Saturday, December 20, 2008

Loafing Around

Now that I'm off work for the remainder of the year, I can finish my holiday baking -- and coast into a restful break!

Since my julekage-loving local friends (the Opera-Loving Friends and the Absent-Minded Professor and the Southern Belle) are all heading out of town for the holidays, I thought I'd better get started on their annual loaves of cardamom-rich goodness.

I'm a little embarrassed to report that one batch of dough did not turn out well as I poured too-hot milk over the yeast and destroyed its ability to leaven the loaves. The other batch fared much better, and that loaf went to my Opera-Loving Friends since they are far more discriminating in their julekage appreciation. The other loaves still tasted fine, but they turned out very dense.

Once I finished baking and cleaning up, I pulled together their gift bags, and the Renaissance Man drove me out on my elfish errands.

For his efforts, I saved the last loaf for him, and he enjoyed the flavors of fresh cardamom, whole wheat, and home-dried raisins.

As it turned out, he had spent part of the day baking bread as well, and he felt a certain satisfaction that his simple whole wheat loaf turned out better overall than my julekage.

In fact, it was his bread that accompanied our lazy-day and movie-night dinner of harira, steamed kale, and toast. Such wholesome simplicity!

Now that's the way to start a laid-back holiday break -- loafing!

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