Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clinton & Carpet Removal

I will be at the Clinton Market this Saturday, July 26th. I hope the weather will be nice. I should have some wonderful whole grain breads, my delicious cultured butter, fig cakes, and blueberry muffins.

Next week Daniel and I are going to do some home renovation that has been overdue for 2 years! We are going to pull up our yucky carpet, really who wants carpet in the dining room. Blah! So I'm sorry to my Belhaven friends, I will not be back for 3 weeks! Only if I could have a mini me baker to do all my baking work so I could do everything I want to.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Soak those grains

So my friend Amber was so kind to send me a gift, a cookbook entitled Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Since I'm working this week I haven't had enough time to read and digest much of it. Ms. Fallon presents a lot of interesting ideas, some are new to me(canola oil is a man-made danger), some are now commonly held by the nutrition field (eat much less sugar and refined flour), and some I know something about but feel like I could research some more. By the way I have never heard that canola oil is dangerous before and there definitely needs to be research done on this.

One of these ideas that I knew a little about has to do with the phytates in whole grains. In nutrition school we were taught that whole grains contain phytates and in your GI these phytates can bind up minerals like iron and calcium and prevent you from digesting them. What I didn't know is you can do things to inactivate some or most of the phytates! And because I am sceptical of one person coming up with new information I did some research. Here's a few abstracts I found on the subject: here and here.

The most effective technique is to soak the grains or flour in an acidic medium at room temp before cooking. Hmm sounds like a bread starter to me. Most of my breads are actually prepared with a starter, because this improves the flavor and makes them easier to knead. And now it sounds like starters are good for another reason too!

I am going to start soaking my add in grains, like the oats and spelt berries overnight before I cook them, with a little lemon juice or buttermilk in the water. If I can just remember to do this I'll be doing good. If you want to try this at home it would be easy & your grains would cook quicker. I'm thinking of oatmeal in specific, and this technique is fine for whole, rolled, cracked, or completely milled (flour) grains. Another benefit of this is your grains will cook quicker in the morning!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pictures finally

So Daniel did an awesome job on these pictures! I apologize for not having more pictures of my products. Clinton was great, there were many people out shopping in spite of the heat. A big thanks to everyone that came by my stand and visited with me, it was great to meet new people. I saw some of my old customers, I'm glad ya'll came to Clinton. And of course thanks to everyone that bought bread or something else from me. I really do appreciate all my dedicated customers, I couldn't be working at my dream job without you.

I'll be at Belhaven this Saturday, I hope you'll come & see me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saturday July 12th!

I will be at the Clinton Market this Saturday from 8- 12. It is on the beautiful, picturesque Jefferson St. behind MC. I will have breads, cookies, cakes, biscotti, & muffins. Come & see me.

Did I wait late enough to tell everyone where I'll be this weekend? Sorry ya'll know I'm not a good blogger, I seem to do a better job reading other people's!

A frugal housewife & her helper

So we all know it is costing more to live these days. Being I handle balancing our checking account, plus costing all my bread I am very aware of how prices our increasing. Daniel and I have made some changes to try to be more frugal...

- My wonderful clothesline: I think I love this because I'm so sentimental & it reminds me of going to my Granny's house where she hung out her clothes. Also I get to go outside for a few minutes to retrieve clothes. Follow the link to get supplies to set up your own line, or go to your local hardware store. We have started pretty basic, just a short retractable line.

- making full use of fresh local veggies: My dear Granny & PopPop have a garden out in the country in Jones county. They have so generously supplied us with more than enough fresh & free produce.

- grow your own veggies: We'll be attempting this next year. I'm anticipating some frustrations along with the harvest:)

- preserve surplus veggies & fruits: I made bluberry peach honey jam a few weeks back and this week Daniel & I made salsa.

This picture is my wonderful husband helping me make salsa. I never would have gotten that done without him. He cut a bunch of onions for me with his saran wrap onion guard to protect him!

Let me caution you canning isn't hard but you must follow the rules (check government sites for proper canning technique). It takes some time, but what better way to make use of seasonal produce to enjoy for later.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Freshening things up

I know I'm not the only person that craves change, new things. My customers seem to like new items and I enjoy making new items. Unfortunately adding new items to my lineup can be very time consuming.

I have added a few fun new things for this weekend, more than anything I have freshened up some of my old favorites.

- My bran muffins will be at the Belhaven Market this weekend. I have decided to add some shredded apple into the batter to help lighten up the texture of this super hearty muffin!

- I'm going to add some blueberries into my summery Just Peachy Cakes. Blueberries & peaches are a great combination.

- I have made cultured butter. Ta da! If you're interested in trying it yourself the link is to the website I got my recipe. Pretty website. It wasn't too hard to do, lots of fun, definitely some time involved in cleanup. From experience if you have trouble whipping it up your cream may not be cold enough.

I started with Luvel whipping cream (local yeah!) and my fresh homemade yogurt (so, so good). And I followed the instructions and when I finished I decided to spice up the yummy butter. To half of the batch I added garlic and zataar (a delicious Lebanese spice blend) and to the other half I added organic sugar & Penzey's cinnamon. I did blend in some canola oil to make it more spreadable, but no preservatives, coloring, weirdo chemicals. If you're asking yourself at this point "Why is Elizabeth , the health nut, promoting butter?" see this post.

So Saturday I will have some revamped treats, awesome breads, and wonderful homemade butter spreads to freshen your palette. Please come & see me.