Last non-food post. You know what I’m sayin’?

We're home safe and sound from our weekend get-away. I have to say two more unrelated food things and then I'll get back to the business at hand. It was unbelievably wonderful to spend some time alone with my husband. It was unbelievably wonderful to come home to my kids and their hugs.   Okay, one last non-food related item.  Weird Al was hilarious and I highly recommend catching one of his shows.  They combine his musicality (astonishingly good) with his humour (astonishingly juvenile.)  That's the perfect recipe for a hilarious night!  They aired this "interview" at the show on Saturday.   It was a very, very, good time!     … {Read on...}

White and Nerdy!

I am taking the weekend off!  My husband and I are going to get away for a night for the first time since we've had kids (that equals 10 years for those of you who wonder...)   I've spent the night away from the kids before, but it was when I was in the hospital having more kids, so I'm pretty sure that doesn't count as "getting away".    We're going to revel in our nerditude (New word.  I just made it up but it describes us to a tee.  When we were dating my husband's niece and nephews called us 'King and Queen Geek'.)  We're going to catch a Weird Al show.    White & Nerdy from waymoby on Vimeo.   When my husband bought these tickets for me as a Mother's Day present he told some of his co-workers about our plans.  One of them said, "Weird Al?  That's cool!"  To which my husband, The Evil Genius, replied, "No.  No it isn't.  And that's why we're going."  I love him.   We're going to get dinner at a real, honest-to-goodness restaurant where I will pay people to cook for me and clean up after me.  We will have wine with dinner and we will,   *wait for it because it's worth it*,   go home IN THE MORNING!     Thank you for the gratis babysitting, Nana.  You rock. … {Read on...}

Walking on Broken Glass

better-crop-shot-one-good-woman

"Lift me up and take me back Don't let me keep on walking... Walking on broken glass Walking on walking on broken glass" Annie Lennox   This song has been tearing through my head lately.  We have had an abnormally high number of broken dishes around chez us lately.  In the last two weeks someone or another has broken one plate, a pasta bowl, three drinking jars (I use them for canning, too...), and the gallon jar that was used for storing granola.  I was doing mostly fine with it.  I only freaked out a little over the gallon jar, but that's because it fell off the top of the fridge, hit a teapot and my Kitchen Aid mixer on the way down, shattered on the countertop and then the remaining pieces shattered on the floor.  That was a bit of work.  Thankfully, The Evil Genius was home and -between the two of us- we kept the kids out of the way and got the glass cleaned up thoroughly.    My eyes have had a great work-out while searching really hard for every last shard each time something broke so that I wouldn't have to dig it out of a little tootsie.  I was even okay when one of my jars lost its bottom in the canner yesterday.  I didn't even think about the fact that I lost a potential jar of pickles more than twice...   ...Then "it" happened.  Ty was spinning around on a rotating stool. (WHY did we put those near the computer desk?)  He twirled around once, kicked my favorite tea cup (the big, well-used, well-loved "One Good Woman" mug) and somehow when … {Read on...}

Home Canned Garlic Dill Pickles

green-garlic-dill-pickles

Yesterday was my first day of the year full of the manic joy that is canning season.  My garden unexpectedly delivered a colander full of pickling cucumbers.  Some of the cucumbers had been doing a good job of hiding and were pretty huge.  My job was clear.  Pickle them while they're fresh!  The large ones were sliced thin for hamburger dill slices in order to make them fit into jars. I was rewarded for my work with two quarts and four pints of Green Garlic Dill Pickles.   Two pints Hamburger Dill Slices and one quart Green Garlic Dill Pickles.  I know a lot of folks out there are intimidated by canning.  I understand it...  The food police have scared us with their constant semi-subliminal message that the only food safe to eat comes hermetically sealed in jars and boxes barely touched by human hands.  Look at all the things that can go wrong, botchulism, salmonella, mold, etc...  The truth is, though, that canning is an incredibly safe and economical way to provide outstanding food for your table.    I've put together a little primer on making garlic dill pickles; by far the easiest thing outside of jam to can.   Dill Pickle Recipe Primer   There are really only three things you need to do to ensure successful pickles.  Keep everything clean. Use the freshest produce available.  Keep your hands impeccably clean.  As in Howard Hughes clean.   For starters, you'll need intact glass canning jars that come with new two part lids.  The ones … {Read on...}

Bread: Fully Loaded! And a book review.

bacon-wine-sauteed-onions-chevre-gorgonzola-rosemary-parsley-master-bread

Yesterday was B.U.S.Y!  Aside from the normal frenetic pace of life that goes hand in glove with having five sons ages 10 and under we had other pressing matters.  I am milking goats for friends up the road while they visit family, planning for a wedding rehearsal dinner I'm catering in August, helping put up firewood for the winter, and picking up more household chores and yard work while my husband tries to put batten up every night after work.  To top it all off I discovered yesterday morning that our garden had produced-seemingly overnight- mammoth pickling cucumbers. (My tried and tested pickle recipe will be in my next post.)  Because fresher cucumbers equal crunchier pickles I knew I was going to be pickling last night after making dinner, but before milking goats.  Phew!   Dinner was going to have to be fast and easy.    I recently procured a copy of "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Franςois.  Before reading the book I had regarded it with more than just a touch of suspicion.  I am a long time sourdough, poolish, and pâte fermenté baker and I didn't think anything could come close to the time-honored methods.    The premise of the book is that you mix up master bread doughs and store them in your fridge, taking a portion from the dough mass each day to bake.  I was interested, but still skeptical.  I mixed up one of the basic boule dough from the book.  Jeff Hertzberg, in the book, says:   "Amaze your friends with … {Read on...}