Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More mean than green

The non-cow post has caused some interest so I continue my personal review of products.

Butter substitutes ? well there really isn?t one. Nothing tastes as good as butter. I use a vegetable oil in baking where possible. Woollies sells a soy margarine (55% veg oil ? mostly soy) and there?s good old Nuttelex for those who can?t have soy or dairy. Both are reasonably awful. Nuttelex wins on several fronts (not on taste). It is salt-reduced, Australian owned and the container is square so it fits in the fridge better and makes the empty container more re-useable. Did I mention I often buy based on the re-useability potential of containers? I try to re-use packaging at least once before it is recycled. More mean than green I suspect but either way it?s better for the environment.

Mayonnaise also posed a non-cow problem. I?ve finally found a decent one. It doesn?t taste much like the sugary stuff I used to buy, but that?s a good thing. Sometimes one just has to retrain the tastebuds. The Norganic mayonnaise is fine. It comes with a ?delicious honey and lemon flavour?. Dunno about that, but it tastes ok and is good with chicken. There?s also a fat reduced version. This is an Australian owned company, too. I find it in the health food section of Woollies.

My icecream maker is a Krupps I bought for $20 at a Salvos store. It has two parts - the motor/beater which clips onto the bowl and the bow, the walls of which are filled with some liquid. The bowl needs to be frozen for at least 24 hours before use. For best results, ingredients also need to be as cold as possible. I usually keep the bowl in the freezer most of the year (not at the moment, even I think winter is too cold for sorbet) and make up a batch of ingredients the night before I need it. A family favourite is a big tin of mango, a small tin of passion fruit pulp, a little sugar syrup (artificial sweetener also works but doesn?t taste as good), blended, chilled and then sorbeted. Fresh fruit is, of course, best, but not always available ? tinned stuff works fine. If you want to skip a step with the tinned stuff, buy the tins in syrup and you don?t need to make any sugar syrup at all.

The reason I bought a second machine (also at a Salvos and yet to be tested ? it?s a Sunbeam) is efficiency and quantity. The Krupps makes about 750ml at a time and takes about 30-40 minutes to be ready. I need to wash and refreeze the bowl between batches, so even doing one batch early in the morning and one late at night I can?t always keep up with the demand of a large extended family. My nieces and nephew live 15 houses away ? my place and my freezer are very popular on hot summer weekends. Aunty Taph?s sorbet is also in demand for sorbet cakes for the two kids who can?t have soy or dairy and sorbet cakes are usually at least 2 flavours and 2 cake moulds full. Also, when the fresh fruit is available, time is important ? just like with jam making.

In knitting news, one jumper is completely unpicked, unravelled, skeined and washed. Just needs to be wound into balls and it's ready for a new life as hats for the homeless. Three other garments are in various stages of unmaking and should be done by this time next week. I'd forgotten how slow this process is, but it's worth it to save the yarn from the landfill.


Margie said...

Mmmm sorbet.

Mmmmm jam.

happyspider said...

mmm sorbet.

eewww frogging.

see you on thursday? I'm wagging to try to regain some sanity... and le shawl is finis! also have a new magazine of droolworthiness :)

ferg said...

Thanks fo rthe update on the ice-cream machines. I might have known you would have rescued yours from a fate worse than death.
My sister has MS and a dietician advised her to go off veg oils onto nut and seed oils so we've all been on Nuttelex ever since and I must admit, now prefer it to the others. But you are right about butter. Only butter tastes like butter.
I'm dragging the chain on my knitting so have great admiration for your tireless efforts in recycling.
Cheers Gillian