Wednesday, September 30, 2009


OK seriously why do so many of you regular commenters set yourselves up with "noreply" on the comments. Do you know that for awhile I was stupidly replying away to "no reply"? Yeah well no one ever accused me of being rocket science material.

How am I supposed to answer you when you leave a question?

Trudy do not try and cut your own hair. I used to be a hairdresser.

farmlady the recipes are in the photos just click on them. Your comment about seperating the men from the boys was funny.

coffee bean you crack me up.

Chris I thought you were tougher than that, especially after your cow post. Now that was ewww.

Ok so now please go change your settings and then I will answer your comments, because I like to answer. I am OCD like that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Danish and French

My new favorite cookbook, and nutrition philosophy which supports the idea that the old traditional diets were in fact quite healthy before we messed them up. We messed them up with processed foods and making fat the enemy. Fat is not the enemy. Corn syrup on the other hand could very well be!

You asked about the liver pate. It is very easy. you simmer, you puree and you bake in a water bath like custard. This is the Danish part of this post, well all of Europe actually. Pate could be like a battle over the poodle; just who had these wonderful treasures first?

If you click on these they will enlarge and you can read them. I love this little story about the blue bereted gascon eating his foie gras.

OK and now for the KD tweak on the dish. I did not have duck livers. So I used one half chicken liver and one half portebella mushrooms. For the wine I used extra dry vermouth. I also used chicken stock because that is what I had on hand. The thing about liver is preparing it. I really didn't know a whole lot about that. I know more about human anatomy...ewwwww.

I did use a scissors and snip the ligaments away and find the little gall bladder and remove that little bile filled yukky tasting thing. If I had questions about it I tossed it. If the liver looked fatty or unhealthy, tossed it. I was picky about this stuff, it had to be basically free from anything questionable. No, you do not want to see pictures.

Recipes from Grandmas book. You can see there is a lot of flexibility in this. Cooking times, what you put into it. The main thing is of course, butter, cream and wine. I did add some flour to mine because my Grandma always did. I only seasoned with salt and pepper for this first one. One warning about this, it does not smell good while it is cooking. It is however good when it is finished, how weird is that? These recipes actually call for pork fat. Where is Heidi anyway?

Also the good news is, that with the food processor we no longer have to grind and beat and all that other labor intensive activity. A blender will also work.

Now for the French...

This morning I really wanted French toast. Really really really, like I wanted it bad enough to make it. I make mine the way my Dad taught me. We were a family of cooks and bakers, everybody had something to do.

Take some nice bread....*sigh* I'm already drooling, stomach is on the warpath. You can hear it right?

Place the slice into a mixture of beaten eggs with some milk and a little vanilla. Let it soak until it is totally saturated. I even poke it with a fork to let more in. I know a lot of people like the dip and flip; but not me. Soak it till it could fall apart but doesn't.

Then you put it a frying pan and cook it until it is golden brown and it will puff up high, that is how you know the inside is done. You do this on a low fire it takes longer than the quick version but it is so worth it.

When it is golden brown like this, you plate it, you put a pat of real organic butter on it, go ahead use the real thing, and then you top it with this lovely golden sweet maple syrup. Maple syrup made by Rosie Kate and her family, from paint splashes, and shipped to you as a gift.

It doesn't get any better than this. When you read Nourishing Traditions you can eat it guilt free. You can eat a lot of rich delicious food and lose weight, just by eliminating the ones that harm and don't nourish. The body when treated right will reward you. This is my breakfast and I am losing weight. What did you have?

Monday, September 28, 2009

How Do You Spell Contentment?

Babies, visiting babies and seeing his little chunky monkey sweet self. This little cutie has a very in hair do. His hair is falling out and he has a little Mohawk and a little tail at the nape of his neck. It's really hilarious and very cute. The lighting actually blurs out his curly top knot, but trust me it's there.
This baby has always been really strong and does things he's not "supposed" to be ready for, like standing up gripping your hands and he is 4 months. Yeah that's what I said too. Isn't his Mommy pretty?

Daddy is trying to get some giggles. We had a blast we always do, love these guys.

If we are not out visiting and are home, then yours truly is in the kitchen. Is there any other room really to be in? Today I made a whole pan of liver/mushroom pate. A loaf pan. I had to do it; it was a compulsory act.

Tucker thought he should eat some and Kayla whisked him away just in the nick of time. I gave him a teaspoon of it.

This is why I had to make the liver pate. I was raised on open faced leverpostej sandwiches at my grandparents house. Pate is so delicious on just the right flavor of bread. This batch hit the hip hip hooray button. I bit it and swooned, there melting into my palette was that wonderful flavor of childhood. I have improved it a bit because the original was a sandwich loaf, not sourdough. But Sour dough Sigtebrod, is to put it quite humbly; to die for.

Crunchy crust with soft airy bread inside, air holes and moist. It is a blend of rye, wheat and white flour. Perfecto. Anske LIBE! Skol!! Where's the pickles and beer?

Look at this, please don't mind me if I brag because I can't help myself. If I could flip a cartwheel I would.

Now this people, this is living! This is homemade Sigtebrod, with homemade liver pate, and homemade from the garden Danish pickles! I am dead and I am in heaven now. Fresh home made pickled beets, and an ice cold beer. Any takers? Actually I am so full I don't know how I am writing this post.

Dinner, this is dinner for those very un-Danes who gag at the sight of my feast and won't come to the table while I am eating it. I am positively giddy, that means that I alone will consume a whole loaf of liver pate single handedly; not in one night of course. If you must come and help me eat it I will even give you a beer.

I am so happy, this is living the good life. I love being home.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Specs.

I am getting old and wrinkled. Pictures can depress me and I am not fishing I really can see the age happening. I better get cool with it quick. I have been cutting my own hair, I like it. What do you think?

These are my new reading glasses. They are very comfortable, and the frames were only 10 bucks! The lenses well that is a nuther story, gee whiz-highway robbery!

Is it my imagination or are these brand new glasses ridiculously crooked? I kept telling the lady they looked "askew". Maybe she needs her eyes checked! Makes my face look funny. Go ahead and ROTFLYAO.

Check out the side shot, this is why I picked these I thought they looked pretty cool. You know how it is when a granny tries to upgrade, a bit scary.

Good hair cut---if I don't say so myself. You don't have to be impressed I was a hairdresser in my old life. I don't even have to style it, get out of the shower and fluff it, add a dab of oil and that's it. What? You hate me? No, don't do that just come on over and I'll do your hair for you. Then we can pig out on bread.

Kayla strung up the peppers! She used to have a Mexican neighbor that taught her a lot of neat things. She keeps telling me she knows how to make tortillas. I think I'm going to let her have a crack at it.

OK so what's your vote on the glasses? #1 they'd look alright if they were adjusted or #2 take them back and start over?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who Ever Said?

Housekeeping is not a job. Which idiot ever came up with the idea that women needed to join the "WORK FORCE." Whoever it was must have not had a mother, or ever eaten a home made meal. That's just pitiful really. It is the middle of the week and I have been very busy on my home front. I realized today that I had not posted, or read anyone's blogs and am behind in that.
It's a strange thing how real ya'll have become to me. I begin to feel that I am neglecting my friends and must make time to go a callin.

But it's harvest time. Even though my garden has pretty much run a muck from "benign neglect," it's still making a few items. Kayla is going to tie these together and we will hang them in the kitchen to dry. In the winter they will be good for chili and cornbread. Makes my mouth water just to think about it.

I had to do something with the wheat bread that was about to get really stale. I am baking more than my family can eat. I need to come up with a little marketing plan. In the mean time a big pan of baked french toast produced a lot of contented sighs, and those oooohhh and ahhhhhh, and yummy; that this mom loves to hear. We even indulged in a bit of real maple syrup, compliments of Rosie Kate.

This a loaf of sourdough bread. My first with the starter from King Arthur's. It's cooling right now.

Beef soup and pinto beans, bread and tea. Just some work from today.

A close up shot isn't it pretty?

This one is getting a little bit funny shaped, I really don't understand how to shape a boule. My book describes this tucking motion that I need to see demonstrated. The basket made pretty cool looking rings on the top. We will find out tonight if its good. I tried sliding the dough with the parchment paper off a cookie sheet, now that was a good trick that worked pretty well. This morning I fed starters and poured some into a little crock. Later I came back and the thing had gone crazy like the blob, my counter top was covered in starter and it was just percolating away! Pretty funny. I cleaned up, which started a clean the whole kitchen thing; and tucked that little happy camper into the refrigerator to "retard" it a little.

Meanwhile on the outside of the house, the Hunny is busy too. This will be a cabinet for the utility room. I have been cleaning that room up this week as well. You cannot clean and blog, nope. Now I know that ya'll have messes to tend too. HAH! See I knew it!! I have been busting my buns over here. You really don't want to know about it.

In my "spare" time I managed to go by the thrift store. Not too often because I will find something for sure. This little cutie was just waiting to come home with me. It's really going to get pretty with a new coat of white paint. Once painted will it be outdoors or in, that is the question. It is saying "porch me" right now.

And now dear ones I must be off to finish cooking and do more laundry! I stripped 2 beds today and am washing everything, blankets, quilts, pillows the whole shootin match! Every now and then we need to clean the linens if they "need it or not". That's what they used to say about taking a bath once a month in the old days. I think (pause scratches head) something along those lines; you do get it, I know. Your smart like that I have every confidence in you. Now go get busy and do some work.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All In A Day's Time

Bread dough is not the only thing doubling in size around here. The question is if this is a kitten or a turkey. He gets into plenty of "kitten fun." If I could just let him know that he is "weaned" and get him to stop trying to suck up my face at 2am and 5 am and 7 am, we would be getting along much better. Sleep deprivation with a kitten? Am I demented? I don't seem to recall batting away a crazed kitten trying to invent a place to nurse off of any area of my skin; be it my neck, my chin, my nose or my earlobe, which really tickles. At first it was cute now it is just annoying. I want to SLEEP! He has grown a lot and is still too cute. How do I convince him that he is weaned? Better yet can he not see that I am not a cat?

OK, from a distance this is still pretty because it's green. It's a mess and those piles are the small ones, there is a big one in back. It has been raining often enough that the whole plot is mud. I need to harvest the gourds and get things cleaned up. I have been saying that, and nothing is happening because.....I just keep talking about it and that's it. Yeah, and I have been sick and don't feel real peppy yet.

It's a good excuse don't you think? This spot is looking lovely, it looks lovely most of the time. I would love for some rubeckia to really take off in here.

What's this? As I meandered from the back yard to the front looking for photo ops, my eye espied this brown box. Be still my fluttering heart! Is it my starter?

Not today, but it is something that I will use with sourdough.

A stone ware covered baking pan. It will get seasoned with use, similar to cast iron and it simulates a real old fashioned brick oven. I will hopefully get the blistered shiny crusts with this. I am excited to try it. When the starter gets here I'll feed it for a few days and then we are off and baking!!

It's going to be really fun. My family is so spoiled they only want the sour bread. Whose family has 3 different kinds of home made bread to chose from? And whose family actually has the spoiled people declaring their preferences? Yep, that would be me. I actually had a complaint that there were no more sour dough rolls. Says I, "the plain whole wheat is in the basket and it's fresh," and I heard, "but I don't want whole wheat, I want sour dough rye."

Totally dumbfounded, it has happened. They are spoiled with bread. Ya'll are droollin over any of it and we have picky people over here! Actually I think it's pretty cool. They aren't asking for Twinkies and Ho Ho's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

This is a hockey puck. Anybody want to play? You cannot cut it and maybe a goat can chew it, and lawdy gah, I gave a loaf of this mess away! I tossed it today. Seems I have drifted pretty far from the original specifications of the "5 Minutes a Day to Artisan Bread." I have a tendency to quit following the directions and experiment. This is a tough, crust, gummy interior 10 pound inedible brick.

If I can do this, with yeast breads, make something good to eat, and use

100% whole grain flour with good results. How did I make that hockey puck? It does take some getting used too, to eat a bread this hearty. You cannot however, get used to eating a hockey puck you cannot chew it.

"I can do this, talks to self".

I am not satisfied with the pretend artisan bread anymore. I want to make the real thing. But I am having issues. Hockey puck issues.

Success here with these.
The eager beaver is not always so smart. I baked 8 loaves of wheat bread and then mixed up my first batch of real sourdough without any yeast just starter, for the leavening. I wondered if my kitchen had any "wild yeasts" in it! The starter looked a bit like a rolling boil, talk about an active starter. Probably something wrong with it. I did figure out from reading that because I bake so much I can cut my yeast back to 1/16th tsp. per 3 c.s flour. That may slow down my rise, and solve the splits. I went ahead and slashed the tops to let the steam escape instead of having a side blow out. It worked. My bread doesn't just rise it explodes. I had been thinking that I didn't need so much yeast, I don't. I also can get regular yeast now since my kitchen is a living organism.

This is the sourdough after it has rested and been in the refrigerator for 2 days, just because I was tired. I read after I made this dough about how hard it is to use rye flour, rye starter, and that sourdoughs shouldn't rest even in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Too soon old too late smart. HOWEVER I have been studying this process and I am going to get this right. I am going to make smaller batches, follow the recipes and keep baking. I am a hopeless addict.

I am on a quest. A quest to master sourdough or let it master me. These rolls are pretty tasty, not tough and the crust is thin and crispy. The crust on whole wheat/rye sourdough is not shiny like on white bread.
Here comes the confession, I am going to work with white flour.

Do you think I am a hypocrite?

After all I have been reading about white flour, I am at a cross roads with my baking and cannot really learn without the white flour dough. Sourdough is fermented so it is probably healthier. I ordered some tools, some pans and a proofing basket. I am getting serious with this bread. I think it runs in the blood. My grandparents were immigrants from Denmark and they ran a bakery in Oakland California. I grew up on Danish rye which is a sweet rye, made with a combination of flours, dark rye, wheat and white. They used to make it at Neldam's in Berkeley too. I had to wait to learn to bake until all the people there, that knew my family passed away, so I am on my own; with the quest. The quest for great sour dough bread.
Out of a home kitchen in the deep south where there is no San Francisco air. I am determined.
Even if I must use white flour and start there. It's true. See how easily I caved? I am such a wimp. After the bad rap I have been giving white flour, now I need it. At least it is from Montana, unbleached high protein and all that good stuff.

I am humbled.

I love to bake.

I cannot bake hockey pucks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Celebration

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3.

The words of Jesus as recorded by his disciple John. John loved to refer to himself as the disciple that Jesus loved.

It is so good to know,
that you know, without doubt;
that you know, signed sealed and delivered,
that Jesus loves you and you Him.

God has so many mysteries and for the heart that loves and accepts, they just go from
deep unto deep.
How great is the mystery that God would so love mankind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We Went Adventuring!

Yesterday we took a ride out to the country, just 30 minutes from where we live. We made new friends, 4 legged ones and two legged ones. The ladies who manage this goat farm are lovely women a mother and daughter team. The daughter is a spirited woman who wrestles with an awful disease of degeneration; but she has spirit and uses her energy to create goat soaps and work her farm. Joy in adversity, what a testimony of the power of God's grace.

These little ladies are so tame. They are just precious, they know their names and love to be petted. We met them to purchase their milk. We brought gifts of bread, hoping that in the future we might trade baked goods for milk. We will have more time now and plenty of wheat.

Hello ladies. Their milk is very good. I never drank raw goat milk before and it's delicious. Kayla loved it. Our next adventure will be learning how to make goat cheese and also some yogurt. For now we are just drinking it up. I would love to have a barn of my own with some of these lovelies in it. If we ever do I know where I am going to buy my goats. These girls barn had a nice nutty earthy smell that I have always liked. We talked together for several hours the women are so knowledgeable. They let us taste the cheese they make and gave us a sample of their soap. It was a lovely outing.

We took the back roads home and stopped at this veggie market. It's one of my favorite places in Mississippi. They have great produce, local honey, homemade jams, molasses, sorghum syrup, and fresh boiled peanuts every day. This is a place we can't just drive by, must stop. Car turns by itself and knows the way.

See what I mean? This is just the parking lot. I am after some of those peaches from South Georgia. They are scrumptious. Kayla eagle eyes some swan necked gourds. She got one and she'll cut it to get the seeds for next year. I have been cleaning up our garden, a little at a time, and what a mess it is. Nope no pictures of that, it's embarrassing.

Yum, a little green but they will ripen up. My last basket was perfect.

Somebody is getting cute with the camera. We are going to drive across the reservoir to go home and it's going to be great. I love to look out there and pretend it's the Monterrey Bay. Yep, I know it's a stretch but I did say PRETEND.

A boater having fun and my passenger is a pretty good shot with my little camera. It's really pretty don't you think? One of Mississippi's best features is the reservoir it's huge.

Kayla was having fun snapping different shots for you.

There is some pricey property over there. That was our afternoon. We came home put up our produce and cold milk and had some supper with Pa. After all that fresh air and sun I was ready to relax so I turned in early and continued reading "My Antonia," by Willa Cather. She is an excellent writer. I picked up this pretty red leather copy for $1 at the thrift store. I'm combing my book shelves for unread collections and am hitting the jackpot.

What have you been up to with this fine fall weather?