New Video: Braised Beef & Roasted Parsnips

Tasty dinner! Tip your waitress!

This is a rather simple meal featuring boned and rolled beef ribs that have a two-part roasting session. A total roasting time of 85 minutes and the meat is tender and cooked to perfection! The parsnips, a little under done for my taste, start off on the boil, then get roasted in the oven, as well. Very delicious and very satisfying.

Long Day, but Good Day

Today started with a never-ending car alarm going off from about 7:00am til I finally gave up around 9am. Ken had already gone to lie down in the bath when I got up and had the brilliant idea of making a Porter Cake for breakfast.

A Porter Cake is similar to a fruit cake, but uses beer instead of brandy. Then I discovered I didn’t have enough butter. So I made 3/4c of butter, which I then used for the cake…and then we made another 3 1/4 c of butter and a quart of buttermilk.

The cake took a bit longer to bake…and I thought it was because our over was off. I set up a herbal infusion in my mini crock, made a shopping list, then went out for our errand run. Once we got home (after about 3 hours of errands), we did some maintenance planting, I made some lemon curd in my Instant Pot, then we got started on veggies for dinner and dressing the chicken.

One of the things we purchased was an over thermometer. Turns out our oven is about 75°F cooler than what it says it is. Yikes. The chicken & root veggies cake out well. The lemon curd tastes amazing, and we have a bunch of butter!

Here are some photos from today:

Butter, buttermilk, & the Porter Cake
Roasted chicken with homemade herb butter, carrots, rutabagas, & turnips.

Tomorrow I have plans for videos. I’m thinking of actually showing you how to make the spaghetti omelette and definitely planning a video on how to make baked Scotch eggs. I think you’ll enjoy them. Until next time, blessed be!

New Video: Mini Beef Wellingtons

Well, THAT didn’t go according to plan….

In this video, I work through a recipe for mini beef wellingtons. Sadly, the from-scratch gluten-free puff pastry did not hold together in the oven. That’s okay! Not every meal is perfectly beautiful! Nor should there ever be pressure for it to be so! Life is messy and if we can accept that, it becomes so much easier to roll with things!

This recipe uses the Duxelles we made previously. Duxelles is also amazing on a grilled cheese sandwich. Or on a white pizza. There are so many uses for them! Enjoy and don’t stress the details!

New Video: Imbolc 2020

Meet Midnite, my panther-esque chonky floof.

In the newest video, we talk about Imbolc and then make a mess in the kitchen making butter and Irish soda bread! It’s a longer video, but please watch til the end! It’ll be entertaining and you can start learning my “tells” for when I’m tired, stressed, or just seriously out of my depth! Plus, you get to hear and catch a glimpse of my all-black kitty, Midnite. I call him my Chonk. ❤

No Potatoes?! What Do I Do!?

From September of 1845 til sometime in 1849, Ireland was plagued by a blight that wiped out the potato crop–the crop that sustained many Irishmen of the time. The potato was introduced to the island nation in 1589 by Sir Walter Raleigh; Europe would take another 40 years for full propagation of the potato.

The potato itself is native to South America (New World food). They’re pretty well-known for their ability to sustain a person for a good while and provide some nutritional benefits. It is important to remember, however, that potatoes are very starchy and, therefore, very full of carbs. According to Healthline.com, the carb content is anywhere from 66-90% of a potato’s dry weight. A 2/3 c. serving of boiled potatoes, with skins, provides 87 calories, 20g of carbs, and 0.9g of sugar! But, that’s obviously why they’re so tasty, right? Because of the carbs!

I suppose. I’ve never been a huge fan of potatoes, personally. I like French Fries and Potato Chips on occasions, but generally speaking, I prefer almost anything else to potatoes. My go-to’s are Turnips and Rutabagas.

Turnips have been consumed by hominids for literal millennia. They pack a pretty good nutritional punch, as well, clocking in at 28 calories, 6g carbs, and 4g sugar for a 3.5 oz serving. Turnips can also be made into fries, turnip chips, and mashed turnips. Season to your taste and you have some great, nutritional snacks!

Rutabagas have a very mysterious history. The earliest reference to the root vegetable is from Swiss botanist Gapard Bauhin in 1620. It was not grown in the United States, however, until the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They do have a higher sugar content than turnips or cauliflower, however, they’re still half the calories of potatoes–even sweet potatoes whose sugar content is very high! For a 3.5 oz serving of rutabaga, you’re getting 36 calories, 8g carbs, and 6 grams sugar.

The actual problem with potatoes is they are part of the nightshade family. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne has a fantastic article on what nightshades are and how they can affect certain kinds of bodies.

To summarize her article, Nightshades are a family of plants more technically called Solanaceae. There’s over 2,000 plant species in the nightshade family and yes, that does include Deadly Nightshade, which is obviously inedible. Many nightshades are inedible, in fact. Here is a brief list of some nightshades you may encounter daily:

  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Hot peppers (chili peppers, red pepper, cayenne, super hot peppers)
  • Potatoes
  • Tobacco

Nightshades are insidious! Like gluten-based allergies, people who have sensitivities to nightshades may not have a constant sensitivity to nightshades. For example, I find that I am able to use paprika, but if I eat too much salsa or use too much hot sauce, I have issues. It makes me sad because I love ghost pepper sauces!

So, what is it about nightshades that can be bad? It’s a chemical compound family called Glycoalkaloids. Some are potentially toxic (I’m looking at you, bittersweet nightshade!), and all of them are toxic with overexposure. Someone who is sensitive to glycoalkaloids will have a reaction much sooner than someone who is not. Dr. Ballantyne goes into glycoalkaloids in detail here.

Again, diet is highly personal. A person who has sensitivies knows what they can and cannot eat–and when something they can normally eat is okay and when it isn’t. There are plenty of spices that aren’t based in chili peppers and paprika that are amazingly tasty (see my post about Roman Meatloaf for an example)!

So, to recap: Potatoes aren’t bad, per se, but there are other healthier and tastier options available! And, bonus, those aren’t nightshades!!

New Video: Poached Pears

Greetings! I have a new video that just went up today! It’s about how to make some poached pears to go with your frumenty (leftover or fresh). You can find it here:

Also, I do a stupid thing and nearly cut myself.

If you like my videos and I’ve earned your like, please take a moment to hit the Thumbs Up button. If you didn’t like it, go ahead and hit Dislike! Either way, please leave me a comment about what you liked, what you didn’t like, what you’d like to see in future videos, etc! If you really want to support me and have a direct line of communication/influence future videos, support me on Patreon ($2/mo. gets you access to my Discord channel) and come hang out!

There will be another new video coming out on Thursday, so stay tuned!!

Spaghetti Omelette, Revisited

Previously, I’d made a Spaghetti Omelette, as it appeared in Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking cookbook (a wonderful, Vegetarian cookbook). It was a good dish and relatively easy to make. But, it was rather… bland. I was a sad panda.

So I decided to try it again and add some Medieval spice to it, specifically Poudre Forte.

Poudre Forte is a savory blend of spices, featuring ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and grains of paradise. Admittedly, I have not fully stocked my spices and do not currently have grains of paradise. So I used freshly ground black pepper and ground cardamom, in equal portions, in my spice mix.

Poudre Forte should not be confused with its sweeter cousin, Poudre Douce. Poudre Douce has similar spices, except instead of grains of paradise, you use sugar. Not quite what I want for an egg and pasta dish!

To get it started, I boiled roughly 2 cups (dry) of a blend of gluten free fettuccini (Barilla) and spaghetti (Signature Select). It is important to note that you need to pay attention to gluten free pasta because it gets lonely and likes to clump together. I salted the water to get it to a boil, broke my pasta into the water, then gave a generous douse of olive oil. Once it returned to a boil, I used a wooden spork to stir it and keep it from clumping.

While the pasta cooked, I beat 2 eggs in my mixing bowl and added 2tsp of the Poudre Forte.

Once the pasta was finished cooking, I drained it and stirred it into the eggs and spices.

Next is the fun part!

You’ll want a fairly large skillet. Melt 2T of butter over medium heat. Once it’s all sizzly, pour your spaghetti and egg mixture into it and spread it evenly across the bottom of the skillet. Leave it be for 1 minute. After a minute, add half a cup of the shredded hard cheese of your choice (I like extra sharp cheddar). In the appropriate words of The Beatles, “Let it be! Let it be!” for 1-2 minutes.

Once time is up, fold it in half and serve hot. This recipe serves 2-4, depending on appetite and whatever else you serve with it.

Recipe

  • 2c dry spaghetti (or 4c cooked/leftover)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tsp Poudre Forte
  • 2T butter
  • 1/2c grated hard cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the pasta per package instructions. Beat two eggs in a mixing bowl; add salt & pepper to taste, then add 2tsp. Poudre Forte. Drain pasta and add to egg mixture. Melt 2T butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Pour the mixture into the skillet and spread evenly over the bottom. Let cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 of cheese and cook 1-2 minutes more. Fold in half and serve hot.

Serves 2.

Live & Learn, then Make Meatloaf!

I did a LiveStream last night, via Facebook.  It seemed to go well, however, it would appear I need some equipment–like a tripod, a livelier, better lighting.  The lighting I can deal with, for now.  Tripod would be nice so I don’t have to rope Ken into doing all my videoing by literal hand.  The livelier, though, that is going to be a must before I do the first video.  Hopefully, I can order one next week after pay-day.

I also learned that any videos that LiveStream in landscape, will archive 180* turned.  It’s annoying, but it is what is.  I will know for future LiveStreaming to do it vertically.

Anyway!  Last night I made a 5th Century, C.E. Roman meatloaf.  It was 2lbs of ground meat (I used 80/20), 5 eggs, dried parsley, oregano, & black pepper; with a mushroom gravy made with 2c. beef broth, 8oz sliced mushrooms, and the same spices.  It took much longer than 60 minutes for it to cook through, perhaps because I used a glass dish instead of a metal one.  The original recipe can be found here and note, there is a Vegan version of this as well!

Roman meatloaf with Gravy, Saged Rutabaga, & GF Yorkshire Pudding

For the side dishes, I reheated the saged rutabaga from the other night, and we had the remaining two gluten free Yorkshire puddings.  Those were good, but I want to work on my flour blend before I post a recipe or do a video for them.

Welcome!

Welcome to Kitchen Witchery & Other Spells! The purpose of this blog, vlog, and Patreon is to share with you foods that were available in a pre-Columbian diet…and then make them gluten-free!

A little about myself. I have been diagnosed with celiacs, lupus, and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Eating, sometimes, is a chore–especially when I eat something that doesn’t agree with me! Over the past five years, I have developed intolerances to things I love–like whiskey! I decided to try an elimination diet, but I’m really bad at keeping track of macros. Since I also play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), I decided to see if I could “Live like a Medieval” for a month. That, of course, becomes a challenge with, “Medieval…Noble? Lower Class? Middle Class? Medieval whom!?” After a brief discussion, it was decided that it would be a Pre-Columbian Exchange Diet. If it was available before 1500 C.E., it’s fair game.

This still opens up a number of opportunities for gluten-free cooking! I will, eventually, try some of the ancient grains that may not be gluten-free to see if I react; however, for the most part, the first 3-6 months of this experiment will contain only gluten-free breads, pastries, and thickeners.

Come along with me for this ride! Some of my posts will be available to everyone (this one will also be on my regular blog); some will be available early for certain tiers, and some will only be available for high tiers.

What you can expect…Each post will be about some aspect of gluten-free cooking with pre-Columbian recipes. Most posts will have recipes attached. Higher-tier posts, however, will have Patreon-only content that will branch into folk medicine and provide information and recipes for in-home use when you can’t get to a doctor.

CaveatsI am in the throwes of a dissertation in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I have submitted my proposal for review. My goal is to make one blog post per week and two videos per month. There may be a month where I only get one video out, and that’s okay. That’s how you know my dissertation (on the use of Dungeons & Dragons for leadership development) is going well! I hope to graduate by October of 2020. Because I’m a nerd and that just is perfect in every way. By subscribing to my YouTube channel, my blog, and supporting me through Patreon, you will be contributing to a Critical Success!

Side NotesIf you play in the SCA, I’m known in the Kingdom of Caid (and elsewhere, but Caid is my home) as Lady Batu Sechen Tsagaajin. I just recently received a Harp Argent for my sciences in alchemy and apothecary. Please come find me at the next Caid event you’re at and I’ll be happy to talk with you about the science of medicine and perfumery!

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