Click here for a registration form you can mail in or call 672-4461. Class is limited to 24.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Click here for a registration form you can mail in or call 672-4461. Class is limited to 24.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I will miss my Saturday morning routine of making the rounds of all the vendors. In Deep Economy, author Bill McKibbon cites a study of shopping behavior which found that "consumers have ten times as many conversations at farmers' markets as they do at supermarkets." No wonder I enjoy it so much more than going to the grocery store!
All is not lost for shopping local, however. Several farm stands are still open and there is plenty of local produce to be found: broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, beets, carrots, cabbage, apples, Klamath potatoes, hazelnuts.........and walnuts! Local walnuts will be ready at Cleveland Rapids Orchard on November 1.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Fresh greens, diced apple, dried cranberries and toasted nuts tossed with a berry-pear vinaigrette
This is a perfect salad for fall. We made enough to serve about 60 people for our first Think Local Umpqua Benefit Dinner and Concert last Friday. We used organic lettuce from Sutherlin, apples and hazelnuts from Norm Lehne Garden & Orchard, dried Bandon cranberries (which I dehydrated myself!), and a Marionberry-Pear vinaigrette with local pears and my homemade Marionberry vinegar. The dressing recipe is adapted from one in Thyme and the River by Sharon Van Loan and Patricia Lee. This cookbook is a wonderful collection of recipes and stories from The Steamboat Inn on the North Umpqua River. I often include this salad recipe when I give away a bottle of berry vinegar.
For four to six servings:
Coarsely chop 1/2 cup hazelnuts. I don't worry about removing the skins. Toast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes until their color deepens just a little and they become fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Tear up a variety of fresh, crisp lettuce leaves, enough to fill a good-sized salad bowl. I like to use a mixture of different green and red leaf types and a bit of arugula thrown in, if you have it, is good too.
Add one apple, diced and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Add the cooled hazelnuts.
Pour about 2/3 of the Berry Vinaigrette (see below) over the salad and toss well. Add additional dressing as needed and a bit more salt as your taste dictates. Serve immediately.
1/2 of a ripe pear, any variety will do. I don't bother to peel it. You can dice the other half and add it to the salad or puree the whole thing and freeze half for another time. I also keep containers of baby food pears on hand for those times I don't have a ripe pear. The 2.5 oz size is perfect for one recipe of dressing. This year I actually canned some pear puree in the little 4 ounce jelly jars just for this purpose! I also froze some in ice cube trays.
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
If using fresh pear, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. If using baby food pears you can just whisk everything together. Leftover vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Another variation for the salad--use dried bing cherries and cherry vinegar with toasted walnuts!
Oven-"Fried" Green Tomatoes
4 to 6 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 beaten egg
3 slices whole grain bread, torn into pieces (or cracker crumbs or croutons)
2 tablespoons butter
a 1-ounce chunk of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the bread, butter, cheese, Italian seasoning and salt. Pulse until well-combined and crumbly. Place in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Dip each tomato slice in the beaten egg and then in the bread & cheese crumbs, coating both sides well. Place on a parchment-lined or lightly-buttered shallow pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender and crust is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Any leftovers can be reheated in a dry, non-stick pan until heated through. Microwaving would make for a very soggy crust.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hazelnuts (filberts) are ready at Norm Lehne Garden & Orchard in Garden Valley. I bought a 10 lb. sack this morning and had Norm run them through the cracker for me. After I get them all shelled, some will be blanched, toasted and chopped to be added to a green salad for our Think Local Umpqua benefit dinner and concert this Friday. The rest will go into the freezer for winter baking and snacking. I might even try my hand at making some Nutella-style chocolate-hazelnut spread!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, either canned or from a pie pumpkin you have baked
3 cups whole wheat flour, preferably pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease, spray with oil, or line with paper bake cups a 12-cup muffin tin.*
In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, sugar, oil , pumpkin and eggs until well-blended. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just until blended and all of the flour is wet.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. I use a spring-action ice cream scoop. Bake at 375 degrees for 23 to 25 minutes, until muffin springs back when the top is lightly pressed. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and serve warm or cool completely on a wire rack.
*This recipe makes 18 to 20 muffins or 12 standard muffins and 12 mini muffins or 12 standard muffins and one small loaf. The mini muffins will take about 15 minutes to bake. The small loaf will take 30 to 35 minutes. If you only have one muffin tin or can only fit one in your oven at a time, just bake the first 12, then bake the remaining muffins after the first have come out of the pan. Fill the empty muffin cups half full with water to keep your pan from warping.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Peanut Butter Brownies
These are best made a day or two in advance and refrigerated before cutting. They freeze well too!
1 cup (9 oz) chunky natural-style peanut butter
4 Tablespoons (2 oz) butter, very soft or melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (8 oz) powdered sugar
1 pound unsalted butter
8 ounces unsweetened cbaking hocolate
4 cups (1# 12 oz) sugar
8 large farm fresh local eggs (1#1oz in the shell)
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups (12 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
milk chocolate chips (optional, for drizzling on top after baking)
The day she broke her leg, Shirley had picked a 5-gallon bucket of apples from the tree in her back yard. Her family asked if I could use them. Ever industrious and frugal, I knew Shirley would not have wanted them to go to waste. So I spent Saturday afternoon remembering Shirley while I peeled her apples and made applesauce. I labeled the jars "Shirley's" and every time I open a jar from this batch I will think of Shirley and the fine example she set for me and my children.
Lately, I have become more fond of chunky applesauce, so I'm doing things a bit differently. I also only have one child left at home, so I'm not making as much as I used to. Here's a easy method using a slow cooker. Yes, you have to peel and core the apples, but once they are in the cooker you have lots of leeway in the timing before you need to can or freeze the sauce. I can make a batch every few days this way instead of trying to do it all at once. I have one of the large, oval Rival Crockpots and I get 6 or 7 pint jars out of one batch. If you have an electric roaster, you can make an even larger quantity at one time.
I usually get the apples in the cooker while I'm preparing dinner and by the time the dishes are done, they are ready to mash and process.
Lazy Lady (slow cooker) Applesauce
Peel, quarter and core enough apples to fill your slow cooker. I like Gravensteins, but any mixture of apples will make good sauce. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of applejuice or water to the bottom, just enough to create some steam. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or low for 2 to 3 hours, depending on your schedule. You can add a few cinnamon sticks too, if you like.
When the apples are tender, mash them into sauce right in the cooker, leaving some coarse chunks. I use a potato masher, but a wire whisk stirred through the pot does the trick too. Add sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, sucanat or honey) to taste, if desired. Cover and keep hot until ready to can. Fill pints and quarts leaving 1/2-inch headspace and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Or uncover and let cool , then ladle into jars or plastic containers, leaving 1-inch headspace and freeze.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I learned to make apple pie when I was in junior high. My mother, who is an excellent cook, has always insisted that she cannot make a decent pie crust. When I perfected my technique, my father and brothers were overjoyed! When my oldest brother was in college, he used to let me come stay with him for the weekend if I would bring him a pie.
Apple Pie has always been my father's favorite and while he enjoys mine very much, I have never baked one that quite matches up to his childhood memory of "Eddie Richard's Mother's Apple Pie." Oh, well. I'll just have to keep practicing!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a baking stone, set it on the center rack.
Prepare the filling:
Pare, core and slice the apples between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. Toss together in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside while you prepare the pastry.
Pastry for bottom crust:
In a small bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until you have a coarse meal. Sprinkle on the ice water and toss with a fork until all the flour is moistened. Do not stir! Turn out onto a lightly-floured board and press together into a disc. Roll out into a circle about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your pie pan. Place pastry in prepared pan.
For the topping:
In a small bowl (I use the same one I used for the pastry; no need to wash it first), stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Toss in the cheese with your fingers.
Place the apple filling in the pastry-lined pie pan. Sprinkle on the topping, covering all the apples. Bake at 425 degrees (on the stone if you have one) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes until topping is golden and apples are tender when pierced. Cool on a wire rack. This allows air to circulate and prevents the bottom crust from getting soggy.
I really only dashed out there (five minutes away) to pick a few ears of corn for dinner. Norm just opened up a new patch of Candystore corn for u-picking, but a freeze is expected tonight, so I thought I'd better get it while I could. Might be our last chance for corn-on-the-cob this year!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan (angel food cake pan), a bundt pan or two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I grind my own from soft white wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
Add in and mix well:
½ cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
One at a time, beat in:
3 large eggs
Then mix in:
½ cup pumpkin puree (either canned or from one you have baked)
½ cup buttermilk
Gradually add in the flour mixture until there are no dry spots. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove from pan(s) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The same Basil Butter with Garlic spread that I love to slather on vegetables makes a delicious filling for Semolina Bread. The flavor of the dough develops best when it is refrigerated overnight before shaping and baking. It also gives you more flexibility in the timing of the bake!
3 cups (1 pound) semolina flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
For special occasions my mom bakes the cake in two 9-inch round cake pans and doubles the glaze recipe to fill and frost the layers. For everyday eating or for transporting to potlucks and such, she bakes it in a 9 x 13 pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9 x 13 pan or two 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
For the 9 x 13 cake, cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Poke all over the top with a fork and pour the glaze on top while both the cake and the glaze are still warm.
For the layer cake, cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely. Make the glaze and let cool and thicken to a spreadable consistency before filling and frosting the layers.
If you're really brave you can split each layer in half horizontally before frosting to make an over-the-top 4-layer cake. The easiest way to do this is by wrapping a piece of thread or dental floss around the sides of each layer, half-way up from the bottom. Then, holding each end of the thread, cross them over each other and keep pulling until the thread comes all the way through.
Sweet Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
Melt the chocolate, butter and water together over low heat. Add in the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and blend until smooth.