Baking, Baking Biographies

That Gluten Question

With so many people searching for answers to the ‘gluten intolerance problem’, I thought I’d share some of my research.  This video is a quick look at sourdough and why it’s The Healthiest Bread.

The process of making bread using the wild or natural yeast that is already around us is just an AMAZING thing.  Flour and water to start, add a little salt and more flour and watch the transformation!  Smell.  Taste!  WOW.

At This Granny’s House, we are happy to share bread with you!  Bread has been known for millennia as ‘the staff of life’.  The number one grain for bread is wheat.  And it is this grain that has come under the most attack.  Yes, there are chemicals now; yes, there are GMOs now; but slow fermenting natural yeast is still master over those nasty attacks.  To better help us, using organic, regional, and fresh milled flour, insures maximum health benefits.

There are so many wonderful folks out there who have learned so much more than I have on this subject.  In the course of my own studies, I’ve grown in my fervor to share great bread with as many people as possible.

Here are some excellent resources:

sourdough nutrition

health benefits of sourdough

top 10 reasons to eat sourdough 

I truly hope that this little glimpse into the world of sourdough has helped you.

 

as always,

your friend, Cristina

aka Granny

 

Baking, Baking Biographies

Baking is . . .

love made edible bannerI love to read.  I’ve always loved reading.  When I was a young girl, I spent most of my summers reading.  And when I discovered a summer reading program my sixth grade year – I was overjoyed!  The school gave their students access to the library for a handful of hours each Friday to encourage the students to be better readers.  I saw this as a summer filled with adventures.

I happily walked my younder siblings to our little library and we carried full book-bags back home just in time for lunch.  It was a first in summer reading programs.  It was the summer of 1980.  I read Florence Nightingale’s biography and the entire “The Great Brain series by J.D. Fitzgerald.  (I don’t know why I loved that series, but I did.)  In seventh grade, I was enrolled in a speed reading class.  I really enjoyed that class!  I learned how to read the important words and disregard the rest.  I learned to retain the information to do well on comprehension tests.  I read fast.  I did well. I joined a Bible Quiz club and learned memorizing skills and studied with furvor. (my spelling, however, was always a struggle)  Math? Science? P.E. Class?  for the birds .. I did my best, but my best wasn’t so hot.  Learning about History or the biography of those scientists – wonderful!

Fast forward to a married young woman with little ones, homemaking, and cooking.. I could read at and follow a recipe with ease; but didn’t find much, if any, joy in cooking.  It was like science class of sorts .. follow the formula and get an edible outcome.  Boring.  But our little family  needed to eat .. every day.  The more I cooked the better the meals became.  I loved to set the table, talk at the table, and laugh with family and friends.  I saw that aspect as the enjoyment of meals more than the cooking.

Now our children are adults, many are married, and Curt and I are empty nesters.  I have time to reflect on how my cooking has progressed through the years and the course it will take in the future.  I have time again to read just for me.  During our children’s growing up years I didn’t really have the time for pleasure reading.  We homeschooled k-12 and read aloud for the children.  Now .. now the house is in a new season .. what could I read?

I found a book at the library with an intriguing title:  The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.  The title was so lovely — so splendid.

The greatest joy in this book has been the people who made it possible.  I want to wrap my arms around the entire region of Emilia-Romagna in appreciation.  She and her people shared so much, not only in tangible information, but in the intangibles:  the spirit of her hospitality, the way light moves across her plain and her deep passion for her own culinary heritage.      ~Acknowledgements, The Splendid Table

How could I not join the author on her journey?  This isn’t just a book of edible formulas; it is a beautiful adventure.  Immediately, I saw the countryside, I felt the warm sunshine, and could smell the aromas beckoning as breads baked, meats were grilled, and fruit ripened . . . can you smell the freshness?  The author brought to life a cookbook in a way I’d never read.  This wasn’t a list of ingredients like a ‘to-do’ list.  This was a rosy cheeked loud grandma with her sleeves rolled up, dirty apron, showing you the right way to cook.  Having you taste and taste again ..

And so I began to read about soups, breads, pastas .. such a familiarity .. Garlic, butter, tomatoes, beef, olive oil .. hey! these are my favorite foods .. hey! .. a light bulb .. my maternal grandparents cooked like this .. my mom loves these .. and then I knew it .. I had come home .. I suddenly realized that food was more than for survival.  There was something more than the nutrients it possesses, it is meant to bring JOY TO YOUR TABLE.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and the herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to mke his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.                                                                                                                              -Psalm 104:14-15

I began to search out cookbooks that told a story, authors and bakers that invited the reader to join their family dinners, hear the laughter, and taste the delight found written on the pages.  As I read, I learned.  As I read the more confident I became as a baker and it began to show at our table.  My perspective on food was brought back to where is should be .. making our table a place of joy and not getting through another meal with dishes and complaining; but rather taking the time to enjoy and cherish the moment with those whom we ‘break bread’.

I’ll leave you with the following hashtags for you to consider:  #slowliving  #bringbreadhome  #homemade  #freshfromtheoven #splendidtable #family #friends #gatheringtogether  #morethanjusteating #lovemadeedible #nosciencehere #allheart

Are your meals #madewithlove ??

until next time,

~Cristina

Baking, Show and Tell, thrifting

Thursday Thrifting

thrifty nifty banner

It’s Thrifty Nifty Thursday!  This week has been a good week in general.  For that I should call today THANKFUL Thursday.  (the kitten is just for #CUTENESSOVERLOAD) 

It’s funny how we feel the need to categorize our stuff, maybe that helps us with a sense of order in this crazy world.  Or maybe it serves as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, as it were, to admonish ourselves to remember the good things, those thing that bring a smile to our face, and just be grateful.

There is an amazing Bible verse that helps to keep our mental stuff in its proper perspective.  Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

And with that, I’ll move on to something lovely and of good report!  It was the end of May,  my husband and I were out running errands and decided to make a quick stop at a thrift shop on the way home.  It was actually a shop we had not visited before and so it was exciting .. treasure hunting, you know.

Most of the time, I have a running mental list of things I may be interested in, if the price is right and IF I have the funds.  We usually start looking at the kitchen things.  New, kitchen things are expensive and always worth the investment…but if you can find it for a fraction of the price .. SCORE!

So I’m looking at baking pans and my eye catches the outline of something that I’ve been dreaming about.  I walk quickly, but not too quickly as to draw attention to myself and the excitement whelling up in my heart. It’s a KitchenAid mixer! At the thrift shop?  Those are well sought after and hard to find second-hand.  Just the week before, while at a yard sale, I found a little KitchenAid mixer in working order and the owner wanted $300! at a yard sale?! It was the smallest one KitchenAid makes and came with a pasta maker attachment, but still .. $300? at a yard sale? I come from the era of yard sales that people still charged less than $20 for big items and nickles and dimes for the small stuff.

Anywhooo… back to my story… I look at the mixer skeptically as I search for the price.  Some thrift shops are getting mighty proud of the donations they receive…I find the tag .. I ask my husband to look at the tag to make sure I read it correctly.

32D0EA6D-8F46-4EEF-A800-2AEA05D3AEED

Yes, you read that correctly.  $34.99!  Well, did it have all the pieces? Check.  Does it work? We hefted it into the cart and went over to ask the clerk if we could plug it in and make sure it worked ok.  IT WORKS!  Calm down, Cristina, calm down...I kept telling myself as we were checking out.  By the time we reached the car, I was doing the dance of joy!!  This Kitchen Aid mixer is my preferred color of white, it has all the pieces, it is the ‘professional’ model, and it WORKS!!  AND I had the funds to purchase it!  My birthday was the week before and our sweet children (who know how much I like to treasure hunt) had given me birthday money.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning

-James 1:17

5E28C895-9820-4E70-B2B2-6E11ECA28396

D861ED4B-ECED-4CED-B804-DFD0A9EB664C

that little scuff on the front is the only blemish .. there are no dings nor nicks.  I am beyond thankful to the LORD God who set this mixer aside for me to find.  He gave me a lovely birthday present!!

I have since used it to make my cookie dough and royal icing.  Beautiful.

What treasures have you found this summer?  Talk to the LORD, he knows what you have need of, and he loves us to walk with him and delight in his ways.  He will direct your steps if you let him.

By the way, I have my favorite tools and resources linked to Amazon.  So if you need something quickly or you haven’t found it at your local thrift shop or yard sale, you can get it on Amazon.  By purchasing your supplies via this page you are supporting my blog and little bakery .. Thank you!

 

You deserve some sweetness in your day!

~Cristina

Baking, Show and Tell

Beautiful Weddings

fondant flowers and leaves 042017

Our family has celebrated another wedding and that is the reason for my lack of posting lately… ya know .. wedding stuff ..

Our youngest daughter got to have her outside wedding.. she did a beautiful job in planning and execution of her vision.  A small wedding in our oldest son’s backyard was the perfect setting for the celebration.

You know how the day before the ceremony, everyone is bustling and decorating and there’s commotion at every turn .. now .. add to that a very unusual snow in the morning followed by sunshine and then a dose of hail in the afternoon for good measure … it was a day full of weather surprises, for sure! Despite all that ‘raining down’ on an otherwise beautiful outdoor wedding, everything went off without a hitch… well, except for the ‘hitch’ at the I Do’s — hahaha!  (sorry, I had to say it)

I was honored to make the wedding cake.  It was so much fun to learn how to make fondant (or sugar paste as is known outside the USA) flowers.  My husband’s niece helped me to bake all the cake layer and was such a blessing!!  We made 4 -14″ squares and 4-14″ rounds to create one giant heart!

iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 886

Our second son’s girlfriend was my assistant decorator — another blessing!! Thanks, Noelle!  I definitely learned so much during that whole process!!  I suppose that’s a good thing.. to always be willing to learn and grow and improve..right?  We still have an abundance of Strawberry Cream cheese Filling!  In my endeavor to have enough, I made a gallon too much!  Into the freezer that went, I’ll let you know of future baking that may or may not have some extra Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling in it.

Our daughter and son-in-law loved the cake and that is what’s most important!
iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 896

Here is the inspiration for the cake .

Would you like the recipes?  First let me explain .. no let me sum-up .. After several practice cakes, I discovered that our daughter is Goldie Locks .. and not just for her blonde hair .. but that she wanted her cake to be just right.  She wanted a lemon cake. Simple. or so I thought.  The first cake was a lemon pound cake made with cream cheese in the batter .. that was too dense.  For the second cake, I used a different recipe that omitted the cream cheese and used sour cream instead.  Beautiful.  Perfect sponge, perfect fresh lemon flavor.. but no .. not quiet right, said she.  I was resolved to make everything from scratch.  Our daughter’s wedding is a big deal and I wanted the cake to be superb.  In desperation for the perfect wedding lemon cake, I asked my niece for suggestions.  She had a recipe that used as it’s base boxed white cake.  She explained that the science of the boxed cake helped in the overall sponge of the cake.  OK.. At this point, okay, it just needed to be more light in texture.

We used her ‘doctored’ box cake recipe with lemon emulsion and Voila! Success!!

stay tuned for the recipe … I have to go find it …

 

you deserve some sweetness today,

~Cristina

 

 

Word of God

first WP blog post

HELLO! Sweet readers!  I’m glad you could join me over here.  I’ve been having computer issues for a while now and was using my iPad to post to my blog.  And now … my blogger blog cannot be edited using mobile devises so I’m forced to move over here to WordPress.   You can still read my previous posts,  just all the new stuff will be here.

There is that saying, “when it rains, it pours!”  How true, how true.  But hold fast, we’ll get over this bump in the road and keep praying for each other, keep encouraging each other, and most importantly — keep looking unto Jesus! The author and finisher of our faith.

Hugs to you,

~Cristina