So you have all been letting me get away with being remarkably dull. No pictures. No links. In fact, nothing interesting here on the blog lately. So I will try to beef up the content here and get things rolling. I have been reading this book called the Four Season Harvest, which is excellent. They refer to this time of the year as the Persephone months and describe it as the time when things really aren't doing much in the way of growing, at least in the garden. I think I am definitely there. Nothing going on, especially with the long cold spells we have been having. I certainly have hopes that some of my plants will rebound when this is over, sometime in mid Feb. The last of the leeks were harvested over Thanksgiving and are now languishing in the produce drawer of the fridge.
In direct response to the lack of garden stuff happening, I purchased two additional books. Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning and Root Cellaring. The first is a collection of "recipes" from old time French gardeners who have learned the art of low impact preservation from their families and mentors - I think Amazon has it as an electronic file for cheap. The second is how to store veggies in root cellar like conditions even if you don't have a cellar. It goes through what you can store and how and what varieties you should plant if you want to store for the colder months. All good reading for the many MANY dark hours of the current days.
I also made a new bread recipe from a website called A Year in Bread.
I can't wait to try more. I have been making the NYT No Knead Recipe (also known in my house as Magic Bread) so kneading was something I had to recall from many years past. It was good though. I love the feel of the bread when it is near done and it is smooth and elastic and quits sticking to everything in site. Little bit of a work out too, since the recipe makes three large loaves and in all it requires quite a bit of stirring and kneading. I have also been interested in this phenomenon... I have heard about it in a couple of places and really wanted to give it a try... Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Basically, you make a big batch of wet dough and keep it in the fridge and whack of a hunk and let it rise whenever you want. My papa bought the book and I was waiting for the review before proceeding, then Bang!, my issue of Mother Earth News shows up on the doorstep with the basic recipe and instructions in it. Lucky me! When I get through the loaves of sandwich bread, I'll give it a try. (I think they have even posted it on the website so go check it out.)
Also on the doorstep this week was Backyard Poultry. From there and from here, I found this website on homesteading. I can't wait to spend more time with it. They have some great info on chickens.