Bonjour, mes amis. I don’t update this blog any longer but I hope you enjoy the recipes. Bisous!

Mark’s mom just lent me her copy of “Beard on Bread” and I’m very happy about it. I worked my way through this sweet little book in college and still remember how each recipe turned out–always earthy, flavorful and broadly appealing. Nothing too adventurous or painstaking.  I love you, James Beard.

I’m going to make one of my favorites right now.

Anadama Bread

(From Beard on Bread by James Beard)

  1. 1 package active dry yeast
  2. 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  3. 1 1/4 cups warm water (100-115 degrees, approximately)
  4. 2 tablespoons butter
  5. 1/4 cup molasses
  6. 1 tablespoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  8. 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, approximately

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl and let proof for five minutes. Combine the remaining water, butter, molasses, and salt in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm. Stir into the yeast mixture. Add the cornmeal and mix well. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and beat vigorously; the dough will be sticky and hard to work. Turn out on a lightly floured board. Using a baker’s scraper or a large spatula, scrape under the flour on the board and fold the dough over to incorporate the flour. Repeat this process until you can knead with your hands, using only enough additional flour to make a smooth dough that is springy to touch; the stickiness will not be completely eliminated. Shape into a ball, put in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat the surface with the fat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down, Shape into one loaf, to fit a 10-inch loaf pan, or divide into two pieces and shape to fit two 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf tins. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then lower he temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 35 minutes more, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped with the knuckles on top and bottom. Cool on racks.

Look at this amazing garden tote my mom made for me. I feel very chic loading it up with zukes and artichokes. She is an incredible knitter–and actually makes me stuff that I wear. Way to go, mom!

Look at the cool handles!

My mom knitted this tote bag for my vegetables

lettuce

…is delicious. I planted 13 cloves last fall, just pulled them up and they are full-on gorgeous. Lesson learned: Plant a few cloves every three weeks or so, then you’ll have them around. I am loaded with garlic now, not that there will be a problem eating them. Also, I found out that they are not like onions, i.e. don’t wait until all the tops die down before you harvest. The greens on these guys were just starting to turn brown when they were ready to pull.

On the other hand, try not to be impatient like me and pull them up before the bulbs have divided into cloves. You can tell by gently pushing the soil from the top to see how they’re coming along.

Last night I threw some of the fresh cloves into beets and artichokes I was roasting and they really delivered —  super tender, hotter than store-bought and keep the vampires at bay, which is nice.

Garlic curing in the pantry

Garlic curing in the pantry

beets

artichokes in the front garden

The artichokes (I’ve got eight of them, grown from seed) are taking off. They like the cooler weather, it seems.

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