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Archive for the ‘The Bread Basket’ Category

Focaccia

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Heather Digdon’s handcrafted loaves of bread literally flew out of the big red barn yesterday at the Sandhill Farmers’ Market at the Clemson Research Station off Clemson Road. Large sturdy baskets emptied quickly as friendly customers waited patiently for a turn to make the difficult decision on which types to buy. Most purchased at least two loaves; one satisfied repeat customer walked away with four!

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I visited the Lodge Manufacturing Company’s outlet store this summer in the picturesque little town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Situated near Chattanoga alongside the Cumberland Plateau, Lodge is the oldest family-owned manufacturer of cookware in the U.S. The company, which produces the finest cast iron cookware in the world, began during the first Presidental term of William McKinnley.

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Southern cornbread is traditionally made with stone-ground white cornmeal and buttermilk. Thats the way everyone made it in East Tennessee, where I grew up. My mother never added flour or sugar to the mixing bowl. Her cornbread had a true corn flavor and unique texture with a golden-brown crusty exterior. Everyone I knew made it this way and we all loved it. (more…)

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May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.

 

 

Irish soda bread is a rustic, grain-filled quick bread that is a staple in Irish households, pubs and grand hotels. It takes its name from the fact it uses baking soda for leavening. Baking soda was introduced to Ireland around mid-19th century.

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Try the Cottage Cheese Pancakes, ‘Eggstraordinary’ Cottage Cheese Pancakes or Shrove Tuesday Pancakes.

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In the 18th century, some Native Americans produced ‘soda ash’ to leaven their breads. They shared their methods for producing the chemical leven with Colonial cooks of European descent who had previously only used yeast.

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My first taste of the appealing Native American fry bread was several years ago at the New Mexico State Fair. I still recall the wonderful smells wafting through the air as I waited in a long line that snaked through the fair grounds. As I reached the stand, I could see hand-stretched pieces of flattened dough being dropped into kettles of hot oil. They emerged as golden, frisbee-size discs of softly puffed bread that were immediately served up on paper plates with a liberal dusting of powdered sugar. The fry bread was delicious: warm and crispy on the outside and chewy inside. If you wanted some, there was a container of honey nearby for drizzling on the top.

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