Hello dear friends! Sorry this post is late, but things got in the way. Life, you know? Are you enjoying your summer so far? I can't believe that we are at the tail end of June. Where did it go? This week our village hosted a Porchfest, which is a sort of musical festival. Amateur and professional musicians play at different residents' porches throughout the village. You can walk about and stop to listen for free. It was lovely and I was proud of our little hamlet.
Before the Porchfest, I hosted a tea. Teas are an economical way to entertain. Little sandwiches cut into squares and scones are very thrifty. You can find pretty linens, teacups and serving pieces at thrift stores and garage sales for pennies. ( Hint: to get stains out of thrifted white linens, soak in Rit dye remover according to the directions on the box.) Plus it's very relaxing, as everything except the tea can be prepared ahead of time. Scones can be made from pantry staples.
RECIPE FROM THE PANTRY
2 C. flour
1/8 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
6 Tbsp. butter
1 egg. separated
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. heavy cream
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until small crumbs form.
Beat together egg yolk, buttermilk and heavy cream and add to the flour mixture. Combine just to moisten. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat into a square 3/4 inch thick/ Cut into rounds. Place rounds onto greased cookie sheets. Wash with the remaining egg white and sprinkle tops with sugar, Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until tops turn light brown. Makes 1/2 dozen.
scone with a fine crumb is to use a light hand in mixing, don't putz about too much, and of course, the buttermilk. I use buttermilk almost exclusively in my baking, substituting it for milk in recipes.
Here's how you make Devonshire cream
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. heavy (whipping) cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
Beat together sour cream and heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the sugar.
If you've read this blog for a while, then you know that we garden and eat according to the seasons. That is, we don't eat strawberries in November, but have our fill in June. In the winter we rely upon my home-canned goods for a good part of our menu and eat a lot of root crops. Sometimes it does get monotonous (yes, you can have too much fresh asparagus) but our goal is to live as frugally as possible and as healthy as we can by eating our own organic produce. To assist us in doing so, I keep a food journal of sorts. Each time I find an interesting recipe for one of our crops, I enter it into a receipt book that is categorized by seasons and by vegetables and fruits. At the moment we are eating lettuce and either broccoli or cauliflower on a daily basis. One of our favorite ways to use broccoli is in this salad:
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion cut into thin rings
a few rashers of bacon, fired and crumbled
a handful of raisins
a handful of sunflower seeds
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Toss in remaining ingredients. Stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
I didn't have sunflower seeds, so I used those salad crunchies instead. Always be flexible when cooking, it's not rocket science after all!
THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Free entertainment at the Porchfest.
Entertained with an economical tea.
Harvested broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce from the garden.
Cut roses from the garden for bouquets.
Bought some plants at the end-of-the-season sale.
Made lemon balm wine from our herbs and strawberry/rhubarb wine from our own rhubarb (had to buy strawberries, ours have petered out).
Dried last years remaining garlic and ground it into our own garlic pepper, using an old electric coffee mill.
Just sat outside and visited and listened to the birds for entertainment.
Well. it was another lazy week! Too early for anything to be canned here and too busy in the garden for any special projects. Next week''s post will be late too, as we're having the entire crew here for the 4th of July, so I'll wish you a happy holiday now. May it be filled with fun and family!