Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fall coming and Christmas gift ideas

I love to make Christmas gifts and if I don't get started soon, stress becomes part of the holidays. Lived through too many seasons with all of that.
Fall is on its way here. Night temperatures have dropped, showers are back. I love it! I pulled up my basil plants and hung them in the garage to dry.  The garage smells amazing right now. The basil will be joined soon by thyme and rosemary.
I discovered several bloggers and foodie people telling of what they make for Christmas gifts--olive oil infused with herbs and lemon. Thought this was brilliant and found some lovely small bottles to hold my new creations.
It's tinted to provide some protection for the olive oil. I can imagine my giftees will have it out on their counters using the oil every night for their dinners! I only think "joy" when I give gifts. Reality make state otherwise.
 I don't usually get this excited by I can seriously feel that these flavored oils will be a big hit.  I have time to hit the thrift stores to find other bottles. Our local Costco does sell organic evoo done the right way from Italy at a very reasonable price.
The best method I discovered is to dry your own herbs and use them to infuse the oil. You'll see bottle with fresh leaves in them. It was cautioned that a form of botulism can occur.
No wrapping needed-just a lovely bow....

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jewelry and Feeling Good

This is a total plug. Losing a son to cancer, my daughter and I try to raise funds for the American Cancer Society every June. If you go to my Etsy shop and buy any earring or bracelet, I will contribute the profits to the ACS. The shop is called The Coppered Sea and the link doesn't work right now. So just go to Etsy and type in the shop name.

A couple of goodies. I'll be adding more.....
Otherwise we've been busy outside in the veggie garden. Weather turning hot for the NW-80ยบ+
Did BBQ for Hubster yesterday which he enjoyed very much. Grilled asparagus, shrimp salad and his new favorite beer-Stella Artois.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sourdough Rye

Before going to the rye bread recipe, I diverted my efforts towards cinnamon rolls, French bread and  a kamut boule. With grand kids in and out of my house, none of these lastest long enough to photograph.
The recipe for the rye bread called for cracked rye or rye chops. Tried the mortar and pestle route. No luck. I surmised I was strong enough, so, when hubby came into the kitchen, I put him to work. Still no luck. Got out the spice grinder, it was an improvement but looking at photos of rye chops, still not there yet.
After fussing with this for over a week, I gave up and decided to buy some rye chops. Being so close to St. Patrick's Day, most common sources were sold out. Lucky for me a business called Bakers Authority not only had some, but offered quick shipping. Yeah! Grinding up some fresh rye flour, and seeing I had all the ingredient to make this Rustic Rye bread, my mouth was watering for a reuben sandwich with some Irish Red Ale.
The bread was easy to make and ready to bake early afternoon. I saw it rise in the oven and split open which always amazes me. As soon as it was ready to come out of the oven to cool, I grabbed the camera. Family members were on their way to our abode.

Irish soda bread is a favorite of mine. I like it with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, butter as its fat, and, I have made it with an egg: all for its rustic appearance, taste and moisture. This year it was made to be a breakfast bread and has some currants.
Rarely do I need St. Patrick's Day to make a reuben sandwich or soda bread. It helps to have an excuse......

Saturday, March 3, 2018

New Adventure

Do you love sourdough bread? Hubby grew up near San Francisco and has an affinity for sourdough bread. Have you ever eaten a a slice of a freshly baked loaf of the San Francisco sourdough? A bread lover would never forget the taste.
I found out that the yeast that creates a sourdough starter does eat up the sugars in the flour used to create it and the flour in the bread dough. That means, it's a better bread for a diabetic. Several members of my family are diabetics. Between the taste and the health feature, my goal for 2018 was to master making sourdough bread.
Finding some instructions I had from MaryJane Butters, I created what she calls a sourdough "mother." I kept feeding it beyond what she called for and waited until it was super bubbly. Collecting sourdough bread books for years, it wasn't hard to come up with a recipe. I used what is called a Specialty flour(found here) for both the "mother" and the bread.
MaryJane Butters has been working on a book titled Wild Bread. It's all about sourdough. Since receiving a copy of this book, I have tried baking with einkorn flour, Kamut  and this Specialty flour. Both the einkorn and the Kamut are ancient wheats totally untouched by man. Easy to digest, light in color, grinds beautifully and the taste is so worth baking with these flours. They are also low in gluten, which if you know bread lore, you'd think, will these breads rise with either yeast or a sourdough "mother." Yes, the breads rise and do not create a heavy, dense loaf. Taste? Buttery and sour at the same time.
This has been a bigger and better adventure than I ever imagine. I feel so good knowing I'm creating with each loaf a nutritional powerhouse. Trying the recipes in this book has been fun and my family gets all the benefits.
Speaking of family, how do my grandkids know when a loaf gets out of my oven??? Huh? They live too far to smell bread baking. I don't ever tell them, don't follow schedule. But...there they are whenever a loaf is ready to eat. Wild-eyed teenagers and fresh bread means: bake-two-loaves-at-once-or-you'll-never-get-a-slice.
My favorite breakfast: 1 slice of a boule loaf toasted. Spread guacamole on top, and slide a soft-boiled egg on top of the guacamole. Heaven. I buy from Trader Joe's their individual guacamole packets. Otherwise, a larger quantity spoils before I can eat it. :(
Another fabulous breakfast I was recently told about: 1 cup of Greek yogurt (I'm inserting Greek), 1 slice of the Bara Brith which is a Welsh breakfast bread. This bread is made with dried fruit that has been soaked overnight in black tea. Spices and brown sugar are added to the dough producing a slightly sweet bread which goes well with orange curd. If you love orange marmalade, go for it. I love the milder-tasting orange curd.