Wednesday, April 05, 2006


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.


At 3:00 PM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Oh, that picture of the toast and marmalade is KILLING me. Yum!

*wipes drool off the keyboard*

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous lindy said...

I wouldn't worry about posting about topics others have posted about before. Not that you are worried, but if you were...

People read your blog because they want to see what someone else has to say about a topic that interests them too-whether they also write a blog, or not. Anybody who really cooks makes lots of things over and over again..and hopefully learns a bit while doing so.

Sadly, some time ago, I dropped and shattered the almost entirely full bottle of that limoncello...gone. sigh.

I wouldn't worry at all about posting on topics others have covered. Not that you areworried, but if you were...
It's not as if someone recently invented marmalade..people read your blog because they are interested in hearing from someone else on a topic they are interested in, too...whether they write a blog themselves, or not.
Would you believe I dropped the almost entirely full bottle of my limoncello, broke it, and lost it all? sigh.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Ivonne said...


Listen ... you keep doing what you're doing because you're incredible at it. I know it often happens that you post something only to find that a few other people have posted the same recipe or item. But you're unique and you're take on it is unique.

I loved your marmalade ... that's a keeper recipe for sure!

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Fiber said...

Wow. The whole thing sounds fantastic! And the picture? Amazing.

I think one of the best things about food blogs is that even if we all posted about something as mundane as chili, everyone would have their own different take on it. I love it when I'm cruising the blogs and I see someone's made the same thing I have, except in their own way.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger lee said...

Allison- It was even better with the blueberry-black currant preserves.

Lindy- Thanks for the encouragement! So sad about the limoncello. Mine is not fabulous (next year I will use only the zest and find some grain alcohol) but if we lived in the same city I would surely have you over for a glass!

Ivonne- Thanks for the compliment- it means something coming from someone who's blog I love!

Fiber- Thanks! I think the best part of blogging for me has been the pictures. I've always wanted to take more and better photos. The only way to take better ones is to take a lot of them and blogging has forced me to do that. I actually didn't start blogging sooner because I only got the camera this winter!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Mrs. B said...

I hear that Tea over at Tea and Cookies is going to make vanilla lemon marmalade from a recipe off another blog. Using my lemons, of course. I can't wait to try that. I think the vanilla will smooth out the sometimes bitter taste that marmalade can have. Glad you tried the recipe!
Mrs B at Eating Suburbia

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Tea said...

I just love that blogging connects us all together. Yeah, there may be repetition but all the versions are different, presented in a new way, with photos that vary. And I love all the voices, everyone with their own background and experience. That's what makes it so rich, I think.

I'm making the lemon vanilla marmalade (from Messy Cucina) tonight. My second attempt at canning (and the first was in high school). Now if only I had your bread baking skills...

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Tea said...

PS. Let us know when you start planning that SF trip!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger lee said...

kaliforniakali- Oooh! and orange-vanilla marmelade would be good too! Thanks for the recipe.

tea- Good luck with the canning. I'm always glad to here that people are taking up this dying tradition! You can be sure that I will let you know if I make it to San Fran. Maybe this fall if I am really lucky.
BTW, you may not have a KitcheAid but you have a friend with a Meyer Lemon tree!!!!!


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