Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bread Challenge

For a time, I made all of my bread from scratch and even had a pretty decent sourdough starter going, but when I started working a full-time schedule, I had to let something go. That something was homemade bread. I fell into the habit of buying organic bread, which consumes a large part of my grocery bill. Well, enough is enough. My problem is I haven't been planning very well. I have the time to make bread; I just haven't taken the time to do it. So, my challenge to myself is to start making homemade bread again. My saving grace is my bread machine. I find my machine very functional and time saving for me. I usually use the dough cycle and finish baking it in the oven. Doing it this way avoids the paddle hole in the bottom of the loaf, and let's me shape it into rolls or bake it in a loaf pan for a traditional shaped loaf. Another positive is I can experiment with different recipes to find the ones I like best. Today, I'm trying a jalapeno cheese bread, which I shaped it into hamburger rolls and will use for supper tonight. The hamburgers won't know what hit them. A few days ago, I shaped a batch into rolls, and some were baked for supper and some frozen for later use. And the best part is my bread is so much tastier than what I buy at the store and it's cheaper. Do you bake your own bread? If so, what are your techniques and useful hints?

Another tool I find indispensable is my kitchen scale, which is wonderful for weighing the dough and dividing it, especially when making rolls.

Happy homesteading,


Thursday, November 25, 2010


I just spent the last hour or so in the hammock with my hubby with our outdoor cat, OP2, wedged between us. She purred the whole time. Now as I type, I have my cat, Lucy, in my lap. If I'm seated, there is no other place she would rather be. I cooked lunch, but someone else did the dishes. These are moments for which I am most thankful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Tomatoes

When the summer comes to a close and fall starts creeping in, a gardener's dilemma is what to do with green tomatoes. Some tomatoes store very well and can be ripened over the winter for fresh eating. While they are not as good fresh summer tomatoes, they are usually better than store bought ones or so I've read. I didn't really have the quantity I needed to attempt this and most of the tomatoes I had left on the vine were very tiny. So, with the few I had, I decided to experiment with some recipes. Fried green tomatoes immediately come to mind, but I really wanted to see what else was out there.

The first recipe was a Green Tomato Pie (aka Fake Apple Pie). It was decent and did resemble apple pie in texture and flavor. I would probably make it again, but it's not on the top of my list. I told Nate it was an apple pie, and he ate it well enough.

My next recipe is being much better received and is quickly becoming a favorite relish of mine. I made this green tomato relish, http://www.food.com/36487. The only modification I made was to use ground spices and put them directly in the mix as I didn't have whole spices to use. I'm so happy I tried this recipe, and it will become one of my staple relish recipes for next year. I only made one batch since I didn't know if I would like it, but now I wish I had made more. By the way, www.food.com is an excellent resource for canning recipes.

Finally, I had just enough tomatoes to try this last dish, and it is delicious. It's a very moist spice cake, and while some of the reviewers topped it was a cream cheese icing, I left mine plain. It is plenty sweet enough. This recipe I will also keep for next year. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Green-Tomato-Cake/

Now I wish I had more green tomatoes!

Happy homesteading,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Victorian Farm 1/36

I sat down to write a post this morning, but as always, I first gravitated to my favorite blogs to help myself ease into the morning while I enjoyed my cup of java. I already had an idea in mind for my post, but I came across this series on the BBC and put my idea on the back burner for the time being. I am so excited to watch this series! I've watched the first episode and am already hooked. I loved PBS's Colonial House and Frontier House, so this will be right up my alley. Enjoy. I know I will.

Happy homesteading,