*You could choose to use all bacon.
|copyright 2012 alyce morgan|
|copyright 2012 alyce morgan|
|Solution for a cold winter’s day|
You know how you feel you know your weatherman? Dave and I refer to the ones we like (Mike and Craig on channel 5 in Colorado Springs -NBC affiliate and Al Roker on TODAY) by their first names, though they wouldn’t know us from Adam.
“What’s Craig say today?”
“Did Mike say what the temperature would be tonight? Should I bring the herbs in?” (cover the annuals, shut off the sprinklers, bring in the car…. oh the things governed by Mike.)
“Why is Al in another studio?” “And what’s he wearing?” “How’d he lose all that weight?” Answer is always, “I dunno.”
Today these intimate friends have forecast all day long for horrible weather…across the country, including Colorado Springs. I canceled a trip to go oversee an inspection on our new house (actually quite old-built in 1915) in St. Paul:
So the snow would come and go and disappear. But the sky stayed gray. Which it doesn’t in Colorado Springs. Except once a year or so. But bad weather? Not happening. Not here. Not yet. No how. Maybe later or tomorrow.
Who knew, though? Bad weather? I make soup. I make bread. And I did.
The soup is hearty enough for a Super Bowl stew; it’s a beef vegetable soup with nearly only root vegetables and some barley. Maybe it could be made from your pantry; I did it from mine.
The bread is a recipe from one of my favorite food writers,Mark Bittman- New York Times. It’s the quick version of the famous 2006 No-Knead Bread. If you haven’t yet made that bread, here’s the link to the original article about Jim Lahey (Sullivan Street Bakery) and the bread. It’s world famous, by now. Well, nearly. Definitely the most famous recipe in the New York Times, at least for Bittman, in ten years. That’s what he said in his last (boohoo) column. That’s saying something. ( I have made the “regular” no-knead bread, as well, and will include a pic of that below.) And, yes, the longer version is definitely better, but the the quick one’s good and it’s short! We don’t always have 20 hours. Here’s how:
Root Vegetable Barley Beef Soup for a Bad Weather Day (right)
Cook’s Note: This is a one-afternoon soup in Alyce’s tradition of making the stock and the soup nearly all together. While it’s not a perfect solution, it’s tasty and workable. You cook the meat with a few vegetables and make a stock, adding the rest at the end and including some store-bought stock to round out the soup. It’s definitely not original, but I worked it out myself raising a houseful of kids who needed meals every night for about twenty years. Before adding the second round of vegetables and jarred/boxed stock, you can also remove the already cooked vegetables and puree them, if you like. Of course, you throw them right back in the pot. It gives you the opportunity for having only freshly-cooked veg in the final soup if that’s important to you.
Cook’s Note for the Bread: Read the recipe and instructions thoroughly before beginning.
A little gallery for you:
|House so cold, I had to leave bread in the oven and take a temp; it needs to rise at 70 F.|
|Heat bowl 30 min 450F first|
|Smelling and tapping… Anyone remember James Beard’s bread book?
Note: Above bread is the quick version of the No-Knead Bread.
|Cooked up the beef trimmings for the pups…|
|80th Birthday for Grandpa Gene–Quite a party!|
|Muffin version in front of my winter herb window
PREVIEW: DROP IN AND DECORATE IS MONDAY, DECEMBER 20 4-8PM
COME BY ALYCE’S TO DECORATE A FEW COOKIES, SHARE A MEAL OF SOUP AND BREAD, OR TO JUST ENJOY THE SEASON. COOKIES WILL BE HAND-DELIVERED TO THE BRIDGE, ASSISTED LIVING CENTER THE FOLLOWING DAY. PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. SEE YOU THEN!!!!
One or two things I make during the holiday season go from September-January. Pumpkin bread is one of them. If you know me well, you’ve eaten my pumpkin bread. I have several versions and every one is different and unique and yummy and… special. I kind of work of it from year to year. My choirs eat it; my husband lathers cream cheese on it. I make it into muffins; my friends husbands say to their wives, “Why don’t you make anything like this?” (Mostly because they’re eating cake at dinner.)
This year, I had sweet ideas. Whoa: Candied ginger. Black pepper. Cayenne. Pumpkin seeds. I tried it out. Twice. Increased the ginger the second time. Passed it around at home and elsewhere. I took some to St. Paul, where we visited for Thanksgiving, froze our butts off, made it through a job interview (me-whewgladitzovah), 13 houses, and came home drop-in-bed sick from. We ate it there for breakfast. Every day. Ah. Thanksgiving time! So I’m keeping this version. It seemed to go over well, even with Sue’s friend Gladys, a top-notch cook and baker at 91. She did say, however,
“WHAT is in this? I don’t like eating stuff when I don’t know what’s in it.”
I think it was the candied ginger and the cranberries. Of course the black pepper might have done it, too. Or the cayenne. Well. I like pepper in bread; sue me. And I’m gonna go right on making it. Like that. It does make super gifts and can be made as tiny loaves, muffins or big loaves. Maybe even T-tiny muffins for a buffet. Try it; you’ll like it. Everyone else did. Better make a bunch. (Provenance: I think the original recipe for this came from THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK.) Freezes well. (No longer than 2-3 weeks, though)
|Pumpkin seeds. Use some in the bread. Eat the rest. Good for you. Great in bread!|
Alyce’s Newest Pumpkin Bread Featuring Candied Ginger and Black Pepper. OH, and Cayenne, too.
|This is a great pumpkin bread pan loaf. Pan available at Williams-Sonoma. (Design changes year to year.)|
Just thought you’d like to see the options….
Bake now while it’s quiet one night. Wrap up your treasures carefully in shiny foil. You can even put ribbons on them before you put them in the freezer. Be ready as you move through Advent into Christmas. Or as you hit the second day of Hanukkah. Breathe and study. Live and love. Don’t get crazy over what you’re supposed to do. Or as you live through another day…
Don’t let the light go out (see and hear song, LIGHT ONE CANDLE) and, while you’re at it, pray that I see the the path where God is undoubtedly shining it if I just could only be aware enough…
After a long week of writing, cooking, baking, directing, practising and dogsindogsout/getthecatoutfrom underneath that stairway, it’s just cool to kick back and grill a few lamb chops for dinner. Maybe steam some cauliflower and add a little gouda on top. Open a Christom Syrah.
Back to the bread. I made this bread when I was working on an article called, “Quick Bread 101,” in which I attempted to work out a basic quick bread recipe that let you add whatever you had on hand …say bananas, apples, blueberries, etc. I think I got it right, but this variation is my absolute favorite. It would be a sweet Mother’s Day gift, a great addition to brunch.
Green Bean Mustard Rosemary Salad..
Note: This blog was begun late in Holy Week and has been added to throughout. The last entry will be on Easter Monday when I will hopefully have time to pull the whole shebang together. Until then, sing a new song, friends.
Earlier in the week:
The wind is blowing, oh, about 50 miles an hour–no joke. It kept me up half the night.
Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way…………….
Perhaps in the south, way in the south, the weather is conducive to and making like Easter. Maybe in Mississippi or Alabama, the grass is way green and the tulips are waving their pretty little heads, showing off their Easter bonnets. Maybe in Mexico.
But here, up on the Mesa near the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, winter must howl its way out of existence. There is no ushering in like a lamb. Out here, it’s all lion. While the air has warmed up enough to turn off the heat for one or two days (and to give up baking), every few days there is still a snow or wind storm and we’re reminded that we are not in charge here. Snow and Easter lilies; these are my favorite sorts of (and the typical Colorado spring) combinations. So, it’s really like this:
Baby, it’s cold outside….
There is one hopeful, tiny row of daffodils in an extremely sunny spot down the street. Huh.
And once more, the seasons of Lent and Advent mix and murk-up life. I once had a friend who said, “It isn’t Christmas unless you find a piece of Easter grass under the sofa when you’re cleaning.” As I dig through the junk drawer, looking for a little Easter bauble for the table, I come across Christmas ornaments that didn’t make it into the box in the attic. Or I see a snowman I missed at the top of a bookshelf. Just when I think I am ready to believe grace is mine, it seems I’m thinking about waiting for the messiah to be born in my heart. Ah, gee.
No only that, but in my faith, huge, magnificent, screaming winds are not for Easter. The are for Pentecost, the birth of the church. I dunno.
And, by golly, I blogged unleavened bread last week. Ok, I’m confused for sure. But, if you’re celebrating Passover, check out our Chinese meal and fix the green onion pancakes, which are not really pancakes, but tasty chewy flatbreads cooked on top of the stove in a skillet. Rolling the eyes and taking a big breath here.
Meantime, I’m believing Easter will come. The winds will die down. I’ll make it through Maudy Thursday and Good Friday services. I’ll cook through the Saturday vigil. And, like the rest of the world, I’ll wait to be saved. Or free. Or sinless. Guiltless. Clean. Loved. New slate. Ready, set, go.
This year, our brunch is capital “S” Simple. Friends are coming and bringing part of the meal. I won’t be putting the whole thing together until Sunday after church, but will do a trial run of a quiche for grins, giggles and fotos. I’ll gear up the table (which will be filled with grass, eggs, chocolate, etc.) a bit and get it all together for you, but will try to get more complete photos as I work on the meal over the weekend. Perhaps I’ll be better with the camera than I was on a regular writing/photography gig today. When I arrived at Patsy’s Candies to take pictures for an article, my battery was dead in the camera. This from a woman who spent the $50 to have a BACKUP BATTERY and left it at home.
You see how it is this week. This blog will be a work-in-progress. Like all of us at Easter.
Ok-The bread- Columba de Pasqua- is first. I couldn’t get it to work in the shape of a dove, the traditional shape. Instead, I have a braid. I guess we’ll eat it. Made on Thursday afternoon-evening, I’ll freeze it and unthaw it Sun.
Share with someone you love!
Happy New Year, friends………….as you sing any new or “auld” song,
Alyce–Could there be anything better leftover? Add a little butter.