Chef Stretch

When I was in grade school, kids would make fun of me for always checking out cookbooks on Library Day.

Say hello to my little friends - bee nuc installed in my garden!

Say hello to my little friends - bee nuc installed in my garden!

Scandinavian pastries I made at USCG TRACEN Petaluma — All cardamom-based sweet dough — The top photo is Swedish cardamom buns in two different forms and the bottom photo is Danish pastry (laminated dough) with cinnamon-marcipan filling

Spent-Grain and Cinnamon Sugar Bagels - Based on the Peter Reinhart recipe
 as 

Spent-Grain and Cinnamon Sugar Bagels - Based on the Peter Reinhart recipe

 as 

Shrimp Two Ways — Hawaiian (North Shore) Garlic Shrimp with stick rice and poached shrimp salad

Shrimp Two Ways — Hawaiian (North Shore) Garlic Shrimp with stick rice and poached shrimp salad

Delicious breakfast at USCG Station Cape Disappointment — French Toast with berry syrup, sausage patty, hash browns, and 2 eggs over-easy.

Delicious breakfast at USCG Station Cape Disappointment — French Toast with berry syrup, sausage patty, hash browns, and 2 eggs over-easy.

Hand-delivered: A Swedish semla for Shrove Tuesday - sweet dough bun, hollowed out and filled with marcipan paste and whipped cream.

Hand-delivered: A Swedish semla for Shrove Tuesday - sweet dough bun, hollowed out and filled with marcipan paste and whipped cream.

Homemade grenadine (top), Danish snaps (left), apple cider vinegar (right), and vanilla extract (bottom).

Grenadine Recipe:

1 cup pomegranate juice (like POM)
1 cup pure cane sugar

Combine ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and bottle.

——

Danish Snaps recipe:

1 bottle decent vodka
2 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1-2 star anise pods
3 peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 strips of orange rind

Drink a couple of shots of the vodka (to make room in the bottle for the spices) and add all the flavoring agents. Put it in your fridge and forget about it for 2-3 weeks. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavor. Strain out the spices and pour the snaps through a coffee filter at least two times.  Pour back into the bottle and store in the freezer.

——

Apple Cider Vinegar method:

Any amount of fermented cider (5-6% abv)
A vinegar mother or the dregs from natural cider vinegar

Put the cider in a jar or fermenter and add the vinegar mother (these look a lot like a kombucha mother).  If you use dregs from natural vinegar, you’ll need to use a smaller amount of cider (no more than a quart) — eventually a mother will form on the surface which you can then harvest and use again.  Put the jar in a 60-70 degree environment and leave it alone for a couple of months. The mother will turn the cider into vinegar.  The longer you leave it, the more acidic it will get.  

WARNING: DO NOT USE THIS CIDER FOR PICKLING (UNLESS OF COURSE YOU ARE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE PERCENT ACIDITY)!

——

Vanilla Extract method:

8-10 industrial grade vanilla beans (cheap on Amazon)
4-8 oz. Everclear (or other high proof clear spirits)

Cut in half and split open the vanilla beans and stuff them in a pint jar. Cover with the alcohol and a lid. Stash in your pantry or reefer for 4-6 months.  It won’t be as dark as commercial vanilla extract, but it will taste just as good.  Plus, you can keep topping it up with alcohol for quite a long time.  Maybe add more/new beans if it starts tasting weak.