Christmas Bounty

summary: Happy Christmas; Oatmeal dressing (aka stuffing) is the best; what to do with leftovers; warm up by helping to feed/clothe everyone;

:hohoho: Christmas 2017 :hohoho:

It’s warm inside but outside, it’s coooooold! And snowy!

Angels We Have Heard On High (© ejm)

It’s so cold and snowy that yesterday’s annual street hockey game was cancelled!

But Christmas wasn’t cancelled, and it’s warm inside…. We happily feasted as usual with friends and family.

(continue reading )

Better Late Than Never not-Champagne Babas (BBB December 2017)

go directly to the recipe

cork BBB Dec 2017 summary: recipe for Champagne Babas; substituting more affordable sparkling wine from Argentina; using commercial yeast instead of wild yeast; a Bread Baking Babes project;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) December 2017: Champagne Baba

BBB Champagne Baba

Well, I considered translating this into a recipe with wild yeast….

And then I realized that it would prove that I’m completely out of my mind. This is dough that has egg and butter and sugar. Like brioche. Eeeeeeek!!

Yes. Commercial yeast is the wiser ingredient, isn’t it? Maybe next time I’ll try with wild yeast. Maybe….

Having had Rum Babas years ago that T made when we first got our food processor (it came with a recipe book), I knew that babas shouldn’t be that hard to make. Especially if I did everything by hand instead of hauling out the food processor….

We loved rum babas so we should love champagne baba too.

Baba is a traditional bistro dessert. Its round cylindrical shape crosses over perfectly to tall bread machine pans. […] Baba is plump like a plush toy—soaked in a spirited champagne syrup, glazed, and then cut into wedges or slices to serve with sweetened whipped cream. Serve it the day it is made or no more than one day later for the best texture.
– Beth Hensperger, Champagne-soaked Baba, Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine, p.521

(continue reading )

Tracking the other BBBabes

The others have already baked this month’s recipe: Champagne Baba. But I am a laggard, trailing behind, catching glimpses of their footprints in the newly fallen snow.

I’m happy to report that I have now mixed the dough. Stay tuned for the full report. (My sister will be thrilled at the details; things have not gone particularly smoothly. :lalala: )

BBB Dec 2017
Beth Hensberger’s Champagne Baba

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ December 2017 bread.


edit 19 December 2017: Our not-Champagne babas are DELICIOUS! Please read more here: Better Late Than Never Not-champagne Babas (BBB December 2017)

Reparations after Bread Wars

Mock Monsieursummary: effects of weather changes on bread made with wild yeast; bread wars; counter-intuitive behaviour; rescuing failures and turning them into major successes; Mock Monsieurs; Avocado Toast; Winning;

“If you have a lemon make a lemonade” – Dale Carnegie, after Elbert Hubbard“Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways.” – Twyla Tharp

We were so thrilled to finally have fabulous wild yeast bread from OUR kitchen this summmer. We were so proud of ourselves. It was as if we had invented it. We even contemplated not bothering to replace the jar of “expired” (but oddly still viable) commercial yeast that was languishing in the fridge.

We don’ need no stinkin’ active dry yeast! -me, OUR kitchen, sometime in early October

So it has been quite disheartening over the last month or so to be making flat loaf after flat loaf.

You can imagine the tears of frustration when I pulled the bread out of the oven on that lovely sunny morning in November. The bread that was supposed to be showcasing stew for dinner that night….

Tartine Bread (continue reading )

A Night to Remember

summary: Chateauneuf du Pape Clos des Papes 1990; almost like new after all these years; Picanha; Sauce d’Auvergne; crazed black cat;

We used to splash out and go to a fancy restaurant for our anniversary. But every time, no matter how great it was, we would always end up thinking that we could have had something easily as good at home.

So now, we splash out at the grocery and wine stores. Well, actually, we splashed out at the wine store almost 30 years ago in:

Clos des Papes 1990
Chateauneuf du Pape Clos des Papes 1990

We had been married three years when the grapes for this wine were being harvested. How can that be?! How can we be so old? (continue reading )