Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Story About the Community Garden

We had a little excitement around the community garden last week. One of the local channels did a story on us. See it here:  http://www.whas11.com/community/Honey-Bees-invade-City-Community-Garden-99255469.html

Sunday, July 25, 2010


For this week's assignment I went way out of the box and instead of the gluten free breads I decided to use my sourdough starter for something different, brownies. They turned out great! A cake like brownie that was sweet with a hint of sour in the backround. They didn't last very long.

I activated my starter like I would when making bread and then used it in the recipe. To activate I use 1/2 cup of starter from the fridge and add 1 1/2 cup WW flour and 1 cup of water and let it proof for 12 hours. Then I add 1 more cup of WW flour and 1/4 cup of water and let it proof for another 12 hours, this is the activated starter. There was more than I needed for the brownies, so a loaf of bread was a nice side product. Worked like a charm.

Sourdough Brownies

4 (1 ounce) squares sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Margarine ; (2 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

Place chocolate in small saucepan and add hot water; bring to a boil, stirring. Add baking soda and mix well. Mixture will be foamy. Set aside until lukewarm.
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and mix in thoroughly. Add vanilla extract and cooled chocolate mixture and nuts. Gradually add flour that has been sifted with salt. Lastly, add the starter. Beat well after each addition. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan and pour batter into it. Place pan in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake brownie for 35 to 40 minutes.

Go on over and visit Michelle at bigblackdogs and check out what the other bakers did this time around.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mixed Berry Bread

This week I made the mixed berry bread from our HBin 5 challenge. I kind of liked it, not my favorite, but with some peanut butter it was pretty good. In general we are used to the sweetness of batter breads, so these whole grain breads are an acquired taste. I used more berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries), than called for in the recipe and got a pretty good berry flavor. One loaf went to friends and they liked it toasted with butter. Check out what the other bakers did with this recipe over at Big Black Dog.

I harvested my first eggplants and cucumbers from my garden. Looks like the eggplants are going to be very prolific this year. MJOL thinks he doesn't like eggplant.....I'm going to have to be very creative with some recipes. The basil is also getting busy and full of fragrant green leaves. Pesto is in my future!
The community garden is doing very well this year. So successful, that we have become our own non profit, called Billy Goat Hill Garden. Billy Goat Hill for where the garden is located. Goats were raised there at one time. We have partnered with local schools, a boy scout troupe (for 3 Eagle scout projects), and an adult daycare program. We have converted the hoop house into a hoop shade house for the summer. Neighborhood folk love to come sit in the shade house to watch the birds, bees, butterflies and other goings on. The wildflower area is blooming away, the sunflowers are headed for the sky (some as high as 10 feet) and the raspberries and blackberries are getting loaded with fruit. It seems that everybody has tomatoes in their raised beds, all types and colors, heirlooms and hybrids, hopefully there will be lots of trading going on.

BTW, does anyone know how to post pictures side by side in blogger? It would make for a smaller post. :)
Until our next baking adventure...