Rural scene near Sequim -- barn with Olympic Mountains

Sequim is one of my favorite destinations on the Olympic Peninsula.  It lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, so the weather is often sunnier than in Seattle.  I love driving along the country roads surrounding the town.  It’s still peaceful and rural. Later in summer, the lavender fields will be in bloom.  I was there on a Saturday, when the local outdoor market opened for the season.

Weathered ruin just off Hwy 101 near Sequim

Empty windows softened by moss and blossoms

Meadow with Olympic Mountains on the horizon

Dandelion-filled meadow

Old Dungeness Schoolhouse near Sequim

Barbed wire on the side of a barn

Opening day festivities (free cake!) at the Sequim Open Aire Market

Bread stall at the Sequim Market

Tempting pastries at another bakery stall

Handmade crocheted items, Sequim Market

The Bread and the Knife

November 14, 2010

Slicing rosemary-olive oil bread from Costco

Litany
by Billy Collins

“You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine…”
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow—the wine.

Apple Cheese Bread

August 29, 2010

Apple Cheese Bread

Warm bread with butter -- yum

The apples are falling from the trees, and I like to take advantage of this bounty.  I found this recipe for Apple Cheese Bread in the new September/October issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine.  It’s a good one.

Apple Cheese Bread

1/2 c butter
2 eggs
2/3 c sugar
1-1/2 c peeled, shredded apples (I left the skins on mine)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Mix together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Stir in apples and cheese.  Then add dry ingredients and nuts.

Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Soda Bread

March 19, 2010

Flax Irish Soda Bread ready for the oven

Rustic loaf of Flax Irish Soda Bread, still warm

Chicken soup and warm bread, perfect companions

I had never made Irish Soda Bread, so I planned to make my first loaf in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  My plans were waylaid by a bad cold.  Today, for the first time in six days, I feel like I have turned the corner and am beginning to recover.  I thought that warm bread would go perfectly with some leftover chicken soup, so I baked a loaf for lunch.

I discovered the Flax Irish Soda Bread recipe on a blog for the Whiteley Creek B & B.  My sisters and I stayed at this rustic B & B in northern Minnesota and we were all impressed with Adrienne, the owner and host.  She is currently going back to school to study nutrition, and the recipes she features on her blog always seem to burst with healthy stuff.  You can check out her blog at http://www.whiteleycreek.com.  The Flax Irish Soda Bread recipe was posted on March 11th, but for your convenience, I’ve copied it here:

Flax Soda Bread

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat or rye flour

½ cup ground flaxseeds

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup buttermilk

2 tbsp honey

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, and honey. Add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. (Dough will be sticky.) Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead 10 to 12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. (I tossed just enough flour on top of the dough as I worked it so it wouldn’t stick to my fingers.) On a greased baking sheet using well-floured hands, shape dough into a 6-inch round. (It will poof as it bakes.) With a sharp knife, cut a 4” cross, ¼” deep, on top of the loaf (to let the bread stretch and expand as it rises in the oven). Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Here are a couple of photos I took at the Whiteley Creek B & B.  I hope they capture some of the rustic charm of the place.

The dining room was an old railroad car.

The screened porch, a comfortable gathering spot

Apple Bread

May 20, 2009

Apples in the sink

Apples in the sink

Grated apples

Grated apples

Apple bread with morning coffee

Apple bread with morning coffee

The sun is out now, but earlier this morning it was gray and cold.  It was a morning for warm ovens and the scent of freshly baked treats, so I decided to make a loaf of Apple Bread to go with my morning coffee.  I had seen this recipe on the website for Hobby Farm Home, a magazine that my sister showed me on my recent trip to Minnesota.  You can view this and other recipes at http://www.hobbyfarms.com/food-and-kitchen/apple-bread.aspx, but I’ll give it to you here, as well.  I grated my apples with the skin on, and because I didn’t have a lemon on hand, I used 1 Tbsp of slivered dried mango instead of the grated lemon peel. The bread is delicious.

Apple Bread from Hobby Farm Home

1/4 c shortening (I used butter, softened)
1 c sugar (I used 3/4 c)
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c coarsely grated, raw peeled apple (any kind)
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
2/3 c chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour an 8 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy; beat in eggs.  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, alternating with portions of the grated apple.  Stir in lemon peel and walnuts.  The batter will be stiff.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and top is nicely browned.  Cool thoroughly; do not slice until cold.