This has been a horrible week here in Boston. Really just the worst. I think The Onion got it right with this article. Yesterday we were asked to stay inside as a manhunt went on. When I’m faced with fear and uncertainty, I find handwork to be a really useful way to ground and focus all that frantic energy. So I decided to bake some bread.
I love kneading dough, the repetitive hands-on motion is so therapeutic.
I got the recipe out of my copy of The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. It is a nice book for baking wholesome breads and the artwork is really lovely.
Malcolm wanted to help. He is so curious about cooking lately. Sometimes he pretends to cook and eat out of his beach pail.
I think it was my mother who told me once that when you have kneaded your dough enough, it should feel like a newborn baby. She’s right, it has this softness and weight that is so much like a newborn.
And then you tuck it away in its bowl and wait.
I think the waiting makes it so much more special when the bread finally goes into the oven and the wonderful smell fills the house. Is there anything more cozy and homey than that smell? It’s one of the most comforting smells I know.
It’s so hard to wait for the bread to cool. I usually last about 5 minutes before slicing into it. We spread plenty of butter on it. The loaf is usually half gone before you even realize what was happening.
This was Malcolm’s first taste of fresh-from-the-oven homemade bread. He had three slices.
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I could really use a snack” and some absurd person says, “Have a piece of fruit!” Sure they mean well but at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, chocolate is the only acceptable answer. Well I figured out how to have a delicious chocolatey snack that’s also pretty wholesome, and I was so excited to share the recipe here that I drew the whole thing. Enjoy!
- 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 15 small chopped dates (or about one heaping cup chopped)
- 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or water
- Lightly toast the hazelnuts in a pan on the stove. Should take just a few minutes, stirring constantly.
- Put the hazelnuts into a food processor and grind finely
- Add oats, coconut, cocoa powder and salt
- Pulse twice to combine
- Add dates and vanilla and blend for about 60 seconds
- Add coffee (or water) and blend into a thick dough
- Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and give it a good mush with your hands
- Roll into bonbon-sized balls
- Refrigerate overnight in a sealed container
- Enjoy with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea!
This has been a busy week with guests in town and my son’s very first birthday. But through it all, I found a little time to finish these mittens.
They are the Swedish Mittens from Halland pattern from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. They are nice and dense and toasty warm. I also added an angora cuff lining that makes them just a little extra special.
And for the birthday boy I made my first ever successful cake! With frosting! It was a carrot cake from my friend Kim’s blog. The birthday boy was not so sure how he felt about it, I never give him sugar so it must have been a strange experience. My husband loved it so much he is insisting that he will eat it all if I don’t stop him.
A year ago at work, bored to tears by researching hedge funds and trying to read SEC documents (*shudder*), I started looking up recipes and came across these super fun hand-drawn recipes by artist Katie Shelly. It was the first time I had seen someone document an entire recipe in pictures and I was so inspired. And then I came across this wonderful pickle recipe by German illustrator Elisandra. And more recently I saw Kill the Recipe a fantastic little cookbook illustrated by Lucy Engelman. And I knew I had to try illustrating one of my own recipes, so here is my recipe for chickpea masala: