Hi to you all- it feels as though I fell off the planet for a few days.
We had a quick trip to the Bay area in California to see Rick’s parents. His Dad has been in the hospital and is receiving ongoing nursing care. My Mom-in-law is having to make all the decisions and deal with all the business of their lives on her own. It was a very emotional visit. We were able to spend time with our good friends Jeff and Michelle as well. Thanks for putting us up in your beautiful home for a few days.
Our return was followed by a day of clear liquids for me in preparation for a medical test- I didn’t feel much like posting about food. And may I say right here -Phospho-soda should be considered cruel and unusual punishment and banned under the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
I have also recently seen other family and friends dealing with medical issues. I don’t know what the solution to health-care in our society is- but I do know one thing- I am committed to having good health in my own future and although many things are outside of my control- I will cultivate all of the good health I can.
With that in mind I will be focusing more on healthful recipes in my cooking and on this blog. Oh there will still be treats! I believe that moderation in all things (including moderation) is a healthful attitude. But-I do think that treats are more enjoyable when they are treats and are not mindlessly consumed. I think taste is important to pleasure but that it doesn’t have to come in the form of empty calories. I hope to employ excellent technique and ingredients to create food I love that also becomes a foundation for good health. I absolutely don’t believe in fake food or ingredients that- although they may have few calories-were not created by nature. I hope you’ll join me on this journey because we use many senses to enjoy our food and employing them all is my goal.
This recipe was made last week- It could be made more healthful by replacing a portion of all purpose flour with a whole grain flour – I will make them again and see what happens.
At least these are made without a lot of additives. My Mom recently gave me a homemade Sourdough Starter that she made using black grapes as the fermenting agent. This is a highly babied starter (it’s fed 3 times a day!)-much more so than the one I’ll give you below. She used Nancy Silverton’s recipe out of Breads From the La Brea Bakery cookbook. This book is an excellent resource for Artisanal bread recipes.
Our family cookbook contains six recipes for Sourdough Starter, some that use potato, some use milk or buttermilk and some use yeast or a combination of everything. I will give you the recommended starter to use for these English Muffins from the book but you can really use your own starter- as long as it’s good and produces good rise. We took these camping and sailing when I was a kid and I have very fond memories of them.
Sourdough English Muffins -recipe from Mom and Aunt B
- 1 cup Sourdough Starter #6 , see below, (I used Mom’s)
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups milk
Mix all above in a medium bowl. Cover and leave overnight or at least eight hours. Add it to the following ingredients to make a moderately stiff dough:
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup flour
Mix and knead until smooth. Roll or pat out to about a 3/4″thickness, cut with a 3″ round cutter (a cleaned, deburred tuna can works well). Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with a little corn meal or oat bran. Let rest for about 45 minutes covered with a clean dish towel. Heat a lightly greased cast iron skillet or griddle over medium to medium low heat (275F) cook for about 10 minutes on each side. Split with a fork and toast before serving- although I sometimes like them untoasted for sandwiches. Makes 20-24 muffins.
Sourdough Starter #6
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered skim milk
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and cover it with a lid or a clean dish towel. Put it in a warm place for 2-3 days, stir three times each day. Place in a storage container and refrigerate. To keep it alive you must use (or discard) enough to leave only two cups of starter and then replenish what you use with equal parts water and flour plus a teaspoon of sugar at least once every week.