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The veggie ends that I saved are growing nicely. The kitchen window sill is filled with lots of green things which is a welcome sight when you look out the window and realize that nothing green will be growing out there for quite a while yet.

Right now, I have about a dozen scallions in various stages of growth, a bunch of basil and a lovely bok choy. The other day, when I chopped up the last of a stalk of celery for some roasted cauliflower soup, I added that to the dish. I am anxious to see how that works.

While the leeks and scallions by far have the most roots, the bok choy, which has grown beautifully, is only just now starting to sprout a couple roots from its base. The basil is not showing any real root growth yet, but lots of leaves.

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I thought that it might be fun to try to incorporate a “my own…” section in on, of all days….Monday! Each week I’ll make a concerted effort to “make” something of my own that Monday. Schedules around here have been crazy busy lately, so not as much time to “make my own” as I’d like.

So, for the first My Own Monday:

Homemade Bread

Potato Leek Soup

Not so bad for a cold, cold winter’s evening? Filled our bellies and now I hear rumors that we’re having chocolate chip cookies for dessert….

Last night was cold and sleeting and very, very windy. It was a good night to make a good meal. We had a pasta, chicken and veggie dish and dinner rolls.

The rolls, which are one of my new favorite recipes, came from King Arthur’s website. The recipe, which I have changed slightly is easy and for a yeast dough, relatively quick.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 t. active dry yeast
  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 3 T. honey
  • 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 c. instant potato flakes

Process:

  1. Put yeast into the bowl of stand mixer, add the warm water and a dash of sugar to start the yeast. Let it sit for about 15 minutes or until you notice the yeast starting to foam.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 5-7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and formed into a ball.
  3. Place the dough into an oiled container, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour. (I sometimes preheat my oven and turn it off and then put the dough in there to proof.)
  4. When the dough has doubled, take it from the container, place it on a silpat or other non-stick surface and divide in half. Divide each half into half and then in half again until you have 16 pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a ball and place them into two round cake pans which have been oiled. It should look like this:
  6. Cover and allow to rise until they touch, about another 30 minutes. They should look like this:
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place both pans in the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown. When the rolls come out of the oven, sprinkle with flour to give the “snowflake” roll look.

The original recipe can be found at King Arthur’s site.

The pasta dish was a classic “throw together” with leftover chicken, green bell peppers, a fresh leek from the garden, garlic, oil cured pitted olives, basil, oregano, onions and broccoli florets all sauteed and tossed with some olive oil over cavatappi pasta.

 

And in response to those of you who ask why I prefer pictures of food to my children sometimes, I leave you with this photo:

Cold days warrant soup. Since a friend asked for the recipe, I thought I would post the recipe for potato leek soup.

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5 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cubed into bite-size pieces

1 bunch of leeks (3 med/large), cleaned and thinly chopped (white and green parts)

32 oz of chicken broth (vegetable broth for you, vegetarians- I use low sodium)

2 T. vegetable or olive oil

Milk for creaming (I use 1%, but whatever you have will be fine)

1. Clean and slice leeks. Saute in the oil until they are soft, but not brown. While they are cooking, you can dice your potatoes.

2. When leeks are soft, add potatoes and broth (you want it all covered with broth, if 32 oz is not enough you can adjust this accordingly.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 1 hour.

4. Take about 1/2 soup and put it into blender (unless of course you have one of those fancy-smansy stick blenders). For each batch fill about 3/4 and add about 1/4 c milk. Blend. Continue until the entire half is done and then add back to pot with unblended soup. Again, check salt and pepper to taste.

(You can do this when it is cooled and then re-heat the whole soup to serve)

Enjoy!

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I haven’t posted in a few day. To be honest, I didn’t feel like it and I didn’t feel like I had anything positive to say. So, now, sitting here alone while one son is hiking the Long Trail and my husband and other sons are attending our goddaughter’s confirmation….I will catch up.

This week…… one evening we (two of my friends and I) made cheese. We got almost 4 gallons of fresh milk from the dairy down the road and attempted to make fresh mozarella and ricotta cheeses. The mozarella came out okay but a little bland, I think in an effort to not over salt it, we didn’t salt it enough. While the process is not complicated, we were following an online recipes from instructables.com so it took a lot of back and forth. I think a second attempt at it would go a whole lot smoother having already done it once and knowing what to expect. The ricotta didn’t work so well. My friend had a recipe which which followed and nothing seemed to be happening as described in the magazine. We looked it up online and found out that it appears that you have to let it sit, so we let it sit overnight. Since we were working at my house, I was the lucky “keeper of the cheese”. In the morning, it looked the same as the night before. Not to be discouraged, I pretty much started over after scouring the internet for some “we screwed up the recipe for the ricotta” quick fix. The second batch (or more accurately, the remake of the first batch) went well. Here are some pictures.

 

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

 

Ricotta in cheesecloth

Ricotta in cheesecloth

 

 

 

 

I was up early a couple mornings this week making snacks for various Halloween events and after school activities. Those came out well and I am tending to think that baking at 5:30 a.m. works for me. 

Friday was Halloween and we went to the annual Rutland Halloween parade where we met up with some friends and their kids. Always a good time, but I noticed that I was totally out of breath getting from the car up the hill to where the parade was located. Trying not to freak myself out or worry Tom, but between that and my arm hurting where it actually hurts to lift things, I must admit the “freak me out ” scale is getting higher. 

Yesterday, I cut up some of the cabbage to make sauerkraut. I found a recipe for pink sauerkraut if you combine green and red cabbage. Since I have both, I am giving it a try. Here is is on day 1 of fermentation.

 

Fermentation Day 1

Fermentation Day 1

I also packed up my potatoes from the garden to go into the basement. So this is a picture of the total take for the season.

 

Today, I have a few hours to myself since I have to pick up Timmy in a bit to go to the soccer celebration this afternoon. I pulled down the fence in my garden and pulled the dead plants from the flower boxes and brought in some wood for the woodstove. Here is a picture of the leeks I just pulled.

Leeks

Leeks

 Now I am figuring out how to “bake ahead” some of the stuff I have to have ready for the bake sale Tuesday morning at the town hall for the election. 

 

I am going to see if I can pull off baking some things today and dumping them in the freezer for tomorrow night.

Oh…. and I have to pick up our other 1/4 cow which we are splitting with my friend since I don’t believe that we can fit another whole 1/4 by ourselves.

Evilwife on the move

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