Sunday, January 31, 2010

Did the pioneers eat sunflower seeds?

This week's bread is Pioneer Bread, from The Bread Book.

The loaves look a little lopsided because, per usual, I did not know what I was doing.  You bake these in cake or pie pans, and there is a certain skill to making the dough pear-shaped, then plopping it into the pan pointy end down in such a way as to produce a uniformly round loaf.  I have not quite mastered it yet.  The odd shape does not affect the flavor, which is wonderful.  And there are sunflower seeds in it as well.

I also made soup today, Caramelized Cabbage Soup, from Love Soup.  I have never caramelized cabbage before.  Like many things, it was not difficult, just time consuming.  I can't tell you if it made the soup any better because I did not realized two things:  1) the soup requires milk to finish it, and 2) the milk in my refrigerator has a distinctive odor that matches its sell-by date.  I will finish the soup tomorrow night and report back.

Friday I was home sick.  One problem with cooking from scratch using primarily fresh ingredients is that sometimes you want something quick and tasty but there is no such thing in your kitchen other than scrambled eggs.  Pie is not quick but it sure is tasty.

This is French apple pie, courtesy of Betty Crocker.  The crust got a little overdone, but it was great nonetheless.  I like the crumb topping better than crust.

While not cooking, I keep an eye out on the avian visitors in my backyard.  Yesterday I saw a rather large bird fly past the patio door.  Thinking it was a mourning dove, I tiptoed into the West Wing to get a better look.  Mourning doves are ground feeders but there was no mourning dove under the feeders.  Probably because there was a HAWK on top of the shepherd's hook the feeders are suspended from.  I didn't notice it until it flew away.  Hoping it had landed in a nearby tree, I crept up to the window to peek out.  Again, I did not see it, until it took off from the neighbor's swing set.  I think it was a Cooper's hawk.  Exciting stuff!

(FYI - The Bread Book is out of print.  If you are looking for a copy, don't stop with Amazon because their resellers are asking a small fortune.  I bought mine through a reseller at Barnes and Noble, and there are other online used book retailers to try as well.)

The Bread Book Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure

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