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Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Friday, July 30, 2010

First Apple Pie Of The Season

My heart skipped a beat when I read it this morning. GOPHER GLEN IS OPEN FOR THE SEASON. The apple farm up See Canyon. Yep...you heard right guys. OPEN
I took a ride up this morning and as I drove I remembered last year, riding for the first time up the canyon with Buddy...heartbreak...again....but I had my little Teddy with me...and I looked at him tucked up on my lap and just smiled. The air felt cool as the canyon is very shady and it was still early in the morning. I felt the sun on my face as I drove looking at all of the branches hanging heavy with apples...i could smell that wine-ey , apple-ey scent in the air and could here the crows cawing in the trees...and I felt it. Late summer...that feeling of a change in seasons.

Rolling out dough for a pie my mind wandered to when I would return...

this weekend...for sure

as I fluted the crust of the pie I wondered what I would make next....
hhmmmm...my cinnamon apple cake? caramel apples? apple bread?

the crispy crunch of cutting that first apple

cutting the lattice for the top...i was smiling....

i wondered why i love baking pies so much...i always have...even when i was 8 years old...standing on the stool to reach the drainboard

weaving crust

making apple pie...

just me and teddy...and dreaming of Fall.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Originally uploaded by ethanollie

via ethanollie

summers light is starting to change

as ethanollie says: it's premature i know, but we can sense that summer is starting to give up her fight...just a little bit

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bessie's Dilly Casserole Bread

I shared this recipe with Octoberfarm this morning and thought I should share it with everyone. I did post it last summer...but it is so good I have to do it again. I know Betsy likes it. Dill and August seem to go together so this is a wonderful bread for this time of year.

Right after you take it out of the oven you rub it with butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. The crunchy kind of salt.
The recipe says to bake it in a round 8 inch casserole...

but I like to bake it in my cast iron skillet

Teddy wasn't too much help...

neither was dande rose marie

i got these eggs at CORNERCOPIA... and couldn't make up my mind on which one to use...there were brown ones, blue ones, green and white...that giant cream colored one there in the front was a double yolker...haven't seen one of those in forever....

this is an easy bread to make because it all goes into one bowl..no kneading ....
and will your kitchen ever smell cozy !

there is the original recipe...in my handwriting...i think i must have been about 14 years old. Bessie was a lady that came to our house in the afternoon to help my mom with us kids and get some supper started...and she looked EXACTLY like Mrs. Doubtfire...the cardigan sweater, plaid skirt, hair pinned back in a bun, sensible shoes...even the strand of pearls ...
Bessie introduced me to the BEST cookbook in the world. Mary and Vincent Price's "The Treasury of Great Recipes". It still is my favorite cookbook to this day.

Dilly Casserole Bread from Bessie
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup large curd cottage cheese ( I know this sounds weird, but it works )
2 T. sugar
1 T. instant dried onion ( I have used a minced fresh shallot too )
1 T. soft butter
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 cups of flour ( or so...just enough to make a stiff batter )
Sprinkle yeast over warm water and dissolve
Heat cottage cheese till just warm
Combine in a bowl the cottage cheese,sugar,onion,butter,dill seeds,salt, baking soda, egg and the yeast mixture
Add flour...enough to make a stiff batter
Beat everything together well
Cover and let rise till double..about 60 minutes
Stir down and put into a well greased 8 inch round casserole pan
( I use my cast iron skillet )
Cover and let rise about 45 minutes
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes
Check and see how brown it is..it usually takes another 10 minutes
Remove from the oven and rub the bread with butter and sprinkle with sea salt
When warm enough to handle take it out of the pan and let it cool a little
We can never let it cool...john and I get right on it...and Teddy loves it too

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let's Ride Out To The Farmstand

I live in the historic railroad district in downtown san luis obispo...and about 5 minutes away is a farmstand that i have been wanting to stop in on. it is called CORNERCOPIA. it is about one minute away from the house i grew up in...san luis obispo goes from a busy downtown to rural in the blink of an eye....you head out of town into an area called the edna valley..it is mostly vineyards and very pretty all year round.

this is the view across the street from the farmstand. this field has some yellow flowers growing it in. i think they are safflowers...i have looked at those dry, brown mountains every summer since we moved here from santa barbara when i was 14. on both sides of this field are vineyards.

i bought a jar of her jumbleberry jam. she said it was her BEST SELLER.

she had lots of buckets of pretty summer flowers

plums from her trees

how is that sign for old fashion and farmy?

another view from across the street..edna valley...july 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's In My Kitchen Today

Hey Teddy..are you asleep on the job today in mama's kitchen?

My first mum of the season getting it's drink in my farm sink
Every time I buy cherries i think to myself..is this the last bag..but we just keep on going..that darling little plate is from my dear friend, julie whitmore of julie whitmore pottery

Went to our local organic grocery store yesterday and got this beautiful bottle of california olive oil. and a bottle of pinot noir

We are bbqing again tonight..one is for teddy

How could i pass this up?

my sweet little dande girl...see all of teddy's chewies?

There he is..see that tail? always straight up

I just can't take my eyes off of him...look at that sweet face...

Scored this at Michaels yesterday for a dollar on the grab rack table..cute, huh? you can never have too many recipe boxes, can you? they have Fall in there too. you know i got some candles and Fall leaf window clingers. i have a thing for window clingers...probably cause i wanted them so bad as a child and there was no way mom was buying window clingers. i am making up for lost time...big time

Needless to say...i LOVE LOVE LOVE this plate. somebody else must have too. it has a repair at the top. i have it hanging on my wall in the kitchen. it makes me HAPPY

I collect any plates i can find that have turkeys on them. that Fall thing and all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Little Hands Bakes A Birthday Cake

We had a birthday party here on monday night for my sister-in-law. With the help of my niece we made a pink birthday cake.

we added the birthday candles one by one. can you see that little ball of red behind the candles? that's teddy sitting on his favorite spot...on top of the couch.

Our simple farmhouse menu

a few festive touches

flowers , the guitar leaning against the wall ready for singing the birthday song and the doors open out to the apple orchard...the covered bowl in front of the picture is the dilly bread rising

our birthday cake, teddy and a tiny glass of pink lemonade for my little helper

getting started on the decorating

little helper with party streamers....we sure had a great time...