I made a batch of Soda Bread yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day supper. I forgot to take a photo of the loaf, but I have one of the leftovers and the butter I made from fresh, raw cream to go along with it.
- 1 pound white flour
- 1 t salt
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 3/4 buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make a well and pour in the buttermilk.
- Stir to just combine and then pat into a round, about 1 inch thick.
- Slice the top with an X about 1/2 inch deep.
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degree and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
When the cowshare is in milk we go to the farm and get a gallon or so a week. That gives our family about 3 liters of milk and a healthy dose of cream. Sometimes the cream is clotted, sometimes I culture it for Crème fraîche and sometimes I make butter.
We end up with quite a lot of butter in the refrigerator and freezer so I decided, about a year ago, to try making ghee. With the milk solids no longer there, the ghee lasts for a long time just sitting out on the counter. It’s great for cooking and smells like wonderful popcorn.
To make Ghee …..
I place the butter into a sauce pan over medium/low heat.
I let the butter melt and start to foam as the milk solids begin to separate. The foam gets skimmed off into a container to use for cooking (within the next day or two)
With a bit more cooking, the ghee will foam a second time as the milk solids begin to brown and drop to the bottom of the pan, leaving the clear, golden ghee liquid.
Once the liquid ghee is clear, I remove the pan from the heat and filter the ghee through a couple of layers of fine cheesecloth into a bail-top jar for storage.
I always find making mayonnaise a little tricky. I keep finding posts online about how simple it is, but not so much for me. Today’s batch took two tries. The first batch was super runny and couldn’t be saved. Luckily we have an abundance of eggs so I tried again. Ta-da!
This recipe uses:
2 egg yolks
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dry mustard
1 t lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sunflower oil
Combine the yolks, salt, mustard and lemon juice and mix with a stick blender. Slowly add a little oil and blend until thick – add a little more oil – blend again. Keep this up until you have a lovely mayonnaise. If it gets too thick, add a little more lemon juice.
The first two batches of Yuletide cookies are baked and iced. Gingerbread and Sugar cookies makes the house smell so lovely. No snow so far this year, but it’s pretty chilly out.
Quinoa Stuffed Mini Jack-O’-Lanterns or Halloween Peppers
Prepare the squashes:
- 2 gold acorn squashes
- olive oil
- black pepper
If you’re going to bake them in a conventional oven, preheat it to 375ºF.
Slice off the bottom tip of the squashes to create a flat base. Cut off the tops and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!
Use a pencil to draw the faces on the squashes, and use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces. Luckily, carving a small acorn squash is easier than carving a big pumpkin!
Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the squashes and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper. At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft, or you can cook them in the microwave like I did. Place the squashes in a microwave safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup of water and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
In the meantime, make the quinoa stuffing:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup vegetable broth
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and saute two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for just about 30 seconds.
Add the parsley salt, black pepper, quinoa, and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.
Spoon the quinoa stuffing into the acorn squashes and cover them with the reserved squash tops. Reheat the finished dish, if necessary, and serve. For Tiny Appetites: You can make those mini pumpkins instead of the bigger acorn squashes. You can stuff 6 to 8 mini pumpkins with this recipe, depending on their size.Halloweegan Peppers: You can also stuff a carved orange bell pepper. Carve, stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.
Today’s 20/10 challenge actually required 3 rounds (and I still need to find homes for the extra odds and ends). The jam shelf is above the desk in the laundry room and right next to the door that the construction guys used to go in and out of the house to fix the dry rot. Needless to say it was a dusty mess. I also picked up some new jam jars recently (I love Weck jars) that needed a home after they were filled with Wild Blackberry jam and Fig & Ginger jam. I took everything down, dumped the unidentified jams, labeled the new jams, wiped everything down and reorganized the lost of them. Now the shelf is organized and sparkly and ready for the dreary winter ahead.