Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Silk Road

My mom somehow knows where all the coolest shop are, even ones not even in Edmonton. Why is she so hip?!?!? I am waiting for her to act her age but there's no sign of it yet :0) The problem is most of us grumble a little- its like, "where are you dragging us to now mom?" that kind of attitude. When will we learn that its always so fun. I met my parents in Calgary a few weeks ago and my mom took us to The Silk Road. Its a spice shop and its the coolest place ever. Can't you tell by the "abandoned building look" they have going on the outside. The inside is LOVELY. The spices were so fresh and the fragrance just poured out when you opened the lids. Not to mention the classy thrift shop in the basement. I highly recommend it. 

I got caraway seed (my favorite), Vietnamese cinnamon (apparently is the most cinnamony), whole nutmeg (it lasts way longer in whole form and it makes you feel professional), cloves (for our fall and Christmas pomandering), dried limes (perisan cooking always calls for dried lime), then I got sasparilla root, licorice root, and birch bark, to make homemade, healthy rootbeer (recipe below). 

Jane found all kinds of treasures too. I let pick out a few for homeschool. She chose lavender sugar (which we used for homemade lavender ice cream. See recipe below), organic rose petals (for tea and for the bath), lavender (to make sachets. She's been into that lately, we all have a few in our drawers now :0)   
and she got this blend called mulling spices (you put a Tbs in a muslin bag and put it in boiling apple juice. It smells delicious).

I made this bread with my Caraway. Here is the recipe:
Whole Wheat Bread with Caraway and Anise

  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  teaspoon  water
  • 1  large egg
  • 2 1/3  cups  all-purpose flour, divided (about 10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1  cup  whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoon  caraway seeds, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  aniseed
  • Cooking spray
Dissolve honey and yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Place 1 tablespoon egg mixture in a small bowl. Cover and chill. Add remaining egg mixture to yeast mixture.
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, and aniseed to yeast mixture; stir to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll each portion into a 12-inch rope on a lightly floured surface. Twist ropes together, and pinch ends to seal. Place dough in an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Uncover dough. Brush reserved egg mixture over loaf, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

 Here is Jane making her famous Lavender Ice Cream. We had it for dessert at our Asian party (more to come on that).

 Homemade Root Beer
Complex and delicious, old-fashioned, home-brewed root beer has deep, intermingling notes of roots, bark, and spices, set against a background of molasses. Our formula is based on 19th-century recipes culled from The Saturday Evening Post, Scientific American, and Prairie Farmer, with guidance from Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell (Storey, 1998).
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried sassafras root bark
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried birch bark
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried sarsaparilla root
  • 1⁄8 oz. dried licorice root
  • 1  1" piece fresh ginger, unpeeled 
  •    and thinly sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
    2 cups molasses
    1⁄8 tsp. active dry yeast
1. Put sassafras root bark, birch bark, sarsaparilla root, licorice root, ginger, 1 vanilla bean, and 2 qts. water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours.
2. Strain root-infused liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a plastic container that has been washed well with hot, soapy water. (Discard solids.) Add 2 qts. filtered water, stir well, and let cool to 75°.
3. Meanwhile, wash four 1-liter plastic soda bottles with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and air-dry. Stir molasses and dry yeast into the root-infused liquid; cover and set aside to let ferment for 15 minutes. Using a funnel, pour into bottles, filling to within 2" of top but no higher. Screw lids on tightly; set aside at room temperature to let ferment for 12 hours.
4. Chill for 2–5 days. The root beer's character will slowly change: after 2 days, it will taste strongly of molasses; at the end of 5 days the yeast will have eaten up more of the sugary molasses, creating a milder and slightly alcoholic beverage. When it's ready to drink, open bottles very slowly, easing the caps open little by little, to let any excess gas escape gradually. (Yeast produces a high level of natural carbonation that makes for a very fizzy drink.) Serve over ice. 



Elizabeth said...

Did you make the root beer? Did it work well? I need this recipe for you know what:)

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Royall said...

I'm going to try your bread recipe this week. I don't think I've had aniseed before. You should check out this website
I've only made the granola so far (which was delicious) but the other recipes look really good. It made me think of you because she doesn't use very many processed ingredients in her recipes.