The flavor of life

As I write this we are in the middle of thawing out from our latest ice storm. My boyfriend put in raised bed gardens and planted them. While most of the crops should be fine, he thinks the seeds will have to be replanted. I can’t wait to start cooking with the vegetables from our gardens. The produce at the stores lacks all flavor, it reminds me of reading a great book with an anticlimactic ending. I love to cook, but what is the point when the dishes lack flavor? It’s not just flavor that is lacking, but the nutrient content as well.  There is just something about wandering out to the garden, gathering salad items, and going inside to have it fresh. The meal is so much more satisfying all the way around from the growing to the preparation.

I initially started this blog as an outlet for my emotional baggage. I knew if I didn’t take some time out to work on myself my demons would just follow me. So instead I turned around and decided to stare them down. I can’t say that they are entirely gone most days we have a truce and I have a better understanding of the dark places in my soul.  I still run headlong into those demons from time to time, but now instead of facing them down alone I have a wonderful man in my life who wants to be my partner and help. If someone had asked me nine months ago that this is were I would be I would have laughed and told them they were full of BS. How was I to know that my world would have to fall completely apart so it could be rebuilt in a way I could have never imagined.

Cooking and Creativity

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This is what happens when I used a bowl I thought was big enough for my crescent dough to rise in not quit.

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Note to self: Don’t use the orange bowl.

I love this bowl. My mother gave it to me it’s probably as old as I am. The handles are actually two different sizes which makes it easier to pour ingredients back into their original containers. I normally use it when I measure flour. Less flour on my counter means more goes back into my gallon sized glass jars. Baking for me is a lot like jewelry making. I take different things which serve a purpose put them together and presto I have a beautiful necklace or a mouth-watering bread creation and it’s edible. That’s a real plus in my book. I bake and cook mostly from scratch to stay thin and be healthy. The only thing that I have found is better than a great meal is great company to enjoy it with.  I’m having dinner with my family this evening and tomorrow we going to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.

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These are ready to go into the oven!

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Hot from the oven! This batch ended up darker than I inteded and a bit larger than I wanted, but this is the first time I’ve made crescent rolls. Next time I’ll know better.

breadstuffs

Much to my delight I’m off work and I took my last finale yesterday that means I have some time to breathe. I’ve already made buscuits this morning and I’m getting ready for a bread bake-a-thon. I started making bread about a year ago and I’m hooked it does take a little know how but the results are well worth the destroyed kitchen floury hands, shirt and pants. I started my bread making with yes you guessed it a cook book. Another great place to look for recipies is at the site of the brand of flour that is used. I prefer the King Arthur flour its made in the USA and the results I’ve had with it are amazing.

I found a sign that capture the essence of cooks everywhere. I don’t know who created this sign, but it was on an article from Backwoods Home Magazine written by Rowena Aldridge.

Food
1.buy it with thought
2.cook it with care
3.serve just enough
3.eat what would spoil
4.home grown is best
Don’t waste it.

Dare to be…

The bread dirge

I went to bake dough that I had in my fridge. The recipe says use within 3 days; the author wasn’t kidding. Today is day 4, the dough fell in the bowl and had a disgusting sour smell. Lesson learned.  Since I feel like baking anyway I’m going to make biscuits and bread sticks. I don’t like to heat the oven for just one recipe which is why I picked these 2 the oven temperature is very close.

We have been enduring a drought and tripple digit temps for weeks with no relief in sight. The last time I caught the weather we were 5 inches under our total rainfall for the year. The Fourth of July fireworks have been canceled for the most part as 3/4 of Arkansas’s counties are under a burn ban.

I’m going to wait a bit to fire up the oven so it doesn’t warm up the house. My family is trying to do their part to conserve electricity by running our appliances like the dishwasher late at night while we sleep.  We don’t water the lawn it’s pointless…here’s the part the pisses me off.  We live on the golf course I came home in the middle of the afternoon and they were watering the golf course. Early morning I could understand but at 2 in the afternoon. Apparently there is no common sense at the Property Owner’s Association.

Foodstuffs

It seems my baking habit is rubbing off on my mom. She makes excellent pies or so I hear because I hate cooked fruit.  I don’t normally make anything I won’t eat; I like to taste test my creations. We’re going to start a collaborative approach to this, I make the breads and other types of pies like cheesecake or maringue type pies I’ll eat. She’ll make the fruit pies and cobblers. She’s also talking about a cake decorating class she looked into. She was suprised it was only about $20 that sounds like fun too. We’ve talked alittle bit about attending bake sales as well. Sound delicious and fun to me!

My mom is getting older, I find my time with her to be a preicious gift. I know at some point in the future she may no longer be there for me to talk with.

Here’s to a great way to start a new family tradition. CHEERS!

Caraway bread

Here is a picture of my last baking frenzy. This recipe is a light rye with caraway seeds, delicious and aromatic. I didn’t have enough caraway seeds to make a another batch so I sprinkled them on top. This didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. They didn’t bake into the dough. Next time I’ll add the extra into the dough. The seeds are expensive I think I paid about $4 for the small bottle. Waste not want not….The loaf pan is glass, I prefer it to the non-stick one only because of the shape. The glass pan is smaller over all which forces the dough to rise more.

Food should be about basic sustainance, but also a bonding ritual with friends and family. For thousands of years people have bonded over a meal. Now preparing food for loved ones seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Well, I have to admit cooking is not one of my favorite things to do in my busy day. But I do love to eat a good wholesome meal. So I’m trying to find a happy medium. I”m always on the lookout for meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. I also love one pot recipies so if you have any please share!

Bread

Yesterday, I had one of those infrequent days when I didn’t have to work or go to school. I made bread for the first time using a book, 200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads No-Knead, One Bowl by Judith Fertig. I found this book at my local library. The recipe was very simple. Which was great for me as I’m short on time and bread making skills. For a very quick overview I made a large batch of dough then made a round loaf with lots of batter left over. I just bake what I need over 9 days. Then toss the leftover dough (like there would be any) and start over.  Great for a beginer like me simple and delicious. As I get more confident in my new skill I’m making different reciepies. I thought the easiest way would to just bake my way through the book. The results have been delicious.

It seems to me that people want bigger and better everything. Or is that just what our society has degraded into? Popular media wants to shove the newest latest and greatest whatever down our throats. Did any one see The Lorax? I did! I took flour, salt, yeast and water and made a delicious bread. More is not better its just more.