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When life gives you snow days – BAKE!

January 11, 2011

So last Friday, since we were essentially snowed in (after coming back from Fargo the day before – and a double whammy blizzard the weekend before!), I decided to bake bread. I tried my hand at Icelandic brown bread – which was not the stuff I was used to (I miss you, Breadsmith!). It was, however, quite good despite poor risings in a cold house. Very dense, oh-so-slightly sweet, and a little crumbly. The boy loved it crumbled up with unsweetened homemade applesauce and more whipped cream than was probably good for him. We ate up almost the rest of the second loaf toasted with butter (in the oven, not the toaster) with leftover split pea soup.

We’re supposed to get massive amounts of more snow dumped on us tonight (8-12 inches, maybe more), so going to work tomorrow is probably not going to happen. So I’m going to bake again. The only question is, what to bake?

So I dug out all my baking books, and the teeny weeny unassuming little paperback from 1950, Ann Pillsbury’s Baking Book is stymieing me! Everything sounds so fantastic! Do I make No-Knead Pecan Sticky Rolls? (Yes! No-knead! 60 years ago!) No-Knead  Oatmeal Bread? No-Knead Potato Puff Rolls? No-Knead Onion Barbecue Rolls? The possibilities are endless!

Seriously, Ann Pillsbury really knew her stuff! And half her recipes are from old ladies who have won blue ribbons and other such awards. It really is a fantastic little book. The recipe format takes some getting used to – what appears to be an ingredients list is actually directions as ingredients are listed in order and prefaced by a verb, such as “combine” or “add” or “bake.” The book also includes several explanatory drawings.

It really is too bad that this cookbook is out of print – I checked. It’s about $25 online, which is ridiculous because I got mine for free in a lot of vintage cookbooks from a work friend who knew an old lady who was downsizing to move into retired people housing. 😀 Guess I’m just incredibly lucky that way.

Hmmm… Maybe I need to “bake my way through” this book. And then get a book and movie deal out of it? (Julie, I’m looking at you!) Lol. Maybe if I weren’t in graduate school… It would also probably add 10-30 pounds of pure fat to both me and the boy, so maybe not every day.

At any rate, I’m sure I’ll figure out SOMETHING to bake tomorrow. Bread, probably. Cake might also be necessary. Or something pudding-y with those leftover hard ends of Icelandic brown bread.

Soup definitely needs to be made tomorrow. Maybe beef barley, or even just beef tea, since I have some nice beef marrowbones that need roasting and simmering. So maybe some kind of bread for broth dipping. Mmmmm… perfect thing to eat after a cold day at work (the boy can walk to work, so he has no excuse). Just have to make sure the house is warm enough for rising bread. Might have to ask the boy to make a fire before he leaves for work, just to warm the house up. Since we’re thinking that maybe our house has no insulation in the walls – since our highly efficient furnace goes through over 50 gallons of fuel oil per week. *sigh* Thank goodness for our heat-efficient manufactured fireplace!

Okay, back to the 1960s “Green Hornet” marathon on Syfy. Although I secretly hate Syfy right now because A) they changed their name to an idiotic alternate spelling and B) THEY CANCELLED STARGATE UNIVERSE!!! Stupid Syfy – teenaged boys don’t even watch you! Why are you courting them so ardently?! Wrestling?! Seriously!?

*sigh* But I digress… off to cuddle the boy and hope for snow…

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