Monday, September 28, 2015

Everyday International

Writing a post about "authentic" recipes and cooking is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  There is a lot of research and ingredient sourcing fairly complicated recipes.  If you can understand the instructions in the first place.

Don't worry, I'm not planning on stopping.  I have multiple posts in progress, and Hungary on the menu plan.

It is just that cooking internationally-inspired food does not have to be this hard.  We have lots of dinners that are influenced by international cuisine and we love it.  I'm going to have some posts of these Everyday International foods to both encourage myself and hopefully give you some easier ways to join in the fun.

These will be a lot less vetted than other things.  I make no claims about authenticity, just about taste and process.

Italy, India, and Mexico will probably be some of the first countries we visit though this, but not the last.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Guinea-Bissau is a small West African country bordering Guinea and Senegal.  There has been a lot of unrest since they gained independence from Portugal in 1974.  Their conveniently-named capital is Bissau.  Read more in the CIA World Factbook.

We're catching up to life a little bit here, although this was still about four months ago.  I cannot for the life of me find the original recipe I used.  I did Bolo a Moda da Guine Bissau - basically, Cake in the Style of Guinea-Bissau.  This one is fairly close, but not exactly what I followed.

Oh well, we press on anyway.

This looks simple.  A five ingredient cake.  I can do this without anything special from the store!  Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, and milk.  Let's do this!

Did I not soften the butter ahead of time?  Was I supposed to?  The world may never know.

Brendan spent some time as photographer.  I apologize.
Add some flour and milk and we're done.  I seem to remember that there wasn't an exact measure for the milk, just "enough to make it like a batter."  My least favorite kind of direction.  I think I waffled a lot on whether it needed more or not.
More milk?
Looks like I added some.
All whipped and fluffy and how can this not be good?
Air bubbles.  There were supposed to be air bubbles in it.  Out of the oven it looked very encouraging.
Then, not-so-much.

Whomp whomp.
Yeah, the whole thing fell.  It almost halved itself and pulled away from the side of the pan and lost all fluffiness.
It used to be to the top of the crust-ridge.
It basically tasted like the end result looked.  Dense and spongy and almost not-fully-cooked.  Not very good.  We never ate more than one piece a person.  Maybe if I had used the recipe I found this time?  I'm not sure if my amount of milk made a difference, but I would guess it is very possible.  Does too much milk make it more likely to fall?

Our tour de Guineas is complete and we head off to another hemisphere for a while.  Pack some warm weather clothes.

Next time: Haiti