Me: “What would you like to do this weekend?”
Pank: “Make bread and pickles.”
Me: “We have a few fun things to do, but I think we could make that our Sunday plans.”
Pank: “Good, because I want to enjoy some time at home with you, Panky.”
With the exception of planned events, this is how most lazy weekends go for Pank and me. We take solace in our little piece of Inglewood heaven. Friday night, we had so much fun with our neighbors and new friends, Grant and Kathryn. Kathryn shares all kinds of great recipes and music selections on her blog, Lady Smokey. Click here to read more about her discoveries. They brought refreshing and unusual lemon cucumbers from their garden, to make Pimm’s Cups. Good lord cucumbers are coming in like a bunch of blue hairs at an Elvis convention! I suspect most weekends will include at least one batch of pickle making for me, until further notice.
This Sunday was such a rainy, lazy day. Pank had made a pot of Drew’s Brews coffee to start our day of kitchen therapy.Meanwhile, I was researching new Corbin In The Dell content. It occurred to me that I have written a great deal about the importance of relationships with farmers, but not near enough about my favorite relationship. My relationship with my sweet Pank has been such an important part of my life for close to a decade. As Corbin In The Dell is growing, Stuart Lang (Pank) has stood behind me all the way! Starting a business can be hard, but such rewarding work! I am very grateful to have someone as dear as my husband to share each step of the way. As I sterilized jars and kneaded a batch of dough, melodies permeated the living room that I had not heard in a month of Sundays. Some of Pank’s favorite weekend jams are Kid Dakota, Cory Chisel, Arc Angels, Nick Cave, Gov’t Mule and Guy Forsyth. Don’t get me wrong. I have a ball listening to these guys, but they aren’t my favorite cooking tunes. This Sunday was different. Pank had queued up some of my favorites! Mavis Staples, Jennifer Niceley, Moriah Harris, Sarah Siskind, Julie Lee , Billie Holiday and even Miles Davis were commingling with the delicious aromas of garlic and rosemary. Pank had taken a seat at the kitchen table with Ipad in hand researching farm apps for our 2014 garden experiments.
The rain and thunder lifted, and we strolled through our gardens, sipping on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The flowers were loaded with butterflies and bees. Late July and August are a great time to admire all of your hard work in the garden. All of the feeding, watering and pruning hopefully have paid off. Pank first spotted the Swallowtails! They seemed to almost drip from the blooms of our Bee Balm, Zinnias and Butterfly Bush. Luckily, Pank snapped my cover picture for this week’s blog.
Relationships enrich our lives with hope and happiness. Why, Corbin In The Dell’s mission is built upon the farm and food relationships that are so vital to our very existence! I often refer to Pank as my CEO, with a chuckle and a grin on my face. The truth is, I don’t know what I would do without him. Come to think about it, what in the world would we do without our farmers?
This week, I hope you uphold gratitude for the ones who love and support you most. All the while, our farmers are working their damndest to assure their families prosper and that we all survive. For goodness sake, can something and say a few words of thanks for their hard work! Here is my go-to bread recipe that would be a great vehicle to sop up your plate, cause pie is surely a comin…“and that’s right!”
|½ cup Milk
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Sea Salt
3 tbsp Butter
3-5 Minced Garlic Cloves
Handful of Fresh Chopped Rosemary
4.5 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1.5 c Warm Water (110°)
4.5 c + All Purpose Flour
|Melt butter with milk, salt, sugar, garlic and rosemary in sauce pan on medium heat. Let cool. Mix yeast and water in small bowl for approximately 5 minutes. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. You will know it has proofed when it bubbles. Combine 4.5 cups of flour, rosemary mixture and yeast. A stand mixer is very helpful, but not necessary. If using mixer, set on level 2 with dough hook until dough forms a ball around hook and is slightly sticky to touch (add flour by the .5 cup until desired consistency.) If kneading by hand, roll up your sleeves and start to “kneedin”. This should take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on the day’s humidity. Regardless of kneading method, if dough gets a little dry, a tablespoon of water should loosen it up. Grease a large bowl with olive oil . Place dough ball in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap until it has doubled in size (approximately 1 hour.) Punch the risen dough and divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle. Roll up tightly minding the ends and place into greased loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise till double in size (approximately 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, preheat oven 400°. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn loaves out onto cooling rack and pour a glass of Chianti, because this just calls for a mid-afternoon snack!|