Monday, May 4, 2009

Pausing to Catch My Breath and Say "Hi!"

Oh it has been busy around here . . . and of the most delightful sort! So much to tell . . .

But first off, I must thank you all for the lovely birthday greetings, they added leavening to a most wonderful day of tasty meals (a fabulous brunch prepared by my girls and Chinese take-out for dinner -- my favorite) and long chats during the rainy weather. Normally I would spend my entire birthday in the gardens, but that was not to be this year. It poured buckets!

Instead . . . we busied ourselves around the house for DAYS putting in my long-awaited "indoor" pantry. After nine years in this house I finally have my pantry! Hooray! And so I am busy making curtains (for the lower bulk-bucket storage area), filling jars with all sorts of jewel-toned beans, and removing the BIG appliances from my kitchen to the shelving in the pantry. It’s great! I did manage to fit in a trip to the monthly booksale at the library and found some delightful cookbooks that I will have to share with you later this week. For now I have only a few pics and peeks into our home-and-hearth activities.

Here's a happy woman in her "indoor" pantry:

In addition to construction and rearranging of the kitchen, the girls and I have been daily experimenting with freshly ground grains and new recipes including whole wheat pita bread,

Whole wheat pizza bread (stuffed with delicious herbs and cheese – sorry, no pic), and then with a bit of tweaking by Elizabeth we enjoyed whole wheat Cornish pasties on another night.

Of course, I continue the prodigious output of bread -- we may not live by it alone, but it seems that way sometimes. I do know, we sure couldn't live without it . . . and so I bake in quantity.

I also find time to play with my newest gadgets, like this fabulous pressure cooker (oh, the bean recipes I plan to share with you)

And my nifty new sprouting trays (which make my glass jar seem like an old jalopy).

In between the rainy/windy weather the gardens explode with color and beauty . . .

And weeds! My little women have even blessed me with time on their knees filling bucket-upon-bucket with weeds.

Mr. Weatherman predicts temps into the low 80s by week's end. The gardens will become a choir of glorious beauty and fragrance. I will surely keep my camera close at hand. Here's a bit of a preview:

I can hardly wait for the show to begin. I'll be back with pics and a few recipes that I promised and have yet to deliver. [And off she dashes to play some more . . . ]

My "Crusty" baguette came out all crispy and wonderful but then softened. I evaluated and realized (silly me!) I used my regular bread recipe containing honey -- a humectant (hence, attracts moisture). While honey keeps my daily bread delightfully moist and chewy, it caused my baguette to lose crispness. It tasted great, however.

SO . . . I have a new version to try and I'll report back on that soon. Since rain has decided to stay over another day (or two) I will probably tackle the baguette tomorrow. I shall not stop until I find the desired crispness.


Laura ~Peach~ said...

wonderful pantry I so need to clean mine out! love the beautiful wonderful bloomage you have happening! I so LOVE spring!

Linda said...

I have the biggest house, but no pantry. I would love to have one! We've lived here 34 years though, and I don't know where the hubby would put it.

Your bread looks great, and your flowers are beautiful!

Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad you had a great birthday.

Elizabeth said...

Your pantry is AWESOME :) We have a new pantry as well (not by any means as large but still very servicable, and much better than the old cheapo imitation wood one we had! We built it from a kit, then stained and varnished it, it is SO much better!

Pita Pockets- that too is AWESOME! I love them, but I am especially impressed that you made them yourself :)

sukipoet said...

just love this pantry and any pantry really. a marvelous invention. your breads look delicious. my son was just going to make pita pockets. now how do you get them to puff so they can be split open?? Gorgeous place you live in. Enjoy all the flowerings.

Sharon said...

Awesome!Awesome!Love your new pantry and those pics of your flowers are wonderful!Love you~Sharon

Ruth MacC said...

Hi Debby, the whole wheat Cornish pasties look amazing! Oh, I would just love one for my tea!

How do you manage to keep your figure with all that bread?

Looking forwards to more pictures of your garden and I think your girls are smashing for helping out around the garden so much:0)

Happy belated birthday, sorry I missed it. Been pretty hectic around here with our new puppy!

God continue to bless,


Joyce said...

I am jealous of your sprouting trays! I tried ordering some from Azure Standard, but they were out. I really want to start serving sprouts again. A book I'm reading reminded me of all the good enzymes that are available in fresh sprouts.

I wonder if our whole wheat bread recipes are similar? I use a bit of honey in mine as well.

Kat said...

Wow! Busy, busy, busy! But all so wonderful. :)
Yay for the pantry! And the tasty bread!
The flowers look gorgeous. :)

Violet said...

Oh I am soooo hungry now after viewing your yummy food photos! Have you tried pizza on pita bread? It's great!

One Woman's Journey said...

I am so happy for you and from reading what you are doing - you are one smart young woman.
Blessings sent your way.