Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beets and Bread

Missed a few weeks of posting with the holidays and all... though we had some memorable Sunday lunches in the meantime. A highlight was joining with Kate's family and a couple close friends to see a local production of "A Christmas Story," by Porthole Players from Newport. It was staged at the Lincoln City Cultural Center for this weekend, and featured in the lead role of Ralphie the son of Kate's friend Meredith. We had a larger group of 8 that week at my house, with stuffed acorn squash (one each) as the main entree, filled with veggies and seasoned ground beef. A nice holiday memory.

This week we gathered at Kate's house, and she had requested I bring beets for the salad and I tried my hand at a new bread recipe. The beets were from my garden this summer, which I had roasted and diced, then frozen for later use. She combined them into a wonderful salad (Kate... where is that recipe?) that included baby greens, the beets, walnuts, mandarin wedges tossed in a light flavored vinaigrette. It all turned a shocking pink from the beets but tasted supreme.

My bread turned out nicely, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was the "Perfect Loaf" recipe from Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey. I had heard him discussing on The Splendid Table his unusual methods for making bread, with minimal kneading and handling. It requires a long time to rise, but a tiny amount of yeast. My sister Betty had recently shared her copy of Lahey's new book My Bread with us, and her resulting loaf. I have to say this was one of my better bread-making efforts, so I am looking forward to getting a copy of his book soon!

The main course for this week was a rump roast Kate prepared (low and slow roasting) along with hearty potatoes and carrots. Combined with the salad and bread, and Duane's beef gravy, it was a well-rounded winter meal. A glass of Bailey's stood in for my dessert, yum.

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