Tuesday, January 31, 2012

hot and cold

I don't mind the heat but I need it to be somewhat cool overnight (lower than 20C) to be able to sleep. By the time Monday came I was exhausted from 3 nights with very little, not very good sleep. I was very excited to see that the forecast for today was that it wasn't even going to get to 20C during the day (and that it was only going to be like that for 1 day). I took Wombat for an extra long walk in the wind and rain then huddled inside most of the rest of the day letting the wind cool down our still pretty warm house. I'm cold now. I'm ready for the heat again. It's supposed to go down to 13C overnight tonight (that seems really cold to me) but then be in the mid-20s tomorrow. One cold day is just enough for me.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012


A couple weeks ago I decided to try to make some homemade tempeh. I was able to get a free sample of tempeh starter from here. The website also has instructions on how to make tempeh. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures until the very end so I don't have any of the process.
My plan was to make the tempeh when we were having a couple of hot days since it needs to incubate around 30C for 36-48 hours. I ended up doing it during the coldest couple days/nights of the week. First I soaked the beans for about 18 hours. Dehulling the beans was the most time consuming part since we don't have a grain mill so I did it by hand by rubbing the beans between my hands after they'd been soaking for a while and then removing the hulls when they floated to the top of the bowl.
After the soy beans had been mostly dehulled I cooked them in water with a bit of vinegar for 30 minutes, drained them and let them cool and dry for a bit before mixing in the tempeh starter. While the beans where cooling I took 3 zip lock sandwich size bags and poked lots and lots of little holes in the bag with a nail to allow the soy beans to breath while incubating. I filled each of the bags with about 1/3 of the soy beans and set up an incubator in our esky using a hot water bottle. I have no idea if it was at the right temperature and it definitely wasn't a constant temperature but it seemed to work. My best looking block of tempeh (the one pictured) looks a lot like the store bought ones because I had it sitting on a cooling rack over the hot water bottle (there wasn't enough room for all 3 on the bottom of the esky with the hot water bottle). I was a little concerned about the black bits but apparently that's normal (has to do with the air flow and heat levels). I fried a little bit up right after incubating it (I incubated mine 48 hours, I probably could have gone a couple hours or so more) and it tasted great. Zac made a stir fry with some of it the next night and it was sooooo good. What was left of it I sliced up and froze today (I sliced it so it would be easy to get just a bit of it if I want-- I hate trying to use just part of a frozen store bought tempeh block, it's so hard to cut). I'm impressed with my results in making tempeh but it was time consuming (mostly just trying to dehull the soy beans) and had to be well planned out so I was home when steps needed to be done.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coco Loco

Kleopatra's Brew with Kashew Milk, iced. So amazing!
We used to go to Coco Loco (High St, Northcote) fairly often but for some reason we haven't been in ages (we just haven't gone to High St. much at all). We were up there today and Coco Loco was open so we decided to stop by because Khaled makes the best chocolate drinks ever (and a lot of his stuff is vegan). The one I got was an orange flavoured chocolate drink. I got it as an iced chocolate today. So rich and chocolatey and so good! Zac got a lemon myrtle chocolate drink. Both of us had our drinks made with his homemade cashew milk. We need to go back again soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

attempting tempeh

I bought a bag of dried soybeans yesterday. While I was looking up information on how to cook soybeans properly I came across information on homemade tempeh so I'm going to attempt making that. I'm ordering a free sample of tempeh starter from Top Cultures (a Belgium based company). It doesn't seem to difficult to make so I'm hoping it turns out well because I do really like tempeh, I just don't buy it very often. I'll write about my tempeh making experience after I complete it. Has anyone else had any experience making tempeh?