the Bounty Which Springs From Mother Earth
- by Carrie
By this time we are experiencing
an awakening of all which has been resting during
the long, harsh winter months. Suddenly bushes and trees begin
to flower and plants seem to magically emerge from the cold,
damp earth. Now is the time we can start to enjoy fresh produce
from our gardens and local farm markets. My grandmother loved
to write stories about her experiences and this one comes to
mind every year around this time. She wrote, In the spring
on Sundays we always went for a walk in the woods to look for
the first wildflowers. And one day, there they would be, the
little lavender-blue hepaticas, peeping out from under the fallen
leaves. And we would know, spring has come again. God's in his
heaven, all is right with the world!
As much as she loved taking
walks in the woods to find wildflowers, my grandmother loved
to cook her comfort foods with fresh fruits and vegetables. Now
is the time of year we can start enjoying fresh produce from
our gardens and local farm markets. Living in Northeastern United
States we can now enjoy garden lettuce. What could be better
than a garden salad made with the delicate leaves of fresh picked
red and green lettuce leaves? Or a slice of homemade Crusty French
Bread spread with strawberry or raspberry preserves? Soon we
will see fresh asparagus, broccoli, strawberries and raspberries
I'd like to share two of my
grandmother's easy recipes which could be a complete meal. Her
Bacon Dressing for Salads and Crusty French Bread would be a
delicious, light meal for your family this time of year. The
bread can be served with butter for dinner and spread with preserves
for dessert! Enjoy!
Bacon Dressing For Salads
Take about 4 strips of bacon
and cut into 1/4 pieces. Fry until pale brown. Take bacon
out of pan. To the bacon fat add ¼ cup vinegar, ½
cup water, pinch salt, sprinkle black pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons
sugar. (according to taste) Bring to a boil and then take the
pan off of the burner. You may need to add more vinegar or water.
(this is according to taste) Add the bacon and cool to room temperature.
This is delicious on garden lettuce, endive or potato salad.
You can add whatever you would like to the salad. We usually
keep it simple with thinly sliced red onion, and cherry tomatoes.
Crusty French Bread
6 cups sifted flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 package yeast
2 cups very warm water
Dissolve yeast in very warm
water. Stir in 3 cups flour and the sugar, salt and melted butter.
Beat until real smooth. Slowly add the rest of the flour. Knead
until smooth. Put into a greased bowl, cover and let rise until
double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Put the dough
on the table and knead. Cut into 2 even pieces. Roll out each
piece into a 9 x 12 rectangle. Then roll each up
like a jelly roll, tucking the ends under. Grease cookie sheet
and sprinkle with corn meal. Place the loaves on the cookie sheet.
Slash top of loaves crosswise with a knife 1/2 deep and
2 apart. Let rise until double. Brush top with egg white
mixed with 2 teaspoons water. Put a pan of water on bottom shelf
of the oven while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.