Bread ratios

  • 430 grams flour
  • 1 gram yeast
  • 8 grams salt
  • 345 grams water

Preheat oven and pot 450 degrees F

Bake 30+ minutes

You don't want it!

Pokez has an combo on their menu named "13. You don't want it!"  I asked the waiter what it was, and he said, "you have to order it to find out!"  I pictured it being a $8.25 plate of bones, horse hooves, and misshapen pieces of plastic.  So I didn't order it.

Extracting vanilla

An attempt at extracting vanilla from a vanilla bean with vodka. The initial pre-split state of the vanilla bean:

Notes from Cook's Illustrated issue number ninety-seven

Notes from Cook's Illustrated issue #97 (March and April 2009):

Banana Bread Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


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I just spent some time searching for a reasonable replacement or substitute for cardamom. I'm trying to find the spices needed to make masala chai, and in a quick survey of several recipes, all of them call for cardamom. By chance, I happened upon the fact that black cardamom is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. I found the name of black cardamom in Chinese (草果, cǎo guǒ) and discovered that I can buy it pretty much anywhere (including back home in Zhongdian) for local, non-import prices.


The city of Kunming appears to have discovered Pink's "Get the Party Started." I'm completely in favor of other people being infected by catchy songs that previously in my life have been stuck in my head on infinite repeat.

Lazy Instant Pancake Mix

This seems to work (measured by volume):


  • 80 parts flour (100 by weight)
  • 20 parts milk powder (25 by weight)
  • 4 parts sugar (8 by weight)
  • 1-2 parts baking powder (2 by weight)
  • 1 part salt (2 by weight)


  • Water

Mix dry together and store. When ready to use, mix with water to make thick batter.

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English Muffin Recipe

Averaged from several recipes I found online


  • 339ml milk (real or from powder (use more powder than recommended))
  • 10ml sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast (10ml?)
  • 36ml butter/shortening
  • 5ml salt
  • (does an egg help? seems to work okay without)


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Cornbread Recipe

Averaged cornbread recipe, given a lack of shortening and buttermilk

Preheat oven containing pan/skillet to 425°F (218°C).


  • at least 1C corn meal and enough flour to make 2C (473ml) total
  • 3/4 tsp salt (3.7ml)
  • 6tsp sugar (30ml) (range was 0--16tsp)
  • 3.5tsp baking powder (17ml)


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