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.
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:
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.