Monday, March 30, 2009

Bread! Mmmmmm! And lovely locavorism!

Bread making is so beautiful and therapeutic and makes your house smell Lovely! 
I have, Finally, found The bread that Charles really enjoys. I am ever so glad. Ever since we got together I have been working on making bread and learning about this good ol' fashioned tradition. So far the best cookbook author I have found is Peter Reinheart, he is awesome! His book is where I got Charles new favorite from.
I have been thinking about it, a 5 lb. bag of flour is about $2, from a groceries. I believe they have 12 c. in them and that equals at least 6 loaves, which is .33 cents a loaf for flour. Then say a carton of eggs is $1, which translates to 12 loaves, which is about .08 cents each. Milk is say $2.75, the last price we paid, 1 gal. is 16 c., which is .25 cents a loaf, so far that will be .66 cents a loaf. Add some for the yeast, which I get a jar of for about $5, and it lasts me for quite a while, so say that adds about .10 cents, then it's .76 cents. 
Now there are some people out there who argue that it is still not worth it, sale loaves of cheap store bought bread can be .99 cents. But added to that cheap store bought bread are preservatives, some kind of corn or soy byproduct, sugar, etc. And when things are mass produced lots of other icky things can make there way in there that are not listed, mmmm lovely! Also, you are saving energy by making it at home instead of helping to cause it to be trucked over to where ever you buy from. And before that all the big machines to make it that use electricity and gas. But mainly, I do it because I love it, and it is lots healthier! 
Along with baking bread comes discontinuing the purchase of ready made meals. Growing your own garden or some plants in a sunny window, etc.
And on gardens, I am working on one in my front yard! I plan to work a big garden for a friend who will be gone for 2 yrs. And I just found out that there are community gardens here in Charleston!!! YAAY!! Along with that is the farmers market where I can get things that I do not grow, contributing to our locavorism. Being a locavore is awesome!!!! Especially when you can prepare and preserve food for the winter. Hmmm, a big freezer would be such a lovely addition to our kitchen! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I feel just horrible at how I have been neglecting blogging. BUT on the upside I have been doing much more reading, cleaning, garden planning, etc.

Speaking of gardening I don't know how often I will be able to update this blog. My goal for now is once a week.

Now back to the subject of books!! I just finished reading an amazing one in Feb. called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. I love books that I read and immediately want to be best of friends with the author! This is one of those books. And they have a website with some delicious recipes if you can't get the book right away, which I definitely recommend buying! The website is, and has many yummy recipes. It is a very inspiring, not discouraging book. And if you are unable to have a yard garden, I say go for container gardening! Just remember they need a lot more watering. Also, if you are in an apt., ask your landlord if you can plant in the yard! I am able as is one of my friends here in WV!

Second, is books, but more about the authors!  Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger. So far I have 2 of their books, Herbs in the Kitchen and The Garlic Cookbook. I have tried 2 recipes from The Garlic Cookbook and plan on using Herbs in the Kitchen soon also! BUT Susan is who you need to check out! Google her and you will find great and useful herb gardening, harvesting, and storage tips. Which her and Carolyn also combine along with cooking in Herbs in the Kitchen. I am soooo excited to have discovered them! They have traveled the world and so far recipes are easy and delicious with no complicated ingredients. LOVE IT! 

The third book is Super awesome, another author I want to be friends with, as well as his wife! And I was very afraid I would not receive this cookbook, as there was some kind of mash up on ebay. But it came, rather late, and very beautiful Bread Bakers Apprentice. I think all his books are worth adding to your library also! I already made a bread from his book! The recipe for which I retrieved from the internet. I am already working on the first chapter and it is thrilling! I am soooo looking forward to finally creating bread that my husband will Love as well as all visiting people's. ;) His methods are ingenious, and he even tells you to not throw out your other books, but look at them in a new light. And I am glad he did, cause right after starting to read his book I thought of throwing some of mine out. But now I will know bread and make it! And no more icky, store bought, chemically enhanced bread for us!!!! 

Now thinking of my bread baking books reminds me of another excellent husband and wife team whom I Adore! Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid! They so beautifully combine story-telling, cooking, traveling, and photography. I have 2 of their books and am dying to get my hands on the rest! Seduction of Rice, soooo excellent, covering many cuisines that have rice as a staple. And Homebaking, the artful mix of flour and traditions from around the world. I made some good bread from the 2nd book, but it was a bit too dry. I think that Peter's book will definitely help me with working from Jeffrey and Naomi's book.

Man, all this good reading and cooking and baking!!!! If anyone has knowledge of other great cookbook authors, please clue me in!

Oh, and here is another blog that I love and has helped open my eye's on good old-fashioned homemaking also!, please check her out, she rocks!!! Soon I will be saying hello to soaked grain breads!