Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pears, again! (...and bananas)

Yesterday, our neighbors gave us the rest of the pears hanging on their tree!  Their son shook the tree and made nearly all of them fall to the ground.  They are HUGE, crisp, sweet and delicious!  I have no idea what variety of pears these are.  Do any of you Gentle Readers have any idea?  We will can most of them, in water, this time, as I don't use very much sugar anymore.  If you want to know my method, please check out THIS post.  I did use sugar that time and they were really wonderful.  I feel so blessed!

At the same time, I am grateful for these:

Our local grocery store sold bananas this week for 38 cents a pound.  At least here, that is a very good price so we bought a lot of them!  Some will be sliced and dehydrated and the rest, when they are quite ripe, I will peel and put into freezer bags and freeze them for smoothies. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The best Granola I've ever made!

I love granola.  Well, I love GOOD granola.  It's actually been quite a number of years since I made any.  I ran across a recipe the other day, changed it up to suit my taste and what I had on hand, and here it is.  It is SO good!

Best Granola Recipe

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 1/2 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unhulled, untoasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup Sucanat
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon Realsalt

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Set the oven to 300 F.  Get a really big bowl and combine all the the dry ingredients.  Then, put the wet ingredients in a saucepan and heat that, stirring, until it is good and hot, not boiling.  Pour the liquid over the dry mixture and combine thoroughly.

You will need two big baking trays with the little sides.  Grease them with coconut oil.  Divide the mixture between the two.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes until the granola is getting brown.  Mine took about 45 minutes, but keep an eye on it.  You don't want it to burn!

Remove from oven.  Cool thoroughly.  Store in an air-tight container.  It should keep for a few weeks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Today's Bread!

I made 5 loaves of bread today.  I have caught a rotten cold and was up at 4:30 this morning, so thought I may as well do something useful.  Here they are raising in the pans:

I have posted about the method for making bread previously... so look in my recipe index for that.  I just want to record the ingredients here, mainly because it turned out SO delicious and tender.

Today's Bread - 5 loaves

6.25 cups 115 degree water
2.5 teaspoons instant yeast
10 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (That is 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons)
10 Tablespoons black strap molasses
2.5 Tablespoons Realsalt
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons brewer's yeast (not the fortified kind)
Freshly ground whole wheat flour (start out with 12 cups and add more as needed)

Combine all of the ingredients and knead for 10 - 15 minutes until the dough is springy and elastic.  Add sufficient flour to make the dough nicely kneadable as you are working it, but not dry.
Place dough back into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow to rise until when you poke the dough, it "sighs".  Punch it down.
Allow to rise again.
Form into 5 loaves and place into greased medium-sized bread pans.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
When the sides of the dough is almost to the top of the edges of the pans, then place them in the oven.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Remove from  pans and cool on wire racks.
Try to wait 15 minutes before slicing!  With only 3 of us here today, this is all that was left of the first loaf. :)

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