Making today count by being thankful for what a day brings, even if the sun isn't shining...yet. French press coffee, a favorite coffee mug, green plants in the window, using a Christmas gift from a daughter, a spring dish towel and...
....a new way to practice hospitality
I've often wondered what it is that makes me want to go to the kitchen, Why I Love to Bake, explains it all.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”Walt Whitman
I don't know when my love for baking began or when it was instilled. Maybe it was the red Betty Crocker cookbook my mom had setting on her farm kitchen counter. My first recollection of baking is a young teen making chocolate chip cookies, trying to get them in the oven before my mom ate all the cookie dough!!
Fast forward way too many years where I've given this farmer's daughter permission to slow down, enjoy a second cup of coffee and sharpen my baking skills beyond cookies. I've always wanted to make flakey, buttery croissants from scratch. Why, you ask? Several years ago I went to a bakery in Troy, NY where the main offering was croissants in any form you wanted, sweet, savory or plain. Little did I know it was a day long process that involved laminating dough, rolling, folding and chilling the dough.
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the butter slab that goes in the middle of the dough.
I'm no food blogger, haha, so I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted, but this is the dough with the butter in the middle, and the process of laminating begins.
I'm sorry to say, these were a big bust. They look good, but looks can be very deceiving, they are not flakey or buttery, but in fact quite dense and may take the advice of my sister-in-law who said to lacquer them as use them as decorations!!
I've often wondered if baking is a creative art. I'm beginning to think so. I googled 'is baking a creative art?' coming up with 131,000,000 results, so yes. Maybe I've finally found my blogging niche'. If you're local, join us at LaFayette Alliance Church for worship, Bible in Life and coffee time from 9-9:30 at our new coffee bar and fellowship area. I'm happy to make coffee and serve muffins and cookies. I promise these croissants won't be there.
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Fall in upstate New York is full of brilliant oranges, stunning yellows, vintage browns and grass that has not turned white. I have been enjoying apple orchards, walks with Kelsey in Albany, cups of coffee not far from her apartment, authentic Thai food and a stroll around the capital. I was inspired to make my own Pumpkin Thai Curry because of a fabulous restaurant on Lark St. that had me licking the bowl. Well...not exactly...but I wanted to.
The experiment began on last Friday night. Yes, there wasn't much excitement that night. Just hanging around the house roasting pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. The man of the house made those in a skillet, but I failed to get a picture, for which I am sure he is glad he is not all over my blog.
Did you know it's kinda hard to cut a pumpkin in half with the stem still attached? I hadn't given it much thought until I read the directions...yes, you may say, duuuuhhhhhh! Cut the pumpkin in half, take out the guts, lay it upside down and roast for an hour on 350 for an hour. Lesson learned...use a rimmed baking dish, the juice ran all over the bottom of the oven. Again, a no brainer and yes, I've been baking for a long time!!!
Because I don't own a food processor, I thought a blender would do the job of mixing it to a consistency for soup or pie. Nope!! Don't do this, but this worked like a dream
Once it is smooth as a baby's butt....transfer the pumpkin to a strainer or cheesecloth and let it set on a pan in the frig overnight. I didn't think the recipe was correct when it said there would be a cup of fluid collected overnight, but it was right. Maybe by the time this post goes live, I will have used the pumpkin and another post will be up in the coming days!!