Magickally Delicious

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — silverstar98121 @ 5:08 am

Finally, I get around to posting these pictures from Thanksgiving.

The Boyo carves the turkey butt!

The Boyo carves the turkey butt!

The Feast!

The Feast!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Butts

Filed under: leftovers, Thanksgiving — Tags: , , , , — silverstar98121 @ 5:46 am


Ever wonder what happens to the rest of the turkey when they are making turkey breast for the deli? Or just to cook? Well, I’m here to solve the mystery for you. They take what’s left, cut it in half, freeze it, and give it to poor people on the holidays. It’s called a turkey hind quarter. And as it happens, I had one in the freezer. 

Only the gods know how old it is. It’s one of those food bank things that got passed along from a friend with a more generous food bank. But it’s in the refrigerator to thaw for Thanksgiving tomorrow. The Boyo will be the only guest, unless one of us picks up a stray. 

So today will be a busy day. I need to make bread. I have yams, which I will bake. Neither The Boyo or I like them candied. There’s cranberry sauce, although I have to look at the can carefully. It’s sticky on the bottom and I don’t know why. And I suspect it’s also a food bank pass along. No great loss if it gets tossed. Mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie. I will have to cook the pumpkins I got. Dinner rolls,  pumpkin and banana bread.  A veritable feast. And stuffing, of course. Can’t stuff a turkey butt, but you shouldn’t put stuffing in the turkey anyway, just cook it in a casserole. 

The problem is my oven is tiny. By the time I get the roasting pan in there, I might be able to squeeze the yams in, but that’s it. That means I will have to do the pies before the turkey, and bake the rolls while the turkey is out for carving.  I only have a one-butt kitchen. And there will be two of us in there, my butt and the turkey butt. I’ll run The Boyo’s butt out of there. 

Friday I will throw the turkey carcass in a pot, and make soup out of it. I love turkey noodle soup. Hopefully, there will be turkey meat left for sandwiches, too. Or turkey tetrazini. Turkey enchiladas like my cousin makes at Thanksgiving, freezes, and serves for breakfast Christmas morning. I sort of doubt one little turkey butt will stretch that far, however. 

Anyway, I thought I would give you some recipes today. 

My Cousin’s Turkey Enchiladas

10  or more flour or corn tortillas

2-3 cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken

1can cream of chicken soup.

1can cream of celery soup. 

1 4oz. can diced green chilis

4 oz. grated pepper jack cheese

Mix the soups together. Add the canned chilis. Mix until smooth. Add half of this to the turkey or chicken, coating the meat well. In an 8×8 or 9×13 pan begin making the enchiladas by putting tortillas down, laying 2 tbsp. of meat mixture down the middle, then folding them over so that the seam side is down. When the pan is filled, pour the rest of the soup mixture over and top with the pepper jack cheese. Bake in a 350° F oven for about 30-40 minutes, until the dish is warmed through. 

If you are freezing, use a disposable foil pan, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. You can also buy pans with plastic lids, but you still need the aluminum foil. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, or cook for about an hour from frozen. 

Grandma’s Turkey Sandwich

This hasn’t got anything to do with my grandma, but is from Starbucks. 

2 slices hearty whole grain bread

2 slices turkey, or to taste

2 tbsps leftover stuffing

1 tbsp leftover cranberry sauce.

1 lettuce leaf (optional)

Put turkey on bread slice and lettuce leaf, if using, top with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Cover with the other slice of bread. You could put some mayonnaise or mustard on it, but I think it’s good without it. 

Turkey Butt Soup


1 turkey carcass

2 liters or quarts water

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, pealed and smashed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

Cut turkey carcass to fit in large sauce pot or Dutch oven.  In the sauce pot saute onion and garlic until softened. Add turkey carcass, water, and chopped celery. Simmer for 1 ½ hours. Take carcass out of broth, strain broth through a colander with two layers of cheescloth. Return to pot. Refrigerate until cool, then skim off the fat. Pick meat from the bones when they are cool, add enough meat to make 2 cups. 


Broth prepared above. 

2 cups diced turkey

1 16 oz can of tomatoes

3 cups chopped vegetables (I suggest carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, but can use rutabagas, parsnips, or potatoes. Although the cookbook I’m adapting this from suggests broccoli and cauliflower, I think they would overpower the soup.)

1½ tsp dried oregano, basil marjoram or thyme (or I think sage would be good)

¼ ground pepper (preferably freshly ground)

1½ medium noodles.

Add vegetables, seasonings and undrained tomatoes to broth. Return to boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add noodles and simmer a further 8-10 minutes until noodles and vegetables are cooked al dente.  Add turkey meat and heat through.  Adjust seasoning and serve with hearty whole grain bread. Serves six. 

Better the next day, too.  



Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bread and the Lammas Man

Filed under: Lammas, Yeast bread — Tags: , , , — silverstar98121 @ 6:05 am

As was mentioned over at Silverstar’s Magical Adventures, yesterday was Lammas, the First Harvest or Grain Harvest. What better way to celebrate than to bake some bread? Fortunately, the weather in Seattle was cooperative, being rainy and cool for a couple of days. So off I went to bake bread. I made two kinds, an oatmeal bread with lots of seeds, and a sweet bread with cinnamon, raisins and nuts. And just for Nurse Myra, I fashioned one of them into an anatomically correct Lammas Man.

Before we get to the pictures, we have a little business to take care of.

After you have raised your right hand and put your hand on the Bible, Quran, Torah, Richard Dawkins latest book, or whatever you hold sacred, repeat after me:

I, state your name, do hereby absolve Silverstar from any damages incurred by gained tonnage, poundage, kiloage, stoneage or other forms of waistage, from the viewing of the following post.

Once you have taken the pledge, you may proceed over the jump.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Picnic

Filed under: picnic food — Tags: , , — silverstar98121 @ 1:37 am

It was warm the other day in Seattle, and The Boyo and I decided to go on a picnic. I decided to make all kinds of picnic food, and then we met at the Rose Garden in Myrtle Edwards Park. Or actually, by that place, it has become Elliott Bay Park. The night before was a lot of preparation for me. I set the menu:

Baked Barbequed Chicken Breastcoleslaw

Potato Salad


Baked Beans

and fresh cherries for dessert.

Most of the work was just simple. I threw the chicken breasts in the oven, and when they were almost done, I slapped some barbeque sauce on them. I used the food processor to make the coleslaw, and put an Oriental dressing on it to give it a different flavor. I dislike being bored with the same old thing all the time. Anyway, the dressing was based on oil, not mayonnaise, so it was lighter. Once again, the salad dressing comes from the Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz.

I gave the potato salad some kick, too. I like to do this by adding stone ground mustard and creamy horseradish to the dressing, and then sprinking it with celery seed.

Baked Beans

Once the beans are cooked, and I undercooked them a little because I knew I was going to bake them, you put them in your bean pot with all the goodies. The recipe I have calls for dry mustard, maple syrup, and other things. I made this particular recipe because when I first wanted to make baked beans I didn’t have any molasses. Besides, The Boyo will eat anything make with maple. Once you have them in your bean pot, they take 2 ½ hours in a slow oven. Fortunately, they don’t need a lot of looking after. I usually just stir them once an hour.

Baked Beans

This recipe is from the 1989 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I hope they won’t come after me for using a recipe from a twenty year old cookbook.

1 pound dry navy beans or great northen beans

¼ pound bacon or salt pork, cut up

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup molasses or maple syrup

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Cook beans until almost tender. If you soak them overnight, rather than in the pressure cooker, it then takes about 1¼ hours to cook them on the stove. Save 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Mix all the ingredients together in a 2½ quart casserole or bean dish, add 1cup of the reserved liquid. Bake in 300° oven for 2½ hours, or until most of the liquid is gone.

Personally, I use smoked ham hocks for the pork, and I use a lot more than they do. I like pork in my beans. Unlike my old Catholic days when you couldn’t eat meat on Friday, and we used to dig the miniscule amout of pork in the can of pork and beans so it would be legal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baking for Obama

Filed under: Chocolate — Tags: , , , , , , — silverstar98121 @ 5:25 pm

So I was slogging through Slog yesterday, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this. A bakecolorful characters sale for Obama? Sponsored by A chance to indulge my baking bug without getting fatter? I am so there. So I go to the Move-on website, look around for a bake sale near me, and see they are having one at Vain. Vain, you say? What’s that all about? Well, check the links, we’re not here to talk hair or art however, we are here to talk about a bake sale.

Vain signSince Vain is all about personal style, they put on one stylish bake sale. Everything was done up all fancy, I heard rumors of mini-cheesecakes. This was not your cheerleaders bake sale, this was a party happening on the street. All they needed was music, and maybe that’s happening at the art opening tonight.

Not only were there baked goods,  there was an open bar. Of course, you can’t serve liquor on the street, so they did the next best thing, they served bake sale signmocktails. You could get a pink pantydropper, a passionfruit mojito, or a lemon basil drop. All for whatever you wanted to donate. I am personally drinks tablehere to tell you that the pink panty-dropper was so good, I’d have been dropping my pink panties if it had liquor in it. Cranberry juice and mint. Who knew? And the basil lemon drop was no slouch either. If you were into mundane things like sodas or water, they had that, too. They even had a bowl of water out for the dogs. Much appreciated, it’s close to eighty today, and very muggy.

The baked goods were wide ranging from plain jane cookies and cupcakes to Cherry Obama’s  and Barack-alicious brownies. From Amish cinnamon bread to starter for Amish cinnamon bread. I had to satisfy my chocolate and coconut urge with a cupcake frosted in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.

ginger cakeSo what did I contribute to this event? Well, I took some of a new batch of the Buttermilk Ginger Cake. This time, I tried making it in the food processor. There was only one problem. It fills a 10 cup bundt pan, and I have a 7 cup food processor. OOOPPS!!!! I cherry obamasended up putting in one cup of flour, processing it, pouring off half of the batter into a bowl, putting in the other two cups of flour, and then mixing them together. It came out well, and no unmixed flour. The next time I do this recipe, it’s plan C, the mixer.

I used this opportunity to clean out my cupboard, too. Rock hard brown sugar into the ginger cake, and package of low-carb banana nut muffins foisted on the community. I truly apologize to anyone who bought baked goodsthe low-carb muffins, they are nasty. I also made up a pan of Koko-Moka Brownies, and I’ll give you the recipe.

Before I do that, however, give me a moment to get all politcal on you. When I was sitting down there drinking my pink panty-dropper, some guy walked by and said, “I don’t know why they need a bake sale with all the multi-millionaires they have.” Let’s see, Democratic millionaires. George Soros is the only one I can think of. But that’s not the point, the point is that this is a grass-roots organization. How much more grass-roots can you get than bake sales, for pete’s sake? To me, the grass-roots are the only hope. I just hope this isn’t astroturf. It’s time that We the People meant something besides We the Corporations.

Koko-Mocha Brownies

One of my friends gave me this recipe years ago. I don’t know where it came from, it’s been written in my private recipe book for years. Adding the coffee is my own little filip.

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa

1 tsp instant coffee

1/2 cup walnut pieces, optional

Mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla, salt, and coffee together. Add dry ingredients. Mix just until blended. Pour into a greased and floured square pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until it pulls away from the edge of the pan. Myself, I just put it into the food processor in the above order, and gave it a couple of pulses.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ginger Cake

Filed under: Cakes — Tags: , , , , — silverstar98121 @ 4:51 am

One Pot CakesThe book is called “One Pot Cakes” by Andrew Schloss with Ken Bookman, and it makes extravagant claims. You can put together a delicious cake in ten minutes with only a pot, a spoon, and a cake pan. The blurb on the back states “no beating, no sifting, no weeping, no frantic phone calls to Mom, no running out in the middle of the recipe to buy small kitchen appliances, no destroyed kitchen.” It sounded intriguing. And one of the recipes called my name. Buttermilk Ginger Cake was right up my alley. Two kinds of ginger, dried and fresh, buttermilk, and in only ten minutes.

Well, OK, you can do it in ten minutes if you spend thirty minutes getting ready. You have to grate the ginger. You need to have all your ingredients “mise en place.” You need to have a bigger kitchen than Silverstar has, and one where you can put the cookbook where you can see it. And it helps if you do it in the order called for. I put the buttermilk in before the eggs, but I don’t know that it would have helped. The eggs just wanted to sit there in big blobs of white and yolk. It doesn’t say anything about beating the eggs, or even breaking them up before you put them in.

The basic premise of all the recipes is to melt your butter, and then mix your sugars, eggs, spices etc. into that. Then add your baking soda or powder, and last of all, your flour. All without sifting or beating. My advice. Don’t try this at home. I mixed and mixed, and still the flour was lumpy. I thought maybe this was like a cornbread, where you want it to be a little lumpy. Somehow, with cornbread, the lumps disappear. Not here.

If you look at the picture you will see white splotches in the cake. That’s lumpy flour, folks. Not the result I care for. Part of the theory of cake baking is to beat your eggs to put air into them, and that helps your cake rise. By just plopping the eggs in here, you give your cake short shrift.

However, the cake does taste good. But if I was to do it again, I would use a mixer, cream my fat and sugar, and when I added the flour, beat the heck out of it. There may be a reason this book was marked $ .25 at a yard sale.

Buttermilk Ginger Cake

This ginger cake is lighter and more delicate than the Black Pepper Gingerbread. Its flavor VI

comes from two different forms of ginger-dried and fresh-for three different effects. The dried ginger is for heat, the fresh for aroma, the combination for a burst of flavor that grows that grows with every bite.

12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter

11/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1½ teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

11/2 cups buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour or 1 more cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. remove from the heat.

Stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, eggs, ground ginger, and fresh ginger. Add the baking soda in pinches, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Stir in thoroughly. Stir in the buttermilk. Stir in the flour, just until well blended.

Pour and scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack or 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on the rack for about 15 minutes more.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Filed under: shopping — Tags: , , , — silverstar98121 @ 9:17 pm

As I said in my last post, I went looking for bulk yeast when I was shopping. The closest I came was the little 4 oz. bottles. All three stores had the same brands, and the same types, either active dry or bread machine. No other types. I had been wanting to try some instant yeast, but it is too costly in those little packets. So when I got home I went online and Googled it. Some folks said it was available at Sam’s Club and Costco, but I won’t enrich the Walton family, and don’t have a Costco membership. Besides, Costco only takes American Express. Not to mention the long, long, bus ride to either place. What to do?

Someone else mentioned a place you can get bulk yeast online in pound packages. Eureka! But is it really a bargain? Let’s see, I’m using about a jar a month, it will keep in the freezer, so I could use up a pound in the four months that you are supposed to keep open yeast. As for price, well let’s see. I paid $6.82 for a 4 oz. jar, and they want $5.95 for a pound of it? Double eureka!! When the jar is empty, I will be ordering a pound of yeast.

Another bargain I found recently is shopping bags. The mayor of Seattle has proposed a law (pdf) that would make you pay 20¢ for each paper or plastic bag you use next year. The merchants are getting behind it by offering inexpensive, reusable bags. Why not? I’m sure that is an expense they would like to bag. Imagine, the US finally catches up with Europe. Not to mention that paper and plastic are both made out of resources that could be used for other things. And at the price of oil nowadays, we don’t need to be using it to make &^^&*(&*&^ plastic bags. I have acquired several of them now. Some are better than others. Some are bigger than others. Some are prettier than others.

The ones from QFC are small, and I keep them in the bag that substitutes for the regular basket on Epona. This way I always have bags with me in case I do a little shopping. Unfortunately, they aren’t big enough for such things as a gallon of distilled water or 12-pack of toilet paper. For those things, which I usually buy at a near-by drug store, I just ask that they not bag them. They cost me $1.49 each, and have things in them to hold wine bottles upright. Which would be cool, except I don’t drink. I wish I could drink with my meds, I kind of miss wine.

The ones from Safeway are bigger, but are limp and kind of cheesy. And black, ugly black. They will do. But they are not attractive. And will probably wear out quickly. But you can scrunch them into small spaces. They were 99¢ a piece.

I don’t know what The Boyo paid for the one from Fred Meyer’s. It is also an unattractive black, but is better quality than the ones from Safeway. And it has pictures of food on it, instead of just a logo, like Safeway. I think it will last longer. Right now it is storing my onions and garlic.

The best one, though, is from Whole Foods. Not only is it pretty, it is waterproof. And it only cost the same as the ones from Safeway. I may go back to Whole Foods just to get more bags. I love this thing! It’s bigger than all the other ones, too. In addition, the tag on the bag says that Whole Foods will replace any bag that tears in normal use. I hung it from the backrest of my scooter with some heavy stuff in it, and it performed well.

The great thing about all these bags is that they are made from recycled material, namely, recycled two liter soda bottles. So not only do we keep plastic bags out of the ocean, we keep soda bottles out of the landfill. I particularly hate plastic bags. When I have a choice, I always took paper. Paper was easier to recycle, even here in recycle heaven Seattle. I finally had to buy a thingy to corral all the plastic bags I got saddle with anyway until I could recycle them. Occasionally, I would use them to pick up Friday’s poop, but prefer to use biodegradable bags especially designed for the purpose.

When I was in the Metropolitan Market, though, I saw the reusable shopping bag Rolls-Royce. It was built on what looks like a golf bag holder, and was kind of the same shape. It was completely covered, and it was on wheels. And small enough not to be a pain in the aisle on the bus. Cool stuff, but not for me. Especially with the $40 price tag.

Ok, I know, I’m crazy, I take pictures of shopping bags. And blog about them.

Shop-a-thon and Dump Cooking

Filed under: shopping — Tags: , — silverstar98121 @ 8:18 pm

Before I could continue my cook-a-thon, I had to do a shop-a-thon. Yes, I just got paid, and I hadn’t been to the grocery store yet. So, I set off. There are four groceries within scooter distance, and I hit three of them last night. I don’t usually go to Whole Paycheck, and indeed, last week was the first time I had set foot in the new store. I was disappointed in the store, it was not what I expected at all. There was a huge deli department, and actually it was difficult to find the miniscule grocery department. The store is in an area dominated by an arts college and lots of biotech start-ups, so I guess it makes sense to go with prepared foods. I had been hoping for lots of fine ingredients in bulk. Nope, not there.

The first market I hit was Metropolitan Market, a very upscale market. However, they do have a huge bulk section. They are too spendy for usual grocery shopping, however. I did get some fennel seed for my next bread, some unsalted sunflower seeds, and a bit of a mix of different types of brown rice that I think will be tasty.

Next stop, Safeway, my usual store. They were having a “buy one, get one free” sale, and so I stocked up on things like olive oil, plastic zipper bags, and cooking oil spray. My bill was astronomical, but I will have things for a while. I also bought a roast that was on sale to use for sandwich meat. But they were out of the ground beef that was on sale. I also bought a gift card to use for groceries the rest of the month, a trick I learned at a seminar on how to control your money. This is important for folks like me, who only get paid once a month, and seem to have no money sense. It’s like food stamps for folks that are a little richer, except you can use it to buy toilet paper and laundry detergent, too.

One of the things I had been looking for in the bulk foods was some baking yeast. Metro didn’t have it, but I remembered that QFC had bulk spices, and thought they might have it. So I rode on down there, and found they had a “10 for $10″ sale. Um, like you’re really going to buy ten of most stuff. Of course it is mix and match, so you can get what you want. And you don’t really have to buy ten things to get the price, but I guess “10 for $10″ markets better than “a buck a piece.” So I got some avocados, a mango, and some other stuff, and found my ground beef on sale here for the same price as Safeway, and actually available.

By the time I got home, I was hungry and exhausted. Dump cooking time. This is cooking where you dump a bunch of stuff together and eat it. So here’s the recipe for what I cooked last night.

Chili Mac

1 lb. ground beef

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 box macaroni and cheese

1 can kidney beans

Prepare ground beef with taco seasonings according to directions. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to directions. Mix together and dump in drained can of kidney beans. Nuke until kidney beans are warm . Eat.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Banana Bread and other things

Filed under: Quick breads — Tags: , , , — silverstar98121 @ 6:32 pm

Well, this weekend threatens to be a cook-a-thon. I’m out of bread, so needs must bake, plus need to assemble some salads and maybe actually cook some meat for sandwiches. The first order of business, however, is to use up some bananas that are black, black, black. Throw them out? Never. They are just right for banana bread. The weather is perfect for comfort food like banana bread, too, cloudy, cool, with showers, most un-June-like.The recipe is from Noreen Gilletz “The Food Processor Bible”, and I’m telling you, the woman should pay me royalties as much as I plug her. As always, you can email me at magicallydelicious121 at gmail dot com for the recipe so we don’t violate copyright. Or you can buy it and other cookbooks on Noreen’s website. She’s an Orthodox Jew who keeps kosher, and the book has a whole section of Passover recipes, and recipes that are pareve.

Best Banana BreadThis banana bread is really different from any other I’ve made. First, you use really black bananas. There’s no baking powder in the batter, only baking soda. And it’s baked at a low temperature for a long time. The low temperature and long time also give you the opportunity to raise some yeast bread on top of the stove without singeing the little yeasties.

The low temperature and large amount of baking soda make this bread dark and rich. And sticky. The recipe calls for greasing the pan, putting in some parchment paper, and greasing it. I have only one word for you. Silicone. I refuse toBread and pan stand around buttering and greasing when we have the technology. I just dumped the batter into the pan without so much as even a whiff of Pam, and as you can see, it popped right out. And boy is it delicious!! If he’s lucky, I might save some for The Boyo.

Banana bread, slicedAnd while I was cruising the net while the bread was baking, I came across a blog I love. The woman cooks, the woman writes, the woman photographs. I’m green with envy, not only at her talent, but that apparently she has more than 3 sq. ft of counterspace in her apartment, and a fire escape where she can grow peppers, tomatoes and herbs. Well, so could I if somebody would invest in a couple of Aerogardens for me. I have no outside space in my apartment, and the light I do get sucks. Well, I need to go shopping, drop off my books at the library, cook some more. Stay tuned.

Confetti Bread for Nurse Myra

Filed under: Uncategorized — silverstar98121 @ 5:37 pm

I promised Nurse Myra some confetti bread, so here is a photo essay on confetti bread.

The Confetti Bread recipe is found in The Food Processor Bible
by Norene Gilletz. If you want the recipe, email me at , so we don’t get into copyright trouble.

Here we have all the ingredients gathered. The one thing you need for this recipe is a food processor. Of course, if you have time, you can do it all by hand, but it is much easier with a food processor. The food processor will grate your vegetables, mix and knead your dough. Good stuff.

Confetti Bread has red pepper, zucchini, red onion, and carrot in it. I use white flour this time, but you could use half whole wheat.

First thing you do is set the yeast to proof. You mix it with warm water and a little bit of sugar to get it going. Make sure your water isn’t too hot, as that will kill the little yeasties. The recommended temperature is 105-115 degrees Farenheit. An instant read thermometer is a boon here.

Next, you grate up your vegetables. This is what give the bread its confetti appearance. You need about a 1 1/2 cups of vegetables. Set the vegetables aside when you have them grated. I made a

mistake here, and there is almost two cups of veggies, so I ended up using more flour to compensate. Don’t do this at home in your food processor, instead take some of the veggies out. Otherwise, the dough gets squeezed out of the food processor at the bottom and makes a big mess.

Now you are ready to make the bread dough. Bread is not very mysterious, and it has simple proportions. Use 1 cup liquid to 3 cups flour, and 1 package yeast or equivalent. Most recipes have some form of sugar to feed the yeast, and a little salt to limit yeast growth, but that is the basic formula. I learned this from the book “Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand, by Beatrice Ojakangas. This book has recipes for bread and instructions for making the bread by hand, or with a bread machine, food processor, or mixer with dough hooks. I like using the food processor, because it is faster than any other method, although I don’t have a bread machine, so I can’t really comment on that.

By this time, your yeast should be proofed, that is, you should see that it is all puffed up in the cup. You have until this time only put your dry ingredients, including any shortening, oil or egg into the food processor. Now is when we add the yeast, and let the dough form a ball in the food processor. The dough is kneaded by rolling around in the food processor, a matter of seconds, rather than minutes by other methods. Kneading is very important, I have found that even old yeast can be made to rise with sufficient kneading. If you are making bread by hand, it’s a good idea to wait until you are pissed off about something, and then take your anger out on the bread.

Put the veggies in at the very last minute, and process just long enough to distribute them. They will get all cut up, and give the bread its confetti appearance. You can see here that the carrots have colored the dough, and maybe see some flecks of the other vegetables. Click on the thumbnail photo for an enlarged view that really shows the flecks.

One of the best suggestions I have ever had came in the little recipe book that came with my food processor. That suggestion is to raise your dough in plastic bags. This is great, because you don’t have to grease a bowl and cover it with a towel. And no drafts can get to your bread to inhibit its rising. You also get to throw the messy bag away. I usually use a bag that I had used to store the previous loaf to assuage my eco-conscience about using the plastic. But I hate to clean greasy bowls. Here is the dough at the beginning of the rising process.

It takes about 1 1/2 hours for the dough to rise, unless you use one of the rapid yeasts. I don’t, the old stuff is good enough for me. Here you can see that the dough has filled the plastic bag. Now you punch it down. At least in the plastic bag, you don’t get bread dough all over your fist. I usually let it rise in the bag a second time, to give the bread a finer grain.

Once the dough has risen twice in the bag, it is time to shape the loaves. You usually do this by rolling the dough out, and then rolling it up like a jelly roll, and putting it into the pan. There are other ways to shape a loaf, and it depends on the type of bread you are making. Italian or French bread are just rolled into a log under your hands and put on a cookie sheet, usually with some corn meal to keep it from sticking. Pumpernickel or rye are formed into a rounded mound. Some breads, such as challah, are braided. Once shaped, be sure to cover the bread with a cloth, or in this case, plastic wrap, to prevent drafts from inhibiting the yeast.

The last rising is usually the shortest, about 45 minutes to an hour. When the dough has doubled in size, it is time to bake it. Baking times vary, this bread bakes in about 30 minutes, others take an hour or so. The bread will rise a little in the oven, this is called “oven spring”. The bread will be golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on it when it is done. Be sure to turn the bread out of the pans and cool on a rack, or it will mold too soon from retained moisture.

And here it is in all its glory. Confetti Bread for Nurse Myra, and all of you.

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