Today I baked, and generally spent the day in the kitchen.
It was a very foggy gray Monday, perfect for letting bread rise by the fireplace. I made one loaf of whole-wheat bread ( I love the german word "Vollkorn", meaning full kernel), and the other loaf was my own version of Stollen-esque sweet breakfast bread: full of dried fruit, with swirls of almond paste. The fam loves it toasted in the morning with a butter and cinammon sprinkles.
Here's my newest concoction (idea gleaned from a Portland breakfast buffet):
Cream together soft butter, cinnamon and honey
Keep in small jar by the toaster -- scrumptious!
My newest kitchen tool (B-day present) is a Cuisinard Mini-Food processor, perfect for small batches of anything.
Tomorrow I plan to make a BERRY SPREAD:
Thaw out some frozen berries from last summer, and process with butter or cream cheese until you get a deep purple "mush".
My other kitchen adventures (besides some overdue cleaning, like the inside of the microwave, etc), was to smoke a batch of red salmon. Friends gave us their older salmon this summer from their freezer when the new catch came in. Here in Alaska many people go dip-netting, and may catch 30 salmon for their families. It's a treat for us, but many Alaskan children say "Oh no, salmon again for dinner!" -- but ours at least do love their smoked salmon, esp. if it's made into souffle.
For smoking salmon, I make a simple brine: 1 qt water w/ half cup each of sugar and salt.
I soak the fish in the brine for about 4 hours, then rinse it, pat it dry (best to let it sit a little), then place in smoker for 6 hrs or so. It was pretty cold outside today, so it was a rather cold smoking, but it still works fine to do it in winter, even if temps are in the teens.
In fact, one real advantage is that I worry less about the wildlife (Summer fish smoking is apt to attract the bruins!)
Tonight we had pasta with smoked salmon in a cream sauce. It was a day well-spent in the kitchen!
Baking painting by Mustafa Farroukh (1945) from LeMonde website
Bread cutting painting from Sharpiron.wordpress.com
Smoked salmon by kasilofseafoods.com