Monday, August 10, 2009

Real Men Drink PINK LEMONADE...

Some history...

"Henry E. Allott, known all through the Middle West as 'Bunk' Allen, member of the old Chicago gambling syndicate, saloonkeeper, theatrical promoter, circus man, and inventor of pink lemonade, died here today. At 15 he ran away with the circus and obtained a lemonade concession. One day while mixing a tub full of the orthodox yellow kind he dropped some red cinnamon canides in by mistake. The resulting rose-tinted mixture sold so surprisingly well that he continuted to dispense his chance discovery."---
"Inventor of Pink Lemonade Dead," New York Times, September 18, 1912

Sorry gals, it wasn't some Southern Belle in the deep South, on a plantation somewhere, who invented one of America's favorite Summer beverages...
It was actually a 15 year old carny GUY! Wouldn't cha know it...
Regardless, we love drinking it in my house! And my boys love to show off their muscles when it comes time to use the glass juicer. Here is our super-duper easy version of an old favorite -

My Pink Lemonade
12 juicy lemons
10 cups water
1 ½ - 2 cups sugar
2 tsp. Grenadine syrup

In 3 qt. covered sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Turn off the heat, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.Roll lemons to make them juicy. Juice lemons using an electric juicer, lemon reamer, citrus press..whatever. Remove pulp if desired….In a 3 qt. pitcher, add lemon juice, Grenadine syrup and warm sugar water. Stir to mix well. Serve in glasses filled with ice. The addition of fresh mint or additional lemon slices will make nice finishing touches!

**Don't forget to seek out local lemons...SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMER!"

Monday, August 03, 2009

Pain d' Epi

Whew! Now that was a long break! I haven't messed with my blog all Summer. The kids will be starting school again in a couple of weeks and I can't believe how fast this pickin' Summer went. ...I'm convinced I need more time off...
Well let me tell you a story. A story of a frustrated hausfrau who moved to the high desert in search of peace and tranquility. She was so excited...she was going to ride her horses, get pedicures while the kids where at school, see her soap company to success, and bake great homemade bread. Well, NONE OF THE ABOVE actually happened. The horses became lawn ornaments and the pedicures never happened because she had to homeschool the kids. The soap business took a back seat and became a hobby, for the same reason. Now the bread...let's just say someone neglected to tell her that at her elevation (3410 ft. approx.), bread comes out like a freakin' brick!
After many failed attemps, she was about to completely give up...until.....TODAY!
I picked up a great little book at the library, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, this past week. Well, I tried my first bread recipe, Pain d' Epi.
Hello! It's awesome! I did, however, make a couple of minor adjustments because of my elevation...and let's just say, "WOW!"

Here is my adjusted recipe for Pain d' Epi, to make #2 loaves, 1 lb. each.

1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp. coarse salt (has to be, of course..)
1 1/2 tsp. Fleischmann's Highly Active Yeast
3 1/4 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until all flour is incorporated. Cover loosely and let proof on the kitchen counter for two hours. Then place in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.

Time to bake!: Divide the batch in half, placing one half on a lightly floured surface, the other back into the refrigerator. Guess what?? The dough will keep for two weeks!!
Gently work dough into a ball and sprinkle with flour. Roll into a long loaf shape. Let sit for thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly flour the loaf, then make superficial slices across the top. Transfer to a baking sheet that's been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Place a pan on the lower oven rack and fill with 2 cups of water. Place bread on baking sheet on the middle rack. Let bake for 25-30 minutes. kids were begging for more!

For all the folks that don't have a major elevation disability like mine, here is the standard recipe that actually is designed to make #4 loaves:

3 cups of lukewarm water
2 packets of granulated yeast (or 1 1/2 TBL.)
1 1/2 TBL. coarse salt
6 1/2 cups bread flour

Have fun baking!!

Crickets!!! I'm hearing CRICKETS!!

Welcome back to my archaic blog. Started years ago as merely a creative "mommy" outlet, now, it is simply therapy for boredom. ;) ...