Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You'll be suprised too!

Just watched this moving video on youtube: moving in a feel-good way! Hope it brightens your day!

PS I tried to embed the video, my first attempt. But now I find the link has been disabled... probably due to the massive number of viewers. Its worth the click-through

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to capture (but not tame) some wild yeast

Plans for tomorrow include starting a wild yeast starter for sourdough. This seems a very appropriate thing to do in San Francisco, home of great artisan breads. I got inspired to do this when I found the Wild Yeast blog while searching for Hot Cross Bun recipes. I can see more baking from this site in my future with such inspiring recipes and delectable pictures.

I will have to take the starter away for the weekend when we go to Monterey, because it needs feeding daily in the first week. This seems a little strange, but its a much better deal than my sister-in-law, who will have to feed her baby 3 hourly! I don't know if I will be able to take it back to New Zealand through customs, 'tho.

Other plans for tomorrow include taking the bus to Michaels, Sunnyvale to search out yarns for my Crafty Mumma friends. Sugar and cream I believe is the order. Self striping cottons and bamboo yarns are hard to find in New Zealand.

Just to even things out, I made Latkes

As my brother and his wife are fundamentalist atheists, I decided to make Potato latkes the day after the Hot Cross Buns. I only found out later that latkes, while a Jewish treat, are actually a Hannunkah tradition, not Passover. Nevermind they still tasted great, although I think my brother went a bit crazy with the sour cream!

It was fun to try out another new dish, and they were yummy though very rich. I used the recipe from Epicurious. I used a mandolin type grater and grated straight into a bowl of water. This really helped to stop the potato browning. I used a clean teatowel to wring out the excess water and vegetable juices, and it was amazing how much came out. This step helped ensure the latkes were really crispy. My kids will love these.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hot Buns in San Francisco

I am visiting San Francisco to meet my newest nephew. I hope you can pop in to visit my blog and share some of my crafting experiences and creative inspirations while I am here.

Its Easter, so you have to have Hot Cross Buns, right? Even if you are in USA where the focus seems to be on CHOCOLATE!

I got my brother to take me for a tour of the local Safeway, and I found the yeast I needed to create the smell of Easter: that gloriously spicy, yeasty smell of baking buns. Yum, they were good.

I love that I can find any recipe I want on the internet. It adds another dimension to travel. The recipe I found was from Joy of Baking. I substituted 3/4 cup of raisins for all the dried fruit: unfortunately we didn't have any currants. They were delicious! I also made a flour paste to make the distinctive crosses on top. If you want details on how to do this, please ask.

I also checked out a few other blogs that included Hot Cross Buns and I found the inspiring site Wild Yeast, with a focus on Yeast Spotting. You see more if you link through to Zorra's site for more ideas that will have you salivating!

Now I'll have to see what I can make with the other 2 sachets of yeast that came in the pack! There are ideas for lots of other Spring baking traditions.