June 24, 2012 - This and That and a Loaf of Bread.

 The Honey Bear squash, seeds shared by Ed at Tales From The Mountainside, are the first winter squash to blossom and set fruit.  Two little squash have formed so far.


The tallest tomato plant, a Black Cherry, is now at 5'.


As the onions flop, they get hung in the shed to dry.  None of these will be weighed for harvest totals until they are trimmed and brought inside.  The sizes seem to be quite a bit smaller than the 2011 crop.  In 2010 I harvested about 45 pounds, in 2011 I got nearly 49 pounds.  So far this year I've brought in 9 pounds, and I doubt there are another forty pounds left.


Son John brought me a metal frame today.  He thinks I can make something super neat for the garden.  It fits inside one of the raised beds, so I'm thinking the sides can somehow be covered with plastic  and used over a winter bed of spinach.


It has a top that attaches by dropping the corner pins into holes in the bottom frame.  If I could cover this part with floating row cover, maybe it would allow winter rain to penetrate through to the greens below.  Or would it be better to also cover this with clear plastic?


Possibly the only person on earth that hadn't yet tried it, today I used Laura's version of No Knead Bread:


 18 hours after mixing up the dough (although it may have been closer to 14 hours).


 Shaped and ready to cover to let the dough rest.


 Transferred to a floured bowl for rising.


 Covered with a towel and rising in a warm place.


 After 30 minutes with a lid, then 15 minutes without, I took it out of the oven.


 A pretty, rustic loaf, but I think I should have baked it a bit longer.


Of course, we couldn't wait for it to cool before sampling!  Mr. Granny gave it a thumbs up.



34 comments:

  1. Gorgeous onions and that tomato bush! And I'll have to try the no-knead bread as I usually make it old fashion way.

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    1. Jenny, I usually make mine in either the bread machine or food processor, as I have arthritis in my hands that is quite painful when trying to knead bread by hand. I usually form the loaf and bake it in the oven rather than in the bread machine though.

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  2. Your loaf turned out very pretty! Pictures are great too. The hardest part of this recipe for me is subtracting the 18 hours to know when to start the process. Mr. Granny is definitely lucky to have a super chef like you, that on top of your gardening and mechanical engineering or building skills. I'll watch to see what develops with the metal frame. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Gracie. The 18 hours can be anywhere from 12-24 hours, so I just mixed it up before I went to bed and left it out on the counter until noon today, then finished it up. That was about 14 hours on the counter. The metal frame could also become a shelf unit :-)

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    2. Good plan on the bread, I will plan to make some next weekend, and make before bed!

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  3. I'm glad that your 'Honey Bear' squash are fruiting. Someday I may actually plant my seeds, LOL!

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    1. Ed, I'm glad that hill of Honey Bear grew so well, as that was my last 3 seeds! The others all sprouted and died in that bad batch of seed starting mix.

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  4. Oh, we love the no-knead bread! I mix it up before bed and finish it in the morning.

    Maybe that frame can be used as a cold frame top.

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    1. Robin, that frame is so large, nearly 4'x8'. The only place I'd have room to use it as a cold frame would be behind the shed, where the summer squash are growing. I'm not sure it would get enough sun there.

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  5. Thanks for the no knead bread link and description, is this easier to make than the other bread recipe we talked about? I still have not tried that one, but I wonder if this would be easier for a kitchen rookie like myself.

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    1. Kris, in a word...no. This takes far longer, and it doesn't make a soft loaf that's good for sandwiches, but a very chewy bread with a really hard crust. It's great for garlic bread, but I wouldn't trade it off for the other bread on a regular basis. I still think the food processor recipes would be the easiest for you.

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  6. How timely, Granny. My post tomorrow is about how I bake bread. Yours looks delicious!

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  7. What type/size of kettle did you use to bake that bread? Seriously rustic (and looked delicious)

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    1. Shannan, it's my very old cast iron Dutch oven. On the bottom it says "Made in USA NO. 8 10-5/8 IN". It's heavy, I can barely lift it in and out of the oven when it's filled!

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  8. That frame would be marveous to have - a great support for either a clear plastic cover or garden fabric and big enough to be truly useful.

    We love the no knead bread. I have taken to making a refrigerator no knead variation and then baking smaller loaves (using a smaller sized dutch oven) and get the same great loaf of bread but smaller which works better for our now smaller sized family. I need to more formally write the recipe/instructions down and add that to the recipe page for bread.

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    1. Kitsap, a smaller loaf would be nice. I also read one blog where she pulled off pieces and baked them in 16 ounce ramekins for big crusty rolls. I don't know why my small crockpot crock wouldn't work for a smaller loaf. It doesn't have an oven proof lid, but I'd think several layers of foil would work.

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  9. I'm envious of your metal frame! I love things like that.

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  10. I don't think I've EVER made it to a "cooled" loaf of bread. We've had them collapse completely because we can't even wait 5 minutes. Don't care. I'll eat ugly HOT bread anytime. I haven't tried the bread yet.....but soon, very very soon!
    :)
    Cool frame. I love repurposing stuff. Tell the boy to find me one too!--LOL!!

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    1. Sue, he brought over two of them, but I only kept the tallest....'cause I grow big veggies ;-)

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  11. Good grief! How tidy and spacious is your shed?!? I have a tiny little thing that is so jam-packed with precious 'rubbish' that I can barely get a toe in, seriously.

    I'm so envious!

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    1. Ha! Ninaschen, I did just sweep the shed and stack the buckets. It's not always that neat. I love that shed, a 12' x 14', that my son built for me a couple of years ago.

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  12. Well even if you don't get as much as last year the onions still look good. I finally picked the first of mine from the garden yesterday. With lots more to come. Last year I wouldn't use them until they were ready to dry. But this year I want to eat the sweet ones as they grow. I decided I hated them frozen, and they don't keep all that well. So I'd better start eating them now.

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    1. Daphne, we eat ours from scallion through dried stage. I much prefer the Walla Walla variety for my salad onions, they're so mild.

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  13. Love the no-knead... have adapted recipe for pumpernickel. Those sure are some beautiful onions!

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    1. Good luck with the pumpernickel, David!

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  14. You could totally do the sides of the frame in plastic, then do row cover on top and with a few little clamps from the hardware store attach plastic just for when it freezes. That way it would let in light and water, but when it gets too cold you could cover it up overnight. I may have to rig up a system like this to get ripe tomatoes this year, this weather is just getting ridiculous. Almost July and the peas are just now starting to produce, and none of the lettuce has bolted yet... this is not normal.

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    1. Anywhere, I agree that's the best way to use it. It will fit inside the only 4x8 bed that will be empty for winter, and that's in a spot that gets pretty good sun.

      I think my tomatoes will be fine, if a bit late. There's a lot of fruit on them, and our temps are suppose to be in the 80s every day but one for the next ten days, with nights in the 50s.

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  15. That bread looks wonderful! I gave up on winter squash this year due to the borers, I have to settle for what crooknecks I can get this year and hopefully those darn SVB's will have moved on to someone ELSE's garden so I can grow winter varieties again next year LOL

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    1. Erin, have you grown Waltham Butternut? They are supposed to be resistant to SVB. They also happen to be our favorite squash.

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  16. Great Minds Think Alike! I made no-knead bread on the weekend for the first time TOO! AND I had written down the instructions on a scrap of paper (ingredients list) and overmeasured the water....from 1 and 5/8 cups water to my misread 1 and 7/8ths. Needless to say it was gloopy and a big mess until I decided adding a bit more flour won't kill it. I figured it'd be a big giant brick doorstop if it did not come out. My friend told me it looked like an art project and my suggestion was that if it didn't come out we'd hollow it out and make a planter. LOL! Well, it worked out perfectly. It is a very forgiving recipe!! It was moist and yummy on the inside and had the crusty exterior. I had to buy a dutch oven for the job but found a basic one on sale at fred meyers. I didn't know I needed it until I'd already made the dough. It was an adventures in bread making kinda weekend in Washington thanks to heavy rain, eh?
    We're just finishing it up from Saturday night. I found it super easy. I used the recipe from new york times but it looks exactly the same! Oh and I used parchment to let it rise and after it was risen i took the whole entire parchment filled with dough and plopped it into the pan. It worked great and no need to dirty up the pan that way.
    Glad to hear yours came out well! I want to try sourdough next but the creation of the sourdough base is kinda gross. lol
    I like the idea of pumpernickel and would love to have that recipe!

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