Month: March 2021

Maple Cinnamon Rolls

I made an enriched bread (4c flour, 3/4c milk, 1/4c maple syrup, 1T yeast, 1 double-yolk egg, 1/4c butter, and 1t salt). Let it rise overnight, then rolled it out into a sheet about 1/4″ thick.

Then spread about 1/3c of softened butter across the entire thing.

Sprinkled 1T of cinnamon over it.

Then sprinkled 2/3c of maple sugar over it.

Then rolled it to form a log.

I pressed the seam to seal the log.

Then sliced rounds from the roll.

Each round is placed into an orange shell. They’re going to rise in the fridge overnight, and tomorrow we’ll cook them on the grill. 400F for about 15 minutes.

Maple Sugar

I made maple sugar for cinnamon rolls — pour a bunch of maple syrup (a pint, in this case) into a pot. Preferably a pot with high walls so the whole thing doesn’t bubble over in a hot, sticky mess. Over medium heat, boil for 15-20 minutes. It’ll foam up a lot, and all of a sudden it will crystalize on top. Pull it off the heat and stir to break up the hardened maple.

Temporary Hop Greenhouse

We’re in for a drastic temperature drop this week — 70 degrees one day, 27 the next night. We’ve covered our hops before; but, as the plants spread out, they get harder to cover.

This year, we built a quick (temporary) greenhouse over the entire hop bed. Rebar and longer metal poles are pounded into the ground at an angle, and the 1″ PVC that I had for the low tunnel greenhouse is mounted to the poles. A large sheet of greenhouse plastic covers the entire bed, and a lot of bricks are (hopefully) holding it all in place. This should keep our new hops from freezing.

55 Days of Grilling: March 28

Tonight, Scott grilled up some burgers. I didn’t mix cheddar cheese into the burgers this time, but they still ended up mushy. Not oily and mushy, but still not what I expect a burger to feel like. One thing I’ve read is that you shouldn’t add salt until the burgers are on the grill. Also seems that freezing the ground beef can produce mushy burgers. In both cases, the problem is water being drawn out of the meat. We’ll have to try with not-frozen beef to see if that makes a difference.

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

This is my mom’s mom’s pineapple upside-down cake recipe — translated from her normal unmeasured recipe and complete with what I’ve always assumed has been a smudge on the paper because cooking at 360 is really odd. It works fine at 350, although I’m sure 360 would work too.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can of pineapple rings
  • 2 additional tablespoons of butter
  • 1 generous cup of brown sugar (and by generous I mean go nuts)


Preheat oven to 360 degrees f. Drain pineapple.   Measure 2 cups of pre-sifted flour; sift again with baking powder. Cream butter; gradually add sugar and cream well. Separate eggs. Beat the yolks and blend into the creamed butter mixture. Add the flour and milk alternately into the creamed mixture. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks  form. Fold the egg whites and the vanilla into the batter. Melt the remaining butter in cast iron pan; spread the brown sugar over the molten butter. Lay in pineapple rings, and pour the batter over the fruit.   Bake for about 45 minutes.

Turn upside-down onto a serving dish before the sugar hardens and scrape out the pan.


55 Days of Grilling: March 27 — Apple Upside-down (Pan)Cake

We made apple upside-down pancake for breakfast using the buttermilk pancake mix I’d put together a few weeks ago:

2c flour
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
1/2t salt
2c buttermilk
1/4c maple syrup
1 egg
2T oil
1T vanilla

Anya sliced two apples into fairly thick rings. Scott melted about a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet. He added the apples, sprinkled cinnamon on both sides of the apples, browned them up in the butter, then added about a third of a cup of maple syrup (we want to add a lot more syrup next time — my mom’s mom’s pineapple upside down cake has a cup of sugar in the pan … so there’s a lot of increasing that could be done here).

He poured the pancake batter on top of the apples. Closed the lid of the grill and cooked it for about 15 minutes — until the edges solidified — around 450F. Thin slices of butter were added between the edge of the cake and the skillet, and the cake was cooked for another 5 minutes.

We then buttered a half-sheet tray and flipped the cake onto the tray. The cake was cooked for about five more minutes on the half-sheet. The cake was cooked well; but, to ensure both sides have a chance to caramelize, we might want to flip at fifteen minutes and cook for ten minutes on the other side.

Served with a drizzle of maple syrup — it was delicious.

This could easily be a dessert — especially with bit of ice cream (we’ve got a maple walnut ice cream that sounded superb). Needs more apple next time! Maybe apples cut in half so there’s substantial section of apple embedded in the cake.

GA SB 202

This particular component of GA SB 202 seems to beg for civil disobedience — first of all, are they really going to throw five hundred people into county jail for handing out water?! What if it’s medical professionals handing out water to prevent dehydration? It wasn’t a gift, it was a prescription for 250cc of water administered orally. Can you bring drinks for friends? The first time Obama ran, I stood on a long queue with friends. One friend ran over to Starbucks and picked up coffees and ice teas for us all. Would that be illegal under this law?

But, more importantly, the law precludes giving of gifts that include food and drink. Can you sell food and water for a penny? Can you barter with food and water? Trade that paperclip/pen/coupon (whatever detritus you’ve got in your pocket or purse/wallet) for a bottle of water?

55 Days of Grilling: March 26

Tonight, we’re grilling some pork ribs. I’ve got them in the pressure cooker right now, and we’ll coat them with sauce and crisp them up this evening. The ribs still had silverskin on, so I removed that. Then I mixed up a rub: 1/4 c maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.

The ribs were coated in this spice mix. I added a cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the pressure cooker. The ribs were curled into the pot and pressure cooked on high pressure for 25 minutes.

Served with garlic corn and mashed potatoes. Next time, we’re going to try cooking the ribs on the grill the entire time — basted occasionally with sauce. Pressure cooking first means the ribs are well cooked before we even started grilling them. And “fall off the bone” isn’t a good state if you’re trying to place it on the grill!

55 Days of Grilling: March 25

We made two stuffed crust pizzas the other night and only cooked one. We modified the second one and grilled it for lunch today. There was way too much dough around the edge of the pizza (and almost no crust in the center). First, I tried to massage some of the dough from the edge into the center. Then we un-rolled the crust. The cheese, sauce, and pepperoni were spread out over the bottom of the dish. The excess dough was pulled toward the center and topped with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni — essentially making a pizza on top of another pizza. Or a pizza-topped calzone. Some butter was placed between the crust and the cast iron pan. We grilled it for 15 minutes. Unlike the pizza from the 23rd, this was actually pretty good.