Re: Narrative Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Narrative Technical Writing
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 08:03:41 -0800 (PST)

Here's a totally (way totally) narrative recipe. Have fun...

Hippie Kitchen: A Measurefree Vegetarian Cookbook
by Jean Johnson
196 pages, 40 recipes, 83 recipe notations, 59 color photos, index, four-color interior -- $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-9815271-1-6
Publication date: October 2009

BLUE CORN WAFFLES
Recipe Note
Whisk an egg, milk, shot of oil, and polite slug of vinegar together. Stir in blue corn flour leavened with soda and seasoned with salt and red chili flakes. Bake in an oiled waffle iron.

Details
Vinegar fizzes with the soda to lighten these waffles, and the red chile gives them serious la-la. Make your batter thick enough to spoon into the waffle iron since it's mainly batters that are too thin that tend to stick.

If you aren't into making waffles, do feel free to turn these into pancakes or cornbread. They're all family. Or you can make blue corn flour crepes. I tries these too, and they smelled like the Southwest after a thunderstorm.

On Avoiding Sticky Wicket Waffles
I've dug my share of failed waffles out of the little square indentations. That was back when I didn't oil the iron nicely with a pastry brush, and more critically, when I used too much liquid in the batter. It's true that I sometimes get by with a thin batter that results in the cracker-like, crispy waffles, but the safest bet until you get your sea legs is to go with a thicker than thinner batter, something akin to thinned mashed potatoes. At one point in my waffle making I thought milk products made things stick, but I never got very scientific about it and can't really say it wasn't because the batter was simply too thin.

The main thing is that making waffles isn't as much of a trip as I used to think. Plus, they're better than pancakes because there's no possibility of doughy middles. Sort of like the difference between baking a cake in a regular pan and a Bundt pan -- the indentation in the center helps the cake cook through.

Finally, on the horror of lifting the lid and finding your lovely waffle pulled apart and clinging to the top and bottom. Never fear. All it takes -- given that your batter was thick enough -- is closing the iron and letting the heat finish doing its thing. In another minute or two, the miraculous will have happened. The waffle will be waiting under the lid in one dazzlingly fabulous piece.

On a Roll with Blue & Yellow Corn
It goes without saying that you can substitute yellow for blue cornmeal and still rock. You can also easily turn waffle batter into pancakes or cornbread. The gist here is to make pancake batter thinner than waffle batters so they pour onto a griddle easily and aren't too thick to cook through. On the cornbread route, follow the lead of your waffle batter, augmenting it with whole wheat pastry flour, a little honey, and another egg or two. That way you'll get a moist cornbread plus leftovers to toast into croutons.

Most recipes that use cornmeal -- whether for waffles, pancakes, or bread -- call for at least part wheat flour and sometimes I go that route. Mainly, though, I like to explore what happens with 100 percent cornmeal and have found I can control how well what I'm making holds together with the amount of oil and eggs I use.



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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Narrative Technical Writing: From: Chris Despopoulos
RE: Narrative Technical Writing: From: Pinkham, Jim

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