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Domestic Pleasures

March 9, 2006

Yesterday I took the time to make several items in the kitchen. I say, I “took” the time, because we all have competing needs, desires, and opportunities for how we use the time each day. So, yesterday I took the time to make a batch of kefir, buttermilk, curds and whey, and some whole-wheat buttermilk bread.

The kefir and buttermilk are very easy and quick to do, and I love having the fresh milk to make those with. Both of these are fermented foods and are great for keeping the right kind of bacteria growing in the intestinal tract. It’s a very healthy habit to have some fermented foods on a daily basis. In fact, there is a school of thought that, the fermented foods are key to health and longevity. I know from experience that when I eat yogurt, or have kefir on a daily basis, I simply feel better.

The curds and whey were actually produced by accident, but turned into a yummy lunch. I ate the curds, which tasted and had the texture of fresh mozzarella, and today I’m looking for a way to use the whey. That should be fun!

Bread is one of my favorite things to make, as anyone reading this blog might have guessed. These loaves came out as exceptional beauties! My friend Ruth had told me you could bet hard white wheat flour by the King Arthur brand. This is flour made from hard white wheat, rather than, hard red wheat. It’s high in protein, and gluten like the hard red, but it is lighter in texture, and sweeter in flavor. Because it is high in gluten, it makes excellent bread flour. (The soft white wheat is better for cookies, muffins, scones, cakes, etc., because it is lower in gluten, which allows a tenderer crumb.) The result is an almost white looking loaf, but it still contains the germ, bran, and all the essential nutrients found in whole wheat. I had forgotten about this treasure for quite some time. In California, we used to get it from the co-op that my daughter ran. This bread is wonderful toasted, and we enjoyed some last night, after the asparagus stir-fry had left us with cavernous sounds coming from our stomachs. Moist, chewy, tangy, oh my, I need to exercise more so I can eat more bread!

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