Monday, May 3, 2010

A Blast from the Past

I had a great surprise after work today. A message from Facebook instantly brought some old memories into my mind as if they were as fresh as yesterday. A dear friend and former roommate from college had found me! Wendie was so much fun and such a genuine person in a time and place where that was a rare trait. I'm sure she's even more so today. I can't wait to reconnect and catch up with her. Here's a picture of Wendie from the wayback machine.

This is a photo from the summer of 1973 when I was staying at her house for awhile. Once my memory was jogged by Wendie's message from Facebook, I was able to find the album with the pictures from that summer in less than 3 minutes - that's definitely a record for me. This photo was simply labeled "Wendie Goofing Off". Thanks, Wendie, for taking the time to look for me on Facebook and sending the message. I look forward to many more.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Homemade Butter and Oat Waffles - Just the thing for a cold morning!

We're having a cold (low 40s) day, overcast, with the threat of rain or snow. So what makes for a tasty brunch on such a day? I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that I also made sweet cream butter with the cream from my raw milk from the last two weeks. I weighed it today and it's just a few grams shy of 1/4 lb. I had cultured the cream from last week and mixed it with the fresh cream from this week. They sat for about an hour to come to room temperature before "churning" in the food processor. The buttermilk came out very good, too, as if all of it had been cultured. I learned from the first time that the buttermilk is downright nasty if the cream doesn't culture for at least a day. I had 2 cups of buttermilk from the process but at least 1/2 cup was due to extra milk that got skimmed with the cream. 

I've found a new waffle that I like. It's made from oat bran and uses honey for sweetener. I've been making a batch on Sunday and eating one for breakfast, leaving four more for my breakfasts through the week. I make the batch at one time, lay out the waffles on the cookie sheet and freeze. Then I can put them all in one storage bag and remove them as needed. So picture my waffle with homemade butter and organic maple syrup and a big smile on my face and tummy!

I have an antique wooden butter bowl and paddle that I'd love to use for the final steps in making the butter, just to get the original experience. But the bowl is made for a large batch of butter. My 1/4 lb. would get lost in the bowl. I took a photo just to show the funny difference in size of my batch versus an old-fashioned size batch made by a family who had a milking cow and a daily cream source. Someday I'm going to use this bowl! Kristine and I have been daydreaming about Valerie, Stephanie, Kristine and myself sharing a cow in Pennsylvania one of these days. We learned this past week that an average daily milk gathering would be around 5 gallons. Now THATS enough cream to use my antique bowl!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pickles, Pesto and (S)Prouts

Saturday is generally such a pleasant day. I had fun in the house because the forecast said it would be overcast, cold and possibly rain or snow. Turned out to be sunny. It was cold but the sun was great. I did laundry in the morning and hung it out to dry in the sun. I did the bedding and the freshly made bed smells so inviting. I'll be asleep quickly tonight, for sure. I love the smell of nature's own perfume called fresh air!

My radish sprouts are reaching their peak and will go in the fridge tomorrow morning. They're very tasty. I like radishes a LOT and the sprouts taste just like eating the real thing only they're much easier to put on a sandwich. Ken tried the sprouts tonight and thinks they're delicious. I would enjoy growing the radish sprouts for Ken, Perla and myself.

I made two recipes today from my new cookbook "Nourishing Traditions". I bought the book because my sister, Kristine, has it and she recommended that I get it because it's chock-full of good information as well as tasty recipes. The cookbook arrived last Tuesday - I found it when I got home from work. I had to be away from home on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, then I went on the field trip to Cresset Farm on Thursday with Kristine and Kent. I mention this because we also made a stop at the Asian market. The produce was so fresh and beautiful. Kristine picked up several items for recipes in the book so I followed her lead and bought the ingredients for the (fermented) pickled cucumbers and the pesto. Then I got ready to prepare the recipes today and had to call her to find out where the recipes could be found in the book :-) I laughed out loud at myself - I was excited to make something that I hadn't even read about yet, all because of Kristine's enthusiasm about it. I used Korean cucumbers and they were weird! About half of the ones in my package were grown together lengthwise. You could say they were double-barreled cucumbers! The recipe (when I finally found it and read it) said you could pickle them whole or sliced. I opted for the sliced version. They should be ready to eat in a couple days. They came out looking luscious:

 We also found beautiful basil at the Asian market. The price was amazing! $1.39 for a large bundle that was about 1 1/2 cups packed after removing the leaves from the stems. I don't know if I've ever found basil for that price before. The recipe also has pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese as well as the usual basil and olive oil. Boy howdy, is it ever tasty! I think I'll have chicken and pasta tomorrow and toss the pasta with the pesto. Yummy! One container went in the fridge and one is in the freezer for another week. Come on over - I'll share with you!