L’Otto di Merano for the 8th month (BBB August 2015)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for l’Otto di Merano, based on a recipe in “The Italian Baker” by Carol Field; brief review of “The Italian Baker“; camping; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) August 2015

And then, all of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth out of the darkness: “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!” and so forth, without pause or change, like the clacking of a tiny mill. – Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

BBB Otto di Merano wp-image-2244 I cannot stop making bread with malted grains! No, I cannot….

I have the honour of hosting this August. Ever since March, when the BBBabes made Granary Bread, I cannot stop making bread with malted wheat! We cannot believe our fortune that the Noble Hop, the wonderful shop selling supplies for home-brewing beer, is about a five minute bike-ride from us.

So, a couple of weeks ago, when I went to replenish our stock of malted wheat, I noticed that the shop also sells malted rye. And I remembered about a bread I’ve had bookmarked for ages. One of my friends was born in Finland; a few summers ago, she returned for a wedding where she tasted the most wonderful bread. She raved and raved about how great it was, asked for and received (by snailmail!!!) the recipe and very kindly translated it for me. She hasn’t made it yet either. Because it calls for mämmimalltaita (malted rye for mämmi, a Finnish pudding), an ingredient not so easily found here in Canada.

Suddenly, I realized that I could make the bread at last by using malted rye purchased from the Noble Hop. Sure, I don’t really know exactly what mämmimalltaita means (I think it’s “mämmi malt”). But why should I let an inability to speak/read Finnish stop me? :stomp:

I WAS going to suggest making this bread for the August BBBabes’ project but when I saw that the bread takes close to two hours to bake, I decided that would be a foolish choice for the Dog Days of summer.

So, in a sudden change of direction, I am choosing a rye bread from an area of Europe much further to the south. It’s L’Otto di Merano, a rye bread based on one of the recipes in Carol Field’s classic bread book, “The Italian Baker”. (continue reading )

Mostly-Wordless Not-Wednesday: regrow beet greens in one week, eh?

:stomp: :stomp: :stomp:


As proof that kitchen miracles so exist, here are four vegetables that regrow in one week with just water and sunshine. […] [A]ll members of the turnip family (beets, turnips, parsnips) can regrow their greens
– Jaime Brockway, Use, Regrow, Repeat: 4 Vegetables that Regrow in One Week, Food52

Regrow the greens in one week? How great would that be? J’adore beet greens!!

So I tried it, using a Farmers’ Market Beet (the greens attached to this particular bunch of beets were wonderful; so were the beets themselves):

regrowing beet greens: day2
4 August 2015 – after one day
regrowing beet greens: day8
11 August 2015 – after eight days

I was pretty excited to see that a tip of a leaf had emerged after just one day. I was less than excited to see how slowly the leaf was growing. …strong growth in just one week, eh?


There’s Music in the Air! (WHB#408+n: Garlic)

pesto ingredients wp-image-2229 summary: making basil pesto; our ‘Music’ garlic grew beautifully; information about garlic (Allium sativum) and WHB; (click on image(s) for larger views and more photos)

Without garlic, I simply would not want to live. – Louis Diat
Without music, life would be a mistake. – Friedrich Nietzsche

WHB#408+n: Garlic (Allium sativum)

'music' garlic wp-image-2226 Last fall, when I went to the garden center to get seed garlic, there were several kinds from which to choose. (How Victorian of me to insist on not ending the sentence with “from”….) Staring at the various packages and names, they all looked pretty much the same to me. So, simply because I liked the idea of it in our garden, I chose “Music”.

I have no idea what kind of garlic I have planted in the past. But this year is the first in many that the planted cloves produced anything more than spring garlic greens and a spindly scape or two.

We’re thrilled with the result!! Sure, each garlic head isn’t that big, but considering how much sun our garden doesn’t get, the size of the bulbs is amazing.

And the garlic itself is stunningly beautiful, almost transluscent, like a semi-precious jewel. Its flavour is sweet and fresh and sharp – but not too sharp. It’s perfect! No wonder people love garlic so much!

Life truly is worth living with music AND garlic.

The basil I planted, on the other hand, has not fared quite as well. (continue reading )

Delving into the Archives… Iraqi Pink Rice

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SAVEUR subscription offer wp-image-2224 summary: going through our photo archives; recipe for Iraqi pink rice; one last (maybe) rant about SAVEUR Magazine; (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

SAVEUR Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine wp-image-1998 No!! No!! No!! :stomp: :stomp: :stomp: I’m not going to renew my 3-year SAVEUR subscription! Why would I? At the rate they’re going, I feel sure that the magazine is going to fold well before a 3-year subscription is completely filled.

pink rice wp-image-2219 But, whining is not really why I’m here today. I’m really here to rave about Iraqi pink rice rather than the pillowy soft Persian flatbread that we first tried it with.

We’ve been making Iraqi Chicken with Pink Rice for at least two years and the other night, we decided to have it again. To remind ourselves what we did, we looked here on the blog. And it wasn’t there. :!: :?: :!:

How on earth have I neglected to say anything about this fabulous rice before now?

(continue reading )

In the Heat of Summer: 2 Kinds of Chicken Salad

Not Far From the Treesummary: chicken salad – one with cherries, one with croutons; eating seasonally; information about Not Far From the Tree; (click on image(s) to see more photos and larger views)

cherries wp-image-2158 Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone.
– Christian Dior

Ah mid-summer! It didn’t go below 20C last night and once again today it’s sunny and the high will be in the mid 30s.

Naturally, we’re using the barbecue for just about everything that needs cooking. On the weekend, we had a beautiful butterflied chicken (Djaj Bil-Bahar Il-Asfar, of course!) and grilled vegetables.

Cherry Chicken Salad wp-image-2212 Which means the next night, we get to have chicken salad for dinner. Normally, we add toasted almonds and grapes to this salad. But a couple of weeks ago, we still had some of the beautiful sweet red NFFtT cherries left.

So rather than grapes, we added cherries. Because grapes aren’t in season yet…. (continue reading )