Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 9 - BOUNTY!

Breakfast = Offered peanut butter toast (ha ha ha!!! I knew I wouldn't make it a month w/o PNB!)

Lunch = a cuke and 1/2 an unripe apple

Dinner = Offered noodles w/ chicken and broccoli topping (shared the leftover chicken w/ my husband who cooked dinner. I also used leftover bits from said chicken to create some awesome broth - along w/ onion, sage, green pepper, arugula, and mushroom stems.)

Exercise = a walk past the old cemetery and back w/ Mom

After the picnic yesterday, I stayed overnight at my Parent's house. My Mom inspired the way I deal with food - from caring where it comes from to cooking it myself to liking it perhaps a bit too much. We spend a lot of time talking about food - this visit not withstanding. I was telling her my list of things I know are very difficult to find native, including leavening. I thought it would be fun to try to collect native yeast sometime, and she made the point that, way back when, the bread starter was tended with about as much care as the hearth fire. There is some musings about starter cultures on a fellow challenger's blog here.

My mom is a great gardener, even though her garden has sat in a floodplain for about 35 years now. It still gives up a bounty of goods - some of which, hooray!, I was allowed to abscond with. Let's see - summer squash, tomatoes, chard, yellow beans, beets, apples, cucumbers and about 5 kinds of herbs (lemon balm, savory, sage, thyme, basil.) I also got a gift of eggs.

I spent the afternoon and evening cooking up a storm. I baked some bread - made from Old Feed Mill wheat and rye flour, one of my mom's chickens' eggs (I should have taken a photo of the chickies but I forgot. That said, they are not very attractive - don't tell them that), honey from my uncle's farm and yeast. I did also shake some table salt in there. Whoops. It really is the spice of life tho. I also made sauce for my spaghetti squash, cooked up the bitter mustard greens, and some summer squash. I was hesitant on the squash - my friend in Portland taught me to cook sliced summer squash with salt and olive oil. I used butter and a bunch of fresh herbs from Mom. It ended up not being fried as much as basted, and the water that wept from the veggies created sort of a butter sauce. Not bad!

My tomato sauce was mostly tomatoes, onion, garlic, shallots, peppers, and mushrooms + one metric ton of basil. It is very fresh but also very watery. I scooped some out before hand for tomato soup (which I topped with goat feta cheese), then boiled the rest of the sauce down.

I think I should be set for meals all next week! Froze some too. Feel very rich right now.

1 comment:

Bekah said...

You can pretty easily create your own sourdough leavening by stirring 3 cups of rye flour (wheat works, too, but rye makes an especially nice starter) into 2 cups of (non-chlorinated) water, covering the container with a piece of muslin or something to keep bugs out but leave it open to air and wild yeasts, and stir it at least once a day. After a few days (maybe less in the August heat), you will notice tiny bubbles at the surface that indicate that the yeasts are active. After this, for 3 or 4 days, add a tablespoon or 2 more flour (rye or wheat or anything else you desire and can find locally) to the starter and stir. If it gets so thick that it almost becomes solid, add a little more (non-chlorinated) water. You can start to use it at this point. Whenever you don't use it for a while, feed it every day or so, or put it in the fridge to slow it down and make it require less frequent feedings (but still feed it sometimes, even there). Make sense? Let me know if you try it! I've been trying off and on for a while to get a good gluten-free starter going.