Friday, November 22, 2013

Light the fire, food fast and a movie.

  This is from a dinner we had a while back and I just never posted it. Jon had the day off and we ran errands and got things done, but it took up most of the day. By the time we returned home it was late in the evening. It was a dark and stormy night, no kidding. Rain, thunder, and lightening, everything I love in a perfect autumn night. Hot creamy soup, you know the comfort kind you would never dream of eating in warmer weather?, and warm bread were just what we wanted. It was already supper time so after a quick assessment of the time I wanted to spend and the ingredients I had on hand, I made my way to the basement and grabbed this little cookbook. 


I do not know how many of these little cookbooklets, is that a word???, I have but they take up nearly two feet of my cookbook shelf area. I have some amazing tried and truly great recipes in those pages. I am not swayed by just any of these, I really have picked and chosen a select few it's just that I have been at it for almost thirty years.  This one was published in, 1998.


   This gem I bought at a yard sale a long time ago. This cookbooklet is a little taller and wider than its more contemporary companions, but has the same quality of recipes in its pages. It was published in 1949.

$50,000.00  winning recipe for the Pillsbury's Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest held at the Waldorf~Astoria Hotel in New York City, December 13, 1949.

   I enjoy vintage recipes so much. While those $50,000.00 Nut Rolls are tremendous, there are equally wonderful recipes in that book. There are recipes that feature ginger such as Danish Ginger Roll, Ginger Tea Bread and Ginger Cake Apple Fluff. Ginger is not something you see as the predominant flavor in baked goods today like it was years ago. Gingerbread and maybe the odd Ginger Snap cookie recipe, but that's pretty much it unless you live in the Britain where Scones and Oaties do get to sport ginger. I love ginger and have made it a part of my baking. The other recipes in this book are very interesting and delicious as well.

Creamy Bacon~Spinach Soup is the entrée for this evening's supper.

   Here is the photo of the recipe for this evening's repast.  Since it may be a little frustrating to work off of the photo I will set it out below in a more workable format. This soup is very good as well as fast and easy to prepare. The next selection from this cookbooklet will be this next week and I am thinking it will be the Creamy Reuben Soup on page 28... yumminess right there!!

Eight simple ingredients. The pre~sliced mushrooms and bottled minced garlic are my version of "fast food".

50% Whole Wheat One~Hour bread ingredients for the bread machine. I would like to make the Whole Wheat dinner rolls dough, let the dough rise and then bake but tonight is food fast so one~hour bread it is.

Bacon cut and sautéing.

Spinach squeezed.

The leftover bacon and mushroom will reappear in an omelet for lunch tomorrow.

Bacon nearly done so mushrooms and garlic added.

Broth added. Only need to whisk flour into milk and stir into soup, stirring until thickened.

Bread done. Cool for ten minutes while I ladle soup and Jon starts the fire... 

...and pops a movie in.

No need for place settings because the fire is going, the movie is in and paused where it begins and it is supper by the fire.

Here are the recipes for both the soup and bread.

Creamy Bacon~Spinach Soup

6   slices bacon, cut into 1~inch pieces
1 1/2   cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4    cup chopped onion
1   garlic clove, minced
2 (14.5 oz)   cans ready to serve chicken broth   
1 (9 oz)   package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain well
1 1/2   cups milk
6   tablespoons all purpose flour

In Dutch over, combine bacon, mushrooms, onion and garlic; cook over medium~high heat until bacon is cooked and vegetables are tender. Drain.

Add broth and spinach; simmer 5 minutes.

In small bowl, combine milk and flour; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Stir flour mixture into soup. Simmer until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly.

4 (1 1/2 cup) servings

50% Whole Wheat Bread

12 ounces, 1 1/2 cups   water, 115-125°
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons 

Add ingredients to bread pan in order listed, making well in center of dry ingredients for yeast. Program for one~hour bread setting. Turn on. When done, turn off, unlock pan and remove with oven mitts. Shake bread out and allow to cool on rack before slicing.

   Just a little word here. This will make a two pound loaf so if your machine will not make two pound loaves you could halve the recipe, no promises on outcome though. Do not let the salt and yeast touch, it will kill the yeast. Making that well for the yeast is important. If you are using a one~hour feature the water temperature is crucial; too cold you won’t activate the yeast properly, too hot you will kill it. Either way you will get flat bread and not the nice little round loaves we buy to make wraps and lovely pizza pies. If you are tempted to use 100% Whole Wheat flour you need to use your "Whole Wheat" setting. Whole wheat has the entire wheat kernel which means all of the germ and bran are there. This makes for heavier bread that needs more time to rise. Use exact increments. I am not a stickler for exactness in a recipe, in fact I like to go outside the box and customize recipes. In a bread machine you really are better off sticking with the ingredient list and their increments though.

With a little cheese added the mushrooms and bacon provided a delicious omelet, some leftover bread made great toast.

   I hope you are enjoying your autumn. Autumn is quickly giving way to winter so enjoy every minute of it as we welcome a time for Thanksgiving.

   I am an avid soup fan and would love to see your soup, chowder, bisque, stew and chili recipes. It would be fun to organize a Bloggers baking and or cooking cook book, choose a cause and donate proceeds toward it with the funds. Any takers?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Oh, deer!

   Earlier this week I grabbed my camera and set out for a section of a park and reservation area very close to my home. This park system covers a vast area of about 500 square miles I think. There are lakes, rivers, creeks, water falls, an array of beautiful wildlife, a zoo, and right now in particular there are trees with such splendid colors. I thought I would get some photos of the trees in the morning and then go out again in the afternoon and take photos of the same trees in afternoon light. It sounded like a great idea to me. I was however stopped in my tracks when I saw what you will see below in this first set of photos. I decided to spend my time in that morning sun just down the street from my house. We see deer often. I was just so taken by these. On the whole of our street there is only one real garden of sorts in a front yard. This garden was pretty this summer. It is just down from my house, and the deer love to stop there. 

Good morning!

Yes, I am still here but will not disturb your breakfast. Carry on.

Done eating this one.

Crossing may not be such a good idea just now.

Heading back for a minute, this traffic is not letting up.

Good idea. They were not as done as they thought.

Maybe the traffic will lighten up. I think she would like to get over there and back in the woods.

Two more are now considering the jaunt across the street.

Fawn figures if they leave she will go, too.

Breakfast in that little garden is now over. See you soon.

   Later that afternoon I sort of stayed with my original plan. I grabbed my camera and headed for the wood nearby. It all came together quite nicely because I started out to take piccies of the sun on the leaves in the early morning in comparison to the sun on the leaves in the late afternoon. I got to see lovely deer in the morning and in the afternoon I came across this beautiful buck.

Well, hello there handsome!

Do you know how magnificently your Creator created you?

We are not through here. I fully intend to follow you deeper into this wood.

His antler's blend like branches. He completely blends in at a distance. God protects, period.

So regal.

  I could have spent the whole of the afternoon into evening in that wood with that buck. However, things at home needed tending to. As I was posting this it occurred to me that I had no real purpose for this post except to share the photos of those lovely creatures. I never get tired of seeing them. And then it occurred to me there is a book I have been meaning to share with you, and this is just the post for it. So I ran up to my bedroom, took it out of my bedside table and took this photo of it. 

   That is the hard copy of Hinds' Feet on High Places my husband gave me for Christmas, in 1996. My original paperback copy proudly displayed the love shown to her with much fraying of pages and falling apart in general. I loved opening this that year. 
   Since elementary school I have battled a fear. This fear would be triggered by a certain environment and was paralyzing, emotionally and physically. Sometimes, often, my physical response would be flight. Initially I would be unable to move, sometimes not breath, but then would be in high flight mode. This fear still tries to dominate and destroy me. I sought counseling, and still...fear. After decades of hell, and I choose that word rightly, I realized it was a spiritual matter. Only God was my answer. In the last couple of years I have made the issue a matter of conversation between God and I. The Holy Spirit has shown me things and through my time in the Word of God and time fellowshipping with God, I have learned some things. Life changing things. I have pressed in, become more honest and transparent and real in my time with God. My relationship with Him is stronger than ever and so my trust and faith have grown deeper. I have gone higher with God that I ever knew possible. As I have grown and changed in my heart, my life has changed and fear no longer has its devastating and debilitating grip on me. I can do stupid stuff to usher fear right back in, but I have no desire to do so whatsoever. That which got me into such a bondage of fear was really innocent on the part of this young elementary school girl. A girl who believed a Girl Scout leader. It was not until a Sunday School teacher took the time to ask me about a comment I made in her class that I was shown how deceived I was. I love the story of David and Nathan where the instant David's eyes are opened he repents. He loved God and when shown the error of his way, he changed. That is what repentance does. When I saw what Mrs. Mucci was saying to me was true; I immediately stopped doing what I was doing. I loved Jesus so much as a kid that when I saw this deception for what it really was that I was grieved ~ deeply. It was nothing to walk away and never look back once I saw and understood the truth. However, I would battle the effects of that for decades to come.
   When first I read Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, I was in my twenties. I could not put this book down because I so related to the main character, Much Afraid. When she was in her paralyzed mode, and when she wanted to run, I could vicariously felt her fear so deeply I felt my own heart beat speed up, and at that moment in time I would forget I was reading a book. The ending was so beautiful and gave me hope. That is why I read it so many times. I was looking to be free of that fear. I have not read this book for some time because I have grown in the knowledge of Who God is and how deeply and unconditionally He loves me. I may read it again someday. I do keep it in my night table by my bed. If I do, it will only be to see how marvelous God is and to remind me from where He redeemed me from. Though a good book, it is not the Word of God. God's Word and developing our relationship with Him is where our deliverance comes. 
   This brilliantly woven allegory is about the matchless, unconditional and everlasting love of God toward us, and the frustration, destructive crippling and the futility of living in the faithless state of fear. I have lost count of the times I have read it, but my first go round with it was in the early 1980’s ~ it has never lost its beauty for me.

The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
Habakkuk 3:19 (NASB)

   I really do not want to put this on here, but must. Though I do recommend Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, I do not recommend her other writings. I praise God for this book as I believe He inspired her to pen it. Her other works do not align with scripture and some vary off considerably. Please check here for a really well written and though brief a quite good biography of Hannah Hurnard. You will need to click on the bright pink book that says "Look Inside" and then scroll down a few pages to where it will read "Author Biography". The brief biography will begin there.

The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
   and streams will water the wasteland.  
Isaiah 35:6 (NLT)