My Oatmeal Rye Bread turned out well last Sunday – really moist with a good crusty crust. The recipe was from the Tasahara Bread Book – a book I highly recommend. It does a great job of teaching the basics of bread making. I’ve made this recipe multiple times, and it never lets me down. It’s a bit molasses-y, which gives it a mild Pumpernickel flavor. I froze one of the loaves since I can’t imaging the two of us eating them before they get stale.
Here it is going into the oven…
and here it is coming out…
Last weekend we made apple butter with 2 big grocery bags full of apples from our tree. It cooked on low for almost 3 full days – Sunday morning through Tuesday night. We even left it on while we slept, which we haven’t done before. Previously, we’ve cooked it at a higher temperature for a shorter time. It’s the best batch we’ve ever made – incredibly thick and flavorful. The apples were pretty ripe and sweet, so I didn’t add any sugar. Cinnamon and Nutmeg are the only additives
We yielded about 2.5 quarts. Johnny eats it every morning for breakfast, so I know it’ll pay to have that much around.
We had a few too many apples, so I made a pie. I made the crust from scratch – something I’m not really too confidant at. I did a decent job though. It could have been a bit flakier, but we had no trouble eating it all up! I used the Joy of Cooking Apple Pie recipe, except I didn’t add any sugar. Instead I used just a bit of honey. It was noticeably not sweet, but like I said, we had no trouble eating it! I tried it with some of my sour cream and a drizzle of honey – very rich, but very good!
I had the chance this week to buy a case of Long Island Cheese Winter Squash from one of the co-op’s distributors in San Francisco. I’ve been trying to get my hands on this particular variety for a few years now, so I was pretty excited. I bought two of them: one for a pie, and one for dinner tonight. They’re an heirloom from Long Island; they’re called Cheese because they look like a cheese wheel. I’ve heard they’re excellent for pies….They joined my Marina di Chioggia and Turban on the table. I’m definitely nearing my winter squash limit – I’ve got to start cooking these suckers!
I spent part of this week in Austin Texas at a co-op marketing conference. I stayed at the downtown Hilton, and got to explore the city a bit. The original flagship Whole Foods Market was within walking distance of the hotel, so I had to check it out. I was completely overwhelmed! It was way too visually busy, confusing, and insincere for my merchandising and political tastes, but they did have some crazy gourmet stuff that I couldn’t resist buying.
These are $6.50 chocolate bars that I just had to try since the flavors are so out there. Bacon and salt in milk chocolate? It sounds like a joke I know. We ate it yesterday when I got home, and I have to admit, it was awesome. Apparently the flavor was conceived when the creator was a kid and had chocolate chip pancakes with bacon on the side. Sweet/Salty is a rare combination, but I think I like it. The Bacon added an almost carmel-y rich flavor. The other bar we haven’t tried yet. It’s dark chocolate with black sesame seeds, ginger, and wasabi. Sweet/Salty is one of my favorite taste combinations. I just hope it’s not too wimpy on the wasabi.
I also picked up this weird produce item at Whole Foods: a Horned Melon. It’s actually grown in California, so it’s more local to home than to Austin….I looked up the grower online – it turns out its from the Central Coast. I’m not quite sure what to do with it – I’ll probably just put it on the table and admire it for the time being.