For years I have been trying to bake the perfect loaf of bread or the best pan of rolls. G’ma Ida’s recipe is good. Sometimes they come out perfect, sometimes they go flat…..whooomp, whooomp, whooomp…..(I think it’s all in the mindset and the touch…..think happy thoughts and use a light hand!)
Then, there’s a roll recipe I found in “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart, page 266-267 which is awesome and I’ve been successful in creating soft, fluffy rolls using this recipe.
And, finally……be still my heart! A recent recipe I found for Artisan Rolls. Crusty on the outside, great texture on the inside, and oh so delicious! But, could it be so simple to make these most awesome doughy delights???? Absolutely!
I found the super easy and delicious artisan roll recipe here:
And here’s Grandma Ida’s “No-Kneading Bread Rolls” recipe
1 cake Fleishman’s yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in a cup of lukewarm water. Place sugar, shortening and salt in a large bowl and add boiling water. Stir until ingredients are dissolved. When lukewarm add yeast (yeast water mixture in step one). Stir in flour.
“I (G’ma Ida) start with 3 cup flour. It will take more flour. Stir enough flour to make a soft dough. You will have to add enough flour so you can handle the dough. You will have to knead them a little. Put in a large bowl. Let rise until double then make in rolls. Mine are better in rolls than in a loaf. I don’t use the egg. I think they are better without the egg. They should be in a warm place and be covered. If you want them to raise fast set in the oven and put a pan of boiling water under them. The steam make them raise fast. Hope you have good luck. Grandma”
Don’t be afraid! Give these a try. Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread or the taste of a fresh hot roll with melting butter (and maybe some apiary honey from “Earls Apiary, Rushville, IL” or some homemade jam/jelly shared by a sweet neighbor or friend).
It’s amazing what a little rain will do. Friday I just found a few little guys out in the garden. Now it’s Monday and Wowzer! I picked a peck to pickle! And blooms galore! Some of these guys got almost too big. But not to worry, they will find their way into one of my pickle jars.
We have a few favorite recipes and I’ll share the links below but today I am making Claussen Copycat Pickles! It’s one of our favorites and an every year must make!
And, another bonus! I am totally thrilled. My dill came in just as my cucumbers started producing! Yea! In years past, my dill patch, which I continue to struggle with every year trying to get an abundance, was usually ready before my cucumbers resulting in…….sigh……having to use dried dill weed or dill seed. But, not this year! This year I will have these pretty little dill heads to showcase in my pickle jars. Flavor and a lovely, earthy presentation!
And, while I’m on the subject of pretty and presentation; while picking cucumbers this morning I noticed that one plant was producing funky shaped cukes! Not that I mind but I was curious as to causation.
This year I planted late. (and, whoa is me because I didn’t start a garden journal this year as I usually do so I don’t have specifics at my fingertips to help me analyze…..note to self, next year, document!)
I planted four hills with three seeds each. (Those are my cucumber plants on the right along the fencing. I planted my rows north to south. Last year, this area had tomatillo plants. I rotate my crops every year).
The first planting didn’t take except for one small plant at the north end of the fence. I left that plant and replanted more on that hill and the other three hills.
This area of the garden gets the same amount of sun throughout the day. The same amount of water when I water (which was twice this year with a sprinkler. And, of course, when (if) it rains, the plants get the same amount of rainwater.
The seeds were old seeds (two or three years old). Same variety from the same package. (Boston Pickling Cucumbers are usually what I plant…..again with the lack of journaling…….smacks forehead here!)
Anyway, just found it interesting that all of the cucumbers from the three hills on the south have pretty, straight cucumbers. That one hill to the north has more curved and a funky one or two. Not that looks matter, mind you; the taste is still delish. Just an interesting observation this morning.
Enough about cucumbers and gardens for now. Back to the good stuff!
Here are some recipes I’ve come across over the years. I did not create these recipes; I take no credit; I am merely sharing.
These are just some of our favorites. Of course when preserving and canning make sure you follow the proper guidelines.
Claussen Copycat Pickles! Our most favorite. These stay crunchy because they aren’t processed. They are crisp and sour and salty perfection. They keep for a long, long time. We are still eating some from last year; over a year in the fridge (Yep, we have more than one refrigerator. It’s a home garden/farm necessity here). I pretty much follow the recipe exactly except I add a few peppercorns to the jars. Cut the cucumbers however you like; sometimes I do slices (thick and thin), spears, chunks, halves, and small whole.
This is a recipe for sweet pickle relish. Makes me want to fix hotdogs for dinner every night! It is very similar (if not exactly the same) as the one I use. Mine is from a “Ball” cookbook (my cookbook is definitely showing signs of wear and tear; I’ve had it for ages). Sometimes I add jalapenos to my recipe for a little sweet heat!
This recipe is for Sweet Lime Pickles. This is Greg’s favorite; “like Grandma Ida used to make”. These are a must have for Greg each year. The lime makes them super crunchy and these pickles are super, super sweet, almost like candy.
This recipe for refrigerator pickles I’ve had for years. I don’t know where I found it or who gave it to me so I can’t give credit where credit is due. There are similar recipes out there but I couldn’t find this exact one so I’m just going to jot it down here for you.
These are sweet but not overly so. I make them in a big glass jar (looks pretty). Good all on their own as a side salad. I don’t make these with the intention of preserving them. Just make a batch and eat ’em till they’re gone.
7 cups sliced cucumbers
1 cup sliced onions
1 green pepper cut into thin strips
2 TBSP salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp mustard seed (I’m a freak for mustard seed; I always add more)
1 tsp celery seed
Mix together the cucumbers, onions, green pepper, and salt. Let them stand for one hour. Do NOT, do not, do not drain off the liquid that forms.
Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a boil to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Pour over cucumber mix. Let stand in fridge for 24 hours. Enjoy.
Make someone’s day! A gift from your garden or something homemade from your kitchen is an unexpected delight! Share the joy of gardening and abundance!
Have a terrific day!
Here is the first batch today!
Ended up with 5 quarts of Claussen Copycat Pickles, one batch of refrigerator pickles, and of course some munching along the way!
I planted this one plant about four (maybe five….how time flies) years ago in my front kitchen garden.
I think I read somewhere that it takes two years to establish (like my asparagus, which I no longer have but need to restart….but two years, jeez!…..but again, how time flies so I really should get it started).
Anyway, I was inspired by our friend, Gail, who we were delighted to have come visit us recently here on the farm. He lives in Iowa, is an avid gardener, nature/farm enthusiast and loves to cook cool and unique delicacies, many of which I’d never tried…..before Gail that is. Still on the lookout for ground cherries to add to my garden. His gardens are BEAUtiFul, his home warm and inviting, and his company a pleasure. Needless to say, we love to visit him, too!
So, during his recent visit and a stroll around my gardens and talking about one of my favorite things….FOOD….we got on the subject of my rhubarb, which had yet to be harvested. I don’t know, maybe I always thought of rhubarb as old people food, you know, as a kid if someone said rhubarb you’d likely say, YUCK, without even trying it. Although I try to deny it, I might be getting old.
Gail said he makes a rhubarb salsa which is delish! He told me how to make it. (I made him tell me twice but I still didn’t remember….something about blanching it for just a few seconds, adding green onion, maybe some vinegar…..)
Well, today was “one of those days” for me. I cleaned the house yesterday, Greg’s out in the field getting in the last of the soybeans, I was in a not sure what I want to do mood. I “thought” I wanted to start on some necklaces but I “really” wanted to finish the book I was reading. This past week has been difficult for me for some reason. I’m in some kind of a funk. Either I sent out some bad karma and it’s coming back at me or my Chi is out of sorts for one reason or another. Just hard for me to get motivated and in sync with all of the greatness that surrounds me. So, if you’re reading this, send me some good Karma! I appreciate it and am sending it back to you. I digress….But, anyway…..
I finished the book then went outside. And, it’s a BEAUtiFul day here today. And, it’s getting hot! My gardens could use a little weeding….but it’s getting hot! The weeds can wait till morning because it’s hot!. (do you see a theme developing).
I took another look at my kitchen garden (overlooking the weeds). Yesterday I had picked some of my strawberries……oh yea, and while I’m on the subject of my strawberry patch, it’s currently me vs the chipmunks…..
We’re about 50/50 so I decided to pick some more of my strawberries today……to get ahead of the competition.
While picking strawberries I glanced up at my rhubarb and thought…..Rhubarb Salsa…..why not. So I harvested my rhubarb for the first time in four/five/six/seven (who’s counting) years.
I think I did a pretty good job of harvesting my plant, cutting the stems with a sharp knife and leaving enough behind to help the plant stay strong (yep, I read up on that a bit!)
Since I couldn’t remember Gail’s rhubarb salsa recipe I headed to Pinterest and found a recipe or two/three/four/five (who’s counting) and added them to my Pinterest Board, Food: Summer Garden Recipes (you can follow my Pinterest boards, I’m “Judy” (with a sunflower avatar).
And, here’s what developed in my kitchen, from my gardens!
Savory Rhubarb Salsa (recipe found on Pinterest, from the website, “Shiny Cooking”). The rhubarb, green onions and cilantro are from my garden this year. The peppers, well, too early yet.
and, for my sweet tooth….
Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars (recipe found on Pinterest, from the website “Beki Cooks Cake Blog”). Rhubarb and Strawberries (take that chipmunks!) from my gardens.
Haven’t tried them yet but I’m sure they will be most delicious!
And, a little leftover strawberries and rhubarb to my freezer! Oh, what next awaits my desire to cook something creative!