Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Nut Bread

Each holiday season my grandmother made walnut bread. It's part of what makes a the holiday a family time.

My grandmother was a fabulous cook but not so great at writing recipes. Her recipe book was a list of ingredients, nothing else. Unfortunately, none of her children were fabulous cooks so the recipes were lost because there weren't amounts or mixing directions.

One reason I love the internet is because lost things can be found. I think I've found her Walnut bread recipe. At least this is the recipe I will create this year, maybe tweak it a little to make it closer to what I remember. I am thrilled. And if I make it half as good as grandma did, everyone else should be thrilled to enjoy this nut bread too.

For the dough
500 g flour
250 g butter
50 g sugar
2 eggs
20 g fresh yeast
1 dl milk
Pinch of salt

For the walnut filling
300 g minced walnut
200 g sugar
1 vanilla sugar
50 g raisin
Zest of lemon
1 grated apple
2 tblsp honey
1 dl milk

Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in 100 ml of lukewarm milk and let set. Mix the flour, butter egg and sugar in bowl. Add yeast mixture and knead until dough is medium soft. Once the dough is smooth, divide into 2 large loafs or 4 small loafs. Cover with foil and let them rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Prepare the filling. Add sugar to milk. Heat but don’t boil. Remove from heat add remaining ingredients.

Remove dough from fridge. Place on floured surface. Roll dough into rectangles to hald centimeter thick. Width to the width of the pan.
Spread the filling on the dough leaving 1/5 centimeters around the edge. Fold edges over the filling and roll dough along longer side. Spread egg yolk on top of the rolls. Let dry half hour. Spread egg white on top of rolls. Let dry for ½ hour.

Preheat to 200. Make holes in the top of the rolls with a fork. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before slicing. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Email Gone Mad

Is it me or has email gone mad? Like many people, I've changed my communication style. I don't use email as much as I did for personal communication. So it's amazing to me when I open my email account each morning and there are between 75 & 139 emails.

Granted I do belong to a few groups that send daily digests, and there are a few companies that I don't mind getting updates or sale brochures. That accounts for 10 - 20 emails per day. So what's the rest?

It's not the horrid ads for 'size enhancement', those all go to the junk bin that also overflows. The emails are unsolicited from companies that I may or may not have done business and multiple emails per day. It's too much.

The unsubscribe campaign begins. It's all I can do when a company abuses my email address. So I'll be on fewer lists through the holidays and hope that 2014 brings with it an almost empty inbox.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Season

Pumpkins take 120 days to grow to maturity. The best pumpkins are grown on the vine until the vine becomes brown and snaps the large squash free.

One favorite taste of autumn bounty is the pumpkin bread.

1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup oil
2 eggs
¼ cup water
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the mixture in a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Honoring our ancestors is as old as humanity. The ancestors are the reason for our existence. Our existence testifies to their survival. It is only right that we honor them. 

November celebration of Dia de los Muertos coincides with the Christian holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Today its celebrated as a Mexican holiday but its origins are in Aztec culture. 

Aztecs honored the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The lady of the dead watches over the bones of the ancestors. She rules with her husband over the underworld.