Play with your Food – Felt Macaron (macaroon)

Earlier this week Mr. Rabbit surprised me with a trio of macarons from Paris Baguette which inspired me to make my own.

Macarons (macaroons)

This project reuses Vitamin Water caps, paperboard from junk mail, eco-felt and batting. I would have made more, but I didn’t have enough Vitamin Water caps. Besides, the proportions were not ideal. Ideally, the height of the cap should be a touch narrower, but the plastic was too thick to cut safely.

Felt Macaron - covered
pwyf #001

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Play With Your Food – Launch

Ok, so I’m a bit obsessed with food – real and fake.

I’ve made some play food (knit and felt)  in the past, but this picture of a felt food market inspired me to create more with a renewed zeal.

Plus, I am happy that the nephews and niece love to play with the play food I’ve made in the past, particularly the knit strawberries and felt green beans. They are the perfect size for their little hands.

I also intend to make a play kitchen some day; there are tons of examples for inspiration.

In order to work my way towards slowly building my market goods and stocking a potential future play kitchen, I’ve decided to make and post an item a week.  Occasionally, I will include an appropriate recipe with the made item.

Notes from Germany, on bread and potatoes

In my quest to bake authentic German breads, I picked up the following baking products during a recent trip to Germany:
German baking
From left to right: whole grain rye sourdough, tart glaze, rye flour

The flour and sourdough were purchased in order to try some recipes from a book purchased on a previous Germany trip:
Brot

Sauerteig or sourdough can be found in wet or dry form at any grocery in Germany.

Tortenguss or tart glaze comes in a clear or red color. I didn’t bother putting a glaze on the last fresh fruit tart I made, but got this to have in my pantry just in case.

You might have noticed that the bag of flour is labeled “Type 1150”. Germany has different types of flour that are determined by their ash content. I have already done some reading into this and will compile my research into another post.

Easy access to fresh yeast (hefe), fresh/dry sourdough, instant tart glaze and other specialty baking ingredients is a testament to Germany’s baking culture. However, just as many Koreans rarely make their own kimchi anymore (although there is a market for kimchi refridgerators), many Germans don’t bake since they have easy access to high quality and a wide variety of breads.

 

Germany might not be known for its culinary prowess, but they do know their potatoes. So I picked up this booklet (? not quite a book and not really a magazine):

Kartoffel Küche

According to the European Cultivated Potato Database, Germany has 944 registered varieties. The only other country that comes even close to Germany is the Netherlands with 646.

German potatoes are labeled and sold in three different categories:
Festkochend – green tag – waxy potato = excellent for gratins, fried potato dishes
Vorwiegend Festkochend – red tag – all-purpose potato = good for frying, boiling, and good in salads
Mehlig Kochend – blue tag, floury potatoes = mash and fluffy roast potatoes

Recipes are sorted by festkochend and mehlig kochend. Also included are recipes specifically for purple potatoes, bamberger-hörnchen and other uncommon varieties. The last section is devoted to recipes for those of similar culinary qualities to potatoes, but are not related to them: sweet potatoes and topinambur or sunchokes (Jewish artichoke). I had seen sunchokes at the market before, but never knew what it was or what to do with it. I’m looking forward to trying it at some point, especially now that it’s about to be in season.

 

Resources
http://germanfood.about.com/od/potatoesandnoodles/a/potatotypes.htm
http://www.toytowngermany.com/lofi/index.php/t155573.html

Smörgåstårta – A savory sandwich cake

Smörgåstårta: Sandwich Cake

This weekend we were invited to a party by a Swedish friend to celebrate the completion of their kitchen renovation and house expansion. Another friend named the party SMÖRGÅS BÖRGÅS. Ok, it’s not really a word and a odd interpretation of the actual Swedish word “smörgåsbord”; the equivalent of Häagen-Dazs, another made-up word with randomly placed accents.

It was the perfect opportunity to make a smörgåstårta! Continue reading