Archive for the ‘YMMV’ Category

A Flour By Any Other Name Could Still Be As Sweet

A First Look At Timtana

A couple of weeks ago, I entered and won a contest over at Kitchen Therapy that netted me a free bag of a new gluten free product called timtana.  Timtana is a milled all purpose flour ground from timothy grass, which is completely gluten free but full of lots of good for you nutrients like fibre, protein, calcium and iron (you can read more about it over at Kitchen Therapy if you’d like).  A company called Montana Gluten Free graciously provided the bags of flour for the Kitchen Therapy giveaway.

As I’ve previously mentioned, my mother in law is allergic to wheat, so I often keep an eye out for new developments in gluten free products, and have a whole drawer in my freezer devoted to the various alternative flours that I use when baking for her.  Over the years I’ve found that while gluten free baking is not easy, once you know what you’re doing improvisation is possible.

A 3 pound bag of timtana flour arrived at my door a little over a week ago, and has been sitting on my counter waiting for inspiration to reach out and strike ever since.

While an original idea has yet to take shape, in the interim I decided to use Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio app and the basic bread dough formula for a first pass.

The proportions are simple and include 3 parts water to 5 parts flour, plus a little bit of salt and yeast thrown in for good measure.  Because timtana is gluten free, I also opted to toss in a bit of xanthan gum (the gluten free baker’s friend) for some extra leavening power.

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Penny For Your Thoughts

Occasionally, PR people have taken to contacting me when they have things they would like reviewed.

In some instances, they’ve invited me to free dinners, or asked me to cover things like Conviction Kitchen, or even the launch of a new chef cookbook.

Recently I even had the wonderful people representing Pom Wonderful send me an envelope of coupons in order to sample their new line of juices.

Just the other day a representative for a company called Pop Chips asked if she could send me a few samples bags to try.  The irony here, which I made her well aware of at the time is that I don’t typically enjoy salty snacks all that much.  However, she was fairly confident that her product would be the one to change my mind, so she sent them anyway.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that I will occasionally be giving my 2 cents on products; but only if I like them.  Things that I don’t care for are never going to see the light of day here, which is why you’ve never seen me covering the opening of the latest chain restaurant like so many other Toronto bloggers (also because I would rather throw up than eat at a chain restaurant, but that goes without saying).

I know there are a lot of people who think that the PR business is this big, dirty machine, and in some ways, I suppose it does come off as a little sleazy.  Let me reconcile that by saying that I have never been the kind of person who is swayed by anyone else’s opinion.  It’s great if someone has an opinion (and everybody does) but it’s not going to make up my mind for me about anything, in the same way that other people might look to restaurant, movie or product reviews.  That being said, my opinions should never be the deciding factor in making your own decisions, either, because just because I like something doesn’t mean that you will.  If anything, I hope that if I find something that’s worth sharing, it will do nothing more than to highlight its existence, which will allow you to draw your own conclusions.

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