The Winter Kitchen

   It’s nice to have a fresh idea once in a while!

At Christmastime, my daughter-in-law told me that in 2012 she intends to try one new recipe each week. Amy’s only been married six months … and when I’d been married six months I was probably also trying new recipes all the time (heck, I was still learning how to cook at that point … Amy at least already knows how).

After 40 years of domesticity, though, I typically stick with the tried-and-true, and only try new recipes occasionally.

But Amy got me thinking, and looking through cookbooks (we own MANY cookbooks, actually – they are one of the several things my husband “collects.”)

So, last night I needed to use up the last of the Christmas ham – and I found a recipe on Campbells.com which was quite tasty.

Today I shopped for groceries based on two recipes I read the other day. Later this week I am going to make Artichoke Chicken from Allrecipes.com. Tonight I made Moussaka from my “Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook.”

I think I’m going to follow Amy’s lead, and try a bunch of brand-new-to-me recipes for a while!

I sure did make a mess in the kitchen tonight! And then, of course, I had to clean it up. But it was fun! And the Moussaka tastes quite different and good.

On a similar note, last week I started baking my own bread again. I used to bake bread when Josh was a tot and I was a stay-at-home mom. (Josh is Amy’s husband … so now you know how long ago THAT was.)

When my kids were home, I baked 2 to 3 loaves at a time a couple times each week; and I only made basic white bread.

Now I need to bake only one loaf at a time, because it’s just me & Mike home to eat it. And although kids turn up their noses at other-than-white-bread, Mike & I like lots of different breads. We’ve been eating bakery bread almost exclusively since Josh moved out 2 years ago.

So: Last Friday I made 10-Grain bread. Monday I made Rye. Both of those were from packages intended for bread machines. Because I didn’t have any recipes at hand for ONE loaf, and didn’t know how to divide the yeast; and because I wanted to make sure I really want to do this before investing in all sorts of different flours.

But after two loaves of freshly-baked bread, I am SOLD! Kneading bread dough is always therapeutic, and also good exercise. So, I got a single-loaf recipe from my BFF Kathy, and tonight I bought a JAR of yeast, some BREAD flour, and some WHOLE WHEAT flour. It will be time to bake again by Friday, I think.

Probably when summer comes we will go back to bakery bread (or else buy a bread machine) so as not to heat up the kitchen.

By the way, WINTER finally arrived here in Western Michigan on New Year’s Day. That is most unusual. I, for one, did not mind a bit having a “green Christmas,” but alas, the cold and snow was bound to come sooner or later. So if Life gives you cold weather, you may as well bake bread.

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2 Responses to The Winter Kitchen

  1. Mel Weinerth says:

    I make bread every once in a while love to bake an have done my share beings that is how I made my living was cooking an baking but sure do love it so that is good . Know you will enjoy the fruits of your labors an like to try new recipes it spices thing up I get tired of the same old six an seven as they say. But down sized on cook books an use the internet a lot for recipes.

  2. Sounds great – fun and creative and also nourishing and home-making.

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