"Just measure the flame!"
The ovens here run on gas, which I have found to be great actually! And I love the gas stove! But the oven knob just has numbers 1-5 on it. So, I asked Barb how I know where to set the oven temp for some of the things I usually make. What I was hoping for was a simple: "#3 is about equivalent to 300 degrees, #4, 400 degrees..." and so on. Well, her response was great and yet so not helpful. She told me, "Just look at the flame. The bigger the flame the hotter it is. If it is blue it is hot and if it is orangish it is burning." WHAT??? Having never cooked with a gas oven, this was not helpful information at all!! Needless to say, I have successfully mastered making cookies, baked oatmeal and granola here!
Baking Soda or Baking Powder??
So, I was looking for both of these necessary baking items in Super Che recently. There were two containers next to each other which looked like they were what we needed, and so we asked someone about them. We were told they were used for baking cookies and cakes. So I assumed we were correct. Well, one of them is either baking soda or baking powder--and I'm still not sure which one it is but it works for my recipes that call for baking soda and my recipes that call for baking powder. So... does it really make a difference???? The other, however, turned out to be yeast--which I almost poured into the cookies! Guess I should bring my dictionary with me wherever I go!
It is essential that we wash the vegetables and fruits really well before eating them here. They have special drops you can put in the water for disinfecting the foods, but I was looking for something that might have less chemicals and still do the job. Well, did you know that VINEGAR can be used? Many of you probably already knew this, but it was news to me! Also, vinegar can be used to clean with and to keep bugs away--in fact, it can be used for just about everything, come to find out! If you've ever seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", you'll remember how the dad uses Windex to cure everything. Well, Vinegar has become that in our home. We wash our fruits and veggies in it, clean our counters and floors with it, hide it on the counters to keep ants away, and Ben even used it to clear up a bit of swimmer's ear! Sometimes when I feel like I am getting eaten alive by the mosquitos here we joke about taking a vinegar bath! Maybe I should really try it! I'm sure it's the new deodorant these days! Vinegar--what a magical find!!!!