Light Rye Bread

This is a really new one for me.  I decided to tackle rye bread.  I had no idea what-so-ever that rye bread contains cocoa!  I found a neat recipe on line and the reviews were really great, so here is what the result is so far.  Have not cut into it nor tasted it as of yet.  I did bake it on my stone and the bottom of the bread looks and feels great.  I baked it on a light layer of corn meal.  I’ll share the result when we’ve tried it!

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Old fashioned beef stew & buttermilk biscuits.

Well today was one of the coldest winter days that we’ve had in a long, long time.  A high of –18 with a wind chill of –40.  Too cold to even walk my dogs, Kizzy and Bo.  So, I concentrated on food to warm the body and soul.  I made my banana raisin muffins and for supper we had buttermilk biscuits and good old fashioned beef stew.  I had the stew lightly simmering all afternoon and just the fragrance alone made us feel warmer.  My son, has a bad flu right now so I think my baking and cooking was right on the mark, what was needed this day.

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Beef stew, is a what you remember and what you like affair.  There are some basic guidelines, like it must have potatoes, beef, carrots, onion, celery and a good red wine.  Also, for the best beef stew, try to stay away from salty bouillon cubes and instead go for a good beef stock, either bought or homemade.   Start by sautéing your beef cubes in hot oil with salt and pepper until all sides are browned and the cooking process is well under way.  Then start adding your ingredients.  If you like onion, add lots of onion….personalize your stew!  I peeled and cubed 6 medium potatoes, a whole onion, added pearl onions (jarred), 3 large carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 cup of red wine, a half of a turnip cubed, my home made beef broth (4 cups), 1 jar of tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.   I let this simmer for several hours, stirring and adjusting heat as needed.  Sometimes I thicken the juice, but mostly I like it thin as the stew was meant to be.

I made a batch of buttermilk biscuits to sop up the juice.  For dessert we were happy with the fresh muffins.  We are warm, happy and blessed. 

Real ‘Finds’.

Today was a lot of fun!  The day started with breakfast at Yin’s in Waterford which was very good for a very little bit of money.  We each had coffee,  two eggs over easy, bacon, toast and hash- browns for a paltry $8 each.  The quality of the food was very good and we left full and satisfied.   Then we went on a real adventure and visited the flea market in Waterford Ontario.  We easily spent two hours there or more and were so pleasantly surprised at how organized and clean the place was from what we remembered from years before.  We  both complemented the staff for their obvious hard work and we were told that there are something like 58 vendors in the building and they were working together co-operatively to keep things organized and nice.  They are successful in that quest.  For much of it, it was like walking down memory lane for both Peter and I.  I guess we were dated in our memories.  Many of the articles were from our early childhoods.  Some of the things we saw were what the ‘rich kids’ of our day had.  I saw 1950’s pottie toilets for toddlers, to 1950’s high chairs and so many other things.  I could have easily spent another two hours just looking around and touching things.  Here are a couple of the ‘finds’ that I actually came home with:

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This bowl above is an actual ‘butter bowl’  and ‘butter paddles’ circa 1910.  This is one way they made butter from cream, working it with these primitive paddles or ‘spoons’ that they carved from wood.  The bowl was also carved from a solid piece of wood.  I wonder about the hands that actually worked with this bowl.  I have it on display. 

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Above:  Sugar bowl often found in most restaurants during the 50’s and 60’s.  I remember these in the lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Simcoe Ontario.  I am using it as an actual sugar bowl.  I love it as it reminds me of the days when I was very young sitting in Woolworths having my french fries.  ❤

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Above:  we actually were in need of a phone in our bedroom that would work during power outages.  As we do have a driver (our son Martin) making deliveries for our business and you never know when family may need to call.  This is a mint condition rotary phone that just happened to be the chocolate brown our bedroom’s main colour is.  How awesome is that?

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Lastly, a circa 1050’s measuring cup.  Just because I never seem to have enough measuring cups when I’m on a full tilt baking frenzy.  I love the thick glass and the simplicity of this cup.  Love it, love it, love it.  What a satisfying day it has been.