Posts Tagged ‘bread’

(Forgive my absence today. I’ll be working at Coffee Con all day. Have a wonderful Saturday.)

© janet m. webb

for Six Word Saturday

The sense of smell can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what you scent.  The “aroma” of a skunk is pervasively terrible, especially if it’s on your dog!  The perfume section of a large department store assaults the senses as does the perfume on too many women.  Perfume should be subtle and attractive, rather than knocking you down from six feet.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
~Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

However, the world is filled with delightful smells.  When our girls were small, we stayed for several days in Nags Head, North Carolina in a small motel where our corner room was perfumed with the scent of jasmine from a large bush outside the door.  It was heavenly, the first time I’d ever smelled jasmine.

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Nancy’s challenging us to show something edible this week and although I love her choice of berries (a favorite of mine as well), I also love bread.  In a world filled with no-carb diets, I crave them.  Pasta is another of my choices. I saw these beautiful loaves at a French farmer’s market. They beg for a bit of cheese or some Normandy butter and a lovely glass of red.

© janet m. webb 2014

 

 

Pain is your friend.

Posted: July 12, 2016 in Food, Travel
Tags: , , ,

When my husband played rugby, they had a saying, “Pain is your friend.”  In France, that’s also true.  Except that “pain” in French means bread and isn’t pronounced like something that hurts.

The baguette may be the iconic French bread, but there are many other types of bread, including whole grain.  Good bread isn’t limited to France, though.  I flew into Frankfurt, Germany and, because of a cancelled flight, had time there.  Despite a bit of rain, we walked to the outdoor market, had a delicious brat (American name)/braten/bratwurst (in a great roll), then stopped at one of the stands to buy bread. This round, whole grain loaf was substantial. It was about 10″ in diameter and, if used as a Frisbee, could have taken down a grown man. It was SO good, on its own or as a vehicle for any sort of cheese.

Don’t forget that if you get to Germany or France, pain is your friend!

copyright janet m. webb 2016

 

copyright janet m. webb 2016

I’m still in France and my days are full.  I’m doing my best (unsucessfully) to keep up with your posts, as well as struggling to accomplish what I want on my iPad. Thanks for your understanding!

Grace, at dVerse, challenges us to write a poem about bread, whether real or as a metaphor for something equally important and delectable.  I offer you my paean to a simple substance that has sustained humans for many delicious years.

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In a world of carb-avoiders and bread-deniers,
I remain staunchly one who,
   when a loaf or roll is ready for the knife,
   cannot contain myself until the topping
   (butter, jam, honey)
   is ready before diving in
   to that first glorious bite!

Sometimes I crave bread 
   the way an addict craves drugs,
   needing it,
   dreaming of it,
   salivating for it.
No sugarplums dance through my head
   but crusty loaves,
   the aroma surpassing that of the costliest perfume.

Years ago,
   when our girls were young,
   we bought a bread machine,
   that first loaf, 
   by my husband’s reckoning,
   a costly one at $250 plus ingredients,
   the next, half that price.
And so it halved
   until a crusty French bread,
   not taken out and shaped to a baguette
   but tasting just the same,
   simple water, flour, salt, sugar, and yeast turned into edible paradise,
   tallied a mere twenty cents or so.

Ingredients placed into the machine the night before,
   we wakened to that blissful scent for months,
   until that dark day when our senses
   (now accustomed to the smell)
   no longer registered its fragrance 
   and we were left, beggered, with mere taste.

For several weeks, my husband has been on a restrictive diet prior to some testing, a diet that excludes all iodine, dairy, canned veggies, prepared foods, and more.  Using non-iodized salt, I can easily make many of the normal dishes we eat, but almost everything has to be from scratch.

To this end, I brought out my neglected bread machine, as all bread you buy (unless labeled “no-salt”) has, at the very least, iodized salt and perhaps other forbidden things.  I made a simple French bread first–flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast.  Then I reached back into my recipe file and made part-white, part-wheat rolls.

If you choose, you may use the machine only for mixing the dough and letting it rise, then shape and bake it outside the machine.  That’s what I did with the rolls.  Here’s the dough at the end of the hour-and-a-half dough cycle.

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I roll the dough into a rope, then cut it into 12 somewhat similar sections. Each gets rolled into a ball and put in a muffin cup.  After a twenty-minute rising time in a warm oven, the rolls are ready to put in the oven to transform from dough into rolls.

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Voilà!  I have a dozen rolls.  To gild the lily, the house is now permeated with the indescribably delicious smell of freshly baked bread!  How is it possible for a smell to carve a whole in my stomach that immediately need to be filled only by fresh bread?  When our daughters were still at home and I used the bread machine almost every night, it was a sad day the day we grew so used to the divine smell of baking bread that we no longer noticed it!

I’ve realized from this experience of having to make virtually everything from scratch, how easy it is to use prepared foods, most of which not only aren’t as good for us as well as more costly, but often don’t taste nearly as good.

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I’m sure once we’re back to what passes for normal in our house, I won’t make every single thing by scratch, although I will be making ravioli for Christmas dinner as well as the walnut sauce.  But the experience has kicked me back into a better place for cooking and eating and for that, I’m grateful.

This week’s travel theme is one dear to my heart: Fragrant.  The fragrance of the mountain air is one of my most precious fragrances, but here are some others that I cherish just as much.

The fragrance of tea.

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The fragrance of bread and additionally, in this case, the fragrance of friendship that sent me a dozen bagels all the way from New York City.

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There’s not much that is as fragrant as a bowl of fresh peaches, warm in the summer sun.

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The fragrance of leather.

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The fragrance of a horse.

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