Month: October 2018

Making Gougères

Some time ago I purchased Dorie Greenspan’s book “around my french table”. The book is copyrighted as of 2010 so eight years later I’ve begun in the words of Ina Garten to start working my way through every easy, delicious recipe.

So with that I cooked the first thing – the Gougeres. If windows Notepad and character map would behave the accented first e would be there – but it’s my least favorite OS called Windows 10.

The Chouf a Pate went together lickety split. It’s butter, flour, salt and flour. Then that cooked mixture goes into the mixer and add five eggs waiting for each to be absorbed into the dough.

Then in goes the cheese – I used a sharp cheddar until such time as I can get some gruyere again.

Here is  a photo of them just after baking:

The baked for 24 minutes. And let me tell you they’re delicious. I cannot believe how good they are. Now the numbers – each biscuit has .33oz or 1/3tablespoon(.33 = 1/3, = 1tsp) of butter, .2 whole egg, 2.9g carb total. Not bad and I must say I laughed at the Garten quote but yeah I’ll work my way throught this book.

Eventful end of October

On the 30th of this month someone goes in for eye surgery. Not me no, my vision is still intact. He was diagnosed with diabetes back in July but even then before beginning drug therapy via metformin his blood glucose reading fasting was 116.

But the clincher was the A1C test. I looked it up – it looks at how much glucose is attached to hemoglobin over a 90 to 120 day period. He was at 9 back in July now he’s at 6.2 or pre-diabetic. He’s also lost about 25lbs.

We’ve sort of embraced the keto diet. No added sugar, no or low carbohydrates. He goes even farther no fruit like oranges, apples, pineapple, etc. Instead it’s protein, cheeses, and vegetation. Only difference between he and I is that. I eat fruit, he doesn’t.

Myself – I figured there’s no sense in baking one potato, or a quarter cup of rice. So I too have lost 15 or 20 pounds.

And as a control of course, the physician assistant got a laugh from that. I tested mine – it’s rock solid in the 80’s. Of course I eschew fruit juices I see it as pointless just eat the fruit and get not just fructose but fiber, and other vitamins.

But it’s really fascinating – when I shop for food I look at ingredients and nutritional info. When you do you find that the standard U.S. condiments like mustard, ketchup etc. all have added sugar. Now added is a funny word to me – as some products say Balsamic vinegar have a sugar component in the nutritional side but no added sugar.

So I went searching saw that Heinz now had a ketchup with no added sugar. Good.

But take mayonnaise – all of them including the name brands have added sugar. As an experiment I made mayo myself – a couple of egg yolks, some olive oil, salt, pepper and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar. Now there was some argument it was whole egg, not just yolk. But I was right – yolks only. If you want it thicker refrigerate it.

And shop around – my local Price Rite has a brown mustard with no added sugar.

A lot of this started when I read the Case Against Sugar by Gary Taube(s)

When you think of it there are enteire industries making products that are either killing or severely impeding life of people. Soft drinks, candy bars, you name it. Why do you think companies like Coca Cola, Mars Bars, etc. have diversified into pet foods, water, etc. They know the gig is up, even the famed Steve Jobs knew that what we call soda, pop, tonic, etc. is sugar water.

Repairs Ahoy

It has been two months since I’ve posted. Partly to do with the fact my net connection was down for a bit and I couldn’t get my WP password. Now that I’ve got a connection again another thing happened. Plus the muses took a hiatus.

The start switch on the dryer broke. You could twist it part way at one point and it’d start but then over time it just wouldn’t start anymore. I guess after 20 years of use it finally gave up the will to function.

So broke out the cordless drill with philips screw driver bit and proceed to remove a good 20+ screws to get the panel with the timers and switches down. Also disconnected the washer/dryer combo from the plug – not fun to work on something with 240VAC running through it. After that popped the knob off the start switch.

Now when they built this machine they did a few things which the engineer in me can appreciate. First – on the first cover I had to remove was an open ended envelope with the full documentation on the unit including electronic schematics, timing diagrams, etc.

Anyhow I removed the start switch. It’s made in the USA by General Electric – surprise, surprise, surprise. But then 20+ years ago most components were made in the Good Old U.S.A.

Next step look closely at the schematics – in it I observed the timer, the door switch and the start switch were all wired in series. Now the schematic shows the start switch as Normally open. But dissecting the switch and discovering the worn cam – it is a Normally Closed switch. And the switch was connected by slip-spade lugs.

What I did was put a 5-7mm thick bus bar in between the two wires, covered it with some shrink tubing, applied heat to the tubing and now the dryer works again.

Just a small change – if the door is open or the timer is on a stopped position the dryer is off. But close the door and move the timer to a timed position and it starts up.

Once again I count my education at the hands of engineers in my family and my love of electronics and electrical devices as a serious plus in my book. Plus mechanical things do not deter me.