Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Photo

A drop of water.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cold Brewed Coffee

You know the saying about necessity being the mother of invention? Well, here is a case in point. I guess one could argue that this isn't about necessity and I certainly didn't invent this but I'm excited about it and wanted to share.
Last week was a good week with the exception of one day. I'm sure good things happened but it was one of those days where the not-so-good eclipsed the good for me. The last straw was when I knocked my beloved french press off of the dish drainer. I had already broken a drinking glass that afternoon and shattering my french press resulted in me dissolving into a puddle of tears. Weeping would be a better description. I recovered and my sweet husband cleaned up all the glass. This week is going much better but is sadly devoid of coffee. Coffee is a wonderful thing, the smell is intoxicating, it warms the soul and is an excellent conveyor of cream. Real cream. We don't drink coffee everyday but when the weather is grey and cold (like this week has been) and each day bring a thunderstorm and steady rain (like this week has), I start wanting a good hot cup of fresh coffee.
Yesterday afternoon I remembered a recipe, directions really, for cold brewed coffee made in a glass jar. Unfortunately it takes 10 to 12 hours to brew so it wasn't much help yesterday but today I got crackin and made myself some. I ground enough fresh coffee beans to measure 2/3 of a cup of grounds and mixed that in a quart jar with 3 cups of filtered water. Stirred it up good and set it on the counter to brew. It's hidden behind the vinegar and olive oil since it seemed like something my little darlings would like to explore (read: pour out all over my kitchen floor). In the morning I will be able to strain it and stir a tablespoon or so of the brewed coffee into a mug of hot water and then stir in my cream. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bennett Salad

Today I give you The Bennett Salad. What can I say about the Bennetts. Two years ago we met a family and they have been a tremendous blessing to our family. The mother has been an inspiration to me in my homeschool and their intentionality in raising their children has helped shape our direction in raising ours. Their daughters babysit our kids, all six of them at once! In fact, a few weeks ago, when one of their daughters came to babysit she brought her salad with her, three of my kiddos who hadn't eaten the salad I had just served them lined up with plates to eat her salad. She brought a bigger salad the next week to share. We love the Bennetts.
And then there is this salad. Above you can see a Bennett Salad we enjoyed last week. Not the same salad we ate at their lovely home but a version. No recipe for it exists, only the rule of putting any fresh vegetable you have, finely diced on your fresh lettuce. There must be sprouts of some kind and nuts or seeds. Sunflower seeds always adorn their salad but I had eaten all mine so walnuts were the star of this particular salad. I loved the golden raisins on this too.
So check out your fridge, farmer's market, or garden and see what you have to make your own Bennett Salad. Really load it up. Grow some sprouts, it's easy if you have a jar and some seeds. Check out this cool website for sprouting info and even videos. You will feel healthier after the first bite!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Recipe Box...Finally!

Nearly everyday a card is added to my recipe collection. This has resulted in a recipe box problem. I've worn out a regular old plastic index card box and have been looking for a replacement ever since. If you know me, you know I couldn't just go to the store and pick up another plastic card box. No, I need something cool and preferably old. Enter this fabulous old storage container. Originally used to store your leftover meatloaf or spaghetti in the Frigidare, this baby was snagged on a flea market spree with my mom this summer. It didn't become home to my recipes until last month when I finally got fed up with trying to find my pita recipe in the tiny box I was keeping everything it. Is it not perfect?
During the move to their new home, I was caught up in the history of so many of my recipes. Nearly every one has memories attached to it, who gave it to me, who I made it for, who loved that particular thing and even who I've passed it on to. History that makes a recipe more than a mixture of butter, sugar and flour, it transforms a list and some directions into a road-map of my life. Being the emotional creature that I am, I found myself sitting at our table crying over my recipes. Funny how a splattered index card can do that to me. I thought I would share some of my favorite recipe-memories with you:

My Mom's Molasses Ginger Cookies. My family has made these cookies every Christmas since who knows when. The rolling/cutting/icing/sprinkles mess is as much a part of Christmas as decorating the tree.

Daily Bread. I have made this bread at least once a week for several years. It's one of the first bread recipes I adapted/made up myself and we love it.

Mrs. Penny's Broccoli Salad, a truly magical salad. Our dear family friend served it to us when I was a teenager and I copied down the recipe that night. I have several recipes from dinners at Mrs. Penny's house.

This is one that got me. My sister's Aunt Clara's Harvest Coffee Cake. We've been making this coffee cake for more years than I can remember and I don't even know where my sister came across it. Last year my sister move out of the country and I miss her so very much. I might just have to bake a coffee cake in honor of her. If only she could drop by for a piece and a good long chat.
So there you have it, some of my favorite recipe-memories. Now I know where to go when I'm feeling nostalgic, straight to my own glass box of history!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Photo

Sweet Gum tree in the fog.

Yesterday we had a steady cold drizzle of early spring rain. The skies cleared just in time for a beautiful sunset and later in the evening this thick fog rolled in. I love fog, how it softens everything and changes your everyday view into something new and mysterious looking.

Happy weekend to you!