I did get some sewing done this weekend but it was not the main focus of my weekend. I have about 5 different houses I've been making but this one above is the "cottage" and it is probably my favorite. My plan is to incorporate them all into a village. But the house above is extremely easy and fun to do. I'm going to post a tutorial for it later in the week so if you are interested, please check back. The "cottage" on the far left is a Christmas Cottage. And I'll talk about that more when I post the tutorial.So the bounties of our garden are still pushing themselves into my "free time", not that I'm complaining. The family picked pears this weekend in our garden orchard. Some of these are D'Angou and some are Bartlett. I have never been able to do much with the D'Angou. So if anyone has ideas for those let me know. Since they don't turn yellow, I usually wait too long and then by the time I realize they have ripened, they are icky and mealy.
Laura brought cupcakes over this weekend. They were amazing. She used Nutella as a base for the frosting. It tasted like really good fudge.
We picked more tomatoes and made more fresh salsa. I still don't have enough ripe tomatoes to bottle salsa yet. After making our own salsa for years I can't stand grocery store salsa. I thought I'd share my recipe for salsa. We try to make and bottle enough to give out at Christmas to friends and get us through the year. I will say that often we just use what is ripe in the garden that day as far as peppers goes in the recipe. We have used lots of varieties of peppers and made substitutions with what is available and it's good every time.
2 quarts tomatoes with skin off and chopped
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 jalapenos chopped
1 can green chillies (optional)
2 hot peppers or red chillies, chopped
1 T salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
Edit - Depending on the acidity of my tomatoes - I add 1-2 T lime or lemon if I am bottling the salsaSo when Laura brought over the cupcakes, she brought me a bit of chili she had made with the fresh salsa I had given her last weekend. It was AMAZING! and so delicious. So then I had to make chili Sunday for dinner. I am thinking she may tell how she went from salsa to chili on her blog this week.
If you don't know, Laura is my neighbor and a fabulous chef/cook. She has taught me so much over the years about cooking and what makes food special.
In the photo above next to the chili is bread that I regularly make from Laura's recipe. Our friend Flora suggested I share Laura's recipe for bread with you. Its hers by way of Marilyn, a friend of Laura's. It is by far the best homemade bread I have ever tasted, let alone made. I do buy high gluten white flour to make it and that really makes it special. I've used Costco bread flour, too but Lehi Roller Mills (a local supplier) makes the best high gluten flour. I also make the bread with part wheat flour and part white flour from time to time, too. I usually add a little more honey when I use wheat flour.
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup powdered milk
1+ cup honey (I usually add a bit more)
2 T salt
5 cups hot water - but not too hot
3 T yeast
12+ cups flour
Add powdered milk, oil, honey, salt, hot water to your Kitchen Aid or Bosch mixer and gradually add in 6 cups of the flour. Then add the yeast - just put it in, no proofing. I know this sounds odd compared to lots of recipes but it works and the bread does not taste a bit yeasty. Then add the rest of the flour. Often I have to add more than 12 cups of flour depending on the day and humidity. You've got enough flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of bowl and you can see a little of the bottom of the mixer bowl. I let that churn in the mixer for 10 minutes. I usually do something else in the kitchen while the mixer runs. After that let the dough sit in the mixer (turned off) for 20-30+ minutes. Spray your bread pans liberally with Pam. And divide the dough into 5 loaf pans. I turn my oven on let it just heat up to maybe 140-150 degrees. Then I turn off the oven and put the loaf pans into the oven. I set the timer for 30 minutes, sometimes I go as long as 40 minutes depending on weather. Then with the bread still in the oven I turn the oven to 325 convection bake and set my timer for 30 minutes. Ovens vary so I can only tell you what I do. Then when the timer beeps, I take it out and put the bread on a rack to cool. Usually I have enough to take a loaf or 2 to a friend or my in-laws, but sometimes not depending on who is home. After it cools I sometimes put a loaf in a zip lock bag and into the fridge and that makes it last an extra day. This bread is best fresh and I usually won't eat it "day old".
I found out last night that on Sunday my 13 year old son was asked to give a scripture in front of most all the men in our church. This is the scripture he gave. Proverbs 21:19. Keep in mind my son has 7 sisters and me, of course. After he gave the scripture he said "Be careful who you marry". I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry! In my defense I will say a friend of his helped him pick the scripture.
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contencious and an angry woman.