Tag Archives: cooking

Food for Nerds

The cover of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: the Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook

It should be no surprise to anyone who has read my posts that I am a nerd and proud of it! I mean, my very first post was about science, math and humour. A 100+ hour video game made my best-of-2022 list. And I’m a Librarian who loves reading books about Libraries, so how’s that for a niche interest? Something only those who have read my bio will know, though, is that I’m a baker1. Combining these passions led to scouring the catalogue for nerdy cookbooks to share with our readers, which I found way more of than I anticipated. We’ve got cookbooks for Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, Outlander, and even Alice in Wonderland. And those are just single-media cookbooks. Read on past the break to see a plethora of options that are sure to hit something you’re passionate about and give you ideas for a delicious, nerdy night in. Also, there might be some pictures of my attempt at one of the dishes.

Continue reading

Is a Pizza a Pie?

Book Cover of The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani

What’s the difference between a pie, a tart, a crumble, a galette, and a pizza (but which type of pizza are we talking about? Do things change if we talk about deep dish pizzas? How far can we stretch the term “pizza“?), and what’s the deal with pizza pies? What about pizza pops, which kind of really vaguely resemble pop tarts, if only because they both share a pop (though they both have doughy exteriors encompassing a filling), and are pop tarts even tarts? Actually scratch that, pizza pops would probably more accurately be filed under panzerroti… or would they be empanadas? But perhaps even more befuddlingly, down the rabbit hole of is a hot dog a sandwich and the day that still makes me shake my head with disappointment at what the world has come to when a coworker sent me the cube rule*: is a pop tart actually a ravioli?? (As you can imagine, the official Pop-Tarts U.S. Twitter account has had many a field day with this**.)

Are you prepared to find out who your true family and friends are? I apologize in advance if this post loses us any readers, and if you realize that your loved ones weren’t who you thought they were. Now without further ado, in celebration of Pi(e) Day, let’s get into whether a pizza is a pie, shall we?

Continue reading

Confessions of a Canning Newbie

homemade strawberry jam
my homemade strawberry jam

I’ve always liked to cook and bake, but one thing I’ve never done until the last couple of weeks is canning, the practice of preserving foods like jams or pickles in heat-treated airtight cans or jars. Confession #1 is that I’ve always found the idea a bit intimidating! Despite many years working in biology labs and confidently maintaining sterile solutions to prevent contamination of cultured cells, I think there was still part of me that worried about getting the food safety aspect of canning right. But I’ve finally taken my first baby steps into the world of canning and it really wasn’t as complicated as I thought it might be! While there are certainly some key steps to doing it safely, it isn’t difficult, at least for simple things like jam. So today I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned about jam-making and canning from books we have in our collection and some reading online.

Last summer, I came across sour cherries at one of the small, fancier grocery stores in the area. Whenever I see fruits I haven’t had before — plumcots! sugar-apples! Manzano bananas! — I’m always curious to give them a try and that was the first time I’d seen sour cherries for sale. Sour cherries, also known as tart cherries, are a bit too sour for most people to want to eat raw, but they are great for making jams and baked goods. They also tend to have a very short season, typically only a few weeks in July here in Ontario, so if you see them, act fast!

Continue reading