I got to this food blog party a little late and sometimes I wonder what I am contributing. Hasn't it all been said before? It reminds me of a time when I was visiting my friend Ali in NYC. It was one of those rare days where the temperature was perfect. We picked up picnic supplies from a few fancy gourmet stores including a little chocolate cake for two. We got to Central Park ready for a relaxing afternoon and were amazed to find that it was hard to find spot to put our blanket. Seemingly everybody in NY had decided to picnic in Central Park that day!
So I was amused to find this post about making limoncello and Meyer Lemon Marmelade by Lindy over at Toast. I recently made Limoncello and this weekend I made Meyer Lemon Marmelade. It's hard to be original. In my post about canneles, I sited three other blogs and read at least three others who had tried them too. The thing is, I guess that's not why I am blogging. I've always wanted to teach people to cook (if only I could overcome my terror of public speaking!) but that's not it either.
I think what it is for me is just being part of the community. I used to shop at farmer's market, come home and make elaborate feasts and invite whoever could come on such short notice. I'd often proclaim "No one's eating like us today!" Ha! Through food blogs, I have found my people. People who are crazy about food and can't wait to tell everybody about what they made for dinner or the great new restaurant down the street.
I still make feasts for friends but I also look forward to future trips to Seattle, San Fransisco, and beyond because I know I could meet up with people who share my passion and can lead to me to the good stuff. Until then, I will continue to invite you to pull up a chair at my table even if it's only virtually. And if you're ever in Madison, let me know.For my marmelade, I used a recipe from from Mrs. B at Eating Suburbia. She's another Meyer Lemon lover who even has her own trees! I tried adding some lemon grass but you couldn't detect it in the finished product. I also put in a ruby grapefruit because I was short on Meyers and I love how this affected the color and the flavor- a surprise burst of grapefruit every once in awhile.
To go with the marmelade, you've got to have good bread. Hazelnut-Currant Boule from Homebaking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
2 C. lukewarm water
1 tsp. yeast
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. light rye flour
2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped (I left mine whole)
1/2 c. dried currants
2 to 3 c. all- purpose flour, preferably unbleached
Sprinkle yeast in the water. Stir in the whole wheat flour. Cover and let stand for 2 hours.
In a medium bowl mix together rye flour and salt. Rub the butter in with your fingers. Add the yeast batter to the rye mix and mix thouroughly (this can be done in a mixer or a wooden spoon until the batter is thick enough to turn out and knead by hand). Stir in the hazelnuts and currants. Add 2 c. of flour, one cup at a time and mix until you have a stiff dough. Knead for 8 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Put dough in a large bowl and allow to rise for 2 hours, until doubled in volume. Form dough into a round loaf and let rise on a baking sheet or in a floured dough-rising basket, (right side down). If you have a pizza stone but not the basket, flour a linen kitchen towel and lay it in a big bowl to imitate the shape of the basket. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
When the dough is ready, put the baking pan in the oven or turn the dough out onto the baking stone. Quickly slash the bread with a razor blade. Spritz bread several times in the first 5 minutes. Bake for a total of 5o minutes. Cool on a rack before slicing. For breakfast, toast the bread and slather with marmalade. Serve with strong coffee.