Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rosemary Soda Rolls

Yummy recipe from The Herb Bible (this link will take you to the Barnes and Noble website where you can view and order the book if you would like)

                                                            Rosemary Soda Rolls

Soda bread is a traditional Irish Loaf that only requires baking soda to make it rise. This means no hours of waiting for yeast to rise! Yea! The whole wheat flower gives it a nutty taste and you can vary the herbs as you wish.

serves 4

2 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp butter (I have successfully substituted Smart Balance for a lower fat roll...but butter is better)
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups milk
                                                  fresh chopped rosemary from the garden

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in until mixture is like fine bread crumbs. Stir in the rosemary.
Make a well in the middle and, using a fork, beat in the milk, then gradually knead with your hands to make a dough.
Turn it out on to a floured surface and split into four segments, shaping each one lightly into a circle. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven at 425 degrees F/ 220 degrees C for 30-35 minutes, or until risen and golden, then cool on a wire rack.


I mad these rolls to go with the stew I am making for dinner tonight. I ate one for lunch. They are a little dark, because I did not hear the timer go off and they spent an extra few minutes in the oven, but they still tasted great!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Garbage Galore

This topic really should fall under .."thing my parents just don't get"....I was at my parents house this weekend, we had family from Louisiana visiting, and as I arrived, the garbage truck came and picked up their trash. Since I was there, I rolled the cans to the house for them. While trying to maneuver the giant can into the special fenced area they have for their cans, I began to think about the amount of garbage that come out of that house. Inside their kitchen they have a huge garbage can, that comes about waist high and has a domed lid, and they take it out daily or at least every other day. They only have three people living there (although I will give that they keep my niece after school during the week and there is almost all ways extra people on the weekends). At my house we have one small 10 gallon can under the sink, which we take out every couple of days and we only put our can on the street every other week, sometimes every three weeks. The reason for the difference, I think is in two parts. One is we recycle. Anything and everything that can be recycled goes from plastic and glass to cardboard and mixed papers. Second, is most of what we use doesn't come wrapped in a bunch of trash. And as I'm typing this I realize how self approving I must sound, but really I'm just trying to vents my frustrations. My parents don't get it. They don't feel the need to recycle. It's too much of a hassle for them. Curbside recycle is not free where we are, and they don't feel like it's something worth paying for. My dad likes to garden a bit. He grows some tomatoes and peppers, and that's about it. But every spring he spends loads of money on bagged soils. I tried to explain composting to him, but he just nodded along like I was speaking a different language. We compost almost everything..with the exception of meat scraps and anything greasy. More and more I have come to realize my parents just don't get me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Balm...One of My Favorites

I am a fan of the citrus scents. Some people prefer floral scents, or musky scents, but I really like the clean, crisp, freshness of the citrus scents. One of the very first plants that went in to my yard when we bought our house was a transplant of lemon balm given to us by a friend. Since that time it has thrived and has become one of my most favorite plants.  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) which was sacred to the temple of Diana, used by the Greeks medicinally 2,000 years ago, has also been called the "elixir of life" by the Swiss physician Paracelsus. It is reputed that the fragrant herb was among the regular teas drank by Llewelyn, Prince of Glamorgan, who lived to be 108, and John Hussey, of England, who ,lived to be 116. The leaves can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen, including lemon balm tea (which I also drink). It is widely used to counter depression in  aromatherapy, but I just enjoy the relaxing feeling it gives me.  It's also good for headaches and menstrual cramps, among other things. It's very attractive to bees, which makes it a great addition for the garden, I also make a natural air freshener with it, which is what today's project is.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yea New Computer!!!

So, I have been out of commission for a while because our computer finally said it was too old for this Internet thing and refused to load any web pages. Since computer are NOT CHEAP, it took us awhile to get one, but finally we have it and I do say I really forgot what a fast computer was like!. I will be able to share more pictures too since it won't take all day to load them!