Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More holiday preparations - Baking

Susan Branch artwork

First... if anyone knows where my recipe for banana bread is, please tell me! I was all geared up to make a couple of loaves and now it's gone missing. I know I just saw it last week. This is why I should never clean for company. I put things away and instantly lose them.


it's a gloomy, wet, cold, grey day here on the prairie. The perfect day for staying inside with the stereo on, making something yummy & comforting.

The Honey-Wheatberry Bread is doing it's initial sponge while I type this.
This is now our every-day, most perfect bread. Whole grain, honey, not too sweet, just enough substance to let you know you are eating "real" bread. Good crust without being so hard you *Have* to have a spread on it. It makes the best toast.

The recipe makes 2 loaves as written but my KA mixer really prefers we only make one loaf at a time. I usually cook up the as-written wheat berries a day before I plan to make bread. I keep half in the fridge for baking day and freeze half for the next time.

I am back to making bread & doughs by hand & in the KA because my Zoh ABM pan finally froze up and quit working. I refuse to pay over $50 for a pan (plus shipping) and have been watching for one on Ebay and at the thrift stores. They are still very popular but my time will come. And really, making bread with the KA is not that hard. I just can't dump the ingredients in and leave.

Speaking of baking.... the holidays are fast approaching! I went to my first hometown store open house on Saturday at the Hallmark store. With the weather being all wintery, I'm getting in the mood. I'd like a little sunny, golden Autumn for Thanksgiving Day yet too.

I told you last time about my Holiday Control Journal (HCJ) and showed you photos of my recipes. This past week's sale flyer from one of my favorite grocery stores was all about holiday baking!! I wait for this sale every year. All their McCormick seasonings were 50% off. I stocked up for for the next year. And not just baking spices, but their herb and flavorings too.
They also had flour on sale. It wasn't my usual Unbleached Gold Medal but the regular all-purpose. I'll watch for the Unbleached to go on sale too. I prefer it but cookies made with the bleached kind will work. I'll add some of my milled flour to add some nutrients.
Butter was on sale so I got 8 pounds. 2 unsalted for baking and the rest for daily use.
Not really a baking ingredient, but whipped topping, pasta, and shredded cheeses were also on sale. Good sales for comfort meals & holiday dishes.
I saved $46.80 using my store priviledge card!
And have 6¢ off per gallon of gas that is good for 30 days.
So I stocked up on holiday ingredients, saved some major money and have a future savings on gas. That is a great shopping trip!

While I was in the store, I was able to ask the produce workers how to cook Turban Squash. My BFF gave me several & I wasn't sure what to do with them or if they were even edible. The store had a display of Turbans so I asked. I found it is just like cooking a big acorn squash. Guess what I'm having for dinner this week. jumping smileys

Unfortunately in my excitement on finding out that information I forgot to get pecans and walnuts from the bulk bins. msn smileys
I find they are fresher there than in the pound packages from the shelf.

I also picked up some Watkins vanilla over the weekend and canned pumpkin last week. I've checked the pantry shelves and barring some really unusual ingredients; I think I'm ready to start baking for the holidays.

Here's a photo from last year to show you what I'm looking forward to:

Starting from slightly past 12:00 is Pumpkin Bread, Peanut Butter Star cookies, Chocolate Crinkles, Jam Thumbprints, Scotcharoos, Sugar Cookies, Easy Fudge and Candy Cane Cookies in the middle. I also made Chex Party Mix.
It's the start of the plan for this year.

I'm off to work on that bread and keep hunting for the Banana Bread recipe. free smileys

Stay warm everyone!
––Susan Branch artwork


  1. mmmmm. bread, cookies....
    Now at my house the baking has slowed down. My Sweetie does not eat wheat (don't ask, he's not allergic either); kids are out of town and I should lose 10% of the scale display.

    Can I just lick your spatula and pick up the crumbs?

  2. Those cookies look yummy! My favorite are the candy cane cookies. Can you send some my way? Boy, I can't wait until my grandchild is old enough to bake Christmas cookies with.