Monday, October 27, 2014

Whole-Wheat Biscuits and Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

I just realized that I haven't posted anything here in weeks...sorry. To apologize here is a recipe for whole-wheat biscuits.

We are all used to biscuits made with white flour and they are very nice but there is absolutely no reason to not make them from whole-wheat flour and skip the empty carbs from the white flour. Use a good quality whole-wheat flour such as King Arthur and they even have a white whole-wheat flour which is great for these biscuits. I prefer buttermilk biscuits but regular milk works as well though the chemistry is a little different because of the acidity of the buttermilk.

Whole-Wheat Biscuits and Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups whole-wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
4-5 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup cold milk

To make the biscuits with buttermilk substitute 1 tsp of baking soda for one tsp of baking powder(for the acid in the buttermilk) and substitute 1 and 1/4 cups of buttermilk for the milk.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder/soda, and salt. Mix well with a whisk or a fork.
Cut the butter into little pea-size pieces and scatter them over the flour mixture.
Mix the flour and butter together, using  a fork or pastry cutter or fingers to mash the butter pieces into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and mix together thoroughly without overmixing and trun the loose mixture out onto a  floured cutting board or counter.  Knead the dough with your hands 4 to 6 times until it just comes together. We really don't want to overwork the dough or we'll have tough biscuits.
Pat the dough out flat with your hands until it’s about ¾ inch thick. Add a little more flour if the if the dough sticks to your fingers, sprinkle a little flour on the top and bottom. If it’s too dry (not holding together), add a splash or two of milk or water.
Cut out biscuit rounds. Gently press together the scrap dough and cut another biscuit or two, taking care not to over-handle the dough.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

You should get 8 - 10 biscuits. Serve them hot with lots of butter and homemade jam and jelly. Honey and sorghum works too.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rainy Saturday

Rainy Saturday in the Northern Atlanta burbs so we won't be getting much gardening done today. Did manage to get Zoey's walk in between showers though so that's something. We have a potluck birthday party this evening for our friend Carmen at its a "Crock Pot" thing. I'll take my Tuscan Bean Stew and a nice batch of fresh focaccia. Any fresh bread is good with a hearty soup but focaccia seems to really hit the spot. I use Nancy Silverton's method for the focaccia which is really nice and easy to boot. So it is going to be a day in the kitchen it seems. Well, I am trying to convince Madam to go with me to the CVS on the corner to get out flu shots but other than that I'll be cooking mostly.

The fall garden is growing nicely BTW as you can see by the pictures of romaine, Napa and mustard.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Not Really Pumpkin

The Huffington Post has a story up about canned pumpkin not actually being pumpkin but a variety of butternut squash called least when it comes to Libby's, Libby's, Libby's. Whatever. it still makes my favorite pie and the best recipe is still the one on the canned Libby's pumpkin label. There are actual pie pumpkins out there and I actually grow some. I actually got a pretty good crop this year with about 10 good sized pumpkins from a relatively small space. I haven't made a pie out of one yet to compare to the Libby's canned but I'm sure it will be good. These are an heirloom Amish pumpkin specifically grown for pies. We'll see. The picture is half my crop and aren't they cute.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Raining With a Chance of Garlic

I missed the dark of the moon on Wednesday for planting my garlic since the seed garlic bulbs hadn't arrived. They did arrive on Saturday and I got them in the ground today. Four days past optimum but we do have a waxing moon which should do the trick. Going big this year with four varieties and dedicating one whole bed to just garlic. (Kettle River Giant, German Red, Chesnok Red and Inchelium Red if you're interested.) A mix of hard neck and soft to see which does best for me. Even when I only plant half as much I usually can't get it used before it dries out so I really don't why I am planting so much other than curiosity and variety.

Been really busy cleaning up the summer garden and planting the fall one. Yesterday was two more beds of various cool weather things like Savoy cabbage and red cabbage, More broccoli,Giant Japanese mustard, Romaine lettuce and Swiss chard also went in.

I tagged along with Madam's garden club on Friday to tour Joe Lamp'l's garden. He is the producer and host of Growing a Greener World on PBS and his home and garden are just a little North of here. It's very nice. All his 16 beds are made from 6x6 redwood stacked three high and are like mine 4'x8'. Makes for a nice working height and allows for very good soil depth. I'm going to make mine a little deeper but with the addition of a pressure treated 2x10 hooked into the cinder blocks with a 4x4 on the corners...should do nicely. No way I can afford to use redwood 6x6...especially since mine wouldn't be tax deductible. Since he films some his shows in his home garden his expenses are deductible. Oh well..I'll post a picture I took yesterday at Joe's....really a very pretty garden and yes I am a bit jealous of the beds.

Rain is starting to move in so I was just in time with the planting today but I did have enough time to harvest some leeks. We have a house guest for the next week or so and tonight they are getting leek and potato soup from the garden(all completely home grown except for the chicken broth).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

It's here tonight...fall that is. For those of you interested the Autumnal Equinox occurs when the sun passes over the celestial equator moving from North to South. For those below the equator it is the first day of Spring.

September Equinox in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. is on
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM EDT (Change city)
September Equinox in Universal Coordinated Time is on
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 02:29 UTC

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good Reasons to Vote this November

This list appeared on Twitter but I thought it needed to be shared here as well. This is an important election coming up and no Democrat or Liberal Independent can afford to sit it out. We are facing momentous problems and the GOP is not interested in solving any of them. We can win if we all vote.

Rest Day

I decided I needed a rest day today. All I've done in the garden is water. Madam and I took Zoey for a walk around the park. I've started a batch of sourdough bread. That's about it. Mabon is upon us (23 Sep) and the Autumnal Equinox finds me pretty much finished with the summer garden and hard at work putting in the stuff for fall and winter. The experiment with transplanting beets from flats to the garden has been pretty successful as I only lost a couple of percent...I actually did worse with cabbage and even more worse with cauliflower. I am actually going to restart some more cauliflower seeds since I lost so many of the seedlings....might have still been too hot. The broccoli, however, is doing fine...who knows.
I'll swing back into action tomorrow but today is chill. I do have picture of Zoey I took the other day to share. She likes to spend the day with me in the garden until it gets too hot and then she moves indoors. She also keeps a watchful eye out for evildoers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ugly and Getting Uglier

The following chart speaks volumes about what has been going on in the U.S. for the last 20 or so years. The fat cats are getting fatter and the rest of us are getting screwed. This is what money in politics translates into when all is said and done. If we don't get the GOP out of government as well as all those Democrats beholding to big money then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Get out and vote in 48 days and vote Democratic. It won't solve all the problems but it might let us begin to focus on them.  h/t to Digby