November 28, 2008

Baking for the first time- Mandarin Bars

Okay. So part of this whole adventure is working with the fresh fruits and veggies around me and working within the parameters that are simply parts of living in this area in Mexico as well as the limited amount that we have rebuilt our household with. So when I decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to bake something, the follow through was not thought through. SO yesterday was Thanksgiving in the USA. And I did not really notice or miss it (probably because it is 85 degrees and sunny- it does not seem like late November to me.) Anyway. The day before and the day of I started to get a lot of emails about Happy Thanksgiving and what everyone was doing with their families. And then I really started to miss it. For several of the past many years I have cooked the vast majority of the food for Thanksgiving. SO it was very strange not to cook this year. So I set off to try to find the things that I would need to bake lemon bars and pecan squares.

Well, okay, no brown sugar- just standard (sort of brown) and super refined (white) But the brown sugar is more like sugar cane or sugar in the raw then the brown sugar I am used to. Then there was no powdered sugar, no baking soda, oh yeah... and no lemons.

So here is what I came with.
First I had to "powder" the sugar myself by putting it in my little food chopper. - That did not work that well. Then I had to sub mandarins for lemons. When it came time to zest the lemon... I realized... I do not have a zester. Luckily I have a lot of time and a serrated steak knife. To say the least, that took a while.

When it came time to make the dough for the bottom, I started by using my little chopper in place of an electric mixer. That might have worked if my mixer could hold more then 4 cups. So I just mixed it with my hands. They say that you can really put your emotions into food and I guess it makes sense that you have to get your hands on it.

At the end, I still did not have powdered sugar so I caramelized a little sugar to put on top--- well that was just a bit burnt so I will not do that again.

After the whole adventure there was no way that I was about to make the pecan squares. I still had to clean the kitchen. This is not an area that you can leave any thing sugary out and about. Oh, I forgot, I do not have my baking dishes here so I baked this in an omelet pan. Hehehe. We use what we have.

1 comment:

DHarmonizer said...

I see it's been some time since you posted here; hope that doesn't mean that your hands are really bad right now! I'm just curious, you keep mentioning calabasa, which I thought was a melon, in your list of veggies when you write up the ingredients used. Is it something else there in Mexico?



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