Sunday, December 28, 2008

Raf Bakes Too!

It all started when I was reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver's husband bakes a daily loaf of bread in their home. Doesn't that sound like just about the greatest thing you've ever heard? The smell of freshly baked bread in your home every day--especially when baked by the loving hands of your man!

I thought so, so I've been trying to convince Raf that he should start baking bread. I even bought him a book. Surprisingly, he was totally game, but it wasn't until I came across the wonderfulness of Pete Bakes! that Raf finally found his inspiration. If a 24-year old blogging guy can bake amazing looking bread, he could too! Pete makes baking sound too easy and look too tasty to pass up, so Raf tapped into a few recipes found on Pete's blog.

He made this amazing European Peasant Bread for both our December Supper Club and the Holiday Party. I'm in love. It's SO YUMMY!! (The pic at the top is Raf's pre-baked version.)

And because he's the best fiance ever, he also made these French Baguettes to accompany my artichoke dip for our office holiday party. After tasting and realizing they were homemade, our volunteers ensured me that he was "a keeper". :) They were really good too, but way more work, and not as melt in your mouth incredible as the peasant bread.

And because he's ridiculously ambitious (aka: crazy), he also decided to make the Bacon and Leek Quiches for our holiday party. They were a hit, but I liked them a lot better the next morning for breakfast!

Pete's post for Biscuits and Apple Butter was the final motivation I needed to start searching for the tools necessary to start canning in 2009. Mmmm! I'm super excited--we found a canning pot at Goodwill in Coos Bay for $7.99 (not to mention a jar full of wedding silverware). Gotta love a Goodwill deal!

Speaking of canning (or "jarring" as I like to call it), my sister made raspberry jam and paired it with peanut and almond butters (made by a friend who works at a nut plant in Oregon) for Christmas gifts! Needless to say, I was shocked that my only-cooks-mac-and-cheese-from-the-microwave-packet-not-the-box sister made jam!! I guess with all this crazy winter weather, hell actually froze over.

I'm so excited to join the family canning ranks that I'm actually starting a calendar to keep track of seasonality, so I can remind myself of the best time to undertake these (and many other) projects. Here's the calendar I bought off Etsy to help me keep track! (I'll make notes on the back of each month.)

Really long story short--go visit Pete and get inspired to start baking some goodness at home!


Jordan said...

I would just like to point out that not only did I make jam I ALSO decorated the freaking jar in fabric & ribbon. You so love me!

Danielle said...

i love that calendar

Gena said...

I had to try the bread. I love to bake and anything that is that easy has got to be worth a try. SO good. Although my loaves did not look near as nice as yours. =) Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love bread and my birthday is Sept 9th. Subtle hint. AV :)