Feb 22, 2010

Flour power (?)

Everybody who takes their breadmaking seriously seems to have a thing for certain flours. King Arthur always ranks high on the list, and for good reason - good product, good value, good corporate philosophy, etc.

I've always balked at paying a premium of almost double for 5 pounds of flour, regardless of how sterling the company's reputation is. But Saturday I broke over and bought not just a bag of King Arthur flour, but also a bag of Kroger's white whole wheat flour. (Gotta slip that fiber in wherever I can!)

The latest batch of crusty white bread(thanks for the recipe, mom) was made with the King Arthur flour, and served to our dinner guests last night along with hot chicken salad, broccoli and rice casserole, a salad and black forest pie - yummy!

This week will start some serious recipe testing: sourdough (the sourdough starter is ready - yay!!!) and either the no-knead dough or 5-minute-a-day artisan bread will get an audition.

In other news, I'm toying with trying e-mealz.com for recipe menu ideas. Granted, I can usually come up with my own menu, but at some point the creative well runs dry. And anything that might help economize our food budget, while also providing me with a shopping list and menu seems like a pretty good idea.

Saturday was a blissful 58 degrees and Sunday was 67, but showers began by 9 pm and are supposed to bring another cool down and even snow flurries by tomorrow. Ahh, the roller coaster of late winter. It's a good thing I like roller coasters.

On Saturday, I pruned my 'Princess Diana' clematis, so it went from this:

to this:

I think that was almost as hard as taking my babies for their first haircuts. But it needed to be done--a careless tug on a weed growing up through the trellis last fall had apparently ripped a stem, causing dieback and browning. Fortunately, the 'Princess' is in pruning group #3, which loves getting a hard pruning in early spring. Only time will tell if it was the right move, at the right time. Come on spring!!!