Culture Days Program

For all you locals, this is my schedule for Culture Days.  These are mini mini cooking demonstrations - say 15 minutes.  We can talk as long as you like after that.  I will have all the demos ready to go and will do whatever the group at the moment wants.  No sense scheduling times and having registration, etc.  It is purely 'drop in'!

Saturday    1:00 - 4:00pm
       How to Cook with a Plank  
       How to Roast a Red Pepper (and then what do you do with it)
       Handy Kitchen Gadgets
       Blind Spice Test
       How to Carmelize Sugar and Make Caramel Sauce
       How to Set a Table


Sunday   11:00am - 3:00pm
        Handy Kitchen Gadgets
        How to Roast a Red Pepper (and then what to do with it)
        How to Cook with a Plank
        How to Set a Table
        Blind Spice Test
        How to Carmelize Sugar and Make Caramel Sauce


These Scones Were Amazing!

Today I had my Boys in the Kitchen cooking class.  Oh me, oh my. What should we make?  One bowl apple cake from Grace at Sense and Simplicity?  My wonderful almond cake?

Well, I settled on my White Chocolate and Saskatoon Berry Scones that I am now selling at the Farmer's Market.  Well, let me tell you...these boys can make my scones any day.  Look how wonderful they are!  One lad was 10 years and the other 12 years.  Neither adept in the kitchen at all!  Just goes to show you, anyone can cook if they want to!

White Chocolate and Saskatoon Berry Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, cut in small squares and chilled
1 large egg
2/3 cup whole cream
3 oz white chocolate
1 cup saskatoon berries

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Whip the egg until foamy and add the whole cream.  Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the size of rolled oats, small peas and all sizes between.

Add chocolate and berries to the flour mixture and toss to coat.  Pour in cream mixture.  Mix to moisten with a spatula or fork.  Knead the mixture 5 or 6 times to bring it together in a ball.  Turn onto a floured counter.  Pat into a circle.  Cut into 6 pieces.

Bake on a parchment lined baking pan for about 20 minutes.


Why I Love Making Bread

I have become a bread maker, I hardly consider myself a baker, by chance.  After experimenting with a few different things to sell at the local farmer's market it seemed that bread was the most popular.  It has become so popular, in fact, that I have capped out on the quantity I can bake for any given market day.  Yes, truly capped out.  Even though I thought I could only bake 12 loaves in the beginning, I am truly capped out at 50.

I had no idea how passionate people were about their bread.  Listening to people tell me what my bread does for their psyche is inspirational.  I have heard stories like, "This bread that isn't really shaped like a loaf is just what my grandmother made.  I love it."

"Do you make rye bread?  But I bet you put white flour in it though, don't you?"

"We had your cheese bread with a glass of wine and some fruit and it was the best meal we have had in years."

"I love the texture, the holes, the density of your bread."

"Red fyfe...there's your red fyfe, Mom!"

"Can you make some pumpernickel for me?  Don't worry, we are not that picky.  Just experiment.  We would also like some hotdog buns."

I have just purchased The Bread Bakers Apprentice cookbook and joined the Facebook group to make every recipe in the book.  The first bread is Anadama.  That is what I am making tonight.  The story goes that a woman named Anna messed up her bread one day and her husband cried, "Anna, dammit!" and it actually turned out to be a very good bread.  It was then called Anadama to avoid the expletive.


Linguine alla Caprese

Finally I am taking the time to make some proper meals for myself.  Cooking for the Farmer's Market becomes all consuming.  Simple but lovely cherry tomatoes and basil from my garden tossed with linguine, boccocini pearls and olive oil and garnished with shards of parmesan.