Sunday, December 6, 2015

From the Kitchen

As many of you know, I love creating in the kitchen! Not necessarily my own recipes, but creating delicious food from a variety of good ingredients. And my first love has always been and still is baking. My mother was an excellent cook, but she didn't like baking and so I got to do all the baking, much of which I learned from my grandmother and my aunt Inge.

If you like baking bread of if you want to start baking your own bread, but don't have the hours to watch the dough rise repeatedly, these two bread baking books are for you! I use them all the time - and when they say "five minutes a day," it's quite true! The loaf I made here is their European country bread, which I altered a little by increasing the amounts of rye and whole flours. It is soooo good! Each recipe makes enough dough for several loaves. You keep the dough in the fridge and bake the bread as you need it during the week. Fantastic!!
This next cookbook I got at the library. I got a very cheap copy at one point for my kindle (it was one of the almost free bargains one day), but I wanted to check out a hardcopy to get a better feel for it. It's all about preserving - canning, pickling, curing or smoking. Very interesting and it has a few really good recipes I want to try.
Now here's a new cookbook that is quite amazing. It reminds me of the way my mother and grandmother often cooked while I was growing up - farm to table. I read the entire book and want to make almost every recipe in it! Here I tried the mussels cooked in hard apple cider with leeks and apples. They were amazing!!
Ok, these next two pictures are also recipes from this last book. But I need to give you a little background story first. When I was growing up my dad was always into healthy living (and he still is). We kids were not always convinced, especially when we all "got to" drink cider vinegar with honey for a while. Of course, now I know how good all of these weird things really are! The cider vinegar, the grainy bread, nuts and seeds, whole grain everything, etc.

Among other things, my mom made our own yogurt for quite a while, which I always liked way better than the store bought kind.  So again, as I mentioned in my last post, I feel like I am coming full circle now making my very own yogurt. I decided to buy a starter culture for a yogurt that ferments at room temperature. Once this batch is done, I can use a little bit of it to start the next batch.
And then there's kefir! I remember my mom and dad getting a milk kefir culture from some friends of theirs and making and drinking kefir for a good long time. We kids thought it was disgusting. It looked like cauliflower to me and the taste was not something I liked at all back then. The culture I got here is for water kefir, which I've never tried. Both the yogurt and the kefir need a couple of days to be ready, so when they are, I will update on how the experiment is going...
And lastly ... a new love: oatmeal from steel cut oats! How amazing. How creamy. How delicious. How warming. And how had I never tried this before?! It's definitely a staple in my pantry now, especially during the colder winter months!

Here's wishing you a week filled with good food!

With lots of love,