Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lammas Bread

Lammas is upon us and we've chosen to celebrate on this beautiful warm sun filled Sunday. Corn husk dolls are made, bread is baked, a big garden harvest is had, and feast prepared with whatever the groundhog hasn't taken for himself. We give thanks to the sun, thanks to this season, and thanks for this delicious food!!!

I wish I could say I had a recipe for this bread... but the truth is that I simply do not! It was all.. a bit of yeast here... a bit of oats there... some brown sugar.. warm water.. a splash of buttermilk, and enough flour to get a good wet dough consistency. I made this in my great grandmother's small corn bread skillet.. so to replicate a similar bread, I'd take your favorite easy peasy bread recipe and make a third of what the ingredients call for in the case of a small skillet... Or if you have a larger skillet, adjust it to what feels right.  My all time favorite bread recipe I found here: "  My Mother's Peasant Bread " . I have made this recipe 300 times over. So much so that the very act of it is imprinted in my hands and I can seem to conjure it up at will whenever bread needs to be made. I highly recommend you write this recipe down and tuck it away in your most treasured recipe book or box or tin!

(So here is the bread! First pictured is the wet dough so you can get a feel for the consistency topped with the tomatoes and herbs. Pictured after is the warm browned bread currently driving my nose to wheat heaven. I topped it with even more herbs then and also some grated cheese!)

This was a no knead wet dough stirred about with nasturtiums, rosemary, lemon thyme, tomatoes, oats, basil, sage, and chopped pumpkin flowers.

I let my dough rise for an hour outside, covered, in spotted sunlight for warmth. ( it's a cool new england day here ). And when it was ready I floured my surface and hands and without punching down the dough.. just letting it gently slide to the flour.. I took my floured hands, formed the dough into a disc, and placed it in my grandmother's lightly oiled skillet. I drizzled some olive oil on the top, topped it with even more nasturtiums and herbs and sliced some cherry tomatoes for the top. I'd previously set the oven to 400 degrees and then baked it till a nice golden brown. While warm I topped it with a bit of grated Dubliner Cheese. It's still cooling as I write this and the scent is driving my stomach absolutely mad! I can't wait to cut into it with some smoooooth butter and cuddle up next to my husband for some poetry, many a candle, and a good game of Scrabble!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 29th, 2017

Well, it's happened again! Amongst cottage mess and moving things around I had my camera tucked away for quite some time. Dusted it off this month and was able to take some more photographs. This year has flown by... I can't believe it was November last I wrote when it feels like mere weeks ago. Amidst a snow storm this winter we found out we were expecting with a much longed for and much treasured little girl.. The first trimester wiped me out with sickness and feathers that felt like lifting oak trees... within a blink of an eye it seemed to be May and its been smooth sailing ever since. However I did seem to get much behind on work.

We planted our garden.. we watched flowers grow.. we take many a trip to the local farmers market.. we stay up laughing playing games and eating cheese and watching archeological digs. Things have been so slow.. so calm.. and so happy. I feel as if I'm in the prime of my life. Pregnant I feel the most beautiful I've ever felt.. the most healthy.. the most balanced.. the most joyful. I warn Brian to be prepared because I feel I could do this 15 times over. I so can't wait to meet her.. Her nursery is ready.. her clothes are folded.. her shelves filled with fresh weekly flowers from the pond.. Just a little while now.. When the leaves are golden and the air smells of pumpkins and the squirrels are gathering their last acorns.. she'll be in our arms and our hearts couldn't be more happy and excited.

A few months ago I planted this pumpkin patch for her in hopes to have the house filled with bright orange lanterns upon her arrival ( just around Halloween!)

The nasturtiums and cleomes are THRIVING! The Hollyhocks ( my favorite) lasted al but two weeks and didn't care for our cottage soil and wisteria shaded sun not one bit! Next year it will be simply just cleomes and roses for the front. A great big splash of them. Although it was nice to fiddle around and see what works best for this ground. Luckily I'm in a never ending supply of rabbit poop fertilizer!! And the pumpkins and the roses LOVE it so.

Frog Pond of course is looking lovely as always. I so prefer and a grey summer day... A green autumn I call it. And the reflection in the pond was such a cool dusty lavender. A perfect day indeed.

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