April 28, 2011

Baguettes... My First Attempt

I love to bake bread... this is my first attempt at baguettes and I thought I'd share the recipe and process with you!



1/2 C plus 3 TBsp cool water
1 Cup all purpose flour
Pinch of yeast (between 1/8-1/4 tsp.)

Mix well in a bowl. Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 14 hours. I did this the late in the afternoon the day before I wanted to make the baguettes! Also, I used a mason jar and very loosely put a lid on the jar.

All of the starter
1 tsp. yeast
1 1/4 Cup luke warm water
3 1/2 Cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
Put all of the starter and add all the ingredients for 'dough' in a large mixing bowl. Mix very well with a wooden spoon or mixer (I use a wooden spoon). Knead well then place the dough aside in a warm place and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow it to rise for about 1 hour. Deflate and knead and then let it rise again for another hour... and repeat this step once more.

Divide the dough into three pieces and roll into 3 cylinders about 2 inches thick. You may want to flour your hands or surface to do this. Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes. (Grease the baking sheet)

Preheat oven to 400* and place a broiler pan on the lower rack. After the dough has risen, paint the tops with a little bit of water using a pastry brush. (The water prevents the knife from sticking in the wet dough.) Slash the loaves with three diagonal slices each and place them in a hot oven.

Pour 1 Cup of HOT tap water into the broiler pan and close the oven door quickly. Bake for about 25 minutes or until browned and firm to the touch. 



Allow them to cool and then
cut them up and enjoy!

This was a big hit with my family.... but EVERY kind of homemade bread goes over great!!

I shared this on "Sustainable Eats" website... where they host Simple Lives Thursdays. Check it out...

April 24, 2011

3 Men, 3 Crosses, 1 Hill...

‎3 men,
3 crosses,
1 hill.

One man cursed,
one man prayed,
one man promised.

One died condemned,
one died forgiven,
one died innocent.

One died in sin,
one died to sin,
one died for sin.

One was held by death,
one was released by death,
one conquered death.

One lost life,
one gained life.
One was life.

What a way to look at the cross!
Praise God for the ONE who conquered death!!

Happy Easter!!!

April 21, 2011

Canning Navy Beans

I have had this cookbook for at least 28 years. It is one of the ones I was given or bought just before I got married and one that I recommend highly! "More-With-Less Cookbook" has lots of recipe suggestions by the Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's food resources!

I took some time perusing through this cookbook yesterday. I was looking for a specific bread recipe, but I came across a hint typed in an upper corner of page 299 which states:

"Often when I want to use beans I don't have them soaked and ready, so I can 7 quarts at a time in my pressure canner. Soak 7 pounds of navy beans overnight. In the morning divide the beans into 7 quart jars, add 1 teaspoon of salt to each jar and fill to the neck with water. Process in the pressure canner for 1 hour at 10 pounds of pressure. Beans are ready for soups, baked beans or whatever you want."
Submitted by ~A. Beachy, IN~

So now I have to try this....  I thought I'd share the idea in case any of you would like to go on a food adventure too! I won't make too many up ahead, but 7 quarts would be OK! I wonder how they'd be in a cold 3 bean salad?? Are any of you ALREADY doing this? How do the beans come out??

For other ideas check out "Simple Lives Thursday" hosted by Sustainable Eats and 4 other blogs! Each Thursday you'll find this blog hop hosting lots of ideas from all over the globe!

April 16, 2011

Maple Season 2011 Is Finished!

 Here's our 'sugar house' as we call it....
It has progressed over the years from an open
flame surrounded by cinder blocks and a
roasting pan to a reworked 250 gallon drum with 
an actual finishing pan on top!

You can see Toby, our trusty yellow lab watching. 
He likes to sit half way between the sugar house and 
our house, this way he can 'properly greet' anyone
who shows up in either location and
not miss ANY ACTION! 
A beautiful sight to behold.....

Ethan our nephew, had come over to help hang the
buckets and he came back to help empty them!
He had an eye opening experience as to all the work
 involved in making maple syrup!
He was a trooper and everyone had fun 
showing him the ropes! Yeah Ethan! 
 Emptying the hanging buckets of
sap into 5 gallon buckets....
 Carrying the full buckets back to the truck to pour
into the 30 gallon buckets.... (heavy & tiring work!)
 Toby, the ever ready dog!
He was in on most of the action too...

 Our 'evaporator' system!
You can see the white barrel to the left... the guys
lift & pour the sap into this container. The sap then
travels through the orange hose into the pan at a
slow drip or stream, depending on the heat &
quickness of evaporation!

It takes LOTS of wood, time and patience!!
Remember that it roughly takes 40 gallons of sap to
produce 1 gallon of maple syrup!

The guys take it 'off the fire' at about 220*F, strain
it back into the 5 gallon buckets and then bring up to
me. In the kitchen I pour it into my 'soup kettles'
and bring it back to temperature (220*) and then
pour it into the plastic storage containers!

Lots of work, but oh the sweet reward!

     This has also been shared at
for "Simple Lives Thursday", April 14th edition!
Check out all the other wonderful ideas
shared on their website!

April 1, 2011

Did You Know...

that ladybugs leave foot prints?
Look, it's true!

The windows were all steamed as a result of boiling
potatoes for dinner. Audrey & I noticed these
two ladybugs walking around and marveled
at the 'foot prints' and patterns they
were leaving as they walked!

Who would think of that, besides
our amazing Creator of course!!

"And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:25