It seems that lately, at any given time, you can find me here....
still weeding the strawberry patch.
I am 3/4 finished, and Hubbs started to mulch
between the rows with lush, brown tanbark.
One month from now we will have delicious, sweet
Berries for jam, for ice cream, for pie...
berries to dry, to freeze, to share.
Easy to pick, easy to maintain thanks to hours
and hours of labor....
The rhubarb has emerged and is filling in nicely.
I hope to make strawberry/rhubarb jam as soon as
the berries show their sun-reddened flesh.
There is all sorts of activity in the apple orchard, too.
The trees are all full of blossoms,
giving my remaining bees sweet nectar in return
for their pollinating skills.
Look what was found at the base of one of our apple trees.....
This lovely growth is a wild mushroom, known as a morel.
It is a highly sought after delicacy that is only found
in the springtime.
I have heard that they are delicious sauteed in butter.
I am hoping to find more in the woods near our home.
As for the rest of the garden....
new life is emerging all over.
If gardening is one of your passions,
you will understand when I say that
I feel like these new "plantlings" give off an energy that I can absorb
through my pores...
time in my garden renews and restores my own energy stores....
as if the closer to dirt I am...the closer to home I feel.
Do you feel that way, too?
I know that I promised you my bread recipe...
This makes a very hearty and rather dense, flavorful loaf.
So, here are the basic ingredients:
Add to your mixing bowl in this order....
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
(I use King Arthur organic for both types)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 cup water (room temp.)
2 tablespoons butter (room temp.)
2 tablespoons honey
I mix mine in my Kitchenaid stand mixer.
Then I add my whole grains.
I add them by the handful...no measuring.
A handful each of
and two handfuls of sunflower seeds.
Continue to mix until well mixed and then
switch from bread paddle to bread hook
and knead for about 8 minutes by machine.
(I avoid hand kneading, to save my hands)
however, you can knead by hand if you wish.
Allow to rise in a slightly greased bowl, covered with a cloth until
dough is doubled in size. (about 2 hours)
Then form dough into whatever shape loaf you choose to bake
and allow to rise again for an hour and a half.
You can see by the picture how far I let my loaf rise before baking it.
Brush a beaten egg over the top of the loaf and sprinkle with your
favorite seed, or oatmeal, etc.
Bake at 350 on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
Then turn pan a quarter turn and allow to bake for another 15 to 30 minutes.
I throw a half cup of water onto the floor of the oven right as I place the bread in the oven,
to provide a little bit of steam for the beginning of the baking cycle.
Allow loaf to cool down entirely, before cutting. Don't cut the loaf while it is still hot.
It takes the entire cooling down process for the great wheat taste to develop.
I would love to have provided you with a video tutorial...
but that might have been disastrous....
disastrously funny, I am sure!!