup recipe–coming soon!

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…and especially not the elegant peaches & cream beauties in the back garden!

8 Responses to “monday miscellany: replacing butter with coconut oil + a lot of useless rambling”

  1. orlande

    i loathe temple grandin a little bit. how is that book? upon further investigation, that particular work looks like some of her more reasonable (not “justify-that-murder!”) research.

    also, speaking of facebook, i want to post this entry on MY facebook (creepazoid, won’t do it) because you precisely wrote to my own bitterness about the damn Obama dog. damnit, damnit, damnit.

    Reply
  2. lagusta

    OOH! I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that. I feel the exact same way you do about her, I’m sure, but I’ve got a post percolating away about how though she sucks, this book is actually pretty good.

    Feel free to be creepy on Facebook, because I’m not sure anyone could be a creepier Facebook creep than me.

    Reply
  3. kevin

    Temple Grandin, eww.

    BTW, I’m starting to think Obama is a total fraud, or at least, just another politician. Pretty sure you warned us all about that many moons ago, though.

    Reply
  4. brittany

    and if the contest for “biggest fbk creep everrrrr” came down to you or me, i think i’ve still got you beat. not that it’s something to be proud of… erm… :/

    Reply
  5. ruby

    How do I hide people’s status updates? I’ve been defriending those who’s status updates are frequent and boring.

    Reply
  6. lagusta

    Kevin: yay! I am glad there are lots of T. G. haters reading, because until 2 weeks ago I was one too! More to come!

    Britt: OOH!!! Rad!

    Ruby: If you roll over the top right hand side of a freak’s status update or post or whatever, you should see an X and when you hover over it it will say “Hide this freak” or something like that.

    Reply

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