Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Step one in becoming a domestic goddess: make bread.

As you may remember I made ricotta cheese last week (which was extremely delish).  When you make cheese you have this greenish watery substance called whey left over; the whey is what separates from the curd.  If you ever make cheese, do not throw the whey out because it's full of vitamins and is good for all sorts of things: drinking, making shakes, giving it to Fido, watering plants, & making bread (and has lots more uses). 

I decided I wanted to make bread with some of the whey and picked out an Oatmeal Molasses Honey recipe.  I had read different opinions on what whey from ricotta cheese is good for; some said don't use it for breads, others said go ahead.  I have made bread with yeast before, but it was always hit or miss, sometimes resulting in a disastrous flat blob. 

Making good artisan yeast bread is on that list of mine, you know the "I really want to learn how to do this" list, that never seems to get smaller. There is a bread shop in town that makes the best breads, you know the kind that are crunchy on the outside, yet light & fluffy on the inside. I love going in and taking in the smell of fresh baked bread, and deciding which loaf to try for the week.  I will admit I am a bit envious of the bakers skill and am determined to one day make amazing breads!

So my bread itself was good, however something went wrong.  It was a bit too heavy and it didn't seem like it rose enough, the recipe I used didn't say dissolve the yeast in warm water and I am thinking this is the "went wrong."  The loaves also started to crack, I don't think that's normal. 
Sunday was also the day for me to start canning! Yes, I was very busy on Sunday and this was only half of what I did.  Last month I posted about a new book I purchased, "Canning & Preserving" by Ashley English.  I finally got around to making my first recipe from the book, Spiced Squash Chutney.  Ashely suggests using several types of squash; I chose butternut. 

Once the chutney started cooking on my stove, my apartment was filled with the smells of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, mustard seed, and fenugreek.  If you haven't smelled all of these spices together, you are missing out. Combined with the squash, apples, and raisins I imaged my kitchen smelled like a Moroccan market. 
Once the chutney was cooked, I piled everything into my jars and of course did not have enough.  I had read so much about making sure air bubbles were out and letting the jars boil for long enough, I think I was terrfied of having deadly bacteria grow in my delicious smelling chutney. But I think I managed not to screw it up, because my lids were sealed and I was overly anal about letting them boil for long enough.
Don't they look so pretty?
I now have several months to find enough storage space in my apartment because once the warmer months get here I will be a canning queen!


  1. The jars look very pretty. What exactly is chutney?

  2. Chutney is a a spicy condiment made of chopped fruits or vegetables cooked in vinegar and sugar with ginger and spices. Originating in India.