Resting

The plague has been going around my family.  I’ve been really kinda sick for about 5 days now.  And, it’s getting worse, what’s with that??  The problem is it just keeps changing – I think I have a cold, then it’s the flu then it’s who the hell knows what.  It’s gone on long enough – my energy level is zippola.

This is what’s on my porch in the morning these days – kind of a shocker as it’s only October.  We don’t usually get this till Thanksgiving; a good three weeks away.

This morning this is what my living room window looked like….a bit unusual, but I discovered my son found the storm window on the ground so he put it up where it belonged…frozen leaves and all.  Helpful fellow, no?  It looks like the leaves are on the inside.  Hummmmmm.

I have gotten a bit of weaving in today – working on my girl tie scarf – this piece is 6" wide but the tie itself will be 3", just doubled over.  I really liked the pattern until my husband said it would make a great guitar band then all these old late 60’s things came to mind….inkle bands, etc.  darn.

The house smells really nice today.  I was reading EATING WEll Magazine yesterday and it had a recipe for a Brisket.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had one so it intrigued me. 

It’s a three day process –

Day l: Marinate the meat in spices

Day 2 (which is today): Bake the meat, 40 minutes later add 4 onions chopped and a can or two of cranberry sauce, rewrap with tin foil bake 3 more hours.  Chill overnight.

Day 3: Bake again for an hour.  Serve

It really sounded good and the story around the reason for the brisket was charming.  I’ll let you know how it works, maybe I’ll remember to take photos.

Right now the idea of food kinda puts me off.  I think I’ll go downstairs and make a herbal tea brew and see if I can get my tummy to settle.  This sucks.

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GF Sourdough Bread

Every once in awhile I have to sneak one of these in.  I made this bread yesterday – altering it quite a bit but I did stay with the gluten free idea.

It actually tastes pretty good.  But, man oh man, it is totally labor intensive.  First you make a “starter” for three or four days.  yeast, almond milk, white rice flour and sugar….stir, sit, stir, sit…..same as with any starter.  Fruit flies do cluster to this so you really have to cover it with a cloth.

Once the starter was ready or rather I had time; you feed the starter by dividing it in half, adding warm water and more flour, cover and leave out over night.  You now have two jars of starter – one to put in fridge for next time and one to work with.

I have a bread flour mix that I keep on hand which consists of a cup each of:

Millet flour

Quinoa flour

Sorghum Flour

Corn Starch

Mesquite flour

and Tapioca flour

I mix this and keep it in a baggie for when I want to make just bread.  The mesquite gives it a smokiesh flavor and darker color.  It kind of cuts that cardboard taste you get with the bland flours.

O.k. so, 3 Cups of the above mixture, 2 tsp. xanthan gum, ¼ tsp. cream of tartar, ¼ c. sugar, 1.5 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. yeast, your sourdough starter which should be somewhere around 1 C.

Add:

3 Tbs. coconut oil

1.5 C. almond milk

1/3 C. sesame seeds

All is done in a mixer.  Beat at least 6 minutes. Pour into a greased bread pan, pat down with wet hands, dust heavily with sesame seeds, cover with cloth and let rise about an hour. 

Oven at 400 – bake about 45 minutes.

If you happen to have these things on hand, this is a great bread.  I had it with Nutella yesterday (cancel any goodness I was doing for myself).

This morning I toasted it with homemade butter….nice!

I got this recipe from on line through Living Without but changed it quite a bit – the idea was there though.

This morning was Boat out of the yard and into the water day.  In the dark of dawn no less.

RED SKY IN MORNING – SAILORS WARNING.  Figures!

Beautiful baby colors in that sky.  Happy to see SANDPIPER’s tail lights – these crazy boat ideas.

I’ve been convinced I really should join this group of women and men and dress as Marilyn Monroe for the Portsmouth Halloween parade.  I think it will be a blast so I’m in.  I went shopping this a.m. for my wig and accessories.  I believe we’ll be beveraging it up before we go so that may help – walking around and dressing rather scantily.  Marilyn wasn’t even half my age so I’m afraid it’s a tad foolish but what the heck…life is short and that parade is a blast, huge, tons and tons of people, crazy ass costumes.

Fresh Pumpkin

I love pumpkin season…it’s such a great color and I always feel it must be good for you.  Something about solid, orange/yellow, rich, etc.  Anyhow, I made a pumpkin risotto.

The recipe called for two cups of tiny cubes of pumpkin….can do.

The risotto has a few dried porcini mushrooms in it and onions.  Made with a chicken stock.

I don’t care for risotto – it’s bland, kind of wet.  Whenever I have it in a restaurant – I always get sucked in by the “We have such and such risotto tonight” so I get it and find the same results.  What is it with risotto????  And, with the pumpkin – you couldn’t taste the pumpkin so what was the point?  It kind of reminds me of oatmeal, which I don’t eat either.

Lots of sewing going on over here….that “quest” of my husbands (his boat) is going in the water tomorrow so that will be the end of that.  I really get tired of his projects – they impact my fun stuff.  I do have my women’s ties on the loom so that’s cool.  Ruth has a cushion she wants me to cover and pillows – arrgh, upholstery is not my forte.

Gomer – remember him?  That little dog that came with Ruth with so many handicapped problems.  He’s been doing well – lots of medication, we all love him to pieces.  Yesterday he had some emotional stress and while alone in the apartment – he’s not really alone his sister is there, he severely chewed the tip of his tail (that darn thing is too long anyway, clearly, since he can reach it).  Many, many dollars later after an extended torture scene at the emergency vet’s, this is it for the next few weeks.

Normally not too bad a situation but he’s blind – he’s taken out everything on my shelves and got hooked onto the handle on the fridge last night.  His autistic way of loving you is to butt you so now this cone is all over the place and it’s not flexible.  It’s pathetic.  We kind of look at it like…..can this be happening???  What else?  Poor guy.  I can’t imagine how he was going to sleep last night I’m sure our daughter will come down with gigantic big bags under her eyes. 

I think I’d like to be in Fiji at the moment.

Chocolate Cookies

Sometimes soft/chocolate is just the way to go! 

Again, do I have any idea of how to cook for two people?  But, it’s really o.k. as these freeze really well.  I now have lots of baggies ready for Paul to take out and share with his buddies at work.

We called these Cocoa Fudge Cookies and Cooking Light Magazine is noted so that may be where it came from, who knows?

3 sticks melted butter

2 C. cocoa

4 C. sugar (WOW, won’t be making these often unless I mess around with Agave or something)

1-½ C. Yogurt

2 Tbs. vanilla

Melt butter – sift in cocoa and sugar, whisk in yogurt & vanilla.

Fold in:

4 C. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

Should look like this:

Scoop with a small ice cream scoop onto parchment lined sheets.  Bake at 350 till cracked on top and looking slightly wet.

This recipe could be cut in half again.  That way the sugar wouldn’t be so scary.  They really are totally yummy though.

How’s this for skanky sky.  This is the bridge going into New Hampshire around noon.  This is also why you leave Dodge for the winter if you live here!!  It was really lumpy like end of earth scary movie type thing…..lots of wind and rain last night.

Paul is so obsessed over the weather everyday.  I bought a weather radio for him and it arrived yesterday (perfect timing).  It’s really cool…..for $29. bucks.  You just push the button and this canned voice tells you the forecast for a week.  It alternates between a woman and a man’s so you don’t have that urge to crush the machine listening to that monotone so much.  I love it.  My dad gave us one about 30 years ago; Paul would listen in the middle of the night and not have to ask me “what’s it going to be like today?” As if at 2 in the morning I could care?  Nerdy I know.

Sunny skies soon – I hope.

Dinner Party

I read an interesting recipe in the week-end paper yesterday morning….good reason for a small dinner party.  It was Calas, which is a Cajun style fritter.  Remarkably similar to my rice cakes (or anybody’s) except this had 2 tsp. baking powder,  ½ C. flour and ¾ C. buttermilk in it.  yummy. 

A week ago I got my shipment from California, Masa Company, for 25# of organic brown rice.  Delicious stuff.  I make the rice in the morning – 12 C. boiling water, 1 C. rice, stir once, boil for 30 minutes.  Drain, put the lid on for 10 minutes, fluff, add some tasty olive oil, s&p. Done.  Just enough for this rice dish at dinner time.  Maybe 8 Patti’s?  I sauteed it in coconut oil for the touch of sweetness and crunch to the edges.  The cakes had sauteed garlic & onion in it.  I would add a squeeze of hot sauce.

I made a version of the salad in the paper also.  Thinly sliced apples, celery, soft lettuce (watercress if you have it) and a dressing of 1 tsp. horseradish, 2 Tbs. wine vinegar and 4 Tbs. olive oil.  S&P. 

In the morning I made a sweet crust – same recipe as the other day for the apple pockets.  Rolled it out, forked the crust and froze it for the day.  To be baked as company walked in the door at 400.

We had a ton of apples around and cranberries so I made applesauce for the pie.  Lots of chopped apples, core, skin, seeds & all.  Fill a large pot, add a bag of canberries and water so you can see it just under the apples.  Cook till soft, push through strainer, add ½ C. maple syrup.  Done.

My most favorite tool of all:

This wooden device was my Nana’s.  She made mashed potatoes with it.  Lumpy fresh, no doubt organic potatoes.  Unbelievable.  At some point in my life my mom had no use for it so she asked if I wanted it.  It is my most prized possession.  Something so simple yet the use of it and memories are priceless I suppose.  I’m thinking it is about 100 years old now.  I know my grandparents were married in 1911 or 15.  Mom was born in 1918 – she remembers this from her childhood so possibly it was her grandmothers which would make it even older.  I fully intend to pass this down to my grandchildren.  So, squishing the pulp from apples and making mashed potatoes is it’s main function – perfect at both.

Before dinner we put together stuff from the fridge.

Paul loves his avocado salsa – he makes one of these every night.  Even though he makes it I always add lime juice, s&p in the end.  How come he forgets this step?  I think he’s in such a hurry to just eat it.  He’s a lucky boy.

The apple sauce tart:

I pour in the sauce (or in this case our dinner guest did) then slice apples for the top, brush with any jam I can find in this case raspberry is what came to hand.  Then it gets popped in the 400 oven for 10 minutes or so just to soften the apples.

It is so darn good.  And, terrific with our coffee in bed this morning.  Way to go!

Circle Pies

Back with the real thing!  Whew. That was a long week or so; trying to be healthy.  The thing is….I am really healthy anyway just a tad overweight.  My problem is my mind is perpetually 19 but my body is not.  I think the food I eat is what keeps me 19 and goofy so I should just “stop it” and enjoy what I do.  Not cooking depresses me!

Circle Pies are to die for!  This recipe is a combination of many recipes and me just fooling around.  Really no one can take credit for it.  That aside…….

We are not sure if we died and went to heaven or what but these are just about the tastiest things ever.  I have tweaked the crust so Marjji heads up.

2 C. Flour

2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

1 stick salted butter

¾ C. cold almond milk with some cider vinegar in it

Mix in chopper, chill in fridge for a bit.  Roll out in two squares – 4 circles each (cereal bowl for shape).

Apples:  Do ahead, I did this a few days ago.

Slice a pile of apples, mix with ½ C. Agave and sprinkle with cinnamon, place on parchment papered sheet pan and roast for at least ½ hour at 350.  You want them soft.  Store in zip loc in fridge till you come up with ideas for use.

Anyhow, place a large blob on the round, fold over, press with tines of fork, brush with egg wash & sprinkle generously with sugar.  Make a few slits on the top.

Bake at 375. till done, shifting pans half way.

TO DIE FOR.  These crispy buggers are amazing.  Trust me.

I am so happy I made these.  They came out of the oven at 3:00 – gave me the energy and happiness to go tackle yet another bunk cover for the boat.  Aaargh. Sewing nightmare city for me.  I just can’t stand to do a half assed job yet I don’t have the patience for large cumbersome projects.  The foam TOTALLY sticks to the fabric so that in itself is a nightmare.  It’s like working with 84" of velcro.  Horrible.  Anyhow, I finished – it’s not perfect but then really, neither am I or any butt that sits on it.

Two berths, an outside cockpit cushion and two twin blankets each.  Pillows and sheets next – perhaps today, they are easy.

While I was stalling in the morning Luna and I had a nice walk down to the field.  I love this guys old International Harvester tractor.  It breaks down allot but he perseveres and fixes it every time.  Nice guy.  I’m not sure you can see but there is a fire extinguisher handy in the upper right part of his seating area…..good call. 

Gee, it’s raining out…wonder what I should bake today ??????

uh oh

I may be losing my grip.  Cold weather approaching….warm, comforting food?  This morning there was a huge article about Ancient Cooking as the new thing.  A few fancy schmancy guys are trying to tweak the old stuff.  Sounds amazingly gross to me.  While in Culinary School I took a semester course on The History of Food…whys and how comes of where it all started.  Interesting but quite a bit of rotten food (no chilling capabilities) lots of salting for preserving and herbs for disguising the smelly, rotting stuff.  Quite a few early deaths back then from poisoning.  I believe I prefer the food we have available and grow fresh.  I won’t be frequenting those “suppers” to reintroduce the old ways.   So, rest easy no experimenting and showing pictures here!

My, could be the end to my fasting……I picked up one of my favorite food mags. to browse while drinking coffee this early, early a.m.  PIE….one, a pie made from reduced apple cider with whipped cream and another as flaky pastry half wheels with pecans and such inside. 

That is all it takes.  Today, after my assorted sewing stuff I’m on that half wheel deal.  Paul will be thrilled – he’s all done with my random acts of trying to not bake stuff – he’s so amazingly patient.  There is a definate pattern here – give her a week, she’ll get bored.  I am glad he’s clued in and doesn’t take me seriously.

Pictures tomorrow !