Monday, January 14, 2008

Help! Help! I can't stop!

Baking bread, that is. I'm already on my second batch of basic dough and tried the European Peasant dough day before yesterday. I baked one loaf right away with fantastic results and yesterday, I baked another baguette and another Peasant loaf to take to my neighbors.

I think this bread thing could turn into a joke like the zucchini one - you know, "The only time Mainers ever lock their car doors is in July, cause if you don't, someone will put a big bag of zucchini in your back seat"!

I'm honestly hooked on this baking method. H and I are in gustatory Heaven and we've even got our youngest son gushing about the bread. He's a professionally trained chef and can't believe that he can ignore everything he learned in Culinary School. He's also a professional musician, living in Nashville. His band's web site is, if anyone is interested.

Now, since this blog is supposedly about gardening, I feel I must add a little something that has to do with that activity even though it is once again beginning to snow outside and the forecast is for 8-14 inches of the white stuff. Good thing we had a 4 or 5 day January thaw to take care of most of the huge piles in the door yard. H may just be able to maneuver the truck and plow enough to get it clear again. But I digress.

Yesterday, I pored through several huge piles of gardening magazines and selected a few choice ones to peruse in anticipation of next year's garden.

It may be several more months before I can actually get out to dig in the dirt, but hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Therefore, the next best thing to gardening is cooking and baking. I put together a bean soup this morning and it is bubbling away on the stove as I blog. I soaked the beans overnight and this morning, added a nice, smoked neck bone and a couple of bay leaves (from my bay tree, of course). Hey, that's about gardening!

Then, this morning, I fried about 3 slices of diced bacon and set it aside til later. After that, I threw a bunch of diced celery, 2 diced carrots, two cloves of garlic and two diced onions into the pan and sauteed them til they were soft, but not brown. All this went into a large pot with 3 cans of chicken broth, a can of tomato sauce and will simmer til the beans are soft. Mmmm, can't wait til supper.
Later on this morning, I'll bake the last of the baguette dough for our lunch and make a batch of sourdough. I made a sourdough starter last week and am anxious to try it.

Spike and Sluggo have been very busy boys, chasing down the errant ladybugs in the house. They find them for me, but unfortunately, leave the dastardly deed of dispatching them to me. However, they did ask me to remind everyone to click on the feed the hungry animals site to help out their less fortunate buddies.

Ah, yes. Life is very, very good!

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