Wednesday, June 9, 2010
"Saft" is a type of fruit syrup. You can serve it in a cocktail, with fizzy water or with still water and ice, which is the way I prefer it. Here are two variations, but, really you can make Saft with any soft fruit you like!
Strawberry and Rhubarb Saft
(You can make plain rhubarb saft, but my strawberry plant is very bountiful this year and I find myself putting strawberries in virtually everything!)
~Enough Fruit to make 2 - 4 cups worth (i.e. 5 stocks of rhubarb and 6 strawberries)
~6-8 cups water- remember- this is a syrup, the water will be boiled down- but don't add so much that it dilutes the fruit.
~3-4 tlbs pure organic cane sugar (to taste- as syrup sits, it will get sweeter, so don't go overboard- remember, the fruit is naturally sweet!)
~To start, cut up all the fruit- DO NOT peal the rhubarb. Place in a stock pot and pour water over.
~Boil till all the fruit is extremely mushy.
~Pour the mixture through a cheese cloth-lined strainer, into another pot.
~Place pot back on the stove and add sugar, stirring. Let boil for 5 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid starts to thicken.
Skim off anything that might be left over, and pour in to an old, sterilized wine bottle. Let cool, cork and refrigerate!
There's nothing better in the hot summer!
Another variation to try would be WHITE PEACH SAFT:
Do everything the same, except with white peaches, skins on, and serve with dried lavender.
This is my personal favourite- just look that that colour- oh boy is it lovely!
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 11:01 AM
This recipe make 2 large loaves of delicious bread. Please try it! You will not go back to regular, store-bought bread!
1/4 cup dark, amber honey (I used pure heather honey)
1/4 cup dark molasses (if you do not like molasses, use all honey)
1 tlbs sea salt
2 tlbs butter, unsalted
1 cup boiling water
1 tlbs active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups dark rye flour ( 'Bob's Red Mill' or 'Arrowhead Mills', sold at Whole Foods)
2 cups + 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flours ("365 Whole Foods" brand- great texture)
-First, combine the honey, molasses, salt and butter in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Stir to combine, then set aside to cool. (VERY IMPORTANT!)
-Next, add the yeast to warm water, whisk to incorporate and let alone to feed for 5 minutes, or until bubbles and foam start to appear on the top. (put in a warm place, like a turned off microwave oven). When you can see change in the yeast mixture, add it to the honey/molasses mixture, once it has cooled to lukewarm.
-Then, add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour to the mix, and incorporate well. Add the rest of the flours (whole wheat/rye) to the dough - MAKE SURE TO USE ALL- mixture will look dry and as if it will not incorporate, but trust me, keep kneading- all will be well. You will end up with a thick dough.
-Knead for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in a turned off oven and let rise until doubled, about 11/2 to 2 hours.
-After this, punch down the surface, and place on a floured surface and knead again for 2 minutes.
- With a dough scraper, cut dough into two equally shaped sections, and shape to fit in two loaf pans.
-Cover and again, let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled.
-Bake at 375º for 30-40 minutes.
Make sure to cool them on wire racks for about 20 minutes before cutting, to prevent a gummy texture.
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 10:28 AM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As it were, I went to the farmers market last weekend and on a pure whim, I purchased some vibrant red rhubarb (in truth to make my shopping basket look more colourful). When I got it home, it stood around on my cold shelf for, oh, I don't know how many days, just asking to be used. I could not think of what to do with it... make a Swedish 'Saft" out of it ( somewhat of a rhubarb simple syrup for drinks and cooking- great on baked chicken!) or make a vinaigrette out of it- oh no, wait- can't eat a vinaigrette... darn... acid reflux makes cooking and eating very difficult- so difficult, in-fact, that I just eat very simple things... but I digress. I finally decided on making a Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble. Here is the low cal, very VERY good and light desert idea.
RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE
1 pound fresh, not all the way red, Rhubarb Stocks, chopped
8 or so Large Strawberries, chopped (cut same size as Rhubarb)
1/4 c white sugar (you can use sugar substitute)
1 tsp powdered ginger (or fresh grated, just use 1/2 tsp)
1 tlb ground cinnamon
1/2 c rolled oats (you can get gluten free oats from Whole Foods: "Bob's Red Mill")
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c light brown sugar
1 tlb unsalted butter
Prepare 4, 4" ramekins with Pam spray ( yes, I know, Pam).
Combine all compote ingredients together and divide into the ramekins.
Next, combine all crumble ingredients, except for the butter, and divide accordingly.
After you have everything evenly laid out, ( you'll want to fill the ramekins up to the top because when they bake,
they fall down considerably) quarter the 1 tlb of unsalted butter, and place one quarter of it on each individual desert. If you want to add more butter, be my guest- I can't handle the fat, so I make it this way- but by all means- please PLEASE add more!
In a preheated, 375º F oven, place the 4 ramekins on a lined baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. Top with some whipped cream or ice cream and your ready to go!
This is a light, seasonal, local and fabulous desert.
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 8:46 AM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
So, since I have been diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease, it has cut the number of things I can enjoy down considerably. However, one thing that I have found to be perfectly fine with my delicate insides happens to be a foodies dream: Quince Jelly from a little specialty food shop called "Monsieur Marcel" in Los Angeles. Tart, subtly sweet and all natural (no preservatives- so eat it quickly!), Quince Jelly has taken the bland and made it extraordinary. Try it on toasted whole grain rye bread, as a layering for angle food cake, atop pork fillets! anything- it is really quite fabulous.
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 2:08 PM
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Today we got more rain- something we desperately need in LA. Tonight, it is raining rather hard and because of this, I have built a fire and opened a good book. Nothing better! Soon, in a few weeks, I am planing to hold a Garden/Lawn Party. My original idea was to have everybody show up in period dress- hoop skirts, bows, top hats- but then I realized I will be holding this at a park, and most people would not take well to a bunch of theatre people running 'round, playing croquet and singing mad songs dressed in Victorian garments. This was down heartening. However, I have decided to make the Garden Party (with a Capitol G and P that is) of a strict dress code: pastels, creams and white colours only and hats are requited of both sexes. Photos are to be expected. TIll then, I must dream of the warm spring sun shining down on my face- which actually will be more like the 90º heat/sun blazing down- but who cares. LA does not seem to experience seasons, like other states and locals do- in LA, we go from blazing hot, to lightly cool and back to blazing hot again! (and no, to you LA-dwellers who wear a wool hat, gloves, parka, rain boots and ear warmers in 59º weather- LA does NOT get 'cold'. We get rather cool. 28º is cold. Heck, 35º is cold! Come on! It's ridiculous. But hey, that LA for you! Were a quirky bunch of folks.
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 7:54 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2010
"You can tell how cold it is outside by checking the leaves on your rhododendron.
- The leaves begin to cup and curl at 35ºF.
-Half the leaf surface disappears into the curl at 24ºF.
-Leaves curl tightly, turn brownish green, and dangle at temperatures in the teens."*
Can I use this information in Southern California? No. Will it behoove me to remember this information for a temperate day in Norway? Yes. I suppose I first must purchase a large Rhododendron.
The Rhododendron is a must.
*Info from "Ben Franklin's Almanac of Hit Wisdom, and Practical Advice" by the Editors of The Old Farmer's Almanac".
Posted by Lauren Lewis at 12:00 PM