Category Archives: Bread

Sensible shoes and memories

We went to a good Eye-Tali-an-o wedding last week down in Denver.

All the players were there… “The Don” ,”Cha-Cha”  the wise guys and all the rest. Polyester in abundance right along with chest hair and chains, big hair and high heels.

But what stood out the most, was The Don’s mother-in-law…. In her sensible shoes.sensibleshoes

I was immediately reminded of all the old ladies that used to sit on their stoops and watch kids play in the street. She reminded me of MY grandmother. Never without her sensible shoes.  And all the times she chatted with ‘The Ladies” – Comparing olive oils and pedigrees, transgressions and recipes, children and husbands and so on. All dressed alike- all in sensible shoes.

She reminded me of all the ladies riding the bus to the market in San Francisco- shopping bags tucked neatly into handbags or under their arms, housedresses and sensible shoes for walking.  She reminded me of  garlic and gravy (that’s-a what we call spago sauce) and crusty bread and cannoli.

it ladiesShe reminded me of when we lived in North Carolina and went to a Columbus Day Celebration in downtown Fayetteville.

There standing all her glory on street corner was an elderly Italian lady in her green (the EXACT same shade as the flag!) housedress, matching handbag and jaunty little hat  proudly holding a full size Italian Flag waving gently in the wind. In her sensible shoes….

A toast to The Don’s mother-in-law!

Salute!

I miss my Grammy and was happy for the memories

~Katy~

 

 

Mama’s Mini Focaccia Buns

My little Focaccia buns are a snap to make! NO KNEADING required.

IMG_7265“Foo-Kah” bread as we all still call it (the Boyz couldn’t say Focaccia when they were little) has it’s origins in Ancient Rome. Panis focasius was a flat bread baked on a hearth. Over the years as cooking style have evolved, it has become the focaccia of today.

All you need is few simple ingredients and then whatever you want on top.

 

3Cups flour                        1 1/2 Cups warm water      2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 package)

2+ TBS Olive Oil (or canola or whatever you have)  2 TBS minced rosemary

1tsp salt                1TBS sugar

~That’s it! Those are the basic ingredients.~

In large bowl mix together the flour, sugar,  salt , yeast and rosemary. Add the water and

IMG_7261

divide into muffin pans

olive oil and mix with spoon. Dough will be very sticky.  Divide up into greased muffin tins (or just use cupcake papers) Cover and let rise about 20-30 minutes. *I make a dozen with this recipe, but it will stretch to 18 for smaller buns*

 

Heat oven to 375   gather up whatever you want on top. We like tomatoes, and seasonings and cheese,  olives, onions and stuff.  Dice up whatever you are using into little pieces and brush buns with some olive oil and put your toppings on.

IMG_7263

toppings added. ready to bake

(we like to add extra diced tomatoes right into the dough itself.)

Bake for about 15 minutes. You’ll know. They will be firm on top.

Gobble up. Dip in sauces, olive oil, gravies or just east them as is.

If you like a sweeter or a dessert bread : skip the rosemary and use like candied fruits or raisins or dates and sprinkle with sugar. Focaccia dolce or sweet focaccia.

*Boyz tips*  diced pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms, Feta cheese, olives.. all great toppings! For seasonings just use generic Italian seasoning, or herb or whatever is in your cupboard. Rosemary is Not a must. we just like it. and Yes- this will still turn out if you have no measuring cups or spoons… a coffee cup, soup spoon and teaspoon will work for measuring. Poor boy style 😉  yes.. you can used canned tomatoes.  ***If you don’t have muffin pans, grease your cookie sheet and press out the dough onto it all the way to the corners. use your finger and poke ‘indents’ all around. Let rise… finish as above***

Manga!

~Katy~

I am “Country Woman” ~ hear me roar!

Every year Farm and Ranch Guide puts on a Country Woman of the Year contest.

People are supposed to write in why they think their woman should win…. But there are guidelines… Community involvement, Special deeds, Involvement with the daily operations etc.  ~  This implies all manner of things.DSCN5883

Most of the women nominated log long hours in real production in crops and livestock, they are active in church and volunteer for nearly everything, blah- blah- blah. All without a hair out of place. You know the types.

Don’t get me wrong~I am not disparaging them in any way. Many of the nominated women are my neighbors. Some of them have won. I admire these women.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked Hubby once WHY he didn’t nominate me. He said because I am none of those things, but am Everything to him. (and that he sucks at writing)

That being said- I AM a Country Woman of the Year… Day in and day out. Year after year.

I don’t need a contest to tell me so. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“I can bring home the Bacon…. Fry it up in a pan…….”  Remember that commercial? That about sums it up.

In my little world, I am the one who raises the kids and attends school functions, nurses the bottle babies (Calves and Kitties alike), bakes fresh bread every couple days, Cooks from scratch every meal, minds the garden, cans more goods than a grocery store, gate girl when it’s blizzarding and -30 out, sews and mends, shuffles hubby and vehicles from field to field, watches the markets, tracks the weather, brings him lunch in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe field, never ever calls him when he’s out with the guys, works from home, goes to church, does the parts running, beer fairy,  handles correspondence and the usual round of maid chores too. I  put a good spin on things when they go awry and make hubby feel better about it.  I  am20140906_173647 constantly championing small business in rural communities, attend Downtowners Conferences on my own dime and time so I can better myself and my community, make a quilt every year to donate for raffle at charity, finds the humor in the dark times, mend broken hearts and bruised egos, teach the kids to dream, keeper of the memories and family stories, teaches others how to bake and sew, butchers chickens with the best of them, run a small business of my own, don’t complain when our plans are cancelled yet again 20141128_101658(1)because ‘We have to go to the field, NOW’, I know that  boots DO go with everything, and more. ~ I know that there are 3 big social functions (4 in a good year!) … Two farm shows and a Pheasants  4ever banquet (you can sub- cattlemans, DU or whatever)  If it’s a good year- a trip the fair gets tossed in. Otherwise my social engagements are solo.

Things I won’t or don’t do? I refuse to ever again “Hold that panel, damnit!” when the BULL is making a break for it nor do I drive his big boy toys.

I am proud to support my Hubby- an American Farmer-  behind the scenes in all these little ways.

~Katy~

L-A-R-D you are a friend of mine!

LARD.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways~

Mouthwatering cakes, finger-licking good fried chicken, crispy onion rings….well you get the idea. But I could go on.

Potato Pancakes…. sizzling!

In todays world, most people cringe when you say LARD. “Whaaaaat?? Lard???? That’ll kill you! ”   In the past century some of the greatest recipes called for rendered lard.  Pork. Beef. Chicken. What do you think people used before all these processed oils???

(*ok.. besides the Italians, Greeks and Spanish that had a direct line to God with their olive oils.)

In the years we butcher a pig, we render our own.~ otherwise I suffer with Armour or Morrell  because it’s what we can find locally. Want to know how to render your own lard?? here’s a great link for making your own in the crock pot : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

My grandmother made the moistest, richest chocolate cakes with lard. And I have made some incredible Chocolate/Apricot COOKIES with a recipe gleaned from an old boyfriends mom…. It was in  her WW2 era cookbook.1305759103-minimalistic-cookie-monster-pac-man-wallpaper

 Happy cooking!

~Katy~

A Summer to Remember

So my cousin Hannah has come for a month long visit to our farm. She is 9 years old.
At first I was “What am I supposed to DO with a GIRL?” We raised Boys!
~As it turns out, there was nothing to fear.~ We both speak SARCASM fluently.
She was (is) a self admitted “indoor” girl.Fashion-ista
Well- things have changed a smidge.. I am sure her Mama will have a few bad habits to break!
BOOTS go with everything. Hannah has worn her boots more that her sandals and hasn’t even touched tennis shoes yet. 🙂

Cookies for breakfast

Cookies for breakfast

COOKIES for breakfast are ok sometimes.
WALKS  are great for dream making… Hannah wishes to be an Artist or a Fashion Designer… I hope she follows her dreams, where ever they may lead.
Dirt won’t kill you… we have been in the garden daily. she has learned to simply rub things that fall in the dirt on her pants and keep on going…

She can DO ANYTHING. She has learned that with a little perseverance and cussing, all tasks are do-able!  So very proud of her!!

I Can Do it!

I Can Do it!

Coffee nearly BLACK… and a sweet tooth for French Vanilla flavoring.
POLKAand two-step are a must have in the dance repository if you want to be ‘social’ around these parts.

fun in the sun

fun in the sun

   HAY BALES are great fun. So is the quad and the dog. CHICKENS will follow you like the Pied Piper.

Well~ I gotta run. More on our adventures later…. sewing, baking, swimming, dancing and more!   We have MEMORIES  to go make!

~Katy~

Hot Buns!

                                That got your attention, didn’t it??

Right out of the oven!

Now that the Boyz are on their own, I only bake bread once a week. Today I am using my favorite Amish Bread recipe for buns. Hubby likes them for sandwiches.
    ** Did you know you can make TWO loaves of bread for about $1.75 at home???**
      I actually got this recipe from a Mennonite woman, living near Joes, Colorado.  Super easy and versatile. We use it for everything except sourdough, raisin bread and cinn rolls.  (~ For those I use an Italian Sweet Dough.) 
    This makes wonderful French loaves, baguettes, sliced bread, dinner rolls, hamburger and hotdog buns….
        2 Cup warm water
        2/3 Cup sugar (you can also use Brown sugar or Honey- I’ve done both)
        2Tablespoons yeast (or two packages)
        1/4 Cup oil
        2 Tsp Baking POWDER
        1 tsp Salt
        +/- 5 Cups flower (closer to plus)

               In  bowl SIFT 4 cups flour/salt and Baking powder. Set aside.
      In a Large bowl, Dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and moisten. Let ‘poof’ about 15 minutes.

My niece’s first loaves!

    Add oil. Slowly add in dry ingredients while stirring. Turn out onto floured (this is the rest of the flour) surface and knead until smooth and dough bounces backed when poked. (like the Pillsbury Dough Boy). Lightly oil and cover. Let rise in a warm place until double.
      ** If you are making bread, before oiling and covering, divide into TWO)**
  
      Punch down. Shape into loaves or rolls. Let rise again. Bake 350 oven 35 min. for bread and about 20 for buns. Remove. cool on wire racks. Butter tops while warm.

~Enjoy~

Katy

              
   
     

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