Margaritas, tea, and mint juleps

It’s Cinco de Mayo today. Mr. Aitch and I will have chicken chimichangas and margaritas.

Tomorrow morning the menu consists of toast and tea for the coronation of King Charles.

Then beginning in the afternoon we will salute the Kentucky Derby races and winners with mint juleps and Hot Browns.

Cultural appropriation? I don’t care!!

Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns

Mr. Aitch and I like love bread but we don’t like the typical store bought variety, you know the prepackaged sliced stuff. It’s almost like eating paste.

I’ve baked bread many, many, many times and sometimes it’s really good and other times, well, it’s dense and heavy. So I did some research and found lots of “light and airy” bread recipes that call for scalded milk and/or eggs. answers the scalded milk question: The whey protein in milk can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Scalding the milk deactivates the protein so this doesn’t happen.

This from LEAF explains the addition of eggs: The fat in egg yolks helps shorten the gluten strands in bread dough, increasing the gluten’s elasticity. This results in a more tender crumb and softer crust in the finished bread. Additionally, the coagulating property of eggs, due to their protein, helps create a more tender and even texture. As a leavening agent, the eggs contribute to the bread dough rising higher than a non-egg yeast bread.

Maybe you bakers already know those things and I might have learned them in junior high home ec. classes but that was a very, very long time ago.

I looked through several cookbooks I have and found a recipe named “Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns” in a fund-raiser cookbook from my hometown. The recipes in this collection were tried and true. Plus I liked the name.

I whipped up a batch of this bread Wednesday afternoon and Mr. Aitch “baked” it on the grill over indirect heat. It is light and fluffy and tastes so good that we had to sample some as soon as it was cool enough to cut.

I will be making this recipe again. And again. And again…

Click here for Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns recipe.


The last piece

It had my name on it.  Well, sort of…

Then this happened.

I love whipped cream!  That was the last bit of our Thanksgiving leftovers.

I made my pie crust with 1/2 butter and 1/2 lard.  It was the best pie crust I’ve ever made.  It wasn’t soggy (like mine usually is) and had the perfect amount of flakiness. How do you make your pie crust?


Flat, flatter, flattest

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but my chocolate chip cookies are flat and spread out too much.

I follow the Nestles Tollhouse cookie recipe using room temperature butter and measure out the ingredients exactly as written.

The butter was room temperature but not real soft.  I used a hand mixer for this batch and some leftover mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunks (bought by mistake).

The cookies are very tasty but we now have to eat the entire batch as they aren’t “pretty” enough to share with the neighbors.  I know, tough job but somebody’s got to do it.

My oven might be too hot.  I may have over mixed the ingredients.  My dough was room temperature and perhaps not cool enough before baking.  Any other ideas as to what went wrong?