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4/17/2015

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I’m a big sourdough fan, making wild starters in almost every place I’ve lived. I’ve cultivated and eaten wild sourdough from south eastern Oregon, the north coast of California, famed San Francisco, ultra urban Los Angeles and now sourdough from Minneapolis, Minnesota (Kitchen Sink Sourdough here). Memory being what it is, I can’t quite remember the differences. I wish I still had samples of all my sourdough starters, but life has a way of making you leaving such treasures behind.

Time to do a taste test! How different is my Minneapolis sourdough from the classic San Francisco sourdough? Since I no longer live in the city by the bay, I ordered wild San Francisco sourdough yeast from Cultures for Heath. I followed their instruction for culturing the starter, which took about 4 days. Once the starter was active, I began my test.

I took my Minneapolis starter and the San Francisco starter and, following the exact same culturing method, made two very bubbly, healthy starters from the same flour and water. Then I took 1/2 cup of starter from each batch, placed each starter in a clean mason jar, added 1/2 c flour and 1/2 c water to each jar, stirred to combine (don’t use the same spoon or you’ll cross contaminate your starters!). I covered each jar with a piece of cheese cloth held with a rubber band, and then set them on the counter for 24 hours. I repeated this process for 5 days - yes you are throwing out over half your starter everyday. You will have leftover starter, which can be thrown in to regular pancakes and bread recipes, or thrown away.

Once the starters are bubbly within a few hours of being fed, you are ready to make bread. Using a soft sandwich bread recipe, I fermented and rose the bread for almost 24 hours, using the same ingredients, rising time, baking temperature and pan size.

The finished bread loaves were almost identical, with the same rise, air bubble size, crust and texture. But the taste was totally different. The Minneapolis sourdough was sharp, tangy and mouthwatering, with a slight bitterness (in a good way.) The San Francisco sourdough in contrast was buttery and nutty, with a slight sour cream tang that was much more subtle than Minnesota.

Which one did I like best? I loved them both! The Minnesota sourdough really tasted like it had rye flour in the mix and paired just beautifully with salted butter. I loved the pronounced tang! The San Francisco sourdough was much more accessible, and worked really well with in the ham sandwich I made with it, not competing to heavily for your attention. Now I have two great sourdoughs in my arsenal of taste and will be making many more in the future. Next time I travel for a week, remind me to capture some local sourdough as a souvenir!

Sourdough Starters

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

Activate your sourdough starter by taking out 1/2 cup of starter, mixing it with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour.  The next day, take out 1/2 cup of starter and do it all over again, discarding the remaining starter or using it as filler in pancakes or other breads with regular yeast or baking powder. After 5 days your starter should be good and bubbly.  Once it strongly bubbles within a few hours of feeding, you're good to go.

Ingredients:

1/2 c active sourdough starter
1 c water
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbs honey
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 c whole wheat white flour, plus more for kneading

Instructions:

This recipe takes 16-20 hours to ferment, rise and bake.

1. The night before you bake, combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a spoon until a sticky dough is formed. Turn into an oiled bowl, flipping over once to cover both sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment overnight.

2. The next morning, about 8-12 hours later, dump the dough onto a well-floured counter and knead until you have a smooth elastic dough, adding flour as needed. You could add as much as an additional cup of flour. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then form into a loaf. Grease a loaf pan, and add the dough. Cover the pan and let dough rise until double.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack placed in the upper middle. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the bread reaches an internal temp of 190 degrees or so. Turn bread out on to a cooling rack. Try to let it cool before you slice it, if you can.

Minnesota and San Francisco Sourdough Breads

Tammy Kimbler is the blogger of One Tomato, Two TomatoA cultivator at heart, Tammy’s passions lie with food, preservation, gardening and connecting to her local community through blogging and urban agriculture. She eats well and love to feed others as often as possible. She currently resides with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/15/2015

Slice whole olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad and skip the oil for more flavor and nutrition. This thrifty recipe tastes like a splurge but only costs 37 cents for a side-dish serving using organic ingredients and less if you grow your own spinach. It's quick to make because my recipe makes good use of the "meanwhile."

Greek Spinach and Chickpea Salad

For a potluck at my friends' farm last weekend, I wanted to show off their lively fresh spinach. I also wanted to bring a dish that would give the vegetarians and vegans in the crowd a good source of protein. This quick recipe let me get out and enjoy the glorious spring weather.

Using Whole Foods Instead of Extracts

Sliced olives provide intense flavor, decorate your salad, and don't puddle at the bottom. Unlike extracted olive oil, they also nourish you with calcium, iron, fiber, and vitamins A, E, and C. To give olive oil credit, it does have about four times as much vitamin K than whole olives for the same amount of fat.

The Magic of Meanwhile

draining chickpeas

This salad recipe uses one of my favorite techniques: get something started and let it work while you do something else. Let the chickpeas drain while you start the spinach soaking. Let the spinach soak while you slice the olives. In just a few minutes, you've got a gorgeous, lemon-scented salad.

Greek Spinach and Chickpea Recipe

Yield: serves 24 as a side dish or 8 as a main dish.

Ingredients

• 4 cups cooked, cold chickpeas
• 4 ounces fresh, raw spinach
• 4 ounces pitted Kalamata style olives or other olives of your choice
• 1 lemon or about 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

1. Drain chickpeas. I cook several pounds of chickpeas at once so I can have them on hand for hummus and stews too. I drain chickpeas for salad right over the pot to save the delicious broth for gravy. If you used canned chickpeas, rinse them in water and don't save the broth.

spinach soaking

2. Put spinach in a clean tub full of water and swish it around. Most of the dirt will sink to the bottom and any critters usually swim to the surface.

3. Slice olives. Zest the lemon and save the zest for another purpose (blueberry pancakes!).

4. Gently lift spinach out of water, empty tub, and refill. Swish spinach again and lift out. Repeat until the water is clear. Usually three rinses are enough.

5. Stack spinach leaves and cut into ribbons about 1/2 x 3 inches and put into a bowl. Set aside a few of the prettiest olive slices for the top, then add the remaining olives and the chickpeas to the spinach.

6. Juice lemon and pour juice over salad. Toss to combine and top with the pretty olive slices.

7. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Source for nutritional information: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.

Photos by Linda Watson (c) 2015 Cook for Good, used by permission.

Check out Linda's website Cook for Good for more recipes and tips. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. She is the author of Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet — All on $5 a Day or Less and Fifty Weeks of Green: Romance & Recipes.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/15/2015

The Mason jar, historically known for its utility of food preservation, has become a multifunctional tool used in countless ways from drinking glasses to blender attachment to decorations. The possibilities for Mason jar creativity seem endless. My experiment is to create the ultimate strawberry shortcake by baking cupcakes in a jar to create a triple layered treat: a white cake layer topped with strawberry gelato with fresh sliced strawberries on top. To make this eye-catching dessert, follow the steps below.

strawberry shortcake

Step 1: Cupcakes in a Jar

Simple. Follow any cake recipe, replacing the cupcake tins with jelly jars. I used 8-ounce jars, but any jelly jar size will do (other sizes are 4-ounce or 12-ounce). Grease the inside of the jars and fill one-third to one-half full. Here is the most important part: place the jars on a cookie sheet! To reemphasize, the jars cannot sit directly on the oven racks. Hopefully, I learned this lesson for the sake of many others. Living on the adventurous side causes massive cleanups—when I opened the oven door to check on the status, all eight jars toppled over simultaneously. No toothpick was needed. The batter dripping into the bottom of the oven relayed the message. Fortunately, my quick reaction saved the lot from demise. Baking the jars on top of the cookie sheet seemed to extend the overall baking time, so check at 5-minute increments beyond the recipe instructions.

For the strawberry shortcake, I use the White Cake Recipe from Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book.

Ingredients:

• 4 egg whites
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter or shortening (for a whiter cake)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1-1/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease cupcake jars. Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately, add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Pour batter into jars.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes in a jar will take considerably longer, but check incrementally after this time until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool thoroughly.

Step 2: Homemade Gelato

For the gelato, I use the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. The recipe is straightforward but must be made well in advance so the mixture has time to chill. My favorite part is that the gelato is the perfect counterbalance to the white cake, requiring egg yolks. It’s the small things in life.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups reduced fat milk
• 6 coffee beans
• 5 egg yolks
• ¾ cup sugar
• 2 cups chopped, fresh strawberries

Directions:

1. Scald milk with coffee beans in a heavy medium saucepan.

2. Whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk half of scalded milk mixture into yolks and return to saucepan with the remaining milk. Stir over low heat until mixture thickens slightly (approximately 8 minutes). Do not boil. Strain into medium bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.

3. Assemble and engage the ice cream attachment to the mixer. Turn to STIR (speed 1). Pour mixture into freeze bowl and continue on STIR for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for several hours to allow the flavors to develop. Gelato can be prepared up to 4 days ahead.

Step 3: Assemble the Shortcake

The hard work is finished, and now you must make a choice: assemble and freeze for later or assemble and serve fresh. Either way, the cupcakes and jars should be completely cool to the touch. Scoop gelato into each jar, top with freshly cut strawberries and try not to devour in one bite.

Two additional steps could be added to this recipe for an even livelier dessert: strawberry glaze and homemade whipped cream. Other adaptable desert ideas: hot fudge sundaes in a jar, cheesecake in a jar, and even holiday treats (a bit unseasonal) like Frankenstein, Mummy, and Ghosts.

halloween jars

Be creative and explore the endless possibilities of upcycling the basic to the extraordinary.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/14/2015

Time to make your own mayonnaise! Making homemade mayo is bigger than saving a couple bucks. It takes minutes to whip up a batch and then you feel like you have bested the commercial industry as a whole. It proves that we can do for ourselves. Mayonnaise may be the simplest empowerment tool for the do-it-yourself Viking.

Mayo

Making mayonnaise takes two minutes, one egg, and a cup of light oil. There is also a teaspoon of mustard, the juice of a lemon and a dash a salt. That’s it--for pure, light, creamy real mayonnaise. These ingredients cost $1.50, according to Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese.

So why don’t we make our own mayonnaise? Hellmann’s came onto the market in 1912. Miracle Whip followed in 1933, replacing real mayo with a cheaper mayonnaise product in a base of water and soybean oil. They offered the shortcut. It whisked away our knowledge of how to make a simple spread and now we spend $2 a jar, more for the good stuff, with no idea how easy it is to make fresh.  

Even Hellmann’s “real mayonnaise” has calcium disodium EDTA in it, a controversial preservative. Homemade mayo costs less, uses better ingredients and skips the preservatives, all in a few minutes.

Mayo Making Tips

It can be whisked and drizzled by hand, but that is a little like torture. My friend, Sarah, and I tortured ourselves, laughing, one holding up an arm to drizzle the olive oil slowly while the other was constantly whisking.  A test of endurance. Cuisinart to the rescue! Did you know there is a little hole in the bottom of the push top, special for this reason? Pour olive oil in the push top and it drizzles out the little hole into the mixing bowl.

Don’t have a Cuisinart? I have an idea, for those handmixing or using a blender. Use a plastic squirt bottle and prick a hole in the top with a nail. Add the cup of olive oil into the bottle for the recipe. Duct tape the bottle upside down, hole facing down, to the overhead cabinet so it will drip into your bowl hands-free while you whisk or blend.

Use light olive oil, usually a blend of olive oils, or vegetable oil. Extra Virgin olive oil can be too strong; I didn’t like my mayo until I lightened up on the olive oil. Don’t keep it too long. Remember that it’s a raw egg and no added preservatives. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter says three days but I keep mine a week.

We can re-learn, we can do for ourselves. We can make our own mayonnaise.

A Recipe for Mayonnaise

Ingredients

• 1 cup olive oil, vegetable oil or peanut oil
• 1 room temperature whole egg, but you can also add an extra yolk or use two yolks. Experiment.
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 2 to 3 tsp fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
• Pinch of salt

Directions

1. Start the machine.

2. Drizzle 1 cup of light oil while the machine is running. (mild olive oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil)

3. After it's all blended and emulsified, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice (or white vinegar)

Yield about one cup of mayonnaise.

Based on the basic mayonnaise recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison

Ilene White Freedman operates House in the Woods organic CSA farm with her husband, Phil, in Frederick, Maryland. The Freedmans are one of six 2013 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Homesteaders of the Year. Ilene blogs about making things from scratch, putting up the harvest, gardening and farm life at MOTHER EARTH NEWS  and House in the Woods, easy to follow from our Facebook Page. For more about the farm, and to join our CSA in Maryland, go to House in the Woods.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


4/7/2015

 The mead is working

Boy did I screw up - or did I? I started my first batch of mead after all these years back in October-November. You all may remember my post about the mead. Well, I had trouble with getting the damn thing to start. I tried adding more yeast, I tried energizer, I tried damn near everything...and no bubbles out the airlock.

Thinking Failure

I gave up and made another batch of must (that’s the raw ingredients that ferment to turn into mead) and put it in another primary fermenter (I have two). This time, I started the yeast in a sanitized half-gallon milk container about 12-hours ahead of time before adding it. It seemed to be going smoothly. So, I cracked open the original batch still in its primary fermenter and was greeted with an alcohol odor. I took a sanitized spoon and tasted the must. WOW! THAT'S STRONG! A powerful mead with strong overtones of the orange I put in. Somehow, it fermented without bubbling through the airlock, even though I'm pretty sure I kept it airtight.

Getting Advice

So, I have a very strong, but unfinished mead. I spoke to the brewer supply store and a mead group on Facebook; they all said that I should rack it. Racking involves syphoning off the top layer of the must and leaving the chunky stuff behind to throw out. Which means I had to pick up some racking tubes. And a second gallon container, called a gallon carboy. And probably lose my mind in the meantime.

Rack ‘Em

So, I pretty much blame hunting season and the holidays for the lack of care. But it seems like I have a mead that needs to be taken care of now. Racking used to require syphoning using your mouth to get it started and letting it drain from one container to the other. The one you’re racking to should be lower than the one you’re racking from. Nowadays, the brewers have a handy little self-racking device where you pump it a couple of times and it does the rest. Easy-peasy.

So, I racked the must and came up with a gallon and a quarter that will sit in my office for a while. I’ve been told that the longer you wait, the better the mead. Right now it is too dry and strong, which means it needs time to mellow.

Stay Tuned…

You could probably get high off my laundry room because I put the leftovers in the trash and am soaking the primary fermenter to get the orange gunge out. More on the mead-making as now I have a primary fermenter and an itch to get another must started.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 



4/2/2015

Potlucks can strengthen bonds in an existing group and attract potential new members. Because everyone brings something to share, they will have at least one thing to eat that they like. You'll have the right amount of food no matter how many people show up. And even if using a green approach takes a little coaching, you may find that your example inspires others to party greener too.

I hosted one of the spring potlucks for the Edible Earthscapes CSA (community supported agriculture) members. The other one will be on the farm, with an optional work session before lunch. These shared meals let the farmers and members get to know each other. We also get to try different ways of cooking the marvelous vegetables from the farm.

Farmer Haruka Oatis at CSA potluck

Use Double-Duty Name Tags for Less Stress and Better Conversations

Save your guests and yourself the awkwardness of stumbling for names by using name tags. Ask people to name a hobby or hot topic below their names. Now everyone has a reason to look at the name tags. This trick also lets you skip the small talk or same old topics, creating more opportunities for connection. At our party, I found an improv enthusiast who teaches the sort of classes I've been looking for. She was looking for more students.

reusable nametag holders

Go green by saving the name-tag holders that you couldn't turn it at conferences and events. Cut scrap paper to name-tag size. Provide markers instead of ball-point pens for easy reading at a distance.

Label the Food

Right next to the name tags, I put a stack of index cards so people can label their dishes. The food labels let people choose what to eat without making a fuss. Before the party, I label my own contribution so people can see an example. I list the dish's name and ingredients, then add any special features such as vegan or gluten-free. You can also ask people to bring labels with them. Some people will forget to bring labels, though, so have the index cards or scrap paper on hand.

Make it Easy to Find the Greenest Drinks

Many years ago, I threw a wine-and-cheese fundraiser with nothing to drink but wine—and decent wine at that! I learned that many of the attendees preferred something non-alcoholic. Now I put the healthiest and thriftiest drinks first, including pitchers of water, iced tea, or lemonade. The CSA potluck was on a chilly day, so people enjoyed having hot tea too.

Choose Reusable Plates, Glasses, and Cutlery

cloth napkins and helpful labels

Paper plates and plastic forks clog up the landfill while disposing of your party budget. Instead, choose plates, glasses, and cutlery that can be washed and used again. I've found glass buffet plates for 25 cents each at thrift shops, about half of what you would pay for fancy plastic disposable plates. Sites such as Freecycle and Craigslist can cut your costs to zero. Borrow what you need from your friends or just ask all the guests to bring their own place settings.

Offer Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins last for decades. Most of mine came from my mother-in-law, some I bought years ago, and the cute carrot napkin in the picture came from the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville. They don't need ironing if you line dry them or give them a quick shake when they come out of the dryer. Get new life out of old tee shirts by cutting them up into napkins. You don't need to hem them and the designs can make good conversation starters.

Be warned, though, that some people don't get the concept of cloth napkins. I've found paper tissues that had been used as napkins among the dirty dishes. Some people use the napkins but then throw them in the trash! To keep from losing napkins, I label a dish tub “napkins” and put it near the trash. If your crowd seems particularly puzzled, you may want to check the trash for stray napkins.

Let Your Guests Help you Recycle and Compost

Encourage the greenest cleanup possible by labeling your recycling, compost, and trash containers. Depending on the crowd and the restrictions, add details such as “glass, cans, and white paper” or “vegetable, fruit, and grain scraps for composting, no animal products please.”

Once you've done what you could to make guests feel welcome and able to help themselves, enjoy your own party. Put a fun topic on your name tag and celebrate the community you are helping to create. Enjoy putting food you can identify on plates that won't leak or collapse, propose a toast and listen to the clink of real glasses or mugs, and drape a sturdy cloth napkin across your lap.

Partying green takes more clean up time than if you just tossing everything into the trash, but not much more. It's pleasant work, too. Often guests will offer to help wash dishes, so clean up becomes part of the party. If you'd rather do it yourself, then load the dishwasher while you remember all the jokes you heard. Dump the napkins into the washing machine while you speculate about romances you may have spotted blooming and fold them while you consider the good advice you got or new friends you made. Add good vibes from your party into your compost heap along with the food scraps to nourish your garden.

What Are your Tips for Throwing a Great Potluck?

Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Photos by Linda Watson (c) 2015 Cook for Good, used by permission.

Check out Linda's website Cook for Good for great potluck recipes and cooking tips. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. She is the author of Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet--All on $5 a Day or Less and Fifty Weeks of Green: Romance & Recipes.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


3/25/2015

Babka Bread 

I have been making hot cross buns for Easter for nearly 30 years. This year, I thought it might be time for some variety. In my search for traditional Easter breads I came across Babka.  “Sounds great,” I thought. “Let’s find the true recipe.” Easier said than done.

What Is Babka?

Babka is traditionally made in Poland, Russia, and other Eastern European countries. Apparently babka is a popular Christian Easter bread, but is also made in the Jewish tradition. Perhaps these two traditions for one bread are why I found so many recipes, all claiming to be the true traditional recipe.

I found recipes that add rum or vodka or almond extract or vanilla extract. Recipes that included a chocolate filling or no filling at all. Recipes that had icing and recipes that had no icing. Recipes to be made in a Bundt pan, or a coffee can, or a Brioche pan. Recipes that included raisins or dried cherries or neither. Recipes flavored with allspice or cinnamon or citrus, and recipes that eschewed all spices. Recipes that called for the bread to be soaked in a sugar solution before baking and recipes that called for a sugar soak after baking and recipes that called for no soaking at all.

So what is babka? It is that most traditional of celebration breads. A sweet bread that traditional cooks have adapted to whatever is still in the pantry come spring. Once I realized this, it allowed me to do the same. While I might experiment with other variations in the future, I adapted several recipes to ingredients on hand and developed this soft, tangy, sweet bread.

Babka Recipe

Ingredients 

• 2 tsp active dried yeast
• 2 tbsp warm water
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 3 eggs
• 3/4 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine)
• 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
• 1 tbsp grated orange peel
• 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
• 1/2 cup golden raisins

Icing Recipe

Ingredients

• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Add sugar, eggs, sour cream and milk. Beat until smooth.

2. Add salt, citrus peel, and flour. Beat until a soft dough forms.

3. Add dried fruit, beating just to combine with the dough.

4. Push the dough into a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

5. Push risen dough into a greased 10-cup Bundt pan. Cover and let rise another 40 – 60 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove babka from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

7. Combine icing ingredients. Drizzle over nearly cool babka. Cool completely before cutting.

Special Considerations

This is a very loose, soft dough, best made using a stand mixer. However a large bowl and hand mixer will work also as there is no kneading involved. I used a greased baking spatula to evenly push the dough into the baking pan.

Any combination of dried fruit can be used instead of the cherries and raisins. Apparently cherries are used in the Polish tradition, but I also found numerous recipes that called for currents and candied fruit. Babka is a recipe that works well with any fruit. Maybe this is the year for you to start your own tradition, using what is available in your pantry.

Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and urban homesteading at Seed to Pantry.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 












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