Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snow Day...

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestley

Snow Tree

We are having a snow day here in the Cleveland, there is at least a half of foot on the ground and it is still snowing. When we were children we headed outdoors on days like this to build snow forts for a snowball battle royale. This was the time before synthetic fiber clothing and gloves, I can still remember the smell of those woolen mittens drying on top of Mama's heater. With remembrances of childhood always comes the memory of food. We would sit at the table while Mama opened a can of Campbells tomato soup, then she would grab that bag of Wonder Bread and make grilled cheese sandwiches with a thick slice of Velveeta. This is my 'grown up' version of that simple meal.

Tomato Bisque

I pulled out a quart of roasted tomatoes from the freezer I had put up last summer, baked a loaf of whole-grain bread.

The tomatoes had been seasoned with basil, oregano, salt and pepper while roasting so the bisque needed little seasoning. When the tomatoes are thawed, the skins slip off easily. I sauteed a chopped onion and a small amount of celery in about a tablespoon of butter, added to the tomatoes and pureed. Pour the mixture into a pot over medium low heat, add milk and/or cream to the consistency you want. Easy as opening a can!

I have been experimenting in creating a loaf of whole-grain bread that would be hearty yet light, this one won kudos from the food critic. The only problem I have with home-baked bread in this house is getting everyone to wait while it cools. I sliced some yogurt cheese I bought at the Coit Road Market, which melts nicely.

Grilled Cheese

Whole Grain Bread Recipe

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup stone ground rye flour
3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. yeast
1 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. molasses
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1/4 to 1/3 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine bulgur wheat with 1 cup boiling water, set aside to cool. Combine milk, water, honey and molasses in a small pot and warm. Combine flours, salt and yeast. In a large bowl combine half of the flour mixture and warm liquid and mix well for about 4 minutes. Add the remaining flour, bulgur wheat and nuts. Knead well. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Place in a well-buttered bowl and cover with a damp towel. Set in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface shape into a loaf. Place in a buttered loaf pan, cover with a damp cloth and let rise for about 30 minutes. Before placing in the oven I brushed the top lightly with egg white wash and sprinkled on some whole oats.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until done. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped.

Daddy (c.1953)
West 112th Street
Cleveland, Ohio


Lori Lynn said...

I grew up in Chicago and have the same childhood memories.
Love that photo of your Dad! They all wore those hats then. I remember my Dad's hat like that one.

Paula said...

Oh my gosh, look at that snow in the photo of your dad!!! I grew up in Northwest Indiana, and we got snow like that, too! Your soup sounds wonderful, and I bet it tastes a million times better than anything in a can! That grilled cheese sandwich on that homemade bread looks terrific, too! YUM!

Sarah said...

Forgot to mention I also love the photo of your Dad! Thanks for sharing it!

Sarah said...

I agree, your soup does sound wonderful. I think next year we are going to try our hand at preserving some summer veggies and fruits.
For whole grain bread recipes check out Peter Reinhart's book on whole grain breads. We've had great success with every recipe we've tried so far.

OhioMom said...

Hi Lori, oh yeah winter up here is always an event. If you look at old photos from that era you will see men at baseball games all dressed up :)

Paula, the roasted maters gave this soup a great taste .. and it really is as easy as opening a can :)

Hi Sarah, thanks for the suggestion on the book, I will check it out at the library the next time I go. I start bagging and freezing vegetables as early as possible, great to have them available especially on snow days :)

Balisha said...

Hi from Balisha,
Your memories are the same as mine...Can I come over for a bowl of soup???

Grace said...

well. simply put, this is a supreme meal. i think it's safe to say you've created the epitome of comfort food, and i hoped you enjoyed the snow day!

shambo said...

All I can say is YUM! Your meal looks so good. The bread recipe looks like a winner too. What a cute picture of your father. Such sweet memories.

mikky said...

what a view... and i bet that bowl of soup made you enjoy it better... :) great pic of your dad btw...

OhioMom said...


You are welcome at my table anytime :)


Thank you :)

Sue .. one day all we have left is memories, I hold on to the good ones :)

Hi Mikky, thank you and thanks for stopping by.

Theresa said...

Great comfort food on a snowy day! Love your version and who can wait for homemade bread to cool down, not me!

perennialgardener said...

Lovely memories of winters past Mom! And who doesn't think of a Grilled Cheese & Tomato soup on a cold day. :) Your grown up version looks absolutely scrumptious!

******* said...

Are you sure we don't have the same mother? LOL

OhioMom said...

Theresa, I confess to wanting that first warm slice off the end of the bread .. with butter and honey :)

Thanks Racquel .. we never enjoy the simplicity of childhood until we are adults.

LOL Maryann ... Mama did love the convenience of processed foods, I grew up thinking cake was "betty in a box" :)

Carla said...

I sure could use that soup and sandwich right now. It's not so fun walking to and from class in the snow when the sidewalks are slushy and muddy. Yuck.

lifeinrecipes said...

Tomato soup and grilled cheese might just be the perfect meal. The homemade bread looks like a winner.

OhioMom said...

Hi Carla

Yep, winter is a time for challenge when walking to and from, but I wouldn't give it up :)

LIR .. thanks, the bread was good .. not heavy at all.

Tasty Trends said...

that soup looks sooo good for a day like today with -7 degree weather!

also neat pic of your dad on w.112!

Proud Italian Cook said...

What an awesome picture!

we are never full said...

just had to comment on that pic of your dad. it's so beautiful - i like that you can see a lady in the background, but you have to look really closely.