Bakers Envy

This weekend was the annual Market Fair at Fort Frederick in Big Pool, MD.  I just love walking down the road to the Fort because as you come to the end of the tree line there spread out before you are tents, tents, the Fort itself and more tents.  I love going from tent to tent looking for bargains and some new finds.  I always go for two days because you never seem to see everything the first day.  However, I did only buy on my first day shopping, a nice new large earthenware pot from the Common Ground Pottery.  I can’t wait to use it because it is large enough to jug a small hare in!

I was glad to see a friend, that I made while up in Main two years ago at the Kneading Conference, had set up shop at the market.  Regina and her husband Michael own and operate the Blue Hen Bakers.  They bring a lovely clay oven to the site and bake right there.  I was so glad to see them and I got there just in time to get a sausage roll straight from the oven.  It was just the thing with its moist sausage surrounded by a sweet wheat bread.  They also had many kinds of cookies to choose from, my husband chose an oatmeal.  (I can’t wait to have my oven up and running, but for now I must wistfully watch)  From there I went on to visit one of the best shops for colonial culinary ingredients, Deborah’s Pantry.  I was hoping to get the chocolate pot that she offers but she has already sold out of that item.  Drat!  I will be looking for it in the fall when she hopes to have in a new shipment.  I looked for Iron spits but the only ones I found were square rods not round…what blacksmith though square work for a spit is beyond me.  Now I do have two sets of square ones which to be honest work for me when I am cooking alone but I am wishing to try a slow continuous turning of the spit to see how it works differently then from the turning the meat spit one quart turns ever so often to roast a nice piece of meat…ah well!

I am currently cataloging all the reciepts from the many books I have acquired of the years in hopes of compairing the reciepts and having some experiements to do this summer.  So, I return you to what ever you were doing and I am back to the books after a great weekend.

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Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

What can happen on a Weekend!

This weekend was the annual Marching Through Times at Marrietta Mansion.  My family has always enjoyed attending this event.  To be honest, deep inside this cook is a military fan!  Many years ago we were lucky to be a part of the event by playing games and having tea as an 18th century family, but now we are just spectators.  As a spectator I thought we were safe but even cooks can have trouble at a military event.  I enjoyed sitting around some campfires talking to the cooks and breathing in the wonderful scents rising from the many pots hanging there.   But kitchen wars can leave you with battle wounds…burns, cuts, you name it…see what happened to me!

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All I can say is never argue with a cook…I thought the knife and skillet was what I should look out for now its the SPOON!  Now back to cooking and Ft. Frederick’s Market Day.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Easter Bunsy

Family get togethers are always full of fun and food.  Both my husband’s and my families have get together quite often and not just for holidays.  Not surprising yesterday was a holiday and a get together with my husbands family.  Even though it is with my husbands parent I was lucky my parents were able to join us, so, I didn’t have to worry about two dinners in one day.  Anyway, at most events we are mainly assigned a dish to bring but this year my mother-in-law said to bring what we wanted.  I took a dish I have made for them many times which is a tomato mozzarella casserole, however, I wanted to bring something Eastery, and I had a new recipe for hot cross buns.  I got up on Sunday and made them so they would be hot when I got them to the dinner.  Well, the recipe was too dry to start off, meaning I could not get the dough the right consistency at the flour to liquid ratio the recipe had so I added more liquid…finally it was right.  Once risen, the dough made 15 nice size buns.  I set them to rise the second time and made the dough for the cross, Pipped it on, buttered them, then into the oven they went.  They cook fine.  They didn’t look the way the recipe represented but they tasted fine.  They were a little dry for my taste, so I made a cinnamon butter to spread on them which was a perfect mate to these buns.  Once at my in-laws family members started to eat them and to my surprise no one seemed to think they were too dry and they seem to like them.  Maybe I am just too critical of my own cooking.

Hot Cross Buns

Result:  They were ok for me but I will not be using this recipe again.  But I will be making the cinnamon butter again for other breads.  Mmmmm…I love cinnamon!

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Winter Works

I have been busy with so many things this winter that I keep forgetting to write.  In my fervor to have cooking implements that fit the historical receipts I want to try out, I took a ceramics class.  Yep, I put aside cooking for a while.  With the weather the way it is, cooking outside has become near impossible (drat that I don’t have a fireplace in my home).  So I signed up for a class to learn to make my own bowls, pots and other things.  Am I good at it?  Far from…I definitely had a patient teacher and I think I even challenged her.  I am so far from being a good artist in this field but I am at least a good student.  I tried hard and I did make a couple of things that I am proud of.  I learned one thing, I am good at making handles…thank goodness I knew how to milk a cow because it is the same hand motion.  So, yep I made bowls and I made a couple of creamers but I am proud of my small but cute tea pot.  I even challenged myself and the teacher and brought in a picture of a chafing dish (there is a image of one at the Museum of London)  Since I had no idea what size to make it, the teacher took some guesses and directed me.  I can’t believe I made one!  So, here it is:

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I will put more pictures up on flickr with some of the other things I made.  There will also be on with a pot setting on top of the chaffing dish, so, you can see how it works.  Have I used it yet?  No, I am waiting for the weather to cooperate here before I head outside to get to cooking, but I am hoping it is soon!  Let me know what you think of the chaffing dish and I will test it soon to  let you know how it works out.  Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated too!

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm  Leave a Comment