Saffron

Just a fun FYI – Saffron is from the stamen of the Crocus plant.  It has always been the most expensive spice in the world by weight.  In Greek times up through medieval times, it was sprinkled on the floor of theatres and meeting halls to help make people seem less stinky!!!

Flour Power – What’s In YOUR Kitchen?

There are 3 main types of wheat flour: Bread, All-Purpose, and Cake. As with much in cooking, PROTEIN is the name of the game:

BREAD Flour contains the highest amount of protein in the form of gluten, which allows for “working” the dough to build networks of elasticity to form what we bakers call a good “crumb”.

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR is a mixture of wheats that are both high and low in protein, making it more versatile for different types of cooking – both savory and sweet, as well as some baking.

CAKE Flour is the lowest in protein, and is always chemically bleached to allow it to support the higher fat and sugar content, and lower protein means more tender, delicate texture.

At Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering
http://www.lulasforlunch.com we usually have more BREAD flour on hand than anything else because we LOVE to bake bread!! We also always have on hand Rye, Corn, Pumpernickel, Rice, & a number of whole grains to incorporate into our breads like Flax Seed, etc, to make them yummy AND healthy!!

But I Digress

So what does getting a pedicure have to do with food?  Well…let me tell ya’…

I thought I was quite the pedicure afficionado.  I’m no stranger to being scrubbed, buffed, oiled, massaged, and painted.  I’m also no stranger to dreaming about the perfect pedicure and dreaming about the next time my aching, overused feet (stood in a kitchen much?) can be pampered.  I have experienced everything from a chair “nether regions” massage (when I say chair, I mean the chair’s doing it, not the pedicurist), to a scalp and neck massage to go along with the foot lovin’.    I’m aware of the strangest of pedicures, where tiny carnivorous fish swim around in your foot tub nibbling all of the dead skin off.  (It’s TRUE!)  But never, have I experienced a CHEESE GRATER or FRESH FRUIT at a salon.  Used on your feet, that is.

For those of us who are no stranger to the Pedi-Egg, one can actually fathom say, a microplane, to scrape your callouses (the holes are very similar in size to the egg).  But when my delightful Nancy whipped out a full sized CHEESE GRATER and began going to town on my lower extremeties, I had to laugh.  A REAL kitchen tool. 

The ablutions continued while I relaxed in my massage chair…Nancy gets to the calf and foot massage, and my eyes are closed and I’m drifting off…when suddenly I feel an unusual gelatinous substance cooling my legs, and begin smelling a sharp familiar sweet odor…..my eyes fly open and I say “what’s IN that?!?” to which she blithely replies, after smelling it, “Mango…we never know what we’re gonna get…sometimes they crush up raspberries, or kiwi, or whatever” …then she giggles and says “sometimes, they just dump some stuff on top of the old and it all gets mixed up and we call it  fruit PUNCH!!!!”