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Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

I always have a problem with my spinach getting slimy in the fridge before we use it all up. It lasts only 7 days or less for us (I’m the only one in the family eating it).

One day I inadvertently stored a bunch of fresh ginger root in the same bag (trying to quell the overpopulation of separate ziplock baggies in my fridge).

The spinach lasted much longer! Was I surprised? Not really. I already knew about the antioxidant and other health properties of ginger–little did I know it would keep my spinach from spoiling quickly. Plus, the ginger is still fresh and usable!

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Covered w/foil to protect the darkening crustRising high in the toaster oven.too dark, too high, too soon.A sorry excuse for bread; a great excuse for bread pudding!wet, underdeveloped textureWhat a toaster oven does to breadCovered w/foil to protect the darkening crustNotes to self for the next batch or bread:
-Use the dough hooks of your mixer instead of mixing w/a wooden spoon. You’re not strong enough to stir in enough flour to get it to pull away from the bowl.
-When neading, go till it looks smooth with blisters–at least 10 minutes, maybe 12. You already tried 8 min., but it wasn’t smooth at that point.
-Add more oil/butter to the rising bowl next time. Last time, you didn’t have enough and it still stuck to the bowl when you turned it out onto the pastry cloth.
-For a nicer, crispy crust next time, add steam or a little water for the 1st 5 min. of baking the loaves. Spray the sides of the oven w/water or pour a cup of water on an already-hot metal baking dish beneath the unbaked loaves, and shut the door so the steam goes onto the loaves.
-Success: this time, you greased the loaf pans only halfway up, and now the loaves are finally rising higher above the level of the pans (unlike last 2 times)!
-Measure water exactly next time. Too much water=sticky dough. Too little water=dry loaf.

Why is this the 2nd batch of bread where my dough is still so sticky after neading? Not enough flour still???? Oh. I know. I put a little too much water in the dough. I fudged on that knowingly. Though it’d be no big deal. Change that next time.

Mmmm, it smells good right now. My two lovely loaves are in my lovely brick toaster oven right now!!

Woops–they’re rising so high!! That must be because I followed a crazy recipe that says to add 2 packets of yeast, not 1. They’re getting way too dark–better put foil over the top to stop that.

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My First Real Pumpkin Pie

dscf0656.jpgdscf0657.jpgI could look at this as preparation for those days in the distant future when I host Thanksgiving Dinner at my own home with my own children and grand children. I have this lovely hand-made pottery deep dish pie dish my mom got me years ago at the Sawdust Festival. I rarely use it, but I admire it alot. I used a pie crust recipe from the little cookbook that came with it. After checking my own small collection of cookbooks and coming up empty, I went to cooks.com for a deep dish pie recipe. It uses molasses in addition to the sugar. It called for evaoprated milk, but I haphazardly got sweetened condensed milk instead, and couldn’t fix that at 10:30 last night when I was cooking this, so that’s what I used. Well, I had to run with the pie crust un-formed to my mom’s to have her roll it out (the dough was sticking to my un-covered, un-floured rolling pin and pastry cloth) and place it properly in the dish. Then I drove back home with the raw crust to blend the filling ingredients and put them into the crust. Well, I thought this was supposed to be a deep-dish pumpkin pie recipe, so why didn’t the surface of the filling come up to the edge of the crust? There was about an inch between the crust edge and the top of the filling. That would look silly on the table. So, with the filling all wet and raw, I rolled the crust over onto it like a gallette I saw in a newspaper photo once. I got nervous initially when I saw the crust drooping deeper into the filling in the first five minutes of putting it into my brick toaster oven. By the way, that’s a great toaster oven. So, here’s the picture. It looks darker than most pumpkin pies, and I think that’s the molasses. That huge crack wasn’t there when it came out of the oven. I think when I tested it by inserting a knife in the center, then the crack grew as it cooled. I’m afraid it might be a little overdone. We’ll see if it tastes any better than it looks. dscf0657.jpg

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