Three-Cheese Risotto

Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 cup chopped onions
* Salt and white pepper
* 6 cups chicken stock
* 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
* 1 pound Arborio rice
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
* 1/4 cup grated Romaino cheese
* 1/4 cup grated Asigo cheese
* 2 tablespoons chopped chives

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onions are slightly soft. Add the stock and garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the mixture is creamy and bubbly. Add the butter, cream, cheese and chives. Reseason with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Doughnuts

And I think that word should be spelled dough-nuts, not do-nuts. What’s a donut? A doughnut is a little bit of fried dough.

Anyways I tried this recipe:
Ingredients
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/2 cup milk (original recipe calls for 3/8)
* 2 tablespoons shortening
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I always use more vanilla than is stated in recipes. It’s so delicious)
* 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 quart oil for deep frying
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting (I tried both cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar, I found the former gave better results, but to each their own)

Directions
1. Stir the vinegar into the milk, and let stand for a few minutes until thick.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture alternating with the vinegar and milk. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/3 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a donut cutter. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry doughnuts in the hot oil until golden, turning over once. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar while they are still warm, and serve immediately.

And I made drop doughnuts. Or I got a spoon and just dropped lumps of the dough into the oil. The issue that I ran into was that the doughnuts weren’t cooking through. I’m not quite sure how to fix this, it’s possible that I needed to cook longer on lower heat, or maybe shorter on higher heat? My thought is the first, but I’m not sure. I suppose making the lumps of dough smaller would also work, but I’m trying to replicate these amazing ones that I used to get at summer camp. So experimenting will continue.

And an Exciting Week for Food

I have big plans to make homemade baked beans, and red beans and rice, and doughnuts/beignets. And by homemmade I mean starting with dried beans. I have to admit some of the motivation for the red beans and rice is that it’s cheap real food. If I get good at making it it’s definitely going to become a staple. The baked beans are for a team bbq party. And the doughnuts… does one really need a reason to make doughnuts? I’ll let you know how it goes.

Why Local Food is Worse for the Environment

My source for most of these figures: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es702969f

Only 10% or so of emissions come from transport, and only 4% come from “final transport” (which is what is used when determining if food is local).  A lot of the transit costs are incurred by moving say farm tools to the farm, and these costs are often incurred by local farmers to the same degree as remote farmers.  Then 83% of the costs (greenhouse gas costs) are related to actually growing the food.  So it’s beneficial to grow food further from the delivery point if doing so is more efficient (in a better than 7 to 1 ratio).  Or it’s worth spending a lot more on transit to save a little on growing costs.

Of course, all else being equal, it’s better to not spend any transit costs.   So the better question is likely not “how far did this food have to be transported to get to the store”, but rather “how suitable is the climate of the location where this food is being grown to agriculture of this sort”.