Monday, February 22, 2010

Yesterday I was reading a blog written by a lady in West Virginia. She had been sent by another reader, an old cookbook from the 1930's. In it was a recipe for homemade yeast for baking bread.

She posted it with photos of her instructions and modifications as it was written with the implication that you just knew how to do it. I guess they did back then. Anyway, I just had to try it. And if this works like it is supposed to, I will never have to buy those little packets of yeast again! Woo Hoo! Sounded like a frugal idea to me! So this is how mine played out!

First, the recipe!

Cooked potatoes, sugar, yeast and salt and ground ginger. Ginger? Why? I have no idea, but I added it per the recipe anyway. She explained a bit about yeast in her blog. All yeast whether it comes from a package (Fleishmans) or homemade, comes from wild micro organisms from the air. The original recipe called for 3 cakes of yeast, but then, you use your homemade yeast to make you own new yeast, forever if you want to and never buy it, ever again! Add warm potato water, (that the potatoes were cooked in) cooled to barely warm.

Cover and set aside to rise till bubbly.

Meanwhile, as the yeast is rising, dry a couple of cups of cornmeal in a warm oven.

When the yeast is ready, start adding the cooled corn meal,
until it is stiff enough that you can roll it out like pie crust, about 1/8 inch thick.
Allow to dry, crumbling it up with your fingers or a fork several times as it dries. I think mine could have used a bit more cornmeal as it was still a little sticky.
When it was dry enough, I put it in the Magic Bullet and blended it into a coarse powder. (this was my own modification). As soon as I had some ready to use, I used her bread recipe that is a heirloom recipe from her grandmother and greatgrandmother,
and my own homemade yeast and this is the beautiful and very tasty result!
Oh, so good and I have almost a full quart of homemade yeast to use anytime I want! It did take longer for it to proof, and longer to rise, but my kitchen was cool too. But even so, I think the longer proofing and rising, made the bread that much tastier!! Oh yum!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yesterday the mail carrier left a package on the front porch. And as we weren't expecting anything, I promptly opened it and was I ever surprised to find this! Thank you, thank you, baby sister! What a pleasant surprise! I sat down on the couch and put my feet up and read through the entire book! How to choose what to make first? The photos are beautiful and the recipes sound sooo good! On Sunday mornings I often cook for breakfast. Sometimes we make waffles, biscuits and gravy, omelets, monkey bread, an egg casserole, bacon and eggs or an egg sandwich. After looking at these scrumptious recipes, this one caught my eye as the perfect one to try for breakfast this morning! Have you ever had Hardee's Breakfast Bowls at their restaurants?
These were sooooo good and easy to make too! Lots of flavor and very filling. We both loved them! If you don't do mornings, you could do the prep work the evening before and just bake them for breakfast! You gotta try these!! Recipe makes 8 servings, but I halved it.

Friday morning I saw these deer digging in the snow, trying to reach the grass underneath for their breakfast. All of this snow makes it hard for the little creatures and the wildlife to keep their bellies full.
This is Sam. He is usually in the house with us when we are home. He is a big dog, 76 pounds, and really too big for our house, but he enjoys being where we are. He is about 10 years old. Not sure exactly as he was adopted from the pound. We are all tired of this cold and snow! We want to go outside and play in the garden, don't we Sam?