Category Archives: FOOD

A Hidden Beach Wedding

One of the pleasures of teaching is my capacity as a retired United Methodist minister to officiate at the weddings of students when they ask. This past Friday, I had the honor to join two very special people in marriage.

We walked about 200 yards along the water on a gravel path to a spot that is fairly well hidden from the traffic of non-Hawaii visitors. Along the way, is this turtle designed out of the white coral, so perhaps it is not so well hidden as we thought.

The black lava gave a classic background to pictures of the bridal party.

Pounding surf provided the wedding music.

Obviously, I wasn’t able to take pictures of myself, so Betsy took the three photos in this post that include me. Here the couple are saying the vows the wrote for each other.

It’s not legal until the license is signed. Fortunately, we had a picnic cooler to serve as our table.

The wedding brunch was served amidst tropical flowers on the deck after we returned to the home that overlooks the ocean.

A toast was raised to the new couple with a mixture of pink champagne and mango nectar, topped with floating sliced strawberries.

We all took shelter when Jeff popped the cork.

Jeff made Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise for the main course along with crisp hash browns and sliced tomatoes. Local Ono fish took the place of the typical Canadian bacon or ham, with English crumpets instead of English muffins.

Betsy made Healthified Carrot Cake using my recipe and Jeff did his first cake decorating to show the names.

You can’t have a wedding without the traditional “cutting of the cake.”

Everything was delicious as well as beautiful!

Coffee with “Cream,” a canned whipped cream enhanced with rum finished the meal.

I wish the best of everything life has to offer to this beautiful couple! Recipes for the Eggs Benedict and Carrot Cake are below.

A hui hou!

ONO FISH EGGS BENEDICT (per person)

Ingredients: one third lb Ono per person (two filets), two free range eggs, two crumpets, one McCormick Hollandaise sauce mix, and lime or lemon juice. Each envelope of sauce enough for makes enough for two to three servings.

Cooking: Fry fish quickly and lightly in coconut or mac nut oil. Add lime or lemon juice while cooking. Mix sauce as directed adding lime or lemon juice to the sauce. Toast crumpets. Fry eggs once over lightly in coconut oil on very low heat.

Assembling: Place toasted crumpets on plate, add cooked fish, then top with one egg; pour sauce over all. Add parsley and thin sliced tomatoes for garnish.

Crab, lobster or mahi-mahi can be substituted for the ono.

HEALTHIFIED CARROT CAKE

Ingredients:

• ¾ cup sugar
• ¾ cup packed brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup canola oil
• ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground allspice
• 3 cups finely shredded carrots
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• ½ cup raisins

In a large bowl, beat the sugars, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice. Gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in carrots, raisins and walnuts. Pour into 2 9-inch round or square baking pans coated with a cooking spray. I prefer to use a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan for a sheet cake (and smaller pieces). Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting:

• 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1 tablespoon fat-free milk (you can use soy milk or almond milk)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
• Dash salt

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and vanilla until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake. Store in the refrigerator.

Whole Wheat Quinoa Waffles

This past week, a friend called to ask if I had a good recipe for waffles, and she didn’t want to use a MIX. We began to reminisce about waffles from our childhood. I gave her a recipe I found in a very old Betty Crocker cookbook while she looked up “waffles” online.

I’m not sure what she eventually ended up doing, but I think it was a combination of several recipes. After our conversation, I started getting hungry for waffles, too.

I have a new cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood
that includes a recipe for Quinoa Waffles. This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe from that book. I try to find as many ways to use versatile quinoa that I can.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups quinoa flour (uncooked quinoa ground in the blender)
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons sugar (or Splenda)
¼ teaspoon salt

2 beaten eggs
1 ¼ cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (or lowfat milk, if you prefer)
1 cup water
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Combine quinoa flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, almond milk, water, oil and vanilla. Mix well.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Using a small hand mixer, blend well until it is a thin batter.

Preheat waffle iron, spraying it with your choice of oil spray. Use the directions that came with your waffle iron.

I ate one serving with a scoop of no-sugar-added vanilla ice cream and topped it with sugar-free caramel syrup. The rest I put into small sandwich bags to freeze until the waffle mood strikes again.

My Notes: The first waffles out were not crispy and almost too soft. My waffle iron is automatic and clicks when something is done, so I left the next batches in a little longer. That didn’t quite do the trick, but they were still delicious! The next time, I might add a bit more whole wheat flour for a thicker batter. This may take more experimenting, but I don’t mind being the guinea pig for these.

A hui hou!

Pink Grapefruit Marmalade Glazed Pork

I wrote about my homemade pink grapefruit marmalade in July last year. Since then I have eaten it on ice cream, bagels, scones, toast and sometimes just by the spoonful.

A friend brought over a large piece of cooked, leftover pork tenderloin on a recent visit. We came up with the idea of using our marmalade as a glaze for the pork. Do I need to tell you it was delicious?

In a pan, combine the following:

1/3 cup Kikkoman Lite soy sauce
1/3 cup pink grapefruit marmalade
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon (plus to taste) rice wine vinegar
A pinch of dried, crushed hot Thai peppers from my garden

Let this simmer for a few minutes until well combined and the honey has melted. Pour the hot glaze over thick slices of pork. Because the pork was already cooked, I baked it in a moderate oven until the pork was heated through and nicely glazed.

I think this would be great over chicken or beef as well. Enjoy!

A hui hou!

Dried Cherry Crumb Pie

2-20-11 Dried Cherry Crumb Pie

When I picked up a huge bag of dried cherries at Costco a few weeks ago, I had no clue what I was going to do with them. I love fresh cherry pie, but we aren’t getting fresh cherries in right now, so I wondered if I could make a decent pie out of dried cherries.

After checking on the internet, I came up with the following recipe to try. I have to say that the flavor was even more intense than fresh cherries, if that’s possible.

I forgot to take a picture before I started putting the crumb topping on the filling, but in this photo, you can see how beautifully glazed the filling looked. I also apologize for letting the entire pie get eaten without taking a picture of a piece. I’ll do it next time, I promise!

Put 3 cups of dried cherries in a large sauce pan and cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Let this soak for about 30 minutes while you make your pie shell. I suggest you use my tried and true, super simple pie crust that you can find here.

By the time you get that finished, your 30 minutes should almost be up. Put the soaked cherries and liquid over medium heat, add ½ cup flour and 1 cup sugar, stirring and simmering until thick. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon almond extract.

Cover with crumb topping. Put ½ stick butter, ½ cup packed brown sugar, and ½ cup flour in food processor (or mix together until crumbly). Spoon this over the cherries and bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.

It was out of this world delicious! I’m going to try it with other dried fruits.

A hui hou!

LILIKOI CRÈME BRULÉ

Bag of Lilikoi
Bag of Lilikoi

Anything to do with lilikoi has been one of the mostly highly popular topics of this blog. One reader (Kaleo) just sent this recipe for me to try. I’m not able to eat anything like it right now, so I’m passing it on for someone else to try it and let us know how it is. It sounds perfect for those of you who froze your lilikoi juice.

LILIKOI CRÈME BRULÉ

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
3 ounces egg yolk, about 4 large egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Some baker’s or bar sugar, the superfine stuff.
3 ice cubes of lilikoi juice

Directions

Preheat Oven to 300º F. Use a thermometer to be accurate.
Whisk cream, sugar, egg yolks, lilikoi juice, and vanilla until smooth. Strain through tea strainer to remove egg crud.

Heat mixture to 165° F in saucepan. Transfer to baking bowls. Bake at 300° for exactly 20 minutes. Cool. (Kaleo says the secret is preheating the custard in a sauce pan to exactly 160-165 degrees.)

Sprinkle an even layer of baker’s sugar on top of chilled crème brulé after cooling and caramelize by using a chef’s blowtorch (or a pencil blowtorch available at Radio Shack for about 1/4 the price). Act quickly to ensure that the crème remains chilled and the top is crisp and brown.

Eat at once as this does not keep because the sugar crust will dissolve over time. It is okay to not put the crust on and keep a day or so, then put the crust on when you’re ready to serve.

All I can say is that this sounds absolutely heavenly!

Mahalo plenty, Kaleo!

A hui hou!

This Week of Lights

Hanukkah, or Chanukah, meaning “dedication,” is an eight-day Festival of Lights celebrated by the Jewish faith. This year, it began at sunset on December 1.

The second temple in Jerusalem was rededicated after a successful uprising of the Jews against the Syrian government. Their leader, Judah Maccabee, lit the branched menorah, which was to burn every night.

According to legend, there was only enough olive oil to keep this candelabrum burning for one night, but it continued for eight nights. This gave them time to locate more oil to keep it burning after that time. This is an exceptionally abbreviated history of this celebration, but you can read more details of the history behind Hanukkah here.

Traditionally, latkes or potato pancakes are eaten during this period of time. You may wonder what the connection is between potato pancakes and Hanukkah. The latkes are fried in generous amounts of oil to symbolize the oil that kept the menorah burning for eight nights, although I imagine in today’s time, many look for lower fat ways to make their latkes. Just recently, I saw a recipe for sweet potato latkes that looked delicious and healthy!

The basic recipe for latkes is grated potato and onion mixed with a beaten egg, a couple tablespoons of matzo meal or flour, salt and pepper to taste, and made into small pancakes. These are smashed flat and fried in a skillet in several tablespoons of olive oil, turning to brown on both sides. I remember eating these topped with applesauce. I have read that the starchier the potato, the crispier the latke. If you search Google for latkes, you’ll find all sorts of variations.

Oh my, I’m getting hungry for latkes!

Shalom!

Oktoberfest in Hawai`i

When I was in high school, my father was the first English speaking pastor of a church that had once been considered a “German church.” Everyone spoke German, I learned Christmas carols in German, and the food was always German. No wonder I had trouble in gaining weight!

Every Thursday, the women met to quilt and served sauerkraut, spare ribs, and mashed potatoes. They always saved a plateful for me to eat as soon as I got back from school. Then I would sit down and quilt with them, trying to imitate their tiny stitches.

On October 1 of this year, I had the pleasure of attending an Oktoberfest at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church here on the Big Island. Instead of spare ribs, we were served a long Bratwurst; instead of mashed potatoes, we received a big boiled potato, but we did receive a big helping of sauerkraut and a bottle of non-alcoholic beer (St. Pauli N.A.). Apple strudel finished off the meal.

There was a wonderful 7-piece polka band, complete with several accordions, a string bass, trombone, clarinet, piano and drum.

The Fraulein servers were authentic. . . .

. . . and the dancing was exuberant.

You never forget how to dance a polka! But when I asked a friend to dance with me, she said she didn’t know how. I easily taught her, however, and we took off in a whirl.

We were taught several German songs. One was “Hock Soll er Leben,” or “Hail to the Host,” which we sang several times during the evening, each time raising our beer bottles to the host.

This Musik Meister led us in song, and also played one of the accordions.

Another tongue-twister song was “Oh Du Schöne Schnitzelbank,” a song we were told was never sung in Germany, but was local only in America.

I brought home a plate of leftovers from the church kitchen and relished the meal again later.

A hui hou!

Gazpacho with Crumbled Feta Cheese

I learned about Gazpacho when I first moved to California in 1960. It was a huge fad at that time, and I was knocked over by it! It’s been called everything, including “liquid salad,” but whatever you call it, it’s simply delicious!

This may seem like a summer-only dish to many of the mainlanders, but in California, and especially here in Hawai`i, we can eat it year-round.

The beauty of a healthy serving of Gazpacho is that you can put almost any kind of raw veggie into it. Take your pick from:

fresh tomatoes (about 2-3 pounds cut into quarters, skin and all)
cucumber
carrots
onion
bell peppers (I used a combination of orange, red, yellow baby bells)
garlic
hot pepper (maybe a Jalepeño)

Zap it up in a blender or food processor until thick and chunky.

Store it in the fridge until it’s good and cold.

Ladle it into a bowl, top with crumbled feta and sprigs of cilantro.

To go with this, I like to serve a good loaf of crunchy rustic bread fresh from the oven, and maybe a big hunk of sharp cheese.

Dig in!

Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have loved cooking with sourdough ever since I lived in Alaska in the early 60s. The problem is that the starter keeps growing, just like Topsy! I give it away, I use it as often as possible, but I still end up with more than I can use. I’m open for any sourdough recipes you may have, so please send them to me!

This recipe starts out with 1/2 cup of starter, and since I had extra without having to prepare it the night before, this was a good recipe to use today.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup starter
1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar

NOTE: I used real sugar in this first mixture because I believe it is necessary to help the starter to “work.” Cover and let this mixture stand for 2 hours in a warm spot. I put mine in a sunny kitchen window.

In a separate bowl, cream together:
1 cup butter (I used Smart Balance 65% buttery)
1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)

When well mixed, add 1 tablespoon molasses (I used blackstrap). Then add one egg and continue to mix thoroughly.

Add:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or dried blueberries)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Into this, mix the starter mixture.

The batter will not be as stiff as most of us are accustomed to when we make plain oatmeal cookies. Using a teaspoon, drop the batter onto greased baking sheet about two inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 12 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take a couple minutes longer, but mine came out at 12 minutes. I got 4 dozen in this batch.

A hui hou!

Spicy Fig Orange Jam

Figs are a delicious but fragile fruit. Once you have acquired them, you need to do something with those you don’t eat. Overeating of figs could produce some gastric distress, if you aren’t careful. That gives you as good a reason as any to make jam out of the majority of your fig supply.

Cut 5 cups of fresh figs (about 2 pounds) into quarters, removing stems. Add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice. (Note: even white figs will turn dark as you cook them, so feel free to use any kind of fig.)

Grate 1 tablespoon of fresh orange rind. Chop the fruit of two oranges (all pith, seeds and membranes removed) to make 1 cup, including juice.

In a large pot, combine the grated orange rind, the orange fruit and juice, lemon juice, figs. Let this sit overnight. One of the tricks of making marmalade is to let the fruit marinate overnight in a bit of water. Personally, I think this makes a richer flavor in any of your jams or marmalades. Figs benefit from this, as well.

The second day, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to lessen the foaming. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often. Skim off any foam.

The third day, add 3 cups of sugar and bring back to a boil. It changes color to a dark brown. Because it’s a fragile fruit, rather than boil it too long (long enough to get it to the setting point), you can add 1 packet of pectin to hasten the gelling process.

Ladle into sterilized jars, add sterilized lids and rings. Tighten the rings and turn jars upside down for 15 minutes. Once you turn them right side up again, this is when the lids usually pop, indicating a good seal.

Adapted from 250 Home Preserving Favorites by Yvonne Tremblay.

‘ono loa

Mozzarella Cheese Making

Sonia and Lucy
Sonia and Lucy

This past Sunday I had one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had in ages. This particular group of people was given an opportunity to take a class in Hilo at Kim’s home, one of the Slow Food Hawai`i members. She lives in a section of Old Hilo that has a view of the ocean. . .

. . . and of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.

Fortunately, we had Chef Sandy Barr-Riviera, an instructor with Hawai`i Community College culinary department, to teach us and to help with some of the side steps, like dissolving the rennet and citric acid in water (2 separate steps), while we all anxiously kept peering into our pots to see if it was cheese yet.

Here, Chef Sandy is helping Bill Stein, head of the Department of Agriculture at UH Hilo.

We worked in pairs since the stove space was limited. That gave those of us who weren’t brave enough to go first an opportunity to watch and see if it all worked. Sara and I were the third pair. Here she is hard at work.

Sonia Martinez, a friend who is also a food and gardening blogger, was part of the class. I took pictures of her working, then she took pictures of me at work. Be sure to read her version of what happened in the class, and to see more pictures. Here is a picture of Sonia (in the back) and Chef Sandy (in front).

I have inserted photos showing the process I went through. You can get an idea of how it looks as you work through the steps. Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll is the “go to” book for making cheese at home. You can order it from Amazon here: Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses

Cheese making supplies and all sorts of other information can be found at http://cheesemaking.com.

Instructions (ingredients included in the narrative):

A gallon of milk takes up a lot of room, so be sure you use a large enough pan. I used a 6-quart Cuisinart pan that was adequate. Also, let me preface this list by saying that the procedure is so much easier than it looks here. I’ve divided the steps so it’s simple to follow, but I know it looks like there’s more to it than there really is.

• Using a thermometer for accuracy, bring the milk to 50 degrees.

• Then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid that has been crushed and dissolved in 1 cup of bottled water. The reason you want to use bottled water is to make sure you don’t have any chlorine in the water at all. Chlorine will completely stop the process and you’ll never get cheese.

• Continue stirring over heat until the temperature is around 95 degrees.

• At this point, add 1/4 of a tablet of rennet that has been dissolved in 1/4 cup bottled water. One trick Sandy showed us was to pour the dissolved substances through a skimmer to make sure it is evenly distributed over the milk. (I’m smiling because it looks like something is starting to happen!)

• Stir again, and remove from heat and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

• The whey should be starting to separate from the curd. Check this by pressing a spoon down in the mixture enough to see if there is good clear whey. This was an almost clear, yellow/greenish liquid. The curd looks like cottage cheese.

• Using a long knife (like a bread knife), criss-cross cut the curd into pieces that are about 3/4 inch square. Actually, mine didn’t cut that cleanly, but after slicing my knife around for a while, the curds were adequately small (but not too small).

• Put the pot back on the heat for a little longer, stirring again until the temperature reaches 105 degrees. It doesn’t take long so keep a close eye on it.

• Take it off the heat again and continue stirring for a few minutes.

• Have a good glass microwavable bowl handy. With your skimmer, lift the curds out of the whey and into a sieve.

• Press the whey out gently and put the curds into the glass bowl.

• Repeat this process until you have all the curds out of the pot. You will need to keep draining the whey as it tends to keep “weeping” as you work.

• Once all the curds are out of the whey, use a funnel and pour the whey into your empty gallon milk jug. Keep the whey and use it to make ricotta, or give it to your chickens in their water to get bigger and richer eggs.

• Now put the bowl of drained curd in the microwave on high for 1 minute.

• Take it out, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt. I only used 1 teaspoon as I don’t like my cheese too salty. One teaspoon was still a bit salty for me, but okay.

• Then microwave again for 30 seconds. Take it out, stir a little and let it run from the spoon to check on the consistency.

• Mine wasn’t quite ready after this 30 second nuking, so I did another 30 seconds. You will need to judge your own cheese. It may even take a third nuking.

• Taking your big spoon, stir it around (almost like kneading bread) until it is shiny and thick. Sneak a little taste if you want!

• We’re almost finished! Scoop out a ball of the mozzarella that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and roll it in your hands.

• Sonia got 6 large balls of the cheese and I got 10, but mine were a bit smaller than hers.

• Drop these balls of cheese into a larger bowl filled with ice and water. This stops the cooking process.

• After about 10 or 15 minutes, you can scoop them out and put them in a container to keep.

• I put each of my cheese balls into a little plastic sandwich bag once I got home and closed them with a twistie. I kept one out to eat on a cracker. I have never tasted such delicious cheese!

While I was working, I kept thinking about Little Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey. I wonder if she had been making mozzarella, too?

NOTE: We were told to bring a gallon of Mountain Apple brand whole milk. This is local milk, and not pasturized several times like the milk from the mainland. I would like to experiment with lowfat or nonfat milk. We were also given a list of utensils to bring with us.

a cooking thermometer that registers from 90-110 degrees (if you have)
a heavy bottomed pot with a lid that will hold a gallon of milk
a long knife (bread knife will do) to cut the curd
a 3-4 cup capacity tupperware bowl (or similar) for taking home the cheese
clean dish towel
a slotted skimmer if you have
a large spoon to work the curds
a sieve
a funnel to put the whey into your empty milk bottle

I didn’t have a thermometer, but there were several available that we all shared. There were also extra bowls for microwaving the cheese. I can see I need to buy my own thermometer if I’m going to make more cheese (and I plan to)! The class was provided with the rennet (the tablets shown below), citric acid and salt.

Mahalo to Sonia who took all the pictures of me, mahalo to Sandy for teaching us, mahalo to Kim for the use of her kitchen (it will never be the same), and mahalo to the rest of the class for participating. We couldn’t have done it without each other!

It’s mozzarella!

If you get a chance to take this class in the future, I know you won’t be disappointed. The result may not look as “perfect” as what you see in the store, but the taste is far superior!

A hui hou!

Chicken, Chard and Garlic in Olive Oil

One of the fastest and tastiest meals I fix for myself is this dish. I do it often enough that I didn’t think about writing a post about it.

I grow the most wonderful red chard in a little bed by the back door. The leaves are huge, shiny dark green with deep red veins.

Ingredients

A big bunch of chard leaves. Cut out the large main vein, then slice the rest into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

3 cloves garlic, chopped (more or less depending on your taste – I love garlic!)

2 skinless, boneless chicken tenders cut into small pieces

olive oil

lemon pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Toss chicken and garlic in hot oil with lemon pepper. At the last minute, toss in the chard. Stir and let cook until just slightly wilted, but still shiny and bright green.

That’s it! Dish up and eat!

Sourdough Cranberry Rolls

 

I love anything made with sourdough. When I lived in Alaska, I was given a starter that dated back to the 1800s (at least that’s what I was told, but Alaska is known for yarns as big as the state). At any rate, it had been going a long time, and was deliciously sour. I have made sourdough chocolate cake, sourdough fruitcake, sourdough pancakes and waffles, sourdough breads – any recipe I can get my hands on.

The sourdough starter or madre that I use now also came from Alaska, this time from my friend and colleague, Betsy, who used to live there, too. This recipe was adapted from The Tassahara Bread Book and I used dried cranberries instead of raisins. Their original recipe calls for fermenting the raisins, so I wasn’t sure if it would work to ferment the dried cranberries. I imagine you could use dried blueberries, as well.

The Tassahara bakers seem to keep a sourdough raisin roll starter on hand at all times, and this might add to the flavor each time it is used. I probably won’t make this recipe as often as they do, so I didn’t keep anything out for the next time, other than replenishing the regular madre as usual.

 

Sourdough Cranberry Rolls

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sourdough starter
1 3/4 cups water and fermented cranberries *
2/3 cup dry cranberries
Whole wheat flour as needed for kneading.

Mix the salt and cinnamon with the flour. Put the sourdough starter on top of the flour and stir in the water from the cranberries, a little at a time to form a soft dough.

When the mixture is too thick to stir, work with your hands and knead for several minutes. Add the fermented cranberries, and knead a bit more. Add the dry cranberries, and knead them in, too.

Keep the dough on the moist side as much as possible, but add more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky to work with. Let the dough sit for 20 minutes or so.

Divide the dough into twelve pieces for large scones. Shape into balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let them sit overnight, at least 15 hours or more.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until well browned.

* Fermenting the Dried Cranberries: Place 1/2 cup of dried cranberries in 2 cups of water. Cover and let sit for 3-4 days, unrefrigerated. Stir daily. Don’t change the water because it will be used in the recipe.

NOTES:
1) This may seem like a long drawn-out process, but it’s like making the pink grapefruit marmalade. It only takes a few minutes each day, rather than taking up a whole day of preparation. I tried this recipe for Sourdough Cranberry Rolls with great trepidation, but it was so easy! I’d like to try another dried fruit. I mentioned blueberries above, but wonder about chopping up something like dried mango or ginger. Oh my!

2) The damp towel part didn’t work well for me. It seemed to weigh down the rolls too much, so I took it off and it worked better. I think my tea towel was too thick, not thin like the old flour sack towels my grandmother used.

3) I got twenty large rolls/scones instead of twelve. Also, their recipe calls them “rolls,” but I think they are more like scones, so that’s what I call them. Whatever you want to call them, they were delicious!

4) After they were cool, I wrapped each one in waxed paper and froze them. They are warm and ready to eat after about 20-25 seconds in the microwave. Slather with butter and enjoy!

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)