Hurricane Rena's

local ingredients, worldly flavour

Author: rena (Page 1 of 6)

Sensational Sourdough Spice cake

This is the cake I made for Neal’s birthday this year. With different sweetness and texture, marzipan icing on top and rich creamy dulce de leche in the middle, it was a cake of different flavours and textures, and it was a little healthier than most deserts.

½ cup unbleached, all purpose flour

¼ cup oat bran

2 tbsp hemp seeds

2 tbsp ground almonds

2 tbsp no salt baking powder

mix these in a bowl, add these dry spices, to taste, based on the potency of the spices you have

cinnamon, cloves, fresh grated nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, (if using ginger powder)

in another bowl mix

½ cup sourdough starter

2 eggs,

whisk these two together for 1 minute then stir in

½ cup raw cane sugar

1 cup apple pear sauce

then gradually add, a little at a time, ½ a cup melted, almost browned, butter.

Let sit for 2 hours

then mix in the dry ingredients, adding the dry to the wet a little at a time stirring it in

add 1/3 of a cup chopped dried plums, crystalized ginger mixed in if using add 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 in round, parchment lined pans.

Put the two cakes together when cool with dulce de leche in the middle

and marzipan rolled thin into a circle on top.

This cake is sensational with all its textures and flavours bursting in every bite

Its also a lot healthier than most other cakes, very low sodium, less sugar, and high in fiber.

Salt free smoked salmon

Recently I had an occasion that called for that essential food of the BC coast, smoked salmon. I had some sockeye in my freezer that I decided to smoke. Normally I do not smoke sockeye, because it is the finest, richest salmon for eating as is, baked, fried, canned. Pinks and chums need smoking, in my opinion, it improves them greatly.

This time I smoked a sockeye. First I cut the fillets into 4 pieces. Then I dry rubbed it with brown sugar, black pepper, Garlic dash and a little sprinkle of my favourite salt substitute, Herbamare. I let it sit like that for a while, several hours.

I added to the marinade a mixture of dark rum and maple syrup, brushed onto the meat. I put the chunks meat side down in the liquid, which increased during the 6 hours I let it marinate for.

Then I placed it on racks in the smoker. Added maple chips first then hickory chips. I left it in the Little Chief smoker overnight, and as it ran out of chips, it continued to slow cook and the sauce dried onto the surface of the meat. In the morning, I added 2 more smoker loads of chips before deciding that it was smoked all the way through. Let it cool thoroughly and then refrigerate. It is a bit sweet and candied, but the sugar and rum helps preserve it through the process, like salt normally would have.

The end result is a deep rich looking red, translucent flesh that is opaque on the inside and smoked all the way through. It goes wonderfully crumbled on rice with tomato sauce, or on crackers with cream cheese. The marinating process adds no salt, the only salt in this smoked salmon is naturally occurring within the fish. This is how people on a low sodium diet can still enjoy one of the most famous traditional foods on the BC coast.

Salt free, Whole Grain Sourdough Rye Bread

I recently made this amazing bread. I was trying to sprout some rye kernels, but they did not sprout. After 3 days of watering and rinsing twice a day, I put them in my powerful Vitamix blender and whipped them up, and added them to 1/2 of my freshly fed sourdough starter.

They made about 2 cups of whole grain sponge. I let that ferment overnight, on the kitchen counter, covered in a tea towl. In the morning it was all bubbly. I mixed in an equal amount of unbleached, all purpose flour, kneading it in at the end, possibly with another 1/2 a cup added to get the right texture, soft and not sticky. I also added some olive oil to it at this point. I had forgotten to add fresh yeast, and did not want to add more liquids to this bread dough, so I sprinkled the yeast pellets, about 1 teaspoon, on the surface of the dough and kneaded them into it. I placed the ball of dough on parchment paper and left it alone, once again covered with a damp towl, near my woodstove for a couple of hours, until doubled in size.

I then heated up my clay stewpot in my oven to 450 c, plopped the dough in and baked for 40 minutes with the lid on and 15 minutes with the lid off.

This resulted in delicious, salt free sourdough rye bread from whole soaked grains, with a vivid, complex flavour and chewy texture.

Recipie

2 cups soaked rye grains. Blend with a little water into a paste.

Add 1 cup freshly fed and activated sourdough starter. Let soak overnight.

Add 2 cups flour, mix in first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands until the dough develops the right texture. More flour may be needed.

Knead in 1 tblsp olive oil and 1 tsp yeast pellets.

Shape dough into ball, place on parchment paper, let rise until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 c. Heat up stewpot or dutch oven inside oven.

When oven is ready, pick bread dough up by parchment paper corners and plop into preheated pot. Put lid on

Cook for 45 minutes covered. Then remove lid and cook another 15 minutes.

Take bread out and let cool before cutting into it and eating it. This is important. It is still cooking inside.

Enjoy with smoked fish or Ruben sandwhiches or whatever else you like, and be sure to spice it up with Hurricane Rena’s hotsauces, relish or chutney!


Steph Cameron

Recently I went to see a singer songwriter perform solo at the Heriot Bay Inn and was introduced to the great original songs of Steph Cameron, which I have been using on the Homegrown show in recent weeks, off of her two albums, Sad Eyed Lonesome Lady and Daybreak over Jackson St.

Some great new music on the Homegrown show

First off, thank you for visiting the Homegrown show’s Website. I have found for you some interesting and unusal songs for the month of January. I am also trying to get more spoken word on the Homegrown show, which means, I will be reviewing submissions of poetry, short stories, essay/talks, or radio plays for future use. I would especially appreciate those created by people on the islands, the west coast of BC, which is the Homegrown area of the Homegrown show.

Some of the highlights from January are

Cold in Canada, a parody recorded by a couple of guys in Manatoba during -45 weather. Uses the song structure of Toto’s Africa.

 

The Arrogant Worms with Little Leach

The Arrogant Worms with the RCMP song

and Leaving the Lagoon, a song by Glen Foster written about Manson’s Lagoon on Cortes Island, a truly local original written by a visitor from Nanimo.

These are some of the highlights of songs played in January on the Homegrown show. Thanks for listening. Check out the past shows page for full podcasts.

VDay 16

I want to celebrate this Valentines day by planting a tree
that will blossom every year of our lives
feed us sweet fruits when we are older
give us bunches of flowers every spring
providing food for bees
to make into honey every year with which to sweeten our lives

I love it, becoming thoughtful
Giving flowers that are still alive
in a pot of dirt, with the potential to grow
more than those that are cut and imported
and flown around on cargo jets
making home made treats
secretly in the kitchen for one another
handled with care every step of the way
and designed with individual tastes in mind
containing something of you,
your energy, time and effort
That the sentiments of the holiday
Don’t have to be gotten from commercial sources

Its two years since the man I loved all my life
took his last breath on Earth,
casting a shadow on all the romance, hearts and candy
But the romantic glow of candlelight is always full of shadows
that deepen the brilliance of the soft light of love
and I think of him and his fearless heart
and the way he made it count
if a slight tear falls on the celebration
made more intense by whispers from the past
encouraging me to celebrate it with even more abandon,
dance wildly, love deeper, live my dreams in a life shared,
reach out and connect with a deeper passion than ever before

I’d like to celebrate by building another honey super,
maybe another hive
preparing for bees to prosper
with the sweetness of summer feed us,
with the buzz of life in the trees connect us
with brilliance of flowers on the ground and garden entice our eyes,
I missed his funeral in order to honour him in everyday life
Being fully present for the one whom I love
and creating a lasting memorey that reaches for a better future
than the one being created for us by environmental circumstance.

Year of the Moneky Business

From international trade agreements involving dozens of countries
being tricked into signing authority to over ride their sovereign laws
To the gut instinct of an 8 month old kitten
it horrifies me on how many levels
corporations try and seize control
the kitten’s been addicted
by misguided loving hands
to carbs and salts and chemicals he does not need
it would make him sick
to make him switch all at once
to a healthier choice
you’ve got to wean him off of the stuff
and I can just see those pet food CEOs
at their lab tests, cheering when the lab cats choose their manufactured food
over that which nature intended the beast to eat
and I once boycotted all their products as carefully as I could
In a human rights campaign
Because they did the same
to humans, mothers and babies in impoverished countries
receiving a gift basket for their newborns
containing cases of infant formula
in the guise of helping so the mothers milk dries up
and if the family can’t get more the baby starves and dies
insidious diabolical method of creating repeat customers through desperation
manufacturing junk food with child slave labour
food additives like vanillan ending up in the finished product
to make you want more of it as you eat it
immediate craving even as you’re getting full
then they also sell you diet pills and plans
when you can’t get a grip on it
the company’s got you covered
at all stages of addiction except for real recovery
letting the animal or the human make their own choices
with subtle chemical influence exerted behind the scenes
given a conscious choice, a person or an animal
would eat healthy food and never get fat or sick
but day to day we have to think twice
to take the fruit and not the candy every time you want something sweet
to eat the fish and not the chips at home
There’s been rat meat sold as chicken wings for Superbowl Sunday in the USA
and it might be more sustainable that way
If I could find those packages of wings processed in China
I could feed a species appropriate food to my pet
thinking I’m crazy to consider it, it was a scandal, strictly illegal
but it passed the taste test of hundreds of sports watchers
just as good fried with hot sauce for humans
and the natural prey of the cat
almost certifiably insane
when rats are abundant, making themselves a known nuisance in everyone’s yards
and this kind of a food system,
what I’d like to break free from
not subject any living creature in my care to dealing with,
is considered rational and normal.
They’ve just added a new mental illness to the big psychiatric diagnosis book
under the category of eating disorders
when people want organic and healthy food
question the source of where and how its made
make sure its not ever handled with callous disregard
and if the ugliest rodent on earth could help us break free
stop trusting in processed foods and international trade
that sends it all away
by presenting itself as a dubious source of protein
in the hands of manufacturers not yet seen as crooked as they are
on every single level imaginable
and also as a species appropriate food source
for animals nature evolved to be its predators
maybe this year of the monkey business
is actually the year of the rat
thanks to China being allowed to make us processed food
from real chicken
and choosing not to send it back
instead sending rat.

(the corporation referred to is Nestle)

Some Great new Tunes on this weeks Homegrown show

This week was a good one for some new music on the Homegrown show. First of all, Quadra Island musician Cameron Gunn resleased a song off of his new upcoming album, which I was happy to play on the show. Here’s a link to it.

Southern Winds

Also, I found some great new music which is available for free, by New Brunswick musician Sirr, Mark OConner, off of his album liar cake. Here’s a link to their music. Its a new and different sound. The songs played on the Homegrown show were Blue World and Cure for Caner.

Sirr! Liar Cake

 

 

Get the most out of your nuts

If you want to get the most out of the nuts you buy for your food

Milk them first

I just made an awesome new discovery in the quest for independence, in things I can do for myself, easily if not inexpensively. But to the cost effective idea, if you are going to make any food recipe that calls for ground nuts, such as hazelnut cake, almond cake, almond resent cookies or mushroom nut loaf, you may want to get the most out of your nuts by milking them first, then grinding and using in your favorite recipe.

Soaked and ground nuts also make a great, high protein, high fiber meat substitute that gives one most of the satisfaction of having eaten heartily of flesh. It is not a quirk of language that the inner flesh of nuts is called “meat” and “flesh”

All you do is this: Soak 1 cup of nuts, or whatever amount your other recipe calls for overnight in water. Rinse twice. Peel the nuts if you so desire. (the peel on almonds and hazelnuts can sometimes add a hint of a bitter flavour)

Then you whip up the nuts in a blender with 1 liter or 4 cups of water until the liquid looks milky. At this point you may want to add any flavours you want, like a bit of maple syrup, honey or vanilla. Or coco if you want chocolate nut milk. A nutritious flavor I recommend is amazake, a sweet and creamy thick substance made from fermented brown rice which is its own delicious drink, that contains no sugar and tastes like a milkshake. (recipe for that to come).
Strain the nuts out with a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl. Mash the nut meal against the screen of the sieve to get all the precious milk out of it and to dry the nut meal as much as possible, since most recopies assume the ground nuts being added will be dry.

You may want to carefully toast the nut crumbs in an oven on lowest heat or in a dry cast iron pan stirring constantly to have dry nut meal, and a toasted flavour. This needs to be done cautiously because it is even easier to burn in this state. Or just use as is. I have with great success.

This easy and straightforward recipe is something I wish I’d known about years ago. Think of all the money I wasted buying nut milk and grinding nuts for baking separate. All the helicopter cargo space wasted on tetra packs of almond milk, all the landfill contributions of blue tetra packs that our local store will not accept as returns for recycling. If only I had known how easy it was to make almond milk. A wise storekeeper from my favorite food store, Yellow Dog on Quadra Island, once tried to tell me, but the knowledge did not sink in…
Almonds and a lot of other tree nuts are becoming more and more expensive as the supply dwindles and the demand stays the same due to severe multi year droughts in places where they are grown. So if you are buying almonds for cooking, get the most out of them by milking them too.

Wheat free Turkey stuffing

So here it is, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend already. Time to become aware of gratitiude for your life, and all within it. Including the land it takes place in. A thoughtful kind of holiday. I spent it at home this year with family. A great many Thanksgivings of my adult life, it has not been so.

In my life, it was often in the middle of Chum salmon fishing, when there was only a few days to get out and make our living, the last chance to make any money before it shut down for the winter. As a deckhand on a troller, cooking was mostly my responsibility. I often made Thanksgiving Day pie in the diesil oven in between pulling 10 – 20 pound chums in, some of which I would keep and smoke. Or we ate it after dark, during the long evenings at anchor, some of which are incredibly stormy at this time of year. Sometimes I would make it, then put my raingear back on, go out and gut a couple of hundred fish while it was cooking, in the dark, under the glow of deck lights.

This year the Thanksgiving weeked was rainy and stormy, reminding me of times when we trolled close to shore in areas that were sheltered from the southeast, and couldn’t have gone home for the holiday even if we wanted to. The one dish meal version of this recipie is authentic fishboat cusine of the inside troller. The basis of it can be used for stuffing a chicken or turkey.

 

To make the stuffing, you soak millet and oat groats overnight. Dump water and rinse to remove anti nutreints from the grain and eleminate the need for pre boiling. Saute onion and celery in real butter. Add sage leaves and dried cranberries. Add the grains and some home made stock cubes, perferable from chicken or turkey, but meat ones made from boiled bones will also work. If you lack these, add some powdered vegetable stock. As well as add poultry seasoning and hot smoked paprika. I aslo add some wild mushroom powder if I have it or chopped mushrooms, and either some hemp hearts or hazelnut crumbs.

Let simmer in the pan until grains are chewy but soft, then stuff it into your turkey or chicken.

When I lived alone, or when I was out on the fishboat for Thanksgiving weekend catching chum salmon in the Johnstone Straights, I made this when I had chicken or turkey pieces. I called it Thanksgiving Day Pie

I layered some sliced potatoes and yams in the pot, then the chicken or turkey pieces, then a layer of the stuffing, with some sliced carrots and onions for a vegetable, and a little thin layer of either stuffing to get crispy ontop or soft mash potatoes. Then bake in the oven, around 1 hour, but ovens differ, and if you are using a diesil oven on a boat, turn it around once, so both sides bake close to where the fire is.

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