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Posts Tagged ‘bread’

After breakfast, May and I schlepped around the town, running random errands and spending some time outside. It’s a raw blustery day — one of my favorite types of weather — and we stopped at ‘Bucks after shopping. I figure I should ‘fess up to this, since Bucks is neither local nor organic. We didn’t even remember to bring our own cups.

But I got a giant cup of hot black tea and was happy.

Shopping is a big part of my food philosophy so I should say that I picked up tea (green, black, and blueberry) while I was out at Shaw’s, as well as 2 lb. of butter. Cabot, which is local-ish. I also went to Kick-Ass Cupcakes’s Dairy Bar and bought local cheddar, and hit my own garden to pick a mess o’ greens for dinner.

By the time we arrived home, I was chilled and tired and immediately nixed my original lunch plans for the perfect blustery-day lunch: soup.

(BTW, the chicken stock is still bubbling away. I know I ought not leave stock on the simmer while I’m out, but I like stock and I can’t spend 8 hours at home tending it. If you’re less blase about fire risks than I am, you can get out your stock pot and do it that way.)

Soup was simple enough: 20 minutes of washing and chopping leeks, carrots, celery, and potatoes, (from Drumlin Farm and our CSA), saute the aromatics in olive oil, add the last bit of my last batch of stock, toss in potatoes, soem herbs, and sit down to read a book for 20 minutes.

May and I had leek and potato soup with apples and slices of honey-wheat bread. I made the bread yesterday.

After we ate our fill, I ladled the leftover soup into mason jars — three pint jars and on quart jar — and put them in the fridge. There’s lunch taken care of for all of us until Wednesday or Thursday, at least.

Now I’m taking a break to do other non-cooking things and contemplate just how long I need to brine a frigging 6 lb. chicken?

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I’ve been making the “no-knead” bread lately, because I made it on a whim the other day and my husband waxed enthusiastic about it. Very enthusiastic. Usually, he’s quietly appreciative of my food but this time he gushed. So I’ve been making batches.

(For those not deep enough into foodie culture, “no knead bread” was the hot thing a few years ago. Jim Lahey made it popular (I don’t know if he invented it). You mix up a batter, rather that a dough, with only a bare smidge of yeast. You let it sit for 24 hours (!), punch it, let it rise for 2 hours, and then bake it in a cast-iron dutch oven that’s been preheating for an hour. You get that giant, open crumb inside that¬†artisanal¬†bakeries are so good at, not to mention a crackling crust that is simply impossible to get any other way in a home oven.)

My recipe for this calls for 3 c. of flour, 3/4 c. + 2 T. of water, 1/4 t. of salt and 1/4 t. of yeast, 1 T of vinegar, and…. 1/4 c. +2 T of beer. Here’s the thing. I don’t drink beer. (I don’t drink alcohol, period.) My husband doesn’t drink beer. So every time I make this bread, I wind up with most of a bottle of beer going flat on my counter.

Since one of the tenants of my farm wife philosophy is “waste not, want not”, this bugs the heck out of me. I’ve been hitting the cookbooks for any recipe that calls for most of a bottle of beer, but the only one I’ve found so for is a method for making roux that says you should “stir it for the length of time it takes to drink most of one bottle of beer.” That’s poetic, but not useful.

Help a sister out?

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