Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do Donut Peaches Sound Like a Good Idea?


The other day I found something new at my local market. Donut peaches. They look a little like radiation mutation peaches to me. I bought a few and when I got them home I was even more confused. One of them had a sticker that said Flying Saucer Peaches. A little online research leads me to believe they're the same thing.
The origins of the donut peach are in Asia, where flat peaches have been cultivated for centuries. In the mid-1800s, several varieties were exported to the United States, and Chinese flat peaches, as they were called, became popular for a brief time. The fruits fell out of fashion, however, and the flat peach was considered an essentially lost heirloom variety until the 1990s, when it began to enter widespread cultivation again. Source.

I didn't think they tasted any different from “normal” peaches. They were good but weird. You could easily eat one in three bites. I think I prefer taking my time with my usual peaches.  

I found this interesting video tutorial on painting donut peaches. In the beginning the artist gives you a bit of the mythology of the fruit.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Endgame Chess Party

image: Showcase


When I came across a chocolate chess set today I knew I had to write this post. My interest in chess has been rekindled by, believe it or not, a television show. Endgame was a “blink and you missed it” show about a Russian chess master, Arkady Balagan, who is unable to leave his Vancouver hotel room after witnessing the death of his fiance. To pay the bills he solves people's problems. Most of the time those problems involve a crime of some sort. Arkady uses the people around him to go out and get information. He then puts the pieces of the puzzle together.


I really liked the show. You can buy the 13 episodes on iTunes in Canada. I'm not sure about the rest of the world. If you live in Canada you can watch the show on the Showcase website.

There's hope that the show is not dead yet. Head over to Save Endgame.  They've got a petition going. They're also going to auction off some props/costumes from the show to The Canadian Mental Health Association. Pass it around. Support a good cause and maybe get yourself a unique piece of Canadian TV history.

And while you're waiting for the auction (or the second season of Endgame) you can bone up on your chess skills with your very own edible chess set. Maybe it will be winner eats all.



Chocolate Chess Pieces

image: Food Network



Ingredients:

24 ounces semisweet chocolate
24 ounces white chocolate

Directions:

Chop 24 ounces semisweet chocolate; microwave three-quarters of the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring until melted. Add the remaining chocolate; stir until smooth.
Fill 2 molds with the chocolate using a piping bag; scrape off the excess. Freeze 15 minutes, then pop out the pieces. Glue the halves together with melted chocolate.
Repeat with 24 ounces white chocolate, microwaving at 20-second intervals. Repeat as necessary until the set is complete. Wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to play.



Chess Board




Ingredients:

24 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate*
24 ounces white chocolate

Directions:

Chop 12 ounces semisweet chocolate; microwave three-quarters of the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring until melted. Add the remaining chocolate; stir until smooth.
Fill every second square of the mold with the chocolate using a piping bag; scrape off the excess.
Repeat with 12 ounces of white chocolate.
Freeze 15 minutes, then pop out the squares. Repeat three times (for a total of four - or you could buy four molds and do it all at once.) Glue the sides together with melted chocolate.

Wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to play.

*dark chocolate will look better but semisweet might taste better.

You can buy the molds for this project at Confectionery House. You'll need two chess piece molds and one to four chess board molds.

This recipe was expanded from one on the Food Network website.

Friday, July 15, 2011