Fall in Wooster!

I’m just FALLing back into the swing of things here in Woo-town. (Get it, cause its fall…) And a lot of great fall things are happening! Squashes and gourds and apples, hooray!

Work was good, but nothing too crazy. Making lots and lots of stuff for Oak Grove next door, because they’re doing great business! But, most of my free time this past week was spent getting ready for my Enriched Breads class on Thursday night, so I didn’t make a whole lot of really interesting things until yesterday, when I made a bunch of Tollhouse pies and pumpkin coconut curry soup!

But class! Enriched breads – breads that incorporate fats, like butter, milk, and eggs. So, for class I did three of my favorites – Challah, Brioche, and Croissants. Of course, had to go for a non-traditional challah and went for a roasted garlic and rosemary loaf, did the brioche as burger buns, and croissants just as croissants. All turned out delicious. For the challah, I showed how to braid the loaf and make knotted rolls, and I brought a celebration loaf to eat, which we munched on and loved all by itself. For the brioche, I demonstrated how to mix it up in a stand mixer because the process of beating in the butter and turning the dough is the most special/different part of the process. I also made some summer squash and zucchini patties to go on the buns with a slice of fresh local tomatoes (probably some of the last of season, so sad!) – delicious! (Squash patties: Grate squashes and onion, mince garlic. Mix with salt and let sit for half an hour. Squeeze as much water as you can. Mix in other spices – I just did salt, pepper, chili flakes – and a little flour and/or cornmeal, plus you can put in an egg if you want to for binding, but you don’t need to. Oh, and cheese is obviously a delicious addition. Form and squeeze into patties. Medium heat skillet for a couple minutes on each side to brown nicely, then bake for 7 minutes at 350 to take some of heat out of garlic and onion. Cook time will depend on the size of your patties, obviously.) Then for the croissants, I showed how laminate the butter into the dough, shape them, and bake them. Served them hot with some of the black raspberry jam I made back in the summer. Those last two were SO good. SO GOOD. Just fantastic. Really suggest the brioche bun for any bun need and the patties were sick. For the buns, sprinkle poppy seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, and salt on after the egg wash. Mmmmm. (And using the extra croissant dough, I made croissant cinnamon buns – ridiculous.)

Yesterday, I finally got to take advantage of fall! Which really means, apple picking! Well, more apple grabbing. And apple cider donuts! We went to an orchard over by Mansfield because they have amazing apple cider donuts, but when we got there they said nobody else could go out to the trees and pick! What is that?! We’ll just have to go back. But, we did get grab some apples out of the big boxes, along with a bunch of squash and potatoes, and great looking yellow tomatoes for dinner. And a dozen amazing apple cider donuts. After the orchard, we went back to Ashland to swing by Grandpa’s Cheesebarn. So much cheese! So much tasty cheese. Its not really good cheese, but its tasty. So, nothing well cultures, aged, etc. But they put a bunch of tasty and interesting flavors into they cheese they make – Maple Bacon, Blueberry, Garlic and Onion, Porter, … the list goes on. They have a lot of cheeses. We got a bunch. For dinner!

Dinner was great, family dinner for the first time in about a month! It was really good to see the Frisbee gals again and make and eat tasty foods. Roasted squash and potatoes and mashed with butter, milk, and garlic. Roasted eggplant and red peppers, sauteed onion, mixed them in a casserole pan, and covered with a cheese-sauce (Raccoon learned more about making a roux => Bechamel => cheese sauce, woohoo!) and bread crumbs and baked. Fresh tomatoes. Apple pie. All so delicious, and in good company.

Max has been super cuddly since I’ve gotten back. Always sitting on my lap when its available.

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