All posts in the food category

caramelized turnips (vegan)

Published January 13, 2018 by lisaolisa
chopped turnips


Verdict: This way way too much work for too little flavor. I would need to love turnips a lot more to enjoy this again. The recipe needs a little oomph adjustment — more than the prominent flavor of bouillon — which I might end up trying if I can’t find another use for the surplus veg I ended up with because the turnips I bought were ginormous.



  1. Place the turnips into a skillet with the water and bouillon cube over medium heat and simmer until the water has evaporated and the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the shortening, let melt, and sprinkle on the sugar.
  2. Gently cook and stir the turnips until the shortening and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.



apple pie – grandma ople’s (lacto-ovo-vegetarian)

Published January 13, 2018 by lisaolisa
Mounded apple pie filling in tinned crust

Pie filling in thawed frozen pie crust. So far, so good.

Sorry, Ople (what’s with that spelling, I wonder), I will never make this pie again. One review was: “Well, the apples are appley and the crust is crusty.” Hardly high praise. Me, I thought it tasted like butter and only like butter. Way too much butter. The stores don’t sell frozen rolled pie dough, which baffles me, so I used a ready-made crust in a tin pan, which is pretty gross, and didn’t use a top crust, because have you ever tried to work with a crust removed from a pan and rolled and poorly affixed in an attempt to make a top crust from a formed bottom? Don’t. Not using a top crust means some of the moisture cooks away. Adding to the moisture problem, I learned too late that the freezer bag I kept the apples in had a hole in it, so as they thawed most of the apples’ juices dripped out of the bag onto the bottom of the refrigerator rather than staying in the bag where they belonged. (Note to self: Clean that mess up right away, because if you wait, the juice dries out and turns to syrup, making it much harder to clean.) Cooking with our oven means the apples came out slightly burnt, because our oven has a terrible sense of humor and in this case cooked an item thoroughly in the allotted time, thereby foiling our standard addition to compensate for how it undercooks everything every other time. I hate our oven.


  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Ugly topless pie after baking.


neeps and tatties (lacto-vegetarian)

Published January 13, 2018 by lisaolisa
pan of chunked neeps and tatties


The traditional accompaniment for haggis — hopefully vegetarian haggis, which we’re having tomorrow for a Sunday roast. Why does this recipe say to make it a day in advance? I have no earthly idea. It certainly isn’t to let the spices set, because there are none. I’m a slave to following recipes religiously the first time around, so I’ll do it. I won’t like not knowing why, but I’ll do it. This marks the first time I purchased or knowingly ate rutabaga. This recipe can easily be made vegan by using non-dairy shortening, which I’ll do next time if I’m not totally put off by the rutabaga experience. I’m nervous.


  • 8 large baking potatoes, unpeeled, washed, and cut into 2 cm x 4 cm (0.787402 inch x 1.5748 inch)  chunks
  • 6 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 swede (rutebega) weighing about 675 g (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 50 g butter
  • more butter for serving


  1. The day before you want to serve, preheat the oven to convection 200° C/conventional 220° C/gas 7 (392° Fahrenheit). Put the potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, boil for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes, put them back in the pan, and place the pan back on the heat for a couple of minutes to dry out.
  2. Pour the oil into a large roasting pan (you may have to use two) and heat it in the oven until smoking hot. Stir the potatoes into the hot oil and return to the oven to roast, turning occasionally, for 55 minutes.
  3. Cook the swede in boiling salted water for 50–55 minutes or until very soft. Drain and add to the roasted potatoes. Roughly mash everything together, keeping quite chunky, then cool, cover, and refrigerate.
  4. To serve, preheat the oven to convection 180° C/conventional 200° C/gas 6 (428° Fahrenheit). Uncover the potatoes and swede, dot with the butter, and return to reheat for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until piping hot. Serve with lots of butter.


oven temperature conversions

Published January 13, 2018 by lisaolisa

In the land of Fahrenheit, do we know what it means when a vintage cookbook says “hot oven” or the BBC says “gas mark 6?” I sure didn’t. Here’s a chart that converts oven temperatures from Celsius, Fahrenheit, and gas mark. (Bolded gas mark numbers are the most well-accepted matches.)

Conversion table
Gas mark Fahrenheit Celsius Descriptive
n/a 150° 66° Drying
n/a 158° 70° Drying
n/a 175° 79° Drying
n/a 176° 80° Drying
n/a 194° 90° Drying
1/4 200° 93° Very Slow/Very Low
1/4 212° 100° Very Slow/Very Low
1/4 225° 107° Very Slow/Very Low
1/4 230° 110° Very Slow/Very Low
1/2 248° 120° Very Slow/Very Low
1/2 250° 121° Very Slow/Very Low
1/2 266° 130° Very Slow/Very Low
1 275° 135° Slow/Low
1 284° 140° Slow/Low
2 300° 149° Slow/Low
2 302° 150° Slow/Low
3 320° 160° Moderately Slow/Warm
3 325° 163° Moderately Slow/Warm
3 338° 170° Moderately Slow/Warm
4 350° 177° Moderate/Medium
4 356° 180° Moderate/Medium
5 374° 190° Moderate/Moderately Hot
5 375° 191° Moderate/Moderately Hot
6 392° 200° Moderately Hot
6 400° 204° Moderately Hot
7 425° 218° Hot
7 428° 220° Hot
8 446° 230° Hot/Very Hot
8 450° 232° Hot/Very Hot
9 464° 240° Very Hot
9 475° 246° Very Hot
9 482° 250° Very Hot
10 500° 260° Extremely Hot
n/a 518° 270° Extremely Hot
n/a 525° 274° Extremely Hot

Different manufacturers and oven types vary, particularly for fractional gas marks. Ovens are often inaccurate by 14° C (25° F) or more — much more in our house with our broke-ass oven that hasn’t worked right since we got it.


pumpkin pancakes (lacto-ovo-vegetarian)

Published January 1, 2018 by lisaolisa
Pumpkin pancakes

This looks way prettier than what we ended up with, which I forgot to document, as usual. (c) All Recipes

These are very filling and tasty, not too sweet. The first time I cooked these, I didn’t get the browning right and the centers of these tall and dense cakes didn’t cook thoroughly. Next time, I’ll heat the griddle a little more and smoosh down the cakes so they aren’t as tall or add water to thin the batter or all of the above.

We ended up with a lot of leftover pumpkin, which I dumped in a zip bag, labeled, and put in the freezer completely flat so it’s easier to file when it freezes. How adult of me. This is something I always plan to do with leftovers but rarely do. My biggest problem is the labeling. For some reason, I always think I’ll recognize what something is or remember when I put it in the freezer. Dumb.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (we used almond milk)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar


  1. In two separate bowls, combine the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together.
  2. Combine both mixtures, stirring just enough to combine.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour out or scoop the batter by 1/4-cup portions and cook. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


oatmeal raisin quick bread (lacto-vegetarian)

Published December 3, 2017 by lisaolisa

This recipe is from my mother’s much used Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, c. 1955. Image from listing.

This is not too sweet and is dense enough to be used as a weapon against home intruders. The recipe says to serve warm; we serve from the fridge for breakfast, using a very sharp knife and putting an arm into it.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1  1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons  melted shortening (I use margarine)


  1. Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, soda, and salt; sift again. Add rolled oats and raisins; mix well.
  2. Combine milk, brown sugar, molasses and melted shortening, slightly cooled.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.
  4. Turn into a greased loaf pan (8×8 by 2 inches) and bake in a hot oven (425 degrees F) about 40 minutes.
  5. Cut into squares and serve hot.

Source: My mother’s Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, c. 1955

buckwheat pancakes (lacto-ovo vegetarian)

Published November 26, 2017 by lisaolisa

For my first first attempt, I followed the original recipe. It was way too much cloves, so I swapped in pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices. Instead of buttermilk, which I never have in the house, I use sour milk. If pure buckwheat flour packs too much buckwheat punch, use half buckwheat flour and half all-purpose flour.

Yield: 4 servings.


  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the egg, milk, and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Preheat over medium heat a nonstick griddle or pan coated with cooking spray, oil, butter, or margarine. I tend to use a light smearing of grapeseed oil. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle/pan; turn when bubbles on top begin to pop. (I use a lower heat setting, otherwise I burn them, so I turn when the bubbles form, the sides are beginning to cook, and the cooking side is golden brown.) Cook until the second side is golden brown.
    Yield: 4 servings.


Adapted from