exploring, preserving: past, present

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What’s the French Word for Baguette?

I got a Kitchenaid Electric Mixer from my in-laws as a wedding gift. It’s seen a lot of use, from cookies to pie crusts to cakes and breads. One of my favourite recipes, which I prep the night before and then bake the next day, is the baguette recipe included in the mixer’s recipe booklet.


Herb Garlic Baguettes
from KitchenAid Baking Companion

Makes 2 baguettes

1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold water
1 egg
1 tsp water

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water.

Place flour, spices, garlic, and salt into bowl of electric stand mixture and attach the dough hook. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then stop and scrape the bowl. Continue mixing on low, slowly adding the yeast mixture and cold water, mixing approx. 30 secs. Knead dough on low until dough is smooth and elastic, appoximately 3 minutes.

Cover, let rise at room temp. until doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface, punch down the dough. Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a 12-inch-long loaf. Place each loaf on a greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 shallow diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Combine the egg and water, brushing the top of each baguette with the egg/water mixture. Cover the loaf with greased plastic wrap and let rise at room temp. until doubled in size. (Here’s where I slide the dough into the fridge overnight, letting it come to room temp the next day before baking. This lets me have fresh bread with supper, even after a long day at work.

Bake at 450 F for 15 to 18 minutes until browned. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack. This tastes best warm with butter. 🙂


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Baby It’s Cold Outside


We are in the middle of a string of days with temperatures regularly reaching -35 Celsius (or worse) with wind chill. And no matter how much I bundle up, turn up the furnace, and drink hot chocolate, I can’t get warm. Time for some comfort food – chicken noodle soup.

Take one whole chicken, some chopped onions and carrots and celery, some peppercorns and bay leaves, and simmer the mix in a pot of water for a good hour or two. Keep adding water as stock reduces. Some thin egg noodles are the only addition to a comforting, hot meal. Ahh, warming up from the inside out.

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Memories of Summer in a Hearty Soup


Summer borscht. It’s a simple, hearty soup that I definitely didn’t like growing up but love to make and eat on these cold -30C nights. The greens in it are sorrel – easily flash frozen in summer to use for winter soup. The sorrel provides a bitter tang. Farmer sausage provides protein and saltiness. Russet potatoes, cubed, round off the hearty soup.

This, plus freshly baked buns and butter, are what make winter nights bearable. 🙂