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Comfort Food on a Cold Winter Day

A photo of Lori Dunn with pet squirrelsLarge snowflakes are falling heavily, quickly turning the world outside to a sparkling, clean winter wonderland. It is the kind of day that one simply needs to grab a good book and snuggle into a warm throw blanket to be content. These kind of days call for hearty comfort food!

A great start is homemade wheat bread with buttered crust! YUM! I make my breads using my bread machine. It makes life easier. I use the dough setting to mix all the ingredients, and then I remove the dough from the bread machine, punch it down, and form my loaf in whatever shape I feel like. I then put it on my baking stone and let it rise in a warm place, and bake. There is nothing in the world like the smell of home made bread baking! I try to use as many of the whole grain flours as possible in my cooking and baking, so I sometimes do some experimenting with ingredients. Here is the whole wheat recipe I used. This is for a 2 pound loaf.

Homemade wheat bread with a buttered crust

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white flour
2 teaspoon active dry yeast

This is stiffer and firmer dough because it uses more whole wheat flour than regular flour. I baked mine at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, but you might need to adjust that a bit for your own oven. It could probably be baked at a higher temp for a darker crust. When it’s done, I like to rub the crust with butter while it is still warm. You will hardly be able to wait for it to cool enough to cut!

Homemade potato soup

Now, how about some home made potato soup to go along with that bread? I peel and cut my potatoes into cubes. I then fry them in lard. Yes, I said lard! See Jean’s recent post. There is nothing like fried potatoes done in lard! Fry them to whatever level of softness you like them. For this particular soup, I seasoned the potatoes with pepper, parsley, and chicken seasoning. While the potatoes were frying, I put a can of cream of chicken soup in my slow cooker, and added milk. I had some leftover chicken that I added also. I turned that on low to start heating. When the potatoes were done, I added them to the cream of chicken base I prepared, and left that heat through. Once it is heated all the way, it’s ready to eat.

Apple pie crust made with lard

What shall we have for dessert? I think apple pie would hit the spot!

My grandma used to use lard to make her pie crusts all the time, and they were delicious! I decided I would use some lard to make my crusts, but I wanted to try something new. What would it be like to use some whole wheat flour and a little bit of ground flax seed in my crust? I was about to find out. This is the pie crust recipe that I used.

1 cup of white flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of ground flax seed
2/3 cup of lard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold water

Piece of apple pie using wheat flour and lard

For the apples I used my own home canned apple pie filling. The results may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was very pleased. The crust has a fuller, heartier flavor. I will use it again.

If you have any special recipes that warm you on a cold winter day, please share. I’d love to hear them!