Archive for February 10, 2008

Spring Fever

lighthouse
a lighthouse stands watch over an isolated shore of Lake Superior ~
where the only footprints in the sand are yours…

Some people get winter blues — I call it spring fever, and because of it I’ve had a few weeks of ‘everything block’.

For some reason spring fever hit hard this year. Perhaps it’s lack of sunshine, or Michigan-time, or perhaps it’s only me, growing old — my baby girl turned sixteen just a few days ago!

sweet 16
happy birthday, sweet sixteen!

I can’t begin to say how much I have missed my little blogging hobby; tossing things around in the kitchen and taking a few quick snaps to toss up here online. Then hurrying around to visit you all and marvel at the creations I want to try next!

But enough of that — age is a state of mind and I’m not ready to be old yet šŸ˜‰

To rescue me from my pity-party, a lovely package arrived on Friday.
Dear Nupur, I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful, beautiful gifts!
Just look at the treats that came my way… am I lucky or what šŸ™‚

treats from near andĀ far
treats from near and far ~ fragrant homemade dry peanut chutney and kolhapuri masala from Nupur’s kitchen, and beautiful little shell toothpicks from Goa!

This was just the nudge I needed to get back into the kitchen.
Needless to say, I am sprouting some matki for an authentic usal/misal dinner, complete with authentic Kolhapuri masala!

While waiting for the sprouts, I tried my hand at rice bread — the only homemade bread I remember from my mother’s kitchen. Mom herself provided the recipe, and the bread came out great. I had to adapt a little to make it work for me — so proportions are not law:

Mom’s Old-Fashioned Rice Bread
Makes one big sandwich loaf or a smaller loaf and rolls

3 c cooked rice, warm
3 TB margarine
3 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
1 c milk, scalded and cooled to warm
2 pkgs yeast (or 5 TB dry bulk yeast)

3-5 c flour

Vegetable oil for rising and greasing pans

Margarine or butter for brushing

~~~

Dissolve yeast in cooled milk. Stir well and let sit 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix margarine, sugar and salt into warm rice. Add yeast/milk mixture and stir well to combine. Knead in flour one cup at a time. You may require more or less flour. It is important to mix in one cup at a time.

Knead until dough is moderately stiff. This is a difficult dough to knead. The cooked rice provides some moisture but don’t be afraid to add more liquid if necessary. The rice will break up in the kneading.

Once the dough is workable, remove to a bread board or counter and knead vigorously for 8-10 minutes, until smooth. It will take some muscle, and you will still see bits of rice poking out.

rice breadĀ dough
rice bread dough before first rise

Place kneaded dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Let rise about one hour. Punch down and form into loaf or loaves, and/or rolls. Place in oiled baking pans and cover with clean cloth. Let rise another hour.

rice bread doughĀ 2
rice bread dough after first rise

Bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes.

riceĀ bread
rice bread and rolls ~ warm from the oven

~~~

A day of birdwatching…

daisy
little daisy takes in the scene from the sofa at the picture window

goldieĀ in flight
goldfinch taking off…

goldiesĀ sparring
sparring for position…

goldieĀ landing
coming in for a landing…

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