Friday, March 20, 2015

The soaker, the biga and the bread

I enjoy the process of making bread. Yeast bread recipes are never exact because humidity, temperature, even ingredients can change what is required to make a good loaf. It's all in the feel of the dough.

For me, bread is one of the finest foods ever to emerge from an oven. But, if the bread is going to have flavor and the greatest health benefit, you have to go big or go home.

So after many months searching and more than a few not-worth-the-effort trials, I have landed upon a combination of two recipes that make three outstanding loaves of bread. The prep starts the night before with a biga and a soaker. Even though this seems like an extra step, it makes baking day easier than ever.

And the bread? Oh my... it's beautiful! (Can you imagine what my kitchen smelled like at the moment of this picture?)

It's full of whole grain goodness... 

And I know exactly what's in it. No preservatives. No dyes or refined sugar. No unwelcome surprises at all.

Life is good... especially with food like this.

Jesus said... I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 3:35

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Oh deer...

February was cold ... and snowy ... and windy ... and icy... Overall, a month not friendly to man or beast. On occasion during those nasty days, I wondered how the deer were faring with their usual available food buried under snow.

I learned just exactly how well they manage a few days ago.

 Just to give a true sense of the amount of damage, this picture shows my dearly-beloved spraying deer repellent to try to save the what's left of the trees.

We heard from a neighbor that she saw a large herd of deer in our yard gathered around the smaller trees. She took pictures. (I silently wished that she had yelled, banged a pan, anything to scare them off!)

I've heard that cutting hair spurs growth. It feels like cutting the grass has the same effect. Hopefully the principle holds true with trees and this winter "pruning" will plump them up.

In the meantime... they look quite strange!

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. Jeremiah 17:7

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Salmon and Salsa

It feels like the health of everyone around me is being attacked. Immediately new diets are researched. Old ways of eating and and favorite foods are scrutinized to determine if they are healthy... or hazardous enough to be discarded from regular menus.

All of this concern has rubbed off on me. I'm busy looking for recipes to suggest or what the next expert has to say about what we eat. In the process, I have found some recipes that look so very good. One in particular is Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa.

I waited for a beautiful avocado to come to the perfect point of ripe. The cilantro bunch was deep green and fragrant. The salmon waited... we all waited for the avocado. Finally the day arrived.

The spicy rub was applied to the fish. The salsa was resting in the refrigerator. The moment arrived. Grill pan hot. Fish sizzling... and flipped. The kitchen smelled wonderful. I plated the cooked fish, hurried to the fridge to get the salsa to spoon on top.

But the bowl didn't want to slide off the shelf. So I pulled a little harder and as it slipped from my finger and smashed - I should say exploded - on the floor. Every little chopped piece of my salsa... ruined.

So, I have no pictures of the perfect salmon dinner. I'm still filled with sadness. Sometimes it is the little things that spoil a day.


Jesus said... In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33